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:


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 $40 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