WHAT IS TAXICAB SERVICE?
Taxicab service means a person engaged in the for-hire transportation of passengers in a taxicab having a seating capacity of less than seven passengers and not operating on a regular route or between specified points.
If you are looking for carpool or vanpool information, visit Iowarideshare.org.
If you are looking for paid rideshare (i.e., Uber or Lyft) information, visit https://iowadot.gov/mvd/paid-rideshare.
HOW DOES A TAXICAB SERVICE GET PERMISSION TO OPERATE IN IOWA?
Beginning July 1, 2018, a taxicab service is subject to the requirements in Iowa Code chapter 325A. Under chapter 325A (as amended by Senate File 2271), any taxicab service that operates in Iowa must get a motor carrier passenger certificate from the Iowa DOT. The application fee for the certificate is $150. The Iowa DOT may issue the certificate only if an application is completed and the taxicab service demonstrates that it meets all of the requirements of chapter 325A. A certificate application must be submitted to the Office of Vehicle and Motor Carrier Services via the following addresses or numbers:
Office of Vehicle and Motor Carrier Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 10382
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-0382
Motor Vehicle Division building
6310 SE Convenience Blvd.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS A TAXICAB SERVICE MUST FOLLOW TO BE ISSUED A CERTIFICATE AND OPERATE IN IOWA?
The following outlines the requirements for a taxicab service to operate in Iowa on or after July 1, 2018:
- Obtain a minimum insurance policy of $1 million.
- Apply to the Iowa DOT using form 441052 (download this form by right clicking on the link and saving it to your local drive), including providing proof of insurance and payment of the $150 application fee. An approved taxicab service will be issued a passenger certificate. Only one passenger certificate is needed per taxicab service service (not one per driver) and the passenger certificate remains valid for the length of time the company continues to operate unless suspended by the department.
- The vehicle(s) must be marked in accordance with Iowa Code section 3215A.8, which requires distinctive markings or tags to be attached to each vehicle as well as display of the interstate or intrastate motor carrier number, if applicable
- The taxicab service may then start or continue operations.
WHEN WILL THE IOWA DOT BE READY TO BEGIN ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FROM A TAXICAB SERVICE?
We will be ready to begin accepting applications from taxicab services starting June 1, 2018.
DO LOCAL AUTHORITIES STILL HAVE THE ABILITY TO REGULATE TAXICAB SERVICES?
Yes. Local authorities, such as cities, or for example, the Des Moines Airport Authority, still have the authority to regulate taxicab services that operate within its area of authority under Iowa Code section 321.236. The legislation provides that a passenger certificate issued to a taxicab service by the Iowa DOT does not authorize the taxicab service to operate within the jurisdiction of a local authority that licenses and regulates taxicab services, unless the taxicab service complies with all applicable regulations of the local authority.
MAY A TAXICAB SERVICE OPERATE IN IOWA WITHOUT BEING ISSUED A PASSENGER CERTIFICATE BY THE IOWA DOT?
No. Starting July 1, 2018, any taxicab service wishing to operate in Iowa is required to apply and be issued a passenger certificate and otherwise comply with the requirements in Iowa Code chapter 325A. A violation of these requirements is punishable by a scheduled fine of $250 and may result in the revocation or suspension of the person’s motor carrier passenger certificate.