If you are looking to become an Uber or Lyft driver in New York City, or anywhere in New York State, then you need to first obtain your TLC license. If you do not legally obtain your TLC license before picking up passengers for a for-fire company you could face some serious charges and hefty fines.
A TLC license is a special license that permits a driver to legally a yellow cab, black cab, limousine, green taxi or any for-hire vehicle in New York State. In order to qualify for a TLC license, a driver must complete a 24-hour For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) course, undergo a fingerprint-enabled criminal background check, a driving record check, and drug testing. Once you have successfully obtained your TLC license you will also be given TLC plates to put on your vehicle.
While the process to obtain a TLC license may be a bit tedious, it is important to let riders and authorities know that your car has passed all required inspections and that you are a qualified and professional driver.
First, before you start the application, it is important that you review the TLC License Requirements and verify that you meet the following criteria:
Once you have verified that you meet all the above requirements you can start your application process!
If you do not have a Class E license you will need to first apply for one before starting the TLC application. If you haven’t already, you should begin the TLC application process by applying for the Class E license.
In order to apply for a Class E license you will need to fill out the proper paperwork at your local DMV and undergo a vision test. It is important to note that there is a $20-$20 fee for upgrading your license to a Class E!
Before you officially start your TLC Application, you need to verify that you have watched a mandatory training video on Sex Trafficking. New York State requires that each new driver watch this video in order to recognize that signs that a rider may be a victim of trafficking. Under New York State DMV guidelines, each new driver applying for their TLC license must watch a sex trafficking video that showcases the signs that a person is the victim of trafficking. This video can be found on the TLC site and your signature on your license confirms that you have indeed watched this video in its entirety.
Finally, it is time to actually complete the TLC application. You will want to have your Social Security Number, driver’s license number, and address handy before filling out the application. It is important to note that when you submit your TLC application you will need to also submit a non-refundable fee of $252.
Once you have officially submitted your TLC application you will need to complete the appropriate TLC classes and complete the TLC approved medical exam with your healthcare provider.
As part of your training, you will need to complete three courses. The first is a defensive driving course that will walk you through local traffic laws and safe driving practices. Once you have completed the course you will receive a certificate that you must upload to your TLC portal. The second course is wheelchair assistance training. This will allow you to correctly support those who may need help entering and exiting your vehicle. And, finally, you will need to complete a TLC driver education course, which goes over local geography, how to correctly read maps, and the best practices for communicating with your passengers.
After you have completed your three courses you will need to go to your physician for your TLC-approved medical exam. During this exam your healthcare provider will perform basic screenings such as a vision test to ensure you can drive safely.
In order to get your license you will need to have you fingerprints and photo taken. Visit IdentoGo to schedule your appointment. Use service code 15425Y.
The last step before approval is the mandatory drug test. You will need to book your drug test at a TLC-approved testing location. If you fail the drug test then unfortunately your entire application will be denied.
After you have submitted all the required paperwork, you can check your TLC license status at any time by entering in your application number and the last few digits of your Social Security Number on the TLC portal.
According to Ridester.com the total cost for a TLC license is anywhere between $598.25 to $698.25 depending on the payment options you choose and the style of training you opt for. See below for a general breakdown of fees.
While these costs may come as a bit of a shock, if you plan to drive for Uber, Lyft, or a taxi service in NY, it is mandatory that you obtain your TLC license. If you drive for a rideshare company without a TLC license you will face license suspension and serious fines.
If you have further questions regarding applying for your TLC license, try asking our community of drivers on our RideGuru Forum.