New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (NYC TLC) is an agency of the New York City government that licenses and regulates the medallion taxis and for-hire vehicle industries, including app-based companies.[2][3] The TLC's regulatory landscape includes medallion (yellow) taxicabs, green or Boro taxicabs, black cars (including both traditional and app-based services), community-based livery cars, commuter vans, paratransit vehicles (ambulettes), and some luxury limousines.[4]

Taxi and Limousine Commission
Nyctlc logo.webp
Commission overview
FormedMarch 2, 1971; 50 years ago (1971-03-02)
JurisdictionNew York City
Headquarters33 Beaver Street,
New York City, New York, U.S.
Annual budget$68.8 million (2016)
Commission executive
  • Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk[1], Commissioner and Chair
Key documents

New York State-issued TLC license plates are marked "T&LC".[5]


The TLC Chair and Commissioner, Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk, presides over the agency's board of nine commissioners during regularly scheduled public Commission meetings. Eight of the commissioners are unsalaried and appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the City Council. Five of the commissioners—one seat for each borough—are recommended for appointment by a majority vote of the councilmembers within each borough. Commissioners serve a seven-year term. The agency's regulations are compiled in title 35 of the New York City Rules.[6]

The TLC chair, who is salaried, also heads the agency, which has a staff of about 600 employees. The agency's divisions and bureaus include Uniformed Services, Licensing, Legal, Policy, Public Affairs, Safety & Emissions, among others. The Uniformed Services Bureau has more than 200 inspectors.


As the regulator, the TLC establishes the larger public transportation policy that governs taxi and for-hire transportation services in New York City. The agency's responsibilities include protecting public safety and consumer rights, issuing and regulating licenses, setting and enforcing the fare rate in taxis, limiting taxi lease rates, and overseeing the sale of taxi medallions.

The TLC licenses about 170,000 unique professional drivers in New York City. It is common for TLC-licensed drivers to work for several companies, as well as in different industry segments. The agency also licenses more than 100,000 vehicles, as well as over 1,000 for-hire vehicle bases, according to its 2016 annual report.[7]

Uniformed Services Bureau (USB)Edit

The Uniformed Services Bureau includes the Vision Zero squad, which focuses on safety-related enforcement like moving violations, which include failing to yield to pedestrians and cell phone usage while driving.[8]

Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero Action Plan is the City's initiative to end traffic fatalities, and the TLC is one of the agencies involved, along with the NYC Department of Transportation and the NYPD.[9]

The TLC is testing new vehicle safety technologies in licensed vehicles as part of a safety pilot, which began in 2015, according to the agency's website.[10] Technologies include electronic data recorders, speed governors, and driver-alert systems. The pilot looks at how safety technologies affect driving behaviors, collision rates, the experience of drivers and passengers, and the expenses of drivers.

Enforcement Division (TLC Uniform Service Bureau)Edit

New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
Logo of the NYC TLC
MottoNew York's Proudest
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionCity of New York, United States
Map of New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission's jurisdiction
Legal jurisdictionNew York City
Constituting instrument
  • New York City Charter, Local Law 12 of 1971
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters33 Beaver Street, New York City, New York, U.S.
TLC Special Patrolmans240[11]
Official Website

See Also: Law enforcement in New York City

The Enforcement Division of the Uniformed Services Bureau (USB) is the law enforcement arm and is made up of NYC Special Patrolman.

According to the TLC, the primary mission of the Enforcement Division is:

to maintain public safety by deterring illegal operation of unlicensed vehicles, and ensuring compliance of all TLC Rules and Regulations, Vehicle Traffic Laws, the Administrative Code and NYC Rules and Regulations within its regulated industries.[12]


TLC officers are wear a typical NYC law enforcement style uniform:

  • Dark blue shirt with tie and tie-clip (with "T.L.C - N.Y." letters on tie-pin), with shield, TLC patch and collar pins (one is "USB" one is "TLC") and rank (if any)
  • Dark blue trousers
  • Dark blue NYC style peaked cap with silver capbadge
  • Dark blue jacket with shield, TLC patch and rank (if any)
  • Duty belt
  • Black boots.

For Captains, white shirts are worn instead of blue, the shield, capbadge and capband are gold, rather than silver.[13]

Power and AuthorityEdit

TLC Officers are Special Patrolman who are appointed in connection with special duties of employment, and such designation confers limited Peace Officer powers upon the employee pursuant to New York State Criminal Procedure Law § 2.10(27). The exercise of these powers is limited to the employee's geographical area of employment and only while such employee is actually on duty as listed in Chapter 13 subsection (C): Special Patrolmen[14]

Equipment and VehiclesEdit

TLC Special Patrolman are prohibited by New York State Law (Criminal Procedure Law) to use or carry a firearm but do carry use a variety of equipment, they do carry:

  • Handcuffs
  • Radio linked with central despatch and other officers
  • Notebook and pen.

TLC Uniform Service Bureau use typical marked patrol vehicles, equipped with red and white flashing lights, sirens, radios and marked as "TLC POLICE" or "ENFORCEMENT".[15]


TLC Special Patrolman go through a 21 week training which includes:

  • tactical,
  • fitness,
  • customer service training,
  • and safe performance of car stops involving aggressive drivers. [16]


The TLC Uniform Service Bureau rank structure is as follows:

Title Insignia Uniform Shirt Colour
TLC Commissioner n/a (non-uniformed) n/a
TLC Chief White
TLC Deputy Chief White
TLC Captain White
TLC Special Patrolman Dark Blue

Future GoalsEdit

The city's goal is to have the Medallion Taxicab fleet reach 50% wheelchair-accessibility by 2020.[17] The number of wheelchair-accessible taxis in New York City has tripled from 238 in 2013 to 850 taxicabs on the road in 2016. Almost 300 new wheelchair-accessible medallion taxicabs went into service in the first six months of 2016, according to TLC data.

Since September 2015, taxicab medallion owners may purchase the Taxi of Tomorrow (a Nissan NV200 Taxi), a TLC-approved wheelchair-accessible vehicle, or a hybrid vehicle. The first Taxi of Tomorrow began providing service in October 2013. Its features include a large cabin, passenger charging stations and reading lights, independent passenger climate control, yellow seatbelt straps, handles to assist stepping in and out, a clear panoramic roof, and sliding doors to prevent injuries from dooring. The NV200 taxicab is the first taxi vehicle to be equipped with Hearing Loop technology.[18]

Licensing and StandardsEdit

The TLC licenses and sets standards for the New York City’s diverse taxi and for-hire vehicle industries. This includes licensing drivers and vehicles in those industries. Drivers seeking to obtain a license from the TLC are fingerprinted, must pass a drug test, complete a driver education course approved by the TLC that includes a defensive driving course, and must undergo wheelchair-accessible vehicle training; among other requirements. The TLC also closely reviews an applicant’s driving history.[19]

Vehicle owners seeking to obtain a license to use their vehicle in the for-hire vehicle industries are subject to inspections by the TLC and receive a TLC license plate from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Bases that dispatch vehicles, which include app-based companies, are licensed by the TLC.[19]

Controversies and criticismsEdit

TLC inspectors may seize vehicles suspected of operating as an illegal cab, and DNAinfo reported in 2014 that the city Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings' Taxi and Limousine Tribunal dismissed 1442 of the 7187 accusations over 1.5 years. The TLC said in a statement that "while the vast majority of cases—more than 80%—are prosecuted as written, the fact that there are a certain number of cases that are dismissed means that the system works for everyone."[20] Owners can't retrieve their impounded cars unless they plead guilty and pay a fine, or until their hearing before a city administrative judge.[21]

In 2005, the TLC refused to allow alternative-fuel vehicles to be used as cabs, despite the New York City Council's vote to approve them. Cab operator Gene Freidman, who had purchased several hybrid vehicles after the council's ruling, sued the TLC in New York's Supreme Court. The City Council, "angered" by the TLC's defiance of its decision, passed a bill in June 2005 compelling the TLC to approve at least one alternative-fuel vehicle to be used as a taxicab. The TLC relented and approved six hybrid models to be used as cabs.[22]

In April 2015, the TLC posted a notice in the City Record proposing the "Licensing of For-Hire Vehicle Dispatch Applications", requiring mobile app operators to apply for approval of certain changes to any app used to arrange vehicle rides for hire, widely considered to be targeted at Uber, causing a controversy.[23][24]

In August 2018, the TLC stopped issuing new vehicle licenses for one year, in an attempt to "study the effects of ride-hail services in the city."[25]


Mayor John Lindsay created the TLC in 1971 to regulate the taxi and for-hire vehicle industries. Before the creation of the agency, the NYPD's Hack Bureau regulated the taxicab industry, starting in 1925.[26] The bureau supervised "hacks", which referred to both taxicabs (hackney cabs) and cab drivers (also "hack drivers").[27]

The TLC has acted as a technical consultant for major TV shows and films that involved taxicab use, such as Friends, Conspiracy Theory, and the Bone Collector.

The TLC has a Driver Safety Honor Roll, which recognizes the safest Taxi and For-Hire Vehicle drivers in New York City. Drivers on the Honor Roll have had no crashes involving fatalities or injuries, no traffic violations, and no violations of TLC safety-related rules for five years or more.[28]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (2020). "TLC Commissioners". City of New York. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  2. ^ New York City Charter § 2300; "There shall be a New York city taxi and limousine commission[...]"
  3. ^ 2016 TLC Fact Book Archived 2016-08-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "About TLC". New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  5. ^ "New York City Taxi and Limousine" (PDF). New York State license plates embossed with the legend “T&LC.”
  6. ^ "The Rules of the City of New York". American Legal Publishing. November 12, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  7. ^ "2016 Annual Report" (PDF). New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. 2016. p. 3. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  8. ^ "TLC Enforcement - Initiatives - Vision Zero". Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Enforcement - TLC".
  12. ^ "Enforcement - TLC".
  13. ^ "NYC Taxi & Limousine Comm. June 2010". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 5, 2021.
  14. ^ "Chapter 13: Special Patrolmen".
  15. ^ @nyctaxi (August 3, 2020). "TLC enforcement officers work each..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ "New TLC Police Grads to Increase Field Presence by More than Half". October 17, 2019.
  17. ^ Donohue, Pete (December 6, 2013). "50% of cabs wheelchair accessible by 2020". NY Daily News. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  18. ^ "Taxi of Tomorrow will feature induction loops for the hard of hearing". Hearing News Watch. April 7, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  19. ^ a b "Licensing and Standards - TLC". Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  20. ^ Fanelli, James; Goldensohn, Rosa; Solis, Gustavo (July 21, 2014). "TLC Wrongly Accused Hundreds of Being Illegal Cabbies in Past Year". DNAinfo. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016.
  21. ^ Fanelli, James (June 16, 2014). "Turkish Man Accused of Being Illegal Hack After Driving White Pals, He Says". DNAinfo. Archived from the original on November 14, 2016.
  22. ^ Chan, Sewell (November 4, 2005). "On the Street: Cleaner-Running Cabs". The New York Times. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  23. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (May 13, 2015). "Uber and Internet Giants Assail New York City's Plan to Bolster Rules for Car-Hire Apps". The New York Times.
  24. ^ City Rec, Apr. 24, 2015 at 1627
  25. ^ "New York City just voted to cap Uber and Lyft vehicles, and that could make rides more expensive". CNBC. August 8, 2018.
  26. ^ Russell, Graham; Hodges, Gao (April 16, 2007), Taxi! A Social History of the New York City Cab Driver, Johns Hopkins University Press, p. 44, ISBN 9780801892196
  27. ^ The Administrative Code of the City of New York. J. B. Lyon Company. 1938. "Hack bureau" shall designate the bureau of the police department of the city of New York for the supervising and licensing of public vehicles and hack drivers
  28. ^ "NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission". Retrieved November 14, 2017.

Further reading

External linksEdit