Chapter 4.08


4.08.010    Purpose

4.08.020    City License Required

4.08.030    License Fee - Required

4.08.040    License Term - Expired

4.08.050    Liability Insurance

4.08.060    Owner’s and Driver’s Qualification For-Hire Business License Issuance, Renewal, Suspension and Revocation

4.08.070    Cause for License Revocation

4.08.080    Vehicle Inspection

4.08.090    Required Vehicle Equipment

4.08.100    Posting of Rate Required

4.08.110    Record of Fares

4.08.120    Violations and Penalties

4.08.010 Purpose.

The City of Lake Stevens declares it necessary to regulate and to limit the number of operators and vehicles permitted to carry passengers for hire within the City to ensure the safety and welfare of the general public. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.020 City License Required.

(a)    It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation or any other organization to hold out, advertise, solicit, operate, drive or use any vehicle as a for-hire vehicle in the City without having first obtained the licenses required pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(b)    The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to motor vehicles operated by any municipal or privately owned nonprofit transit system. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.030 License Fee - Required.

(a)    No automobile or motor vehicle shall be used in the City as a taxicab in carrying passengers for hire or offered therein to the public for hire in the carrying of passengers except upon payment of a license fee and the granting by the City Council of the City a license thereof as herein provided.

(b)    The license fees are fixed by the City Council and contained in the fees resolution.

(c)    The fees set forth in this schedule are nonrefundable. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.040 License Term - Expired.

All licenses issued under this chapter shall expire annually on the date determined by the Washington State Department of Licensing Services, in coordination with the City. The City license may be prorated to coordinate with the expiration date assigned by the License Service. Licensees shall submit application renewal fees within date assigned by the Washington State Business Licensing Services. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 750, Sec. 10, 2007; Ord. 732, Sec. 3, 2006)

4.08.050 Liability Insurance.

(a)    Prior to the issuance of any for-hire vehicle business license, every applicant shall file with the Planning and Community Development Department proof of compliance with Chapter 46.72 RCW as now or hereafter amended. In addition, the applicant shall file with the Planning and Community Development Department proof of insurance coverage of all applicant’s lessees.

(b)    Such insurance as required in this chapter shall be maintained in full force and effect for the period to be covered by the license applied for, and failure to do so shall result in automatic suspension.

(c)    Applicant shall submit a certificate of insurance to the City at the time of license application indicating compliance with the insurance requirements set forth herein and naming the City as an additional insured on the insurance coverage. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.060 Owner’s and Driver’s Qualification For-Hire Business License Issuance, Renewal, Suspension and Revocation.

It is unlawful to own or operate a for-hire vehicle, or engage in the business of operating as a taxicab or for-hire vehicle in the City without first having obtained a business license from the Planning and Community Development Department.

(a)    A license will be denied to any person if the Planning and Community Development Department, after due investigation, finds that the applicant or the owner has done any of the following:

(1)    Made any false statement on the application or omitted information required on the application;

(2)    Exhibited conduct within the past five years in driving, operating or engaging in the business of operating any for-hire vehicle which would lead the Planning and Community Development Department to reasonably conclude that the applicant will not comply with ordinance requirements relating to vehicle safety and sanitation standards, insurance requirements or vehicle and driver licensing requirements;

(3)    Been refused a for-hire license or had such license revoked under the provision of this chapter; provided, however, that any applicant denied a license under the provisions of this chapter may reapply after one year from the denial if the basis for the denial no longer exists;

(4)    Engaged in the business of operating any for-hire vehicle for which a license is required, while unlicensed or on a license suspension;

(5)    Used, or authorized to be used, a trade name, color scheme or other identification upon a for-hire vehicle or in any advertising or public listing, which was likely to be confused with the registered trade name, scheme or identification of another licensee or which tended to deceive or mislead the public as to the type of service offered;

(6)    Failed to provide insurance coverage as required in this chapter;

(7)    Been determined to be unfit to conduct the business.

(b)    A for-hire vehicle business must:

(1)    Maintain in full force and effect the insurance required in this chapter;

(2)    Comply with the safety and sanitation requirements of this chapter;

(3)    Vehicles must be equipped and in safe condition as required by City ordinance and the requirements of this chapter, as now or hereafter amended;

(4)    Vehicles must be equipped with seat belts for all passengers;

(5)    Provide truthful and complete information on the application; or

(6)    Keep accurate records, documents or information as prescribed hereunder;

(7)    Will engage in fair methods of competition;

(8)    Businesses will employ drivers with the following qualifications:

(i)    Must be at least 18 years of age;

(ii)    Must possess a valid State of Washington motor vehicle operator’s license;

(iii)    Be able to read, speak and write the English language;

(iv)    Must possess a valid first aid and CPR card;

(v)    Be free of a conviction or bail forfeiture for a gross misdemeanor or felony within five years of the date of application, or a conviction or bail forfeiture for a lifetime disqualifying offense (felony assaults, narcotics, or sex crimes). (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.070 Cause for License Revocation.

See Section 4.08.060, Owner’s and Driver’s Qualifications. Comply with all ordinances of the City or the laws of the State, the violation of which reflects unfavorably on the fitness of the license holder to offer public transportation. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.080 Vehicle Inspection.

All for-hire vehicles may be inspected from time to time as determined by the Chief of Police in response to complaints received or observations that such is desirable, for the purpose of determining proper equipment and safety, healthy and sanitation required for for-hire vehicles and the scope of for-hire vehicle inspections, including but not limited to standards regarding cleanliness, brakes, lights, tires, glass, seat belts and any special equipment that may be required. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.090 Required Vehicle Equipment.

A.    Each for-hire vehicle shall be equipped and maintained at all times by the owner or operator for safety, cleanliness and lawful operation in accordance with the laws of the City and the State and shall be furnished with such equipment as the Chief of Police shall deem necessary for such safe operation. The Chief of Police shall have authority to require that routine inspections be made from time to time as he/she deems necessary and appropriate. The Chief of Police may promulgate inspection regulations which shall be filed in the office of the Planning and Community Development Department. The items to be inspected shall be listed on a form to be provided by the Chief of Police. Each item on the list shall be in satisfactory condition before any license may be issued or renewed under the provisions of this chapter.

B.    If the Chief of Police determines during inspection that the condition of any for-hire vehicle needs correction, he may issue to the operator or driver thereof a notice in writing specifying such defects and the same shall be remedied immediately or by a later date determined at the time of inspection. It is unlawful to fail to comply with any written notice to make corrections on the for-hire vehicle. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.100 Posting of Rates Required.

A.    Interior of For-hire Vehicle. The owner of every for-hire vehicle shall cause to be posted and maintained in a conspicuous location in the passenger’s compartment of such vehicle a card form, size and color approved by the City on which shall be shown a schedule of rates including the listing of drop, mileage, waiting time, extras and discounts, which rates shall not be in excess of amounts fixed by this chapter.

B.    Exterior of Taxis and Special Service Vehicles. A permanently affixed sign indicating the rates as set forth in this chapter shall be posted on both sides of the vehicle and be clearly readable from the side of the vehicle. The sign shall be located on the upper half of the body, below the window line affixed to the rear door; or when unavailable, placed immediately adjacent to the rear door. The lettering shall be no smaller than three-fourths inches except for one-half inch minimum for “cents” rates, and shall be on a contrasting background. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.110 Record of Fares.

Every person owning or engaged in the business of operating any taxicabs or for-hire cars shall keep a record of all trips made, together with the information required upon the passenger’s receipt provided for in this chapter, which record shall be open for inspection at all reasonable times by the Chief of Police or City Attorney and shall also cause to be constantly carried in such vehicles the permits issued by the Department of Licenses of the State of Washington showing such vehicles to be properly bonded for the protection of the public, and also the licenses and permits issued pursuant to the City ordinances. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016)

4.08.120 Violations and Penalties.

Any person, firm, or corporation violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $5,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 365 days or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 957, Sec. 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 554, 1997: Ord. 28, 1963)