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Department of For-Hire Vehicles
 

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Industry FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

 
1) Are taxicab operators allowed to organize shared rides?
 
Yes.  On any day when a Metrorail SafeTrack safety surge project is under way, a taxicab operator may act as a starter by organizing groups of passengers for shared rides.  This is allowed at a taxicab stand or at any point within one mile of a Metrorail station.  
 
2) Are passengers required to take shared-ride trips?
 
No.  Each passenger is free to choose a shared taxicab ride or a ride without other passengers.
 
3) Are taxicab operators allowed to charge passengers extra for shared-ride trips?
 
No.  An operator may not charge passengers for organizing a shared ride and fares are limited to the standard meter rates with no surge pricing. 
 
4) Can a Virginia or Maryland black car conduct point-to-point service inside the District?
 
Yes.  A black car displaying Maryland or Virginia tags and a Special Event decal for SafeTrack issued by DFHV may conduct point-to-point service if the trip is booked by a digital dispatch service (DDS) registered to provide black car trips.  For a current list of these DDSs, click here.
 
5) Can I get an H tag?
 
Yes.  The agency has abolished the H tag moratorium.  New H-tags are available for any licensed driver and those who want to join the industry.  Under the current program, you must buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle and put it in service with Transport DC. The agency has also approved rules to allow operators to get an H tag by purchasing a 100%-electric vehicle. The agency has also approved proposed rules in Chapters 10 & 18 to offer H tags to owners who surrendered their tags up to two years before or up to one year after the moratorium was imposed. The Neighborhood Ride Service by Taxis awarded H-tags to operators who applied through a competitive grant program.
 
6) Will Xclass help drivers?
 
Yes.  Xclass will offer drivers a new source of business, and also have some innovative differences to make it easier to drive.  Xclass licenses for drivers and vehicles will have zero up-front application fees.  Any driver with a DFHV-issued Face ID card can automatically drive in Xclass, and drivers without face cards can get expedited licensing.  All Xclass drivers will be vetted with FBI background checks.  And drivers will have more choices for vehicles, including the ability to use their own private vehicles or rented vehicles. FAQs about Xclass can be found here.
 
7) Are apps and private vehicles regulated?
 
Yes.  App companies and private sedan businesses are two different things, and they are both regulated by DFHV.  Companies that provide apps, like the DC TaxiApp, and others like EZ Taxi, Taxi Transportation, Uber, Wheelz on Demand, and Yellow Cab, are all digital dispatch services, regulated under Chapter 16 of TItle 31 of the DCMR.  
 
Companies that provide private sedan service, like Lyft, uberX, and Split, are also regulated under the regulations in Chapter 19.  These regulations are different than the regulations for taxicabs as a result of the Vehicle for Hire Innovation Amendment Act (applicable March 10, 2015), a law passed by Council in 2014 to broaden the spectrum of for-hire transportation choices in the District. Under this law, private sedan drivers have some different requirements than taxicab drivers, many of which have nothing to do with competition or market conditions.
 
8) Can taxicabs adjust their fares like private sedans?

Sometimes.  When a taxicab is booked by e-hail (digital dispatch), it uses the fare set by the app company (digital dispatch service), which can be higher or lower than the street hail rates in section 801.  This is the same as private sedans.  When a taxicab is booked by street hail, it must taxicabs use the street hail rates in section 801 to ensure that passengers on the street are treated fairly and consistently, without surprises in the amounts they are charged.

 
9) Are taxicab drivers harassed by vehicle inspection officers?
 
No. We find that drivers who follow the rules generally do not report that they are “harassed” by vehicle enforcement officers.  Inspectors are doing their job by enforcing the rules, ensuring safety and protecting consumers by conducting traffic stops based on probable cause, and conducting compliance checks for administrative purposes.  Drivers with evidence that an officer has abused his or her authority should contact DFHV at [email protected].
 
10) Are vehicle condition monitoring devices (VCMDs) required for all vehicles?
 
No. VCMDs are required for older taxicabs which are approved to stay on the road beyond the time allowed by the regulations in section 609.7.  The VCMD requirements is based on research showing that older vehicles for hire are often in mechanically poor condition compared to newer ones.  Section 609.7 and the administrative issuance for extended vehicles (available on the agency website) require VCMDs in these older vehicles to ensure they are carefully maintained and do not exceed the mileage limits agreed to as a condition of the extensions.
 
11) My vehicle was in an accident and must be replaced.  Can I get a subsidy for this?
 
No.  Vehicles that have been in accidents must be repaired.  If a vehicle is declared salvage or rebuilt, it may not be used as a taxicab and must be replaced as required by the rules in section 609.
 
12) Will drivers be required to pay for the new MTS safety feature?
 
No.  The payment service providers (PSPs) approved for the licensing period through August 31, 2016 are required to provide the driver safety feature as a standard part of all MTS systems.
 
13)  I co-own a vehicle with a company that charges me $50 per week to drive.  Can DFHV help me to eliminate this fee?
 
Maybe.  DFHV does not endorse this practice as it appears to be unfair to the individual co-owner.  While DFHV cannot modify an agreement between the co-owners, it provides mediation services to assist co-owners in these circumstances.  If both the company and the individual agree, mediation can be scheduled by calling 202-645-6018.
 
14) Is DFHV marketing the new DC TaxiApp? 
 
Yes.  Even while the DC TaxiApp is in public beta, DFHV is now promoting it on its website home page at [email protected] through regular tweets, by working with local media outlets such as The Washington Post, The Washington City Paper, WUSA-9, and DCInno, and by producing a video to run on all taxicab backseat monitors. The Training Guide Presentation is attached below. A lot more is planned for the App’s public debut in May 2016, so stay tuned!
 
15)  I paid the entire fee for my Face ID card, but I did not get a face card for the entire period.  Will DFHV establish prorated licensing?
 
Yes.  DFHV Client Services now prorates fees for face cards.
 
16) How long will the Safetrack Special Permits be available?
 
The opportunity for Safetrack Special Permits will be available until WMATA completes its Safetrack rail work or DFHV terminates program through an Administrative Issuance.  A schedule of the Safetrack rail work can be found at WMATA
 
17) How long can I have a permit?
 
The DFHV Special Permits are available for 45 days and 90 and can be renewed, consecutively, only once for the same amount of days.   
 
18) How much is the permit?
 
The permits are $45 dollars for the 45 days period and $90 for the 90 day period. Funds are to be paid when permits are picked up.  Money Orders or Credits Cards only, Cash is not accepted.
 
19) If I am a Maryland and Virginia driver, can I do point to point passenger pick up in DC?
 
Yes, Maryland and Virginia drivers can conduct point to point service in the District; however, during METRO’s peak hours, Maryland and Virginia drivers must conduct ride sharing.  During non-peak peak hours, Maryland and Virginia drivers can do single rides.
 
20) What is a dispatch service provider and who are they?
 
Dispatch Service Providers are listed on our website at dispatch companies
 
21) How many Special Permits am I allowed to have?
 
Operators may receive two permits and companies are allowed to purchase as many Safetrack Special Permits as they like provided that they submit all requisite documents regarding the vehicle and driver with the application.
 
22) How do I apply for the Special Permit?
 
The Special Permits application must be completed and submitted online.  The Department will not accept any documents in hard copy.  The online application is available here
 
23) How long does it take to get approval for the Special Permit?
 
Approval of Special Permits generally takes 24 hours or less provided that the application is complete.  Applications are processed in the order in which they are received.
 
24) Will my Special Permit be mailed to me or given in an email?
 
No, Special Permits can only be picked up at the DFHV Offices located at 2235 Shannon Place, SE Washington, DC 20020, Suite 2003 during the hours of 8:30 to 3:30 Monday through Friday. 
 
25) What documents are needed for the application?
 
Required documents include, but are not limited to, driver’s license, your VA or MD for-hire permit or license, vehicle information, etc.  Please see application for specific requirements.
 
26) Who may pick up the Special Permits from DFHV once they have been approved?
 
The applicant or designee may pick up the permits.  The applicant must provide the designee with the authority to pick up the permits.  Designees may be a listed driver or runner.
 
27) If my application is denied, what can I do?
 
If your application is denied, please review the response that has been provided to you via e-mail, correct/resolve the denial reason and resubmit your application.  If you continue to have difficulty, please either email [email protected] or call 202-645-6018.
 
28) Where should I place the Special Permit Sticker on my car?
 
Place the Special Permit sticker on the inside of the rear window where it is visible.  However, if your rear window has dark window tint, place it in the front right window where it will be visible.

 

Service Contact: 
Customer Service
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 645-6001
Contact Fax: 
(202) 889-3604
Contact TTY: 
711
Contact Suite #: 
Suite 2001
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Service Location: 

2235 Shannon Place SE

GIS Address: 
2235 Shannon Place SE
City: 
Washington, DC
Zip: 
20020