There are thousands of reasons why people might want to become a TLC drive. They may need to pay the bills, save up for college—or they may just want a change of scenery. Whatever a person’s reasons for becoming one, TLC drivers are the pulse that keeps New York City running. If you would like to join their ranks, here is how to become a TLC driver in New York City.
Decide What Type of License You Want
Although this article will focus on the TLC license, it’s important to note that there are other types of “driver for hire” licenses. Knowing which types there are will help you decide which one you would like to pursue. A TLC license, which stands for “Taxi and Limousine Commission,” qualifies you to drive a yellow taxi, green taxi, livery, black car, or limousine. It also qualifies you to drive for ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, or Curb.
There is also a Commuter Van License that allows you to drive a vehicle that holds 9 to 20 people, such as a van or small bus. A Paratransit License, on the other hand, will enable you to drive non-medical transportation for people with disabilities.
There is a rigorous process to become a TLC driver in New York City, so it is wise to research the qualifications and procedures before starting. Aside from being able to pay the necessary fees, you must be at least 19 years old, have a valid social security number, possess a chauffer’s license, be able to pass a medical inspection and drug test, and have no recent fines, tickets, or driver’s license bans on file with the DMV. Once you are sure you can meet all the requirements, you can fill out an application through License Applications, Renewals, and Summonses (LARS).
Within 90 days of completing your application, you will need to complete a series of classes and trainings. This includes a six-hour “defensive driving” course and a twenty-four-hour “driver’s education” course, which also requires passing an 80-question multiple-choice test. Beyond this, you must complete a Sex Trafficking Awareness training and another training related to wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Once you have a TLC license, it’s simply a matter of acquiring your vehicle and getting on the road. For many, this will mean leasing or purchasing a taxi or limousine and obtaining a vehicle license for it. Those who want to drive for companies like Uber, Lyft, or Curb can use their own vehicle, provided the car is wheelchair accessible and electric. If you don’t have a suitable car, renting is an option. Fast Track Mobility is one of the premier TLC rentals in NYC, and they can get you on the road and into your new job as quickly as possible.