Taxis in North Carolina are regulated by both state and local laws. A taxi operator is required to get a permit or license at the city or municipality where it operates. A number of other requirements are also examined prior to the issuance of a permit or license. Although rules vary from city to city, they typically include a notarized application form, proof of insurance and operational requirements including a garage for the taxis when they are not in use.
A city may, by ordinance, license and regulate all vehicles operated for hire within its jurisdiction. Any taxi operating within the state must have a permit, which should always be kept inside the taxi and displayed to any passenger who requests to see it. This permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance and should be renewed annually.
Grounds for License Refusal
North Carolina requires taxi drivers to meet certain legal and ethical guidelines. A history of rule violations or law breaking will lead to the refusal or revocation of a permit. Grounds for refusal include conviction of a felony, illegal use of alcoholic drinks or drugs, addiction problems, non-U.S. citizenship and the habitual violation of traffic laws and regulations.
If necessary, the city or municipal council may amend a taxi franchise by reducing the number of authorized taxis operating in its jurisdiction at a particular time. By law, a franchise holder is not allowed to sell, assign or transfer allotments under its taxi franchise. Also, a taxi franchise holder who operates a specific number of taxis within the city is obliged to regularly report to the council, at least on a quarterly basis, the number of taxis operating under its name.
Taxi operators are obliged to provide proof of financial responsibility, specifically a certificate of insurance, with the governing board of the municipality or county where they are registered. According to the North Carolina General Statutes, every person, firm or corporation that engages in the business of operating at least one taxi cab must have this policy of liability insurance. It must insure the owner and operator of the taxi, along with all agents and employees of the business, in case an accident arises from the use of the registered taxi. This policy should cover imposed liability for damages, bodily injury, destruction, property or death because of a motor vehicle accident involving the taxi.