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 vehicles and drivers in a lease-to-own agreement 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.
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.
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 for Lease to Own / Conditional Vehicle License
Pay any outstanding parking, traffic, and/or TLC tickets.
If your application is accepted, TLC will email you instructions on how to pay new application fees in LARS and on how to upload your insurance documents to TLC UP. Note: When you pay by E-Check in LARS, 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. The application fees are not refundable.
Once the payment has been received, TLC will post your NYS DMV plate letter on TLC UP. You will also receive an email with the copy of plate letter.
Take your plate letter/email to a NYS DMV office to receive “TC” (TLC) For-Hire plates and registration
TLC will email, and post on TLC UP your vehicle inspection appointment date. Visit Vehicle Inspections. for the For-Hire Vehicle inspection requirements.
Bring your vehicle to your scheduled inspection appointment. Once the vehicle passes inspection, your vehicle license will be activated within 48 hours.
NOTE: You must complete all steps within forty-five (45) days from the date of your application, or your application will be denied.
How to Apply for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle License
Pay any outstanding parking, traffic, and/or TLC tickets.
Your Base must submit a Base Affirmation for your vehicle. Once the affirmation is submitted online, you 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 the base.
Gather the following documents and complete the online application using LARS:
The name and TLC license number of the Base to which you will affiliate your vehicle;
Vehicle information (VIN, insurance);
Applicant information (name, address that is not a PO box);
A working and valid email address;
A valid Social Security Number (SSN) 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. The application fee is not refundable.
Submit all required documents using TLC UP within 45 days of making the application payment .
TLC will post your plate letter on TLC UP (if you already have for-hire plates from outside of the NYC, skip to step 7). Once TLC reviews and processes your application, a DMV plate letter will be posted onTLC UP. You will also receive an email with the copy of plate letter.
Take your plate letter/email to a NYS DMV office to receive “TC” (TLC) For-Hire plates and registration.