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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Taxi and TNC Driver Information

  • What licenses, permits and certifications do I need? The taxi company or TNC you apply to work for will provide you with everything you need for acquiring your driver permit and/or vehicle placard or permit. You will also need a City of Portland Business License and a standardized vehicle safety test performed by a Master Mechanic certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or by an ASE Blue Seal Recognized Shop. Driving without permits is a criminal offense that can lead to your arrest, the impounding of your vehicle or the police taking it away altogether.

  • What do I need to know about insurance? In most cases, taxi companies take care of your commercial automobile insurance. TNC vehicles must be covered by a commercial business and primary automobile insurance policy for TNC services. Check with your taxi or TNC and insurance company for guidance.

  • What do I need for my vehicle? Taxi and TNC vehicles cannot be more than 10 years old and must be kept clean and in good appearance and repair. Vehicles need a hands-free accessory for mobile devices, a standard first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. Taxi and TNC vehicles are required to be properly identified with company signage and drivers must carry hard copies of the proof of insurance and City of Portland Business License while operating. As of January 2, 2016, all drivers must have a current copy of their company or TNC insurance policies and the Business License printed on paper, kept in the vehicle. 

  • Are there driver exams? All taxi and TNC drivers need to pass a thorough background check provided by their company or by the City.  Within 30 days of receiving certification of your driver’s permit, you will need to successfully complete a test that will cover: customer service and safety, relevant City Codesand Administrative Rules and Portland-area attractions.

  • Do the rules limit what I can do in my taxi or TNC vehicle? Use of tobacco products is not allowed in taxi and TNC vehicles. Taxi and TNC companies employ a Zero Tolerance Policy for drugs and alcohol. Drivers may not refuse to transport any passenger of proper demeanor. Drivers must provide service to people with disabilities and must reasonably accommodate service animals. Drivers cannot transfer their driver permits to another driver or drive after working for more than 14 hours (even if the work was for a separate or non-driving job). (As of January 2, 2016, drivers are limited to 12 hours in a 24-hour period operating a for-hire vehicle)

  • Can I pick up any potential rider I see on the street? Only taxis are allowed to accept street hails. To accept a ride using Uber or Lyft, you must first register with the company and download its smart phone application to receive rider requests via the app.