The use of California taxi cabs varies by area. According to the Los Angeles Times newspaper, San Francisco residents use taxis more than other inhabitants of Southern California. Taxi cabs are an important mode of transportation for senior citizens and tourists. To ensure passenger safety, state and local mandated rules govern how taxi cab businesses operate.
California Taxi Driver Licensing
A commercial driver's license is not required to drive a California taxi cab. Each city outlines driver qualifications. Some areas require drivers to complete a taxi driving course at an approved taxi school. Employers also develop certification guidelines for potential employees.
Section 200 of Los Angeles taxi cab rules and regulations details driver requirements. Per Subsection 204, taxi cab owners submit driver names and addresses to the Department of Motor Vehicles the first week of every month. In compliance with Subsection 207, all taxis require liability insurance. General liability insurance is required for the business location and drivers. Subsection 212 details the driver dress code, which includes black dress pants, a white dress shirt or polo shirt with the company emblem and black shoes and socks. Black skirts are acceptable for female drivers.
Taxi cab owners apply for business permits from the Orange County Taxi Administration Program under Orange County taxi rules. Proof of insurance for each taxi and a background check for each owner, partner or principal officer is needed before the permit is issued. Permits are issued in five days and valid for 1 year. The Orange County Taxi Administration Program also requires driver permits. A valid California drivers license, clear criminal background check and Live Scan fingerprinting is required of all applicants. Live Scan digital fingerprinting submits information electronically to the Department of Justice. Background checks are completed in 72 hours.