Learn how to get your taxi and for-hire vehicle license and explore additional resources.
You must comply with all applicable laws and rules, even if they're not covered below.
Who needs a license?
You must be licensed to transport people for a fee in a for-hire vehicle, such as a taxi, cabulance, or any other vehicle used for transporting passengers for payment unless noted below.
You don’t need a for-hire license if you:
- Provide free transportation to and from parking lots, hotels, and rental offices
- Drive school buses exclusively under contract with a school district
- Drive ride-sharing vehicles
- Provide a service using a vehicle licensed through Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to:
- Carry passengers for nonprofit organizations that transport people with special needs (utc.wa.gov) and their attendants
- Act as an auto transportation company (utc.wa.gov) - transport passengers, their baggage or freight, on regularly scheduled time and rates
- Act as an excursion service and charter carrier of passengers (utc.wa.gov)
- Drive a limousine and have a license through us (Department of Licensing) to act as a limousine carrier
If the following name requirements are not met, it will cause a delay in processing your application:
- The business application, the vehicle registration certificates, and the certificate of liability insurance document must include both a business entity name and a DBA name
- The names must be the same on all documents
How to apply
Note: We issue this license, but the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS) processes it. BLS prints it on the business license they provide. They refer to licenses we issue as endorsements to the business license.
What you'll need
- A valid email address, if you'd like your license and vehicle certificates emailed to you for faster service
- Supporting documents shown below, ready for upload
- Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit/debit card (transaction fee charged) or bank account information for E-check to pay applicable BLS fees, for-hire license, vehicle certificate, and taxi meter fees
You may apply online with the Department of Revenue.
Apply by mail
To apply by mail, please complete or obtain the following:
- Business License Application
- Supporting documents shown below
Mail the completed forms and supporting documents with a check or money order payable to the Department of Revenue for the BLS fees and the for-hire license, vehicle certificate, and taxi meter fees to:
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
Supporting documents for your application
You must complete and sign the For Hire Addendum, completed and signed by your local jurisdiction authority.
You will need a copy of your vehicle registration certificates for each taxi with Use Class of "F/H" or "CAB". (See sample registration.)
A certificate of liability insurance must show the following:
- Insurance company name (approved to do business in Washington)
- Policy number
- Name of insured (owner name) and operating name (DBA/trade name)
- Coverage effective and expiration dates
- $325,000 minimum combined single limit coverage or $300,000/$100,000/$25,000 split limit coverage
- Year, make and VIN of each car (VIN must match the registration)
- Certificate holder box shows: State of Washington, Department of Licensing, PO Box 9039, Olympia, WA 98507-9039
After you apply
After we receive all the correct documents, we will send your license and vehicle certificates to the address on file within 14 business days. You can provide an email address and ask that we email your license and vehicle certificates.
Samples of completed forms
- Sample - Business License Application
- Sample - For Hire Addendum
- Sample - Certificate of liability insurance
- Sample - Registration
- Obtaining your for hire permit and vehicle certificates
- Get prepared for wine tour season
- Central repository of Permit Timeliness Data (data.wa.gov)
- ORIA central data repository (data.wa.gov)
- ORIA regulatory handbook (oria.wa.gov)