In New York City, there are three different types of For-Hire Vehicles – black car, livery, and limousine. All For-Hire Vehicles must be affiliated with a For-Hire Vehicle Base, and it is the base’s class that determines the vehicle’s type. Read on to learn how to apply for a For-Hire Vehicle License.
Only owners of wheelchair accessible vehicle and electric vehicles or drivers with a lease-to-own contract may apply for a new FHV vehicle license. Read below to see if you are eligible to apply for a new FHV vehicle license.
You may apply for a new FHV vehicle license if you meet one of the following exceptions:
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Exception: Owners of wheelchair accessible vehicles may apply for a new FHV vehicle license if their vehicle meets Accessible Vehicle Criteria. For examples of vehicles that meet TLC’s accessible vehicle criteria, approved wheelchair accessible vehicles can be found within the Approved Vehicle List on the Yellow Cab Hack-Up page.
PLEASE NOTE: vehicle licenses issued under the wheelchair accessible vehicle exception are restricted for use with only wheelchair accessible vehicles. If you must replace your vehicle at a future date, you must replace your vehicle with another wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Electric Vehicle Exception: Owners of electric vehicles may apply for a new FHV vehicle license. Vehicles powered only by a battery are eligible for this exception. If your vehicle has a gas tank it is not eligible for the electric vehicle exception (hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles are not electric vehicles)
PLEASE NOTE: vehicle licenses issued under the electric vehicle exception are restricted for use with only electric vehicles. If you must replace your vehicle at a future date, you must replace your vehicle with another electric vehicle.
Lease-to-Own Contract Exception: In certain limited circumstances, TLC will issue a new FHV license to a non-wheelchair accessible vehicle if the applicant had entered into a long-term lease with an option to purchase the vehicle prior to AND the driver has purchased the vehicle. This exception is known as a lease-to-own agreement, and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Drivers will be required to submit documents to TLC demonstrating that they are eligible for this exception. Information about this process can be found in the Lease to Own Guidelines.
The pause on new FHV vehicle licenses does not impact current licensees. Current FHV licensees can continue to operate their vehicles and submit base and vehicle transfers for their existing vehicle license.
Luxury limousines must be stretched by a manufacturer-certified stretch limo builder.
Click below to read the Lease to Own Guidelines in languages other than English:
Applicant Identification: Government Issued photo I.D. of applicant.
Social Security Card
Proof of Vehicle Ownership - One of the following in the applicant’s name: Current DMV registration, Bill of Sale, or Leasing Agreement, Certificate of Origin or Certificate of Title (Front and Back). Note: Vehicles licensed outside of NYS must provide DMV registration showing seating capacity.
Insurance Certificate - Current For-Hire Insurance Certificate (FH-1) in the applicant’s name.
Insurance Certificate of Liability - Current Insurance Certificate of Liability directly from your insurance company showing levels of insurance coverage. Coverage must meet the minimum Insurance Requirements.
Lease-to-Own Agreement (if applying under the lease-to-own exception)
Partnership, Corporate, or LLC filings (if applicable) - Photo identification and social security numbers of all stock holders or members or managing members, whichever is applicable
Certificate of Partnership
Certificate of Incorporation
Corporate Minutes listing the names and shares of officers or members
An IRS issued CP-575 Notice OR a 147-C letter
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
Articles of Organization
List of Members
Election of officers' forms are not acceptable
*Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles - TLC may require documentation from the up-fitter or modifier at any stage of the licensure process.
How to Apply
Submit your new vehicle application online on LARS.
Pay any outstanding parking, traffic, or TLC tickets.
Your Base must submit a Base Affirmation for your vehicle
Once the affirmation is submitted online on TLC UP, you and your Base will receive an email confirming the submission. If you have not received the email confirmation, you will not be able to submit the application and must contact your Base.
Gather the following documentation and complete the online application using LARS:
The name and license number of the Base to which you will affiliate your vehicle
The Vehicle information (VIN, Insurance)
Applicant information (Name, Address that is not a PO Box)
A working Email address for TLC to send plate letter, appointment & request information
A valid Social Security number or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
A Checking Account, Debit Card or Credit Card. If you pay by E-Check, you will not be charged a fee. The City of New York also accepts credit and debit cards and you will be charged a fee of 2% of the payment amount. This fee is nonrefundable.
Submit additional documents (if necessary) If you did not attach all of your documents when submitting your application, you may submit them by using TLC UP within 45 days of making your payment.
TLC will post your plate letter on TLC UP (If you already have for-hire plates from outside of the NYC area, skip to step 7) Once TLC reviews and processes your application a DMV plate letter will be posted on TLC UP.
Get your DMV “TC” Plates. Take your plate letter to a NYS DMV office to receive your “TC” For-Hire plates and registration.
Notifying TLC of your Plate by filing the Plate Notification Form on TLC UP.
Please see the below chart for minimum insurance levels required for your vehicle based on the type of vehicle you own and the vehicle’s seating capacity (as per TLC rules, unless otherwise noted).
Minimum Insurance Levels
Livery Vehicle & Black Car
$100,000 per person $300,000 per occurrence CSL $200,000 PIP (Personal Injury Protection)
$1.5 Million per occurrence $200,000 PIP
$5 million occurrence $200,000 PIP
$500,000 per person $1 million per occurrence CSL $200,000 PIP
$1.5 million occurrence $200,000 PIP
$5 million occurrence $200,000 PIP
Note: A base’s umbrella policy can only be used to meet the TLC mandated liability insurance requirements for (1) vehicles directly owned by the base; or (2) vehicles affiliated with, but not owned by the base, and in such cases the vehicle owner must be listed as a named insured on the endorsement page. In all cases, the declaration page of the base policy presented must include a schedule of covered Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs). The vehicle policy must have insurance levels that meet agency insurance requirements, and the policy must cover any and all accidents incurred by the vehicle. The policy cannot contain exclusionary language that limits liability or coverage for the vehicle. The TLC may request a full copy of the base policy to confirm coverage, which may delay application processing.