A New York City Taxi Drivers License is called a “Hack License”. Officially it is known as a New York City Taxi Operators License. The license allows the holder / driver to operate a Yellow Medallion Taxicab in the Five Boroughs of the City of New York. Only a Yellow Medallion Taxicab is permitted to pick up passengers hailing from the street in the City. The Hack license, issued through The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, is the only license for operating a Yellow Taxicab.
There are other licenses issued by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission for car service and limousines but they can not be used to operate the Yellow Taxicab. The Hack license however can be used to operate a limousine or car service vehicle. This fact makes the Hack License the most valuable of NYC T&LC issued operator licenses, as well as the most prestigious.
There are approximately 44,000 drivers carrying a Hack License in New York City today.
HOW TO GET A HACK LICENSE IN NYC
The Process and Requirements
o All applicants for a New York City Taxi Hack License must be no less than nineteen (19) Years of age
o Applicants are required to have, a Class A, B, C, or E N.Y. State Drivers License, or a license from New Jersey, Connecticut or Pennsylvania of a similar class.
o Most licenses in New York State are Class D.
o To change a license from a class D to a class E one must go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and pay an upgrade fee.
o There will be no test.
o The fee will be approximately fifty dollars.
A problem with how to get a hack license is that an applicant must owe no outstanding parking, or traffic summonses. If money is owed to the New York City for parking or traffic violations it must paid, or a documented settlement agreement with the appropriate agency must be presented to the NYC T&LC licensing division.
All applicants for a New York City Taxi Hack License must be citizens, or legal residents of the United States.
Applicants are also required to attend a New York State certified, six-hour Defensive Driving Course.
o This course must be attended no longer than six months prior to the date an application is filed with the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission for a Hack License.
o The number one provider of defensive driving courses for New York City Taxi Drivers is the Master Cabbie Taxi Academy. Classes are available six days per week. The price is $45. or $39. with online registration.
The medical requirement for How to Get A Hack License is contained on Form B of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission Taxi Drivers Application which must be completed by a certified Medical Doctor.
o The application for the New York City Hack License must be submitted in person to the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission at either 32-02 Queens Blvd. Long Island City N.Y. 11101 Monday through Friday 9AM to 4PM.
o There is a second submission location in Staten Island. Open Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays at 1893 Richmond Terrace Staten Island NY 10302.
o No walk-ins are permitted at the Staten Island Location.
o To make an appointment call: 212-227-6324.
o At the time of application submission the applicant will be required to pay a sixty dollar application fee. The fee must be paid by money order made payable to the NYC TLC.
o At the time of application submission the applicant must pay a seventy-five dollar for fingerprinting fee. The fee must be paid by money order made payable to N.Y.S.D.C.J.S.
All applicants for the Hack License are required to be tested for illegal drugs. The Hack License will not be issued to any person not completing the test.
o The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission approved drug testing center for new applicants is located at 31-00 47th Ave. Long Island City NY 11101.
o The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
o Payment must be made by money order made payable to Lab Corp. Inc.
o Persons applying for the Hack License and failing the drug test will be directed to a licensing standards hearing conducted by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. Following the hearing the application for the Hack License may be denied a license.
The most time consuming aspect of how to get a hack license in NYC is mandatory pre-license training for all New York City Hack Licensees. The training is in taxi related subjects, conducted by approved training institutions. The minimum training requirement is a twenty-four hour program. The program consists of a three day course, eight hours per day, with three basic components. Geography/Map Reading, Rules and Regulations / Defensive Driving and Customer Service.
There is also a course for Eighty Hours available consisting of nine eight hour days of classroom training, and one day of testing. (The NYC TAXI OPERATORS EXAM.) The eighty hour program is the original taxi driver training program on which the New York City Taxi driver exam is based.
There are other programs for how to get a hack license available which have no time constraints. The most prominent such program is conducted by Master Cabbie Taxi Academy. The programs are unlimited in length, so long as the student maintains a regular schedule at the school, and does not have to re-learn what had been taught previously.
Certain unlimited programs include all fees needed for the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. This service allows persons utilizing credit to have Master Cabbie Taxi Academy make the fee’s available when the student is ready for each phase of the Hack licensing process This removes the need to purchase money orders for which only cash can be used.
The taxi driver test for how to get a hack license in New York City consists of two parts. It is administered by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission each week at the Master Cabbie Taxi Academy.
o The Hack License applicant must successfully complete an English Proficiency as part of the exam. It is a low level ESL exam for basic, English proficiency, consisting of four parts. There are thirty questions, fifteen of which are fill-ins, and fifteen of which are multiple choice. An applicant must score twenty-one correctly to pass the exam. Applicants failing the exam are allowed to sit for a second exam on another date. Applicants failing the exam for a second time must submit a new application to the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission if they wish to continue the process of obtaining a New York City Hack License.
o The final step in the process of How To Get A Hack License in NYC is, The New York City Taxi Operators exam. The Taxi Operators exam consists of two parts. One part is open book and the other is closed book. Part One consists of ten questions. The applicant is allowed to use a Five (5) Borough New York City Atlas and a Street address locator during this portion of the exam. For this portion of the exam forty-five minutes is allowed.
o Part Two of the New York City Taxi Operators exam allows the applicant seventy-five minutes and consists of forty questions. Approximately twelve questions will pertain to rules and regulations and defensive driving questions. The remaining twenty-eight questions will pertain to geography, landmarks, highways, air, bus and train terminals, etc. Applicants must answer thirty-five questions correctly, scoring seventy percent, or better, to pass the exam. Applicants failing the exam are allowed to sit for a second exam on another date. Applicants failing the exam for a second time must submit a new application to the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission if they wish to continue the process.
Taxi drivers in New York City earn as much as one thousand dollars per week and more.
If you wish to apply for a New York City Hack License you should contact Master Cabbie Taxi Academy. At: 718-472-1699 or 1-800-955-TAXI.
© Terry Gelber October 2007
Terry Gelber has a NYC Hack License.