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Digital Dispatch Service (DDS) and Private Sedan Business (PSB) FAQ

Q: What is a DDS?

A: A Digital Dispatch Service (DDS) is a service that uses hardware and software applications and networks, including mobile phone applications, that passengers and drivers use to provide public and private vehicle-for-hire services.


Q: How can I apply or renew a DDS license?

A: To apply for a new or renewal DDS license, apply online via the DFHV company portal. If you do not already have portal access, you must register before you can log in and apply.


Q: Whom should I contact if there is no response after registering for the company portal?

A: You can contact DFHV client services at [email protected] or (202) 645-7300 during normal business hours Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. Please allow 48 hours response time for new registrations.


Q: What type of vehicles can be dispatched by a DDS?

A: There are three types of vehicles:

  • Black Cars: These vehicles are also called limousines. If registered in DC, these vehicles have DC license plates starting with the letter ‘L’. Non-District Limos (NDLs) are registered in other states and have rear-window decals from DFHV. NDLs must register with DFHV to operate in the District.
  • Private Sedans: These are private vehicles, such as the vehicles affiliated with ride-hailing services. If you are not dispatching to an existing Private Sedan Business (PSB), you must also apply for a PSB (see below) license.
  • Taxicabs: These vehicles are red and have DC license plates starting or ending with the letter ‘H’.


Q: What is a PSB?

A: A Private Sedan Business (PSB) is a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, operating in the District that uses digital dispatch to connect passengers to a network of private vehicle-for-hire drivers.

Q: So what exactly is a ride-hailing company?

A: The popular term “ride-hailing” applies to a service that has two components in the District: a DDS app that hails a vehicle and driver affiliated with its PSB. Ride-hailing companies in DC are both DDSs and PSBs at the same time. If you wish to start your own ride-hailing company, you must apply for both a DDS license (for your app) and a PSB license (for your drivers and vehicles). You do not need to register as a PSB if your app is only dispatching to existing DC taxicabs, DC limos, or NDLs.


Q: What are the application fees?

A: For DDS: new and renewal applications are $500. For PSB: new applications are $5,000 and renewal applications are $1,000. Application fees can be paid online with Visa or MasterCard.


Q: Is a surety bond required?

A: Yes, a surety bond is required for a new and renewal applications for DDS licenses. If your DDS will dispatch to taxicabs, the bond amount is $100,000. If your DDS will dispatch to black cars and/or private sedans, the bond amount is $250,000 for each vehicle type. A DFHV bond form must be used to satisfy the requirement. You can download the bond form on the DDS/PSB application page online.


Q: Where can I find additional registration and operational requirements for DDS and PSB?

A: View the full list of regulations for DDS and PSB.


Q: How long will it take for a DDS application review?

A: A typical review will take about three to four weeks after all required documents for an application are in place. DFHV may schedule meetings for app demonstrations or other operational questions during the review period.