WA State Licensing: Vehicles for Hire (taxis)

Vehicles for hire (Taxis)

A Vehicle for Hire (Taxis) endorsement is required for any business that transports passengers for a fee in for-hire vehicles, including:

  • Taxicabs, which are motor vehicles that transport people for a fee and do not have a fixed route or fixed starting and ending points.
  • Cabulances that transport riders confined to a wheelchair or otherwise physically restricted so they cannot be safely transported by public mass transportation, taxicabs, or automobiles. Riders transported by cabulance must:
    • Be stable.
    • Not be incapacitated from medications.
    • Not need oxygen or medical attention en route.
  • Any other vehicles used for transporting passengers for payment.

Endorsement exemptions

Businesses that operate the following types of vehicles do not need a For Hire endorsement:

  • Auto stages
  • School buses operating exclusively under a contract to a school district
  • Ride-sharing vehicles
  • Licensed limousine carriers
  • Vehicles used by nonprofit organizations to transport the elderly or handicapped and their attendants
  • Vehicles used by auto transportation companies
  • Vehicles used to provide courtesy transportation at no charge to and from parking lots, hotels, and rental offices
  • Vehicles licensed as excursion service carriers and charter carriers of passengers


  • The owner name and firm/trade name must be the same on the Business License Application, Vehicle Registration Certificate, and Insurance.
  • The Use Class on the Vehicle Registration Certificate must be “F/H” or “CAB”.
  • Insurance information must:
    • Include your policy number.
    • Have policy effective and expiration dates that show current coverage.
    • Display the name of the insurance company.
    • Show minimum combined single limit coverage of $325,000 or split limit coverage of $300,000/$100,000/$25,000.
    • Show year, make and complete VIN number of each car, which must match vehicle registration certificate.
    • List the certificate of holder as - State of Washington, Department of Licensing, PO Box 9039, Olympia, WA 98507-9039.

Post your license

A license must be posted at each location where the licensee operates. You may not begin this business activity until you receive a Business License listing the required endorsement.

How to apply

Apply by using one of the following options:

  • File online with My DOR. My DOR works best with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

    1. Login using your Secure Access Washington (SAW) user ID. If you don't have a user ID or aren't sure, see if you have an account first before signing up.
    2. Click Get Started on the Business Licensing and Tax service.
    3. Follow the steps below based on your business status.
  • If you do not have an existing business

      1. Click File New Business License Application. Be sure to select the endorsements for which you wish to apply.

    If you have an existing business

      1. If you haven't already, add access to your business. You'll need a UBI number and a letter ID.
      2. Click on the business you want to apply for a license/endorsement under, then click on the location.
      3. Click File New Business License Application.

    You can pay using an E-check or a major credit card (gift cards can't be used).

    Find more help for using My DOR, including video tutorials.

  • By mail

    1. Complete the following:
    2. Gather the following documentation:
      • Copy of the vehicle registration for each vehicle
      • Certificate of Insurance
    3. Mail your completed forms with a check or money order payable to “Department of Revenue” for the fees to:

      State of Washington
      Business Licensing Service
      PO Box 9034
      Olympia, WA 98507-9034


Specialty endorsement Fee
For hire permit
(Required only if your city or county doesn’t endorse for-hire businesses.)
For-hire vehicle certificate $55 per vehicle
Taxi meters $25 per meter
Other fees that may apply Fee
Registering your business name as a trade name $5
Business License Application $19 (non-refundable)

Regulatory questions

Department of Licensing
Phone: 360-664-6466
Fax: 360-570-7053