Taxicab Ordinance Changes to VMC 5.76

On December 17, 2012, the City of Vancouver City Council adopted Ordinance M-4037, referred to as the “Taxicab Ordinance,” which repealed and amended sections of VMC 5.76, referred to as the “Vehicle for Hire Ordinance.” The Taxicab Ordinance became effective January 16, 2013 and the resulting revisions include a change to the name of the subject chapter to “Taxi Code” and a number of other modifications aimed at narrowing the scope of VMC 5.76 to taxicabs and taxicab drivers, streamlining certain administrative processes, and recovering a part of the City’s costs associated with implementing the program. The Taxi Code is available in its entirety at Vancouver Municipal Code, Chapter 5.76 TAXI CODE.

Code Changes Affecting Taxicab Companies

-- Information Forthcoming --

Code Changes Affecting Taxicab Drivers

The following is a summary of the pertinent code modifications that affect or could affect prospective taxicab drivers who want to apply for a City taxi driver permit under the new code, and currently-licensed taxicab drivers whose chauffeur’s licenses were issued under the old code and expire on December 31, 2013.

NOTE: The new code does not change the expiration date of current 2013 chauffeur’s licenses issued under the old code; but may affect the deadline for submitting renewal applications in the fall of 2013. More information about renewals for currently licensed drivers will be provided in the fall of 2013.

SUMMARY OF VMC 5.76 CHANGES AFFECTING DRIVERS -- Effective January 16, 2013

WARNING:This summary is for the convenience of the general public and the City of Vancouver makes no representations or warranties as to its accuracy and completeness.

Changed Item

Old Vehicle for Hire Code

CHAUFFEUR’S LICENSE

Issued before 01-16-13

New Taxi Code

TAXI DRIVER PERMIT

Issued on or after 01-16-13

Name of document issued to taxi drivers allowing them to drive in City pursuant to VMC 5.76.

VMC 5.76.105.  "Chauffeur's License".

VMC 5.76.105.  "Taxi Driver Permit".

Term of license / permit.

VMC 5.76.610.H.1.a.  Up to one 1 year -- expiring each December 31.

VMC 5.76.225.D.  2 years -- expiring on the last day of the month which is 2 years from day issued.

Non-refundable application fee.

VMC 5.76.610.A.1.  $25 -- each new and renewal application (every year).

VMC 5.76.225.E.  $100 – each new and renewal application (every 2 years).

Proof of driver training.

Not required.

VMC 5.76.500.K. Each taxi company must show proof that drivers operating under its Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity (CPCN) have passed a National Traffic Safety Institute (NTSI) certificated defensive driving course, or equivalent, within 2 months of each driver’s first assignment to operate a taxicab in the city and to provide proof of each active driver’s passing the course upon request by the city manager or designate.

Reporting of taxi driver disqualifying convictions or other adverse findings.

Not specified in code.

VMC 5.76.530.A.b. Each taxi company holding a City CPCN must report any conviction, bail forfeiture or other final adverse finding or any other circumstance described in VMC 5.76.610 which could be grounds for denial, suspension or revocation of a taxi driver permit for any taxi driver operating under its CPCN.

Permit fee.

None.

VMC 5.76.225.E. $100 -- due prior to release of taxi driver permit, if approved.

Driving record requirement.

VMC 5.76.610.A.3. Application must be accompanied by a certified copy of state-issued driving record for prior 3 years from all states applicant drove in during 3 years prior to date of application.

VMC 5.76.610.A.3. Application must be accompanied by a certified copy of state-issued driving record for prior 10 years from all states in which applicant held a driver’s license during 10 years prior to the application date, and issued no less than 6 months prior to the application date.

List of residence locations where driver’s license held in prior 10 years.

Not required.

VMC 5.76.610.A.4 Application must be accompanied by a list of all cities, states, and countries in which he/she has resided and held a driver’s license during the 10 years prior to the application date.

Other information related to taxi driver qualifications.

Not specified in code.

VMC 5.76.610.A.5. Applications must be accompanied by such other information related to taxi driver qualifications as the City may require.

Application completeness review process and resubmittal fee.

Not specified in code. In practice, if chauffeur's license application was submitted to City and subsequently deemed incomplete, applicant was notified of missing items and had opportunity to supplement application until application was complete without additional fee.

VMC 5.76.610.A.6. If a taxi driver permit application is submitted to City and subsequently deemed incomplete (missing information, signatures, and/or attachments), application will be returned to applicant and, if applicant wants to re-apply, will be charged another non-refundable $100 application fee.

Frequency of fingerprint-based criminal background check requirement.

VMC 5.76.610.B. At initial application, and every 3 years, thereafter.

VMC 5.76.610.B. At initial application and every taxi driver permit renewal, thereafter (every 2 years).