Chapter 5.68

5.68.000    Chapter Contents


5.68.010    Purpose.

5.68.020    Definitions.

5.68.030    Vehicle license required.

5.68.035    Exemptions.

5.68.040    Issuance of vehicle for-hire license.

5.68.050    Liability insurance.

5.68.060    Rates to be posted.

5.68.090    Complaint inspection.

5.68.100    Revocation, suspension or denial of vehicle for-hire license.

5.68.110    Prohibited acts.

5.68.120    For-hire driver’s occupational permit – Required.

5.68.160    Refusal to pay fare.

5.68.170    Violations – Misdemeanor – Gross misdemeanor – Civil infraction.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010, repealed OMC 5.68.070, 5.68.080 and 5.68.130 through 5.68.150).

5.68.010 Purpose

Under the police power of the City, this chapter is intended to enact reasonable regulations governing the operation of taxicabs (for-hire vehicles) within the City and to license persons who drive taxicabs. These regulations are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City who use these vehicles as transportation.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(1), 1987).

5.68.020 Definitions

For purposes of this chapter, the terms set forth below shall have the following meanings:

A.    “Director” means the director of administrative services for the City.

B.    “Driver and operator” means the person physically engaged in driving a for-hire vehicle, whether or not said person is the owner of or has any financial interest in said vehicle.

C.    “For-hire vehicle” includes all vehicles used for the transportation of passengers for compensation, except auto stages, buses and ride share vehicles. The term primarily includes taxicabs.

D.    “Limousine” wherever used in this chapter means a vehicle operated at a specified cost per hour or trip, and used for the transportation of passengers who have arranged for their transportation through the business office of the operator.

E.    “Person” means any natural person of either sex, firms, corporations, partnerships and associations either acting by themselves or by servant, agent or employee. The singular shall include the plural and the masculine pronoun shall include the feminine and neuter.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(2), 1987).

5.68.030 Vehicle license required

A.    No for-hire vehicle shall be operated upon the streets of the City without being licensed under this chapter. Such license, if issued, shall be for the calendar year, or any portion thereof and shall be effective for such period of time unless sooner suspended or revoked as provided in this chapter.

B.    Application for a for-hire vehicle license shall be filed with the director. The application shall contain the following:

1.    The full name and both business and residence addresses of the owner;

2.    The number, kind, make, condition and seating capacity of each vehicle;

3.    The number of vehicles to be used; and

4.    The state permit number and the vehicle license number issued by the state at the time of application, licensee shall furnish them to the director within fifteen days of issuance of the license hereunder.

C.    Each application shall be accompanied by the payment of an annual license fee in the amount of thirty dollars per for-hire vehicle; provided, that the fee assessed hereunder shall be reduced to ten dollars upon a showing by the applicant that a for-hire vehicle license has been procured for the calendar year in question, with full fee paid and vehicle inspection approved from either the City of Lacey or Tumwater. In addition, the owner/applicant shall provide Olympia with the following information:

1.    Proof that he has procured all licenses or permits required by the laws of the state of Washington for the operation of such for-hire vehicles. If these permits or licenses are not available from the state at the time of application, licensee shall furnish such proof to the director within fifteen days of issuance of the license hereunder;

2.    Proof of insurance for each vehicle as required by this chapter;

3.    Proof that he has complied with the inspection requirements of this chapter;

4.    Proof that he owns or has a leasehold interest in the vehicle(s) for the term of the license.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(3), 1987).

5.68.035 Exemptions

Auto stages, school buses operating exclusively under a contract to a school district, ride-sharing vehicles under Chapter 46.74 RCW, limousine carriers licensed under Chapter 46.72A RCW, vehicles used by nonprofit transportation providers for elderly or handicapped persons and their attendants under Chapter 81.66 RCW, vehicles used by auto transportation companies licensed under Chapter 81.68 RCW, vehicles used to provide courtesy transportation at no charge to and from parking lots, hotels, and rental offices, and vehicles used by charter party carriers of passengers and excursion service carriers licensed under Chapter 81.70 RCW.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010).

5.68.040 Issuance of vehicle for-hire license

A.    Upon receipt of a license application under this chapter accompanied by the appropriate fee required and the information required with the application, the director shall issue the license to the applicant if the application meets the standards of this chapter.

B.    Licenses are renewable upon compliance with the requirements of this chapter. The license renewal fee shall be the same as the original license fee.

C.    Licenses issued hereunder shall be nontransferable.

D.    Each operator’s license issued as herein provided shall be granted upon the express condition that the operator shall provide the service to the public on a twenty-four-hour daily basis and telephone service shall be maintained so that prospective for-hire users may call for service at any time. Provided, that if a licensee experiences equipment malfunction which temporarily prevents operation on a twenty-four-hour basis, the licensee shall maintain twenty-four-hour telephone service and shall advise any caller of said malfunction and shall resume twenty-four-hour service as soon as is reasonably possible.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(4), 1987).

5.68.050 Liability insurance

A.    Upon application for a vehicle for-hire license, every applicant shall file with the director evidence of an insurance policy on a form approved by the city attorney. Said policy shall provide liability insurance coverage for each and every vehicle owned or operated by the applicant issued by an insurance company or companies authorized to do business in the state. The policy shall provide coverage for injury to or death of any person injured or killed in any manner for which the owner or operator of said vehicle would be liable on account of any liability imposed by law, regardless of whether the vehicle was being driven by the owner, his agent, employee or lessee. Said policy shall contain coverage limits in an amount of not less than five hundred thousand dollars for each occurrence or in a lesser amount approved by the city attorney if procurement of said coverage is not feasible.

B.    Every such insurance policy shall be continued in full force, notwithstanding any recovery thereon and shall provide that the liability of the insurer shall not be affected by the insolvency or bankruptcy of the insured.

C.    Each insurance policy required hereunder shall extend for the period to be covered by the license applied for and the insurer shall be obliged to give the director not less than ten days’ written notice in the event of any change or cancellation prior to the expiration date. The cancellation or other termination of any such policy shall automatically revoke and terminate the licenses issued hereunder for the vehicle covered by such policy, unless another insurance policy to comply with the provision of this section shall be provided and be in effect at the time of such cancellation or termination.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4888 §1, 1988; Ord. 4819 §1(5), 1987).

5.68.060 Rates to be posted

A. Each for-hire licensee hereunder, except limousine operators, shall conspicuously display in the interior of the vehicle a schedule of the rates charged to the public. This posting must be located in the passenger compartment in a typewritten notice so as to be easily read by a passenger. The schedule shall include rates for the following:

1.    Minimum charge;

2.    Rate per mile or fraction thereof above the minimum:

3.    Charges for each additional passenger above one;

4.    Charge for vehicle waiting time;

5.    Additional charge for baggage or suitcases;

6.    Any separate rate for service during the hours of midnight to six a.m.

B.    When the licensee changes its rates, in total or in part, the new rates shall be posted within the interior of the vehicle prior to the effective date of the new rates.

C.    The licensee shall charge only those rates set forth in a schedule of rates required under this section.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(6), 1987).

5.68.090 Complaint inspection

A.    Upon receipt of a passenger complaint, the director shall evaluate same and, if deemed appropriate, send written notice to the licensee, either personally or by mail with a certificate of mailing attached. The notice shall specify the vehicle license number, the nature of the complaint received and the date upon which the complaint was conveyed. If the complaint alleges a vehicle defect, the notice will require that the licensee or his agent present the vehicle for inspection to the Olympia chief of police or his designee within five days of receipt of the notice or be subject to license revocation proceedings under this chapter.

B.    If upon inspection the vehicle is determined to be in violation of the standards promulgated pursuant to this chapter, the chief of police will notify the director of said violation.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(9), 1987).

5.68.100 Revocation, suspension or denial of vehicle for-hire license

A.    Any license required hereunder may be revoked, suspended or denied if the director finds that:

1.    The applicant/licensee has failed to comply with the inspection requirements of this chapter;

2.    A for-hire vehicle is being operated in an unsafe condition which constitutes a danger to the safety and welfare of passengers or the public;

3.    The licensee has failed to maintain the requirements of obtaining a license;

4.    The licensee has charged rates which exceed those set forth in the posted or filed rate schedule;

5.    The licensee has failed to procure and maintain liability insurance as required by this chapter;

6.    The licensee has violated Section 5.68.110 of this chapter.

B.    Prior to the revocation, suspension or denial of a for-hire vehicle license hereunder, the director shall notify the licensee/applicant at least five days prior to such suspension, revocation or denial. Said notice shall advise the licensee/applicant that he has the right to a hearing before said director prior to the effective date of any such suspension, revocation or denial.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(10), 1987).

5.68.110 Prohibited acts

In addition to other provisions of this chapter, it is a violation for any licensee to:

A.    Falsify any record, document or information required to be kept or submitted to the City by this chapter;

B.    Drive or authorize any person to drive a for-hire vehicle which is not properly equipped and is safe condition as required by provisions of this chapter, as now or hereafter amended;

C.    Drive or authorize any person to drive a for-hire vehicle which is not equipped with seat belts for all passengers;

D.    Allow the operation of any for-hire vehicle by a driver who is not licensed under the provisions of Section 5.68.120 of this chapter or who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs while operating the for-hire vehicle.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(11), 1987).

5.68.120 For-hire driver’s occupational permit – Required

No person shall drive a for-hire vehicle within the City without first obtaining an occupational permit as required in Chapter 5.10.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(12), 1987).

5.68.160 Refusal to pay fare

It is unlawful for any person to refuse to pay the posted fare for a for-hire service after the service has been rendered.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 4819 §1(16), 1987).

5.68.170 Violations – Misdemeanor – Gross misdemeanor – Civil infraction

A.    Any person, firm, or corporation who knowingly violates or fails to comply with any term or provision of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed a misdemeanor, and if found guilty, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000), and/or to imprisonment not to exceed ninety (90) days or to both such fine and imprisonment. Each day shall be a separate offense. In the event of a continuing violation or failure to comply, the second and subsequent days shall constitute a gross misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) and/or imprisonment not to exceed three hundred and sixty-five (365) days or both such time and imprisonment. Continuing violation shall mean the same type of violation which is committed within a year of the initial violation.

B.    As an additional concurrent penalty, it shall be a civil infraction for a person, firm, or corporation to violate or fail to comply with any term or provision of this chapter. Each day shall be a separate infraction. A person, firm, or corporation found to have committed a civil infraction shall be assessed a monetary penalty as follows:

1.    First offense: Class 3 ($50), not including statutory assessments.

2.    Second offense arising out of the same facts as the first offense: Class 2 ($125), not including statutory assessments.

3.    Third offense arising out of the same facts as the first offense: Class 1 ($250), not including statutory assessments.

See also OMC Chapter 4.44, Uniform Code Enforcement.

(Ord. 6694 §16, 2010; Ord. 6081 §17, 2001; Ord. 4819 §1(17), 1987).