skip to main content

Vehicle and vessel licensing

A service of the Department of Executive Services

Records and Licensing Services Division
King County Administration Building
500 Fourth Ave., Suite 401
Seattle, WA 98104

206-296-4000
1-800-325-6165 ext 64000

Specific business licensing information for for-hire driver, vehicles, and taxicabs

A King County taxicab or for-hire vehicle license is required of any taxicab or for-hire vehicle whose driver(s) operate(s) in the following areas: all of unincorporated King County, on Port of Seattle property including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and within the city limits of Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, Covington, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, SeaTac, and Shoreline. Operating a taxicab is defined as picking up passengers in these jurisdictions. At this time, King County has a moratorium on the issuance of new taxicab licenses; however, licenses can be transferred.

Taxicabs and for-hire vehicles must be insured, meet safety standards, and have meters inspected and sealed.

All drivers operating King County licensed taxicabs must have a King County for-hire driver's license.

Drivers operating City of Seattle licensed taxicabs and for-hire vehicles must have a City of Seattle for-hire driver's license or a City of Seattle endorsement on their King County license. The City of Seattle contracts with King County to perform the licensing of for-hire drivers on behalf of the City.

To apply for a license, a driver must be 21 years of age, have a Washington State driver's license, pass a written examination, attend a two-day training program, be fingerprinted, and pass a physical examination conducted by a medical doctor. Click here to download the medical report form. In addition, those seeking a City of Seattle license must attend association training, pass an oral examination, and purchase a City of Seattle Business License. Click here to download the application form.

Applications are accepted in person only at the downtown Seattle Licensing office. If you are applying for a new license, please arrive at the downtown Seattle office before 2:00 p.m. to ensure enough time for processing. Please bring the following:

King County
Only
King County/City Endorsement City of Seattle
Only
License Fee - New $200.50 cash $250.50 cash $250.50 cash
License Fee - Renew $135.50 cash $185.50 cash $185.50 cash
Letter from Company Yes Yes Yes
For Non-US Citizens:
INS Card with Employment Authorization
Yes Yes Yes
Washington State Driver's License Yes Yes Yes
Association Training Certificate - New Only N/A Yes Yes
Oral Exam Fee - New Only $35 (paid to South Seattle Community College)

* A certified diploma from an accredited secondary or post-secondary institution located in the United States or a country where English is the primary language spoken may waive the oral test requirement.

$35 (paid to South Seattle Community College)

* A certified diploma from an accredited secondary or post-secondary institution located in the United States or a country where English is the primary language spoken may waive the oral test requirement.


$35 (paid to South Seattle Community College)

* A certified diploma from an accredited secondary or post-secondary institution located in the United States or a country where English is the primary language spoken may waive the oral test requirement

Upon successful completion of the written and/or oral examination and the two-day training, the following are also required before a final license is issued:

King County
Only
King County/City Endorsement City of Seattle
Only
Physical Examination - New Yes Yes Yes
Physical Examination - Renew  (print form from web page, have physical conducted and bring completed form to our office to renew your for-hire license).
Every 3 years Every 3 years Every 3 years
City of Seattle Business License N/A $90 $90
Complete two-day training Yes Yes Yes
*Successfully pass both written and oral exams.  A certified diploma will be accepted to waive oral exam.
Yes Yes Yes

Public Disclosure Requests
For information on making a public records request to the Records and Licensing Services Division, click here.

For questions or comments regarding information found on this page, email licensing@kingcounty.gov or call 206-296-2710.

Taxicab complaints and comments

A King County for-hire driver's license requires drivers to provide professional and courteous service at all times. Other specific regulations regarding customer service and operating and vehicles safety standard and requirements, are set out in King County taxi regulations (King County Code 6.64).

Complaints or comments about taxicab trips originating within the city limits of Seattle should be emailed directly to the City of Seattle Consumer Affairs Unit at taxihotlinecomplaints@seattle.gov.

King County will thoroughly investigate any passenger complaint received and take appropriate action. Monetary penalties may be assessed in addition to requiring additional training, issuing a warning and/or suspending or revoking the license. To begin the investigation process, report online or call the Taxi Complaint Hotline at 206-296-TAXI (8294).

If you would like to compliment a taxicab or for-hire driver for excellence in providing professional and courteous service during your trip, please report online or email licensing@kingcounty.gov or call 206-296-2710.

For Hire Driver Forms

Application Form

Medical Report