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Regulations and notices

Regulations and notices

Overview

King County is responsible for approving taxi, for-hire, and TNC companies and drivers who wish to operate in the following areas: unincorporated King County, Port of Seattle including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (requires additional Port of Seattle authorization) and within the city limits of Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, Covington, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, SeaTac, Seattle, and Shoreline.

King County and the City of Seattle partner to regulate the for-hire industry under the terms of an interlocal agreement whereby King County manages all for-hire driver licensing functions for both jurisdictions and Seattle manages all for-hire vehicle licensing functions for both jurisdictions. Detailed topics:

Notice of proposed administrative rulemaking


The acting director of the City of Seattle’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) and the director of King County’s Department of Executive Services (DES), acting under the authority of Seattle Municipal Code chapter 3.02; chapter 6.310, section 6.310.140; and chapter 6.311, section 6.311.470; and King County Code chapter 2.98; chapter 6.64, section 6.64.021; and chapter 6.65, section 6.65.470, respectively, propose adopting 10 rules related to for-hire passenger transportation. Specifically, the rules address the following:

  1. Repeal of 15 outdated City of Seattle rules;
  2. Vehicle safety inspections for taxicabs and for-hire vehicles;
  3. Vehicle safety inspections for transportation network company (TNC) vehicles;
  4. Splitting dual medallions;
  5. Temporary deactivation of medallions;
  6. Vehicle color schemes and markings;
  7. Taximeters and smart taximeters;
  8. Reimbursements from the Wheelchair Accessible Services Fund – taxicabs and for-hire vehicles;
  9. Reimbursements from the Wheelchair Accessible Services Fund – TNC vehicles; and
  10. Evidence of vehicle insurance and suspension of insurance requirements.

The comment period for the proposed rules ended on Friday, June 7, 2024.

Recent legislation


The King County Council (County) and Seattle City Council (City) each recently adopted three ordinances related to for-hire transportation, including:

  • The first ordinance amends existing City and County law to effectively remove taxicab and for-hire vehicle owners, drivers, and companies from the code, leaving in place the existing regulations on TNCs.
  • The second ordinance establishes a new chapter, in City and County codes respectively, focused on the taxicab and for-hire vehicle industries to ease and streamline regulations.
  • The third ordinance authorizes an updated Interlocal Agreement for the City and County to jointly regulate and enforce SMC 6.310, SMC 6.311, KCC 6.64, and KCC 6.65.

In addition, the King County Council also adopted an ordinance to update interlocal agreements with public agencies for for-hire transportation regulatory services.


Click on any of the topics below to see a summary of the major changes or review this one page summary. If you have any questions, please email them to FAST@kingcounty.gov.


  • Minimum age to apply for a for-hire driver license is now age 20
  • For-hire driver’s licenses are now regional (will no longer have a City or County designation)
  • Enhanced regional for-hire driver’s license will be an optional license type beginning September 1, 2024, and will require an annual fingerprint-based background check in addition to the third-party criminal background check and driving history report required for all applicants
  • TNC driver permits will no longer authorize operating as a taxicab driver once the permit expires, so taxicab and for-hire vehicle drivers will need a regional for-hire driver’s license
  • Beginning 2024, medallion renewal dates will be based on the date of application (if expired), or the last renewal date, and owners will not be required to pay license fees for prior years
  • New reciprocity endorsements expand where City-only and County-only medallions can pick up passengers
  • “Dual” medallion owners will have the option to split into one City medallion and one County medallion with jurisdictional reciprocity endorsements for each beginning September 1, 2024
  • All for-hire vehicle medallions convert to taxicab medallions by March 31, 2026, and must meet all taxicab requirements, including use of a smart taximeter system
  • Beginning September 1, 2024, if a medallion will not operate for 60 or more days, the owner shall file for a temporary deactivation of up to one year
  • Medallions relinquished between January 31, 2015, and September 1, 2024, will have one year from September 1, 2024, to renew or transfer the medallion before permanent retirement
  • SEA Airport minimum fare of $20 for all taxicab and flat-rate for-hire vehicle trips originating from SEA beginning December 18, 2023
  • The maximum vehicle model year is now 15 years old beginning January 27, 2024
  • All taxis must operate using a smart taximeter system by March 31, 2026
  • To operate after March 31, 2024, a taxicab association or for-hire vehicle company, licensed or registered in 2023, must obtain a transitional regional dispatch agency license
  • A transitional regional dispatch agency must adopt a smart taximeter system by March 31, 2026

Rules and regulations in place prior to the recent ordinances are available online:

206-263-1982

TTY Relay 711

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday thru Friday

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