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FAQs - Passenger

• What is a medallion and why is it important to get the receipt after the trip?
• What is the light located on the back of taxicabs called and what is it used for?
• How many people can fit into a yellow taxicab?
• Can a passenger sit in the front seat of the taxicab if no room exists in the back seat?
• What are the rules concerning multiple-stop trips?
• What are the rules regarding the use of E-Z Pass when passing through tolls?
• Are drivers required to know how to get to any destination in New York City?
• What is the law for cell phone usage and taxicab drivers?
• What are the rules regarding child safety seats and seatbelts in taxicabs?
• What are the fares concerning trips to and from Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia International airports?
• Do flat fares from JFK extend to the islands in New York City?
• What are the fares concerning trips outside of New York City?
• Is there any circumstance when a driver can refuse to take a passenger to Westchester or Nassau Counties or to Newark Airport?
• Where can I find taxicab memorabilia?
• Can someone at the Taxi and Limousine Commission calculate in advance a fare for a trip in New York City?
• Refusal Law
• Where can I find a list of TLC-Licensed For-Hire services?
• Where can I go to obtain Vehicle Insurance information? 
• I am having problems with a vehicle insurance claim with a TLC licensee and would like to file a complaint. What do I do?
 Using a Credit Card in a Taxicab




• What is a medallion and why is it important to get the receipt after the trip? 

The medallion number, which is located on the hood, license plate and top of the taxicab as well as on the partition and your receipt, is the four-letter/number combination unique to that cab.  It is comprised of a number, followed by a letter, followed by two numbers.  If you lost property in a cab or wish to complain about or compliment a driver, the TLC can identify the driver/taxicab from the medallion number.  Without this information or the name of the driver and the license number, it is difficult to identify the taxicab without the driver first contacting the TLC or the passenger.  It is a good idea to always take a receipt when exiting the taxicab.

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• What is the light located on the back of taxicabs called and what is it used for?

This light is called a trouble light and is located on the back of the Taxi, just to the left of the trunk lock.  It is used to send out a silent distress call in the event of a crime.  A driver who is being robbed can press a button in the cab, which causes the light to flash and alerts passing police cars.

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• How many people can fit into a yellow taxicab?

From Driver Rule 54-15(g) (in PDF):
The maximum amount of passengers allowed in a yellow taxicab by law is four (4) in a four (4) passenger taxicab or five (5) passengers in a five (5) passenger taxicab, except that an additional passenger must be accepted if such passenger is under the age of seven (7) and is held on the lap of an adult passenger seated in the rear.

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• Can a passenger sit in the front seat of the taxicab if no room exists in the back seat?

From Driver Rule 54-15(h) (in PDF):
The Taxi and Limousine Commission's (TLC) rules state that a passenger who is unable to enter or ride in the passenger part of the taxicab must be permitted to occupy the front seat alongside the driver.

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• What are the rules concerning multiple-stop trips?

Drivers are not permitted to refuse passengers with more than one stop. There is no limit to how many stops are allowed.  Keep in mind, the taximeter will run as one continuous trip; it is not turned off and then started again with every stop.  You pay the entire fare at the end of your trip.  If you encounter a situation where the driver refuses you service based on multiple destinations, get the taxicab medallion number, and contact us at 3-1-1 to file a complaint against the driver.

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• What are the rules regarding the use of E-Z Pass when passing through tolls?

From Driver Rule 54-15(f)(2), Driver Rule 55-15(f), 60A-23 (in PDF):
The taxicab driver must use the E-Z Pass when passing through tolls. The passenger will reimburse the driver for any toll cost during the trip. The passenger will be paying the discounted E Z Pass toll rate.

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• Are drivers required to know how to get to any destination in New York City?

Drivers are required to know the streets of Manhattan as well as major destinations in the other boroughs.  Additionally, all New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission licensed taxi drivers must have a map available to them when on duty.  If they do not, they are in violation of TLC rules and regulations.  In addition, as per TLC rules, they are required to know the "lay of the land", that is, have extensive knowledge of the NYC area.  Taxi drivers are not permitted to refuse service, because they do not know how to reach a destination.  They must consult their 5-borough map to identify the best route to any destination within the 5 boroughs.

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• What is the law for cell phone usage and taxicab drivers?

From Driver Rule 54-14(e) and Driver Rule 55-14(g) (in PDF):
According to the Taxi and Limousine Commission rules, drivers are not allowed to use cellular phones or any communication device, hands free or otherwise, while operating a cab.

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• What are the rules regarding child safety seats and seatbelts in taxicabs?

Drivers of yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles and their passengers, are exempt from laws regarding car seats and seatbelts.  Keep in mind, the TLC encourages everyone in the vehicle to buckle their seatbelts while riding in a cab.  There are no Taxi and Limousine Commission rules regarding this, as it is a State exemption. Passengers with children are encouraged to bring their own car seats, which the drivers must allow passengers to install.
*NOTE - Children under the age of seven are permitted to sit on an adult's lap.

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• What are the fares concerning trips to and from Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia International airports?

Newark International Airport
-The set fare from New York City to Newark International Airport is the regular metered rate of fare, plus a $17.50 surcharge, plus all tolls going to and returning from the airport.

John F. Kennedy International Airport
- The TLC has established a "Flat Fare" program for trips to and from JFK and Manhattan. The flat fare is $52.00 plus any tolls. There is no set fare to or from JFK to any point in New York City outside of Manhattan, and the metered rate applies.

LaGuardia International Airport
- There is no set fare for trips to and from LaGuardia International Airport. The regular metered rate of fare, as is displayed below, applies in all cases.

Metered Rate of Fare
$2.50 upon entry
$.50 for each additional unit
$.50 per 60 seconds of waiting time
$.50 state surcharge
$.50 night surcharge between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
$1.00 Peak Hour Surcharge in effect 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday
The unit of fare is:
One-fifth of a mile, when the taxicab is traveling at six (6) miles per hour or more; or 60 seconds, when the taxicab is not in motion or is traveling at less than six (6) miles per hour.

The taximeter shall combine fractional measures of distance and time to accrue a unit of fare. Any combination of distance or time shall be computed by the taximeter in accordance with the National Bureau of Standards. The fare shall include pre-assessment of the unit currently being accrued; the amount due may therefore include a full unit charge for a final, fractional unit.

Different variables such as heavy traffic and tolls should be taken into account in gauging the final cost of your trip.

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• Do flat fares from JFK extend to the islands in New York City?

The flat fares extends to the islands of Manhattan that have vehicular access, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Belmont, Ellis, Governor's, Liberty, Mill Rock, Randall's, Ward's Islands.

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• What are the fares concerning trips outside of New York City?

- Long Island
For Nassau County: The meter will be engaged for the entire trip and the passenger will pay the standard city rate (Rate Code 1) to the county line, then the Nassau/Westchester rate (Rate Code 4) to the destination. Rate Code 4 is double the amount of Rate Code 1.

For any other county: The fare will be a set rate, pre-determined between the passenger and the driver that must be paid at the end of the trip.


- New Jersey (excluding Newark Airport)
The fare will be a set-rate, pre-determined between the passenger and the driver that must be paid at the end of the trip.


- Connecticut
The fare will be a set-rate, pre-determined between the passenger and the driver that must be paid at the end of the trip.


- New York State 
Westchester County:
The meter will be engaged for the entire trip and the passenger will pay the standard city rate (Rate Code 1) to the county line, then the Nassau/Westchester rate (Rate Code 4) to the destination. Rate Code 4 is double the amount of Rate Code 1.


- New York State (excluding Westchester and Nassau Counties): The fare will be a set-rate, pre-determined between the passenger and the driver that must be paid at the end of the trip.

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• Is there any circumstance when a driver can refuse to take a passenger to Westchester or Nassau Counties or to Newark Airport?

From Driver Rule 54-14(d) (in PDF):
If the trip would result in the driver’s having to operate the taxicab for more than 12 consecutive hours, which is prohibited, then that driver may refuse to take a passenger to these destinations.

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• Where can I find taxicab memorabilia?

At the CityStore. Visit them at www.nyc.gov/html/citystore  

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• Can someone at the Taxi and Limousine Commission calculate in advance a fare for a trip in New York City?

It is impossible to pre-calculate a fare, because the meter rate depends on traffic, construction, weather, and route to the destination.

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• Refusal Law

From Driver Rule 54-20 (in PDF):
It is against the law to refuse a person based on race, disability, or a destination in New York City. A taxicab driver is required to drive a passenger to any destination in the five boroughs.  You can make a refusal complaint by calling 3-1-1.

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• Where can I find a list of TLC-Licensed For-Hire services?

For a list of TLC Licensed For-Hire services, please click on Find-a-Ride. Please note: This list is sorted by Borough and by Zip Code for your convenience.

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• Where can I go to obtain Vehicle Insurance information? 

If you would like to obtain information on Vehicle Insurance information, please click here.

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• I am having problems with a vehicle insurance claim with a TLC licensee and would like to file a complaint. What do I do?

The TLC does not have regulatory authority over insurance claims. These are handled by the New York State Insurance Department. If you are having problems with an insurance claim with a TLC licensee and you would like to file a complaint with the New York State Insurance Department, please click here.

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Using a Credit Card in a Taxicab


Yes, drivers accept credit/debit cards for all fares; there are no minimums or fees to use your credit/debit card.

Do I have to sign the receipt?
Customers only need to sign the receipt when the total is $25.00 and over.

What happens if my credit/debit card does not work?
If the credit/debit card payment does not process, passengers can pay in cash or use another card.

If after swiping my credit/debit card, the driver informs me that the card transaction did not go through and requests cash, what should I do?
The Passenger Information Monitor (PIM) located in the backseat will inform the passenger when a credit/debit card is approved. If the screen indicates that the credit card has been approved, your card will be charged and the driver will be paid. In most cases the last four digits of your credit card number will be noted on the receipt. If you are double charged, go to 311 Online to bring a consumer complaint against the driver and your credit card company to request a chargeback. If you want to press charges against the driver, you must attend a TLC hearing at 40 Rector Street in Lower Manhattan to pursue a consumer complaint. Passengers should always ask for a receipt.

Is a driver allowed to refuse to let a passenger use his/her credit/debit card?
No. Drivers are required to accept American Express, MasterCard, VISA and Discover (and some will accept the JCB Card) for all fares. The driver must accept credit/debit cards for any fare amount. If a driver claims the credit card system is broken and/or prevents a passenger from using their credit/debit card, please report the medallion number to the TLC by going to 311 Online.

What if a driver says the system is not working?
The passenger should note the medallion number and go to 311 Online. Drivers are permitted to work with a broken system for up to 48 hours as long as they have reported the problem and are awaiting repair. Almost all (90%) system repairs must be completed within six hours.

I am concerned about security, who will swipe the credit/debit card?
All the equipment is installed in the back seat of the cab. The passenger swipes the card and can enter the tip on the touch screen located in the back seat. There is no need to hand the card to the driver. In addition, all taxicab systems are certified under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard.

Can I use a keypad to enter my debit card pin number?
The systems only work with signature based credit cards/debit cards. There are no PIN based functions built into the systems. This feature may be added at a later date. If a MasterCard or Visa logo is present on the debit card, it should be accepted by the cabs.

Which credit/debit cards are accepted?
Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and in some instances, JCB
Debit cards: Signature based Visa and MasterCard.

How will I get my receipt?
The driver will hand you the receipt as they do now.

What should I do if I want to pay by credit card, but the driver informs me he/she has already pressed the “Cash” button?
Inform the driver that you wish to pay by credit card. He/she will be able to reset the PIM or enter the amount as a negotiated fare (rate code 5).

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