TLC Updates During COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TLC and the City have a full suite of resources for TLC-Licensed Drivers, Vehicle Owners, and Businesses.

Resources for TLC Licensees

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Owner/Driver Resource Center

NYC Free Tax Prep

Let free IRS-certified volunteer preparers help you maximize your refund. New Yorkers who earned $68,000 or less in may be eligible to file their taxes for free. NYC Free Tax Prep offers services including:

  • Virtual Tax Prep
    Get assistance through video conferencing on your phone, computer, or tablet.
  • Assisted Self-Preparation
    Complete your taxes on your own and ask questions by phone or email.
  • Drop-off Service
    Drop off your tax documents and pick up a completed return later.
  • In-Person Tax Prep
    Sit down for a masked and socially distanced session with a preparer.

Tax prep sites are available in all five boroughs. Call 311 or visit nyc.gov/taxprep to check the eligibility requirements and choose the best filing option for you. Services are currently available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, and Russian with others available through phone interpretation.

Food Assistance

  • All New Yorkers can receive free meals through food pantries and meal hubs throughout the City. For more information, visit: NYC COVID-19 Food Assistance.

  • Food benefits through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) will be increased by 15% for six months starting January 1, 2021. If you are already receiving SNAP benefits, you do not need to do anything. New Yorkers can apply for SNAP benefits at AccessHRA.

Public Benefits Application

The City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) can help you with public benefits applications through AccessHRA, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Cash Assistance, and Medicaid renewal. Click here for more information.

Human Resources Administration Cash Benefits

The New York City Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services (HRA) is dedicated to fighting poverty and income inequality by providing New Yorkers in need with essential benefits such as Food Assistance and Emergency Rental Assistance.

  • Rental Assistance: For individuals facing possible evection
  • Burial Assistance: Provided funding to eligible recipients to help pay for the burial costs of family members
  • Cash Assistance: Eligible families may receive up to 60 months of federally funded cash assistance under the Temporary Aid to Needy Families Program (TANF). Single individuals without children and families who have already received cash assistance for 60 months may receive benefits under the New York State Safety Net Program.
  • Energy Assistance: The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that helps low-income homeowners and renters pay for utility and heating bills. You can also apply for assistance cooling your home during the summer.
  • Child support services: Helps parents (both mothers and fathers) and guardians, regardless of income or immigration status, lifting tens of thousands of New York City children out of poverty every year.

You can find these and additional programs on the HRA website. Visit the HRA website and see what assistance you qualify for.

Driver Protection Unit

The Driver Protection Unit protects the rights of all taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers. The Unit investigates complaints submitted by TLC licensees that allege that they have been subjected to illegal conduct including:

  • failure to pay drivers what they earned by providing a trip
  • failure to return a driver’s security deposit
  • failure to provide drivers copies of documents required under TLC rules, including leases and receipts
  • overcharge of lease or vehicle purchase amounts
  • acts of identity theft
  • retaliation for filing a complaint with the TLC

The Unit also reviews New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission rules to improve drivers’ rights and regularly provides Drivers’ Rights trainings throughout New York City. To date, the Unit has helped drivers get back more than $3.2 million.

For more information call (718) 391-5539 or e-mail driverprotection@tlc.nyc.gov.

Related Information:

Legal Services

Estate Planning

Estate Planning

At no cost to you, NYLAG’s Attorneys can:

  • Review your real estate and plan for what will happen upon your death
  • Help your loved ones avoid a lengthy and costly legal process in Surrogate’s court
  • Assist in Real Estate Transfers for homeowners
  • Advise those whose loved ones have already passed away about the transfers of their property

For more information on Estate Planning, read the Estate Planning Flyer in English or Folleto de Planificación Patrimonial in Spanish/Español.

To contact NYLAG, call 212-946-0349 or Email: contactfpp@nylag.org.

Schedule a virtual clinic appointment at NYLAG Foreclosure Prevention Project Calendar. Appointments are available Wednesdays 9:00am - 5:00pm.

Housing and Eviction Prevention Assistance

Eviction Prevention

New York City residential renters facing eviction can receive free legal assistance through HRA's Office of Civil Justice and the City's "right-to-counsel" law. The free legal services may include legal advice, assistance with rental assistance applications and other required forms, advocacy with your landlord, or representation in your eviction case in court.

To access these free eviction prevention services:

New York City Housing Court is open. For more information, please visit https://www.nycourts.gov/home.shtml or call 833-503-0447 (toll-free).

The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants has information available in the following languages:

Spanish/Español, Chinese (Traditional)/繁體中文, Chinese (Simplified)/简体中文, Russian/Русский, Arabic/العربية, Haitian Creole/Kreyòl Ayisyen, Korean/한국어, Bengali/ বাংলা, Urdu/اردو, Polish/Polski, French/Français.

Please check the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants COVID-19 Fact Page for more information and updates.

Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project

New York City created the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project to resolve housing issues that may have occurred as result of COVID-19. The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project helps tenants and landlords meet outside of Housing Court to resolve issues such as unpaid rent, lease concerns, or move outs. Mediation is free, confidential, and voluntary. You can participate regardless of immigration status.

You and your landlord may be good candidates for mediation when:

  • You want to settle the matter rather than go to court, and you want closure.
  • You have an ongoing relationship (i.e. you know each other personally)
  • You have many questions or concerns that need to be addressed.

Situations that are likely not appropriate for mediation include:

  • You want to file a complaint.
  • You do not feel safe speaking with your landlord
  • There is a Full Order of Protection in effect between you and the landlord
  • You currently receive rental assistance, including but not limited to FHEPS, City FHEPS, SOTA, a Section 8 voucher, or SCRIE/DRIE.
  • You live in public housing.
  • You have already been in a Housing Court case with your landlord.
  • The apartment needs substantial repairs.

How do I apply?  Call 311 and say, “Tenant Helpline.” A helpline specialist will help determine whether mediation is appropriate for your situation and can refer you to a Community Dispute Resolution Center of NYC (CDRC) in your borough.

Foreclosure Prevention

If you are at risk of losing your home, NYLAG’s Foreclosure Prevention Project Attorneys can help you avoid foreclosure.
NYLAG’s Attorneys can provide the following services at no cost:

  • Advise on ways to avoid foreclosure
  • Represent homeowners at settlement conferences
  • Review foreclosure-related legal documents and provide advice
  • Draft answers to your foreclosure Summons and Complaint
  • Draft oppositions to motions for summary judgment
  • Represent homeowners who are selling their home to avoid foreclosure

Foreclosure Prevention information is also available in Spanish / EspañolChinese (Simplified) / 简化字Russian / Русский языкFrench / françaisUrdu / اردو, and Bengali / বাংলা.

Voter Registration

To Register to Vote or Check your Voter Registration Status with the Board of Elections in the City of New York visit the NYC's Board of Election website.

COVID-19 Guidance & Resources

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COVID-19 Vaccination

Vaccine for all

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, free, and has shown to be very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Many millions of people have received the vaccine, and the data shows the vaccine is working.

There are vaccination sites in all five boroughs where you can walk in and receive a vaccine without an appointment. You can also use the City’s Vaccine Finder to locate the site closest to you, including those that take appointments.

If you are 75 years of age or older, have a disability, or are fully homebound, you may be eligible for a vaccine at home — if interested, please fill out a form to see if you are eligible for a vaccination at home.

Temporary mobile and pop-up vaccination sites are traveling through every borough, and the schedule for those sites is available online.

This NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene factsheet explains how COVID-19 vaccines save lives, why they work, how the vaccines are safe, who can get vaccinated, and how the vaccines were developed so quickly.

Vaccinations are the best tool New York City has for fighting COVID-19, and every dose given makes the city we love safer!

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Testing Locations for Drivers

All TLC-Licensed Drivers now have access to a new tool to help locate COVID-19 testing centers. All City COVID-19 testing locations are listed, including testing facilities located JFK and LGA Airports. You can choose between drive-thru or walk-in locations. All listed locations include contact information and link with directions.

Once on the Testing Locations for Drivers page, follow the below steps:

  • Enter the address or zip code of where you would like to get tested;
  • Select the radius in miles you are willing to travel;
  • Select a COVID-19 testing location;
  • Click provided link for directions.

Here you can access Testing Locations for Drivers.

Free COVID-19 Diagnostic Test

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The COVID-19 diagnostic test is safe, free, and easy. A nasal swab, oral swab or saliva sample may be used.

There are over 100 convenient COVID-19 diagnostic testing sites across the city. Find a testing site near you.

Who can get tested?

Get tested if you:

  • Want to protect your family and protect yourself
  • Have COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell
  • Have been in close contact with someone who tests positive
  • Are a first responder or healthcare worker
  • Work in a nursing home, shelter or adult care facility

How long do results take?

Most results are returned in about 48 hours.

Do I need insurance?

You do NOT need insurance to get a diagnostic test.

Privacy

Your test results are confidential.

Driver Health – What you need to know about COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Vehicle Cleaning – Guidance for Vehicle Operators

COVID-19: General Guidance for Vehicle Operators

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Safety precautions for vehicle operators to protect themselves and their passengers

  • Monitor your health closely for COVID-19 symptoms, such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell.
    • Get tested for COVID-19: visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find a test site.
    • If you had or may have had COVID-19, stay home until all the following are true:
      • It has been at least 10 days since your symptoms started.
      • You have not had a fever for the prior three days without use of fever-reducing drugs.
      • Your overall illness has improved.
    • Some workers who had or may have COVID-19 must wait longer before returning to work based on New York State requirements.
  • Practice healthy personal hygiene.
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you handle money or a passenger’s bags. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your arm when sneezing or coughing.
    • Have tissues and hand sanitizer available in your vehicle for passengers.
    • Encourage touchless payment options. Minimize the handling of cash and credit cards.
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Do not shake hands or offer bottled water, gum or other items to passengers.
  • Clean and disinfect your vehicle routinely.
    • Pay special attention to surfaces and objects that are touched often by passengers, such as door handles, window buttons, locks, payment machines, arm rests, seat cushions, buckles and seatbelts. Wipe down surfaces that you frequently touch, such as the steering wheel, radio buttons, turn indicators and cup holders.
    • Remove visible dirt and grime first. Then use a regular disinfectant product (for example, Clorox, peroxide or alcohol-based multi-purpose products) that is appropriate for the surface to remove most germs. Disinfectants are the most effective on clean surfaces. Read and follow the cleaning and disinfectant product labels.
    • Wear disposable gloves and any other appropriate protective gear when cleaning and disinfecting. Throw gloves in the trash after use and wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Keep the vehicle doors open while cleaning and disinfecting.
    • Wait until all surfaces have dried before accepting passengers.
    • For additional information about cleaning and disinfecting, visit nyc.gov/health/coronavirus and look for “General Cleaning/Disinfection Guidance for Non-Health Care Settings” on the “Guidance for Businesses” page.
  • Maintain physical distancing.
    • Keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others, whenever possible.
    • New York State Executive Orders require drivers to wear a face covering when transporting passengers, and all passengers over the age of two who can medically tolerate it must also wear a face covering. For more information on face coverings, visit nyc.gov/health/coronavirus and look for “FAQ About Face Coverings.”
    • Ask passengers to sit in the back to create physical distance. If the vehicle has a partition, close the partition before picking up passengers. If the vehicle does not have a partition, consider putting up a clear plastic barrier between the front and back of the vehicle (note: barrier should not affect rear view mirror visibility). For vehicles licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), drivers should follow TLC guidance on partition installation.
    • Only transport passengers who are in the same party.
    • Use the vehicle’s vents to bring in fresh outside air and/or lower the windows. Avoid using the recirculated air option.

Separate facts from fear and guard against stigma

  • The outbreak is no excuse to spread racism and discrimination. It is illegal to discriminate against passengers or prospective passengers due to race, nation of origin or other identities.
  • If you are being harassed or discriminated against due to your race, nation of origin or other identities, contact the New York City (NYC) Commission on Human Rights by calling 311 and saying “human rights,” or by visiting nyc.gov/cchr and clicking on “Report Discrimination.”

Take care of yourself and your family

  • App Library at nyc.gov/nycwell: online health and emotional well-being tools.
  • NYC Well: free mental health support, available 24/7 for brief counseling and referrals. Call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355), text "WELL" to 65173 or chat online at nyc.gov/nycwell.
  • NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline: trained professionals who are there to listen, support and refer if needed. Call 844-863-9314, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week.
  • NYC Health and Hospitals: provides care to New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Call 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692) or 311.

Stay informed

  • Visit the NYC Health Department at nyc.gov/health/coronavirus for COVID-19 information.
  • For real-time updates, text "COVID" to 692-692. Message and data rates may apply.
  • Post information for passengers in your back seat. Visit nyc.gov/health/coronavirus for posters and flyers.

The NYC Health Department may change recommendations as the situation evolves. For updated information, visit NYC Health’s COVID-19: Guidance for Businesses page.

Face Coverings Required

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All TLC drivers and passengers are required to wear face coverings while riding together, regardless of vaccination status. You can use a homemade mask, bandana, or a scarf to cover your mouth and nose. Protect yourself and others.

Health Care and Medical Insurance

NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance. All NYC Care services are provided through NYC Health + Hospitals. Visit www.nyccare.nyc or call 1- 646-NYC-CARE (1-646-692- 2273).

MetroPlus is the plan of choice for over half a million New Yorkers. In addition to Medicaid Managed Care, MetroPlus offers dozens of quality health plans, including Child Health Plus; several Medicare Plans; a Medicaid Special Needs Plan (SNP).

On March 13, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that seeking or using healthcare services related to COVID-19 will NOT be considered under the public charge rule, even if the services are Medicaid-funded. Learn more from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA).

Anyone who needs help during the COVID-19 crisis should seek care without fear, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay for health services.

If you need help finding a health care provider, call 311.

Drivers Benefits paid for by The Black Car Fund

The Black Car Fund (BCF) is a non-profit organization created by New York State to provide workers' compensation insurance to drivers of NY Black Car Services including Lyft, Uber, Via, and the more traditional Black Car bases in the industry.

BCF also provides valuable health and wellness Drivers Benefits at no cost to eligible drivers. These benefits include Dental Insurance, Vision Coverage, Telemedicine, and IDG Mental Health & Wellness benefits, as well as discounts on Urgent Care, Diagnostic Imaging and Prescriptions. These benefits are funded entirely by the small surcharge that is paid by passengers on each ride. More details about these benefits can be found here.

If you are not already a Drivers Benefits member, then you can activate your membership for free.

If you are already a Drivers Benefits me mber, then visit and bookmark the Member Guide for quick access to your benefits, info on how to book your Dental, Vision and Telemedicine appointments, and much more.

For help activating or accessing your benefits, please call (888) 814-8590 and speak with one of our multilingual member services representatives.

Mental Health

An infectious illness outbreak can be stressful to you and your loved ones. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious, and afraid, or to experience other symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping. To reduce your stress and to manage the situation more resiliently, try to remain positive, remind yourself of your strengths, connect with friends and loved ones and use healthy coping skills.

If your symptoms of stress become overwhelming, reach out for support and help. You can contact NYC Well, a free, confidential, 24/7 helpline, staffed by trained counselors. They can provide brief counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages.

  1. Call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355)
  2. Text “WELL” to 65173
  3. Chat at NYC.gov/nycwell

Work Opportunities during COVID-19

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SBS Workforce1

Small Business Services (SBS) Workforce1 program helps New Yorkers prepare for and connect to jobs in every sector across the five boroughs. Through their virtual career center system, you can be connected by web or phone to one-on-one assistance from professionals who can help you:

  • Identify jobs that fit your experience and skills
  • Prepare for interviews
  • Access free job training

All services are free and do not require in-person visits. For more information or to sign up visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/careers/virtual-wf1cc.page

TLC Operations Updates

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TLC Operations

  • Licensing (Long Island City)
    • The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8am until 4pm.
  • Prosecution (Long Island City)
    • Effective September 7, 2021, TLC will be accepting only walk-in settlement requests from licensees. Qmatic tickets for settlements will be available between the hours of 8:00am and 1:00pm only. We will only process electronic settlement requests for representatives and attorneys, or for licensees if you hold multiple vehicle licenses and have more than 3 summonses based upon current policies/procedures via settlements@tlc.nyc.gov email address. Please note these requests by email should be made at least 5-7 business days prior to the scheduled hearing date. You should plan to appear for the scheduled hearing and request an adjournment by emailing RemoteLIC@oath.nyc.gov or visiting Request Phone Hearing for Upcoming Hearing page before 3:00pm, one day prior to your scheduled hearing date, if your summons(es) have not been completely resolved by that time.
    • TLC Settlements: Please email all requests for settlements at settlements@tlc.nyc.gov. To reduce the number of people in the waiting room, individuals who appear at TLC’s LIC office seeking a settlement may be asked to return at a different day or time. Prosecution staff are available to handle settlement requests remotely.
  • Vehicle Inspections (Woodside)
    • Vehicle Inspections: TLC’s Woodside Inspection Facility remains open and operational. Owners with existing appointments should appear for their scheduled inspection. Owners with notices of violations should correct the defect and appear for reinspection as directed on the notice.
  • The TLC's Beaver Street facility is open for appointment visits only.
  • The TLC’s Staten Island office conducts visual vehicle inspections by appointment only.

TLC-Approved Temporary Partitions

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This is a reminder about the TLC policy, which was put in place May 2020, which allows TLC vehicles that currently lack partitions to install temporary ones installed by approved partition installers. We strongly encourage you to use a TLC approved vendor for installation so that the temporary partition is safe for you, the riding public, and those you share the road with.

List of installers for temporary partitions (PDF)

Please be sure to contact the approved installer before showing up for partition prices and availability. We encourage you to keep a copy of your installation paperwork in your vehicle to demonstrate the partition was installed by an approved installer.

For-Hire Vehicle License Storage Option

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission allows For-Hire Vehicle Owners to place their TLC Vehicle License “on-hold” for a period of no more than one hundred eighty (180) days. The license will be placed on hold through a “storage” process, available on the For-Hire Vehicle Page.