Licensing and Standards

The TLC’s Licensing and Standards Division consists of several Units located in the TLC’s Long Island City facility, each playing an integral role furthering the safe transportation of the riding public, as well as overall public safety. Each Unit plays a vital role, working independently and together to create a Division committed to maintaining safe, effective, and efficient licensing and standards processes. The Licensing and Standards Division processes various transactions relating to drivers, vehicles, bases, medallions, street hail livery vehicles, TLC compliance, and the DMV. All Units within the Division work together to provide licensing support throughout the Agency, allowing the TLC to make appropriate licensing decisions, as well as supporting the entire industry. The Division also includes the call center, which addresses inquiries for the Agency that range from questions about applying for a TLC License and what to do after leaving property in a taxicab, to commending a TLC Licensed Driver for superior behavior or exemplary service.

Base and Business Unit

Whether riding in a black car, livery car, or luxury limousine within New York City, the TLC licensed vehicle is affiliated or registered to a base, which dispatches trips. Bases, as well as drivers and vehicles, are licensed by the TLC. The TLC’s Base and Business Unit maintains the highest level of accountability, created to further public safety and protect passengers, who know that the driver, vehicle, and base are all fully licensed and vetted by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The Base Unit also licenses bases that dispatch paratransit vehicles and commuter vans, playing a crucial role in helping millions of passengers take safe and reliable trips in and around New York City every year. The Unit reviews and evaluates applications for various TLC licenses, ranging from base licenses to meter shops and taxi technology providers.

Vehicle Unit

The TLC Vehicle Unit was formed in 2017 compromised of staff members who previously worked in New Vehicle Applications and Renewals. If you want to license or renew a TLC-licensed vehicle, the Vehicle Unit processes those transactions.

The vehicle licensure process includes checking the proof of vehicle ownership, obtaining a TLC license plate from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, checking for required insurance levels, paying a commercial motor vehicle tax, and scheduling a TLC vehicle inspection appointment. In order to appropriately address changes and concerns throughout the industry, the Vehicle Unit maintains an in depth knowledge of industry issues affecting owners, vehicles, and bases.

Driver Licensing Unit

Thousands of drivers throughout New York City interact every month with the TLC’s Driver Licensing Unit when they apply for a new license or to renew their current one.

TLC staffers in the Driver Licensing Unit review numerous new applicant and renewing driver applications each month. The Unit helps protect the public by ensuring that only new and renewing applicants who meet TLC standards, such as maintaining a safe driving record, are approved for a license. The team approves applications and prints licenses; it also denies applications when the standards required by the TLC Rules and Regulations designed to ensure public safety are not met. The Driver Licensing Unit, as all Units within the TLC, works to ensure their part in the safe licensing of TLC drivers, in furtherance of the Mayor’s Vision Zero Initiative.

Before a driver obtains a TLC license, the Agency fully vets the applicant. Applicants are fingerprinted, must pass a drug test, complete a TLC Driver Education Course and a defensive driving course, and must undergo wheelchair-accessible vehicle training; among other requirements. The TLC also closely reviews an applicant’s driving history.

These standards are of the highest importance to further not just the safety of passengers within for-hire vehicles, but the safety of the entire public as well.

In addition to reviewing applications, the Unit also conducts outreach events at TLC Driver Education schools, as well as assists applicants via email and over the phone, addressing questions about new and renewing applications, missing requirements, and changes to the licensing process.

The Call Center

Have you every contacted the TLC with questions about your TLC license or application? You may have gotten in touch with the TLC’s Call Center.

The Call Center addresses incoming calls for the Agency; regularly assisting drivers, passengers, vehicle owners, medallion owners, base owners, and other licensees and industry members contacting the TLC. The Call Center’s functions are not limited to answering questions when a customer calls the TLC; the Unit also engages in correspondence, answering questions emailed or written to the TLC from the public. Call Center staffers possess thorough knowledge of TLC rules and regulations, as well as department procedures, to allow necessary inquiries to be appropriately routed to different departments.

Additionally, due to the tireless efforts of the Call Center, countless pieces of lost and misplaced property have been reported, found, and reunited with the rightful owner. Please remember that the TLC never charges money to locate missing property. To make a lost property report, call 311, or make a report on 311.

Counter Operations and Customer Service

Visitors to TLC facilities will almost always interact with our Customer Service and Counter Operations staff. These dedicated staff members speak a variety of languages, and carefully communicate different licensing processes with visiting clients.

The Customer Service staff is often the first point of contact when visiting the TLC’s Long Island City facility. The staff conducts intake for most individuals entering the TLC, answers questions, and directs TLC customers to the correct service window, where the specific inquiry and reason for the visit can be appropriately addressed. The Unit strives to help all TLC visitors, providing solutions and directing visitors as necessary.

The Unit assists customers with all types of transactions and staffers are regularly cross-trained, which allows one staffer to execute numerous different transactions, making service more efficient and lowering wait times for all TLC visitors.

Compliance Unit

The Compliance Unit plays a critical role ensuring that TLC Licensees meet important, and required, safety standards. The Unit reviews documents and other information to make sure that TLC’s licensees are complying with the TLC’s rules and regulations.

Compliance staffers assist licensees with the Agency’s rules; providing reminders, support, and education of TLC processes, to make sure all TLC standards are met and maintained. For example, Drivers are often reminded to complete their yearly drug test within 90 days of their licensing anniversary date, not just when renewing a TLC license; owners are reminded of the TLC’s insurance requirements, assisting the owner maintain the vehicle’s valid licensure.

The team works closely with other Divisions at the TLC such as Enforcement and Prosecution to ensure that licensees maintain compliance with the Agency’s rules and regulations.