How to Get a TLC License in NYC: Your In-Depth Guide 2024
Want to earn money driving a TLC-licensed vehicle in New York City? Any driver picking up passengers for-hire must hold a valid license issued by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC).
The TLC regulates all drivers to make sure they are fit to transport passengers. So if you want to drive a taxi with a rideshare company like Uber, Lyft or Gett, read on.
Check TLC’s Fitness Rules
Before applying or renewing, it’s a good idea to check TLC’s fitness rules. These rules determine whether your application could be rejected based on your traffic accident history.
If you’ve had more than three accidents within a single year, you could be subjected to a one-year ban from applying for your TLC license.
Driving under the influence also incurs a one-year ban, alongside several other conditions.
Your application can also be denied due to mistakes made on the form, so make sure you double-check all details before submitting.
This is important because if your application is rejected, the license application fees will not be refunded.
Before you hand in your application, make sure you’ve carefully read the fitness rules here.
What to Do Before Applying
Get A State Issued Chauffeur-class Driver’s License from the DMV
In New York, this is a Class A, B, C, or E license. If you already have a Class D driver’s license, you can schedule an appointment with your local DMV and surrender your Class D license. As long as you’ve taken the written, road, and vision tests required for a Class D driver’s license, additional exams won’t be required. Pay the required fees. If you don’t have a Class D driver’s license, additional tests may be necessary.
For out-of-state license holders: You must submit a certified state driving record from your state no more than 90 days before filing your application.
You can find New York State DMV locations here.
If your vehicle has been registered outside of NY, NJ, CT or PA your vehicle must already have taxi/livery plates and meet the TLC Vehicle Requirements.
Take the TLC Defensive Driving Course
Before you apply to the TLC for your license, you’re required to take a Defensive Driving Course.
If you’ve already taken the course, it must have been within three years before the date of your TLC license application.
If you’re renewing your license, your certificate of completion must be dated within three years of your renewal application.
Taking the course after completing your application should be within 90 days of when you submitted the forms.
The Defense course takes 6 hours to complete, so make sure to leave time in your day to attend.
You can find a list of course providers and fees here.
Get a Medical Exam
A licensed physician must complete the TLC medical form. You can find the form here.
The form states that you’re able to safely operate a vehicle and that you have no conditions that would make it unsafe to drive a licensed vehicle at any time of day or night.
Remember you must have your medical exam completed no more than 90 days before you submit your TLC application.
Starting Your TLC Application
What You Need to Apply Online
Before you apply for your license online using LARS, you must make sure you have the following:
- A valid email address
- Must have already watched the Sex Trafficking Video
- Have a valid form of payment – credit card, debit card or checking account
Make sure you have 10-15 minutes to fill out the application. Application sessions expire after 20 minutes, and you’ll have to start again and re-enter all your information if you run over time.
Be sure to keep a copy of your payment receipt and a screenshot of your application number.
Remember, you must complete all requirements otherwise your application will be denied with no refund.
You must complete all following steps within 90 days of submitting your TLC application, or your application will be denied.
Pass a Drug Test
After completing your TLC application, you must visit a TLC-approved drug test location. All drivers are subject to testing to ensure they’re not using any illegal substances.
Schedule an appointment by phone at 800-923-2624, or use a walk-in service. Approved locations for new applicants only are found here.
The testing center will notify the TLC electronically. Results will be reported to the TLC within approx 3 days.
If you’re renewing your license, you must make sure you take and pass the drug test 90 days before your current license expires. Failure to take the test, or failing the test as a whole will result in the expiration of your license.
If you’re found to be under the influence of illegal substances, it could also lead to a three-year ban from applying for your license.
TLC-approved drug test locations are found here.
You can find more information regarding drug testing, including appealing the results, on the TLC Drug Testing Requirements Page.
Fingerprinting and Having Your Photo Taken
After filing the online TLC application, schedule an appointment to have your fingerprints and photo taken. Visit identogo.com to schedule an appointment and to obtain more information.
Use service code 15425Y
Complete your TLC Training
There are several courses a new driver must pass to obtain their license.
As stated above, all new applicants must take the 6-hour Defensive Driving Course.
Next, you must complete the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Training. The course costs $125 dollars – you can find a list of providers here. Your chosen course provider will notify the TLC for you when you’ve completed the course.
The last step is to complete the Driver’s Education Course, and then pass the Driver License Exam.
Content from both the accessibility course and Driver Education Course will show up on the test, so it’s important to complete those first. To pass the Driver License Exam, you must answer 56 out of 80 questions correctly, equal to a 70% pass mark.
A list of providers and locations is available here.
Drivers can find out more information here about whether they are required to take the Driver Education Course or exam.
The TLC also provides some free exam tutorials in several languages if you need further help.
Pay Any Outstanding Tickets or Fines
Finally, ensure that you pay any outstanding parking, traffic, and TLC tickets.
Pay a traffic ticket here
Pay a parking ticket here
You could be wondering how much the entire process costs to obtain the TLC license.
The TLC themselves estimate the cost to be from $800-$825 in total.
After completing and passing all steps, the issuing of the new TLC Universal Driver License is complete, and you’ll be ready to hit the road.
Once fully insured, you will also be eligible to drive for rideshare platforms such as Uber.
Click below to start your online insurance quote today.