For better or for worse New York State is one of the most highly regulated of places. As I have traveled around the country and my kids encouraged me to use Uber (I love it). I then went about discovering just how many hoops an Uber, Taxi Limo, or Livery driver must pass through to get their TLC (Taxi and Limo Commission) license with a Class E New York City license. Knowing how hard it is to get, and then finding out just how easy it is lose with a DWAI (driving while ability impaired), DWI, AUO (aggravated unlicensed operation), or even a bunch of traffic tickets may boggle your mind.
New York State Requires a Class E Driver's License or a CDL to Drive People for Profit
Livery, taxi, black car, and car service are all highly regulated in New York State, and especially in New York City. There is a world of difference between driving in NYC and the rest of New York State. To drive people for profit anyplace but NYC you can be 18 years old, and upgrade to a class E license.
To get a New York City license to drive (Uber or Taxi or Limo or Livery) you must go through the Taxi and Limo Commission (The TLC) to drive professionally. It requires all of the following steps:
Step 1: Change your class D driver’s license to Class E driver’s license
Step 2: Defensive Driving Course Requirement. (6-hour class offered online)
Step 3: Medical Exam. You must be proven as “fit to operate a vehicle safely” Must be certified by a doctor.
Step 4: Submit application
If you have any of the following violations or your record forget about a license. If you get any of the following after you get a TLC driver's license, kiss it goodbye.
These are All Classified as "Disqualifying" Violations or Offenses to a TLC (Taxi and Limo Commission Licensed) Driver:
- Unlicensed Operation of Motor Vehicle, VTL 509 (driving without a license on your person)
- Aggravated Unlicensed Operation VTL 511 (driving while having a suspended license)
- More than 3 accidents within a year (although 2 will bring you DMV attention)
- Positive TLC drug test
- DWI or DWAI or DWAI drugs (all drug and/or drinking related driving charges)
- 6 or more points on your DMV history (this is usually over an 18 month time period)
- Any criminal level offense (misdemeanor) can disqualify you and end your license
Step 5: Wheelchair Class (3 hours), and the Taxi class (24 hours)
Step 6: Drug Test
Step 7: Fingerprints (background check for prior offenses and violations of law)