Vehicle for Hire Frequently Asked Questions


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Where do I go for Vehicle for Hire Services?
2814 East Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33610, East Tampa Tax Collectors Office
How often do certificates, permits, and public vehicle driver licenses (PVDL’s) need to be renewed?
All certificates, permits, and PVDL’s must be renewed annually. Prior to obtaining a renewal permit, the certificate holder must provide proof that each vehicle has passed an annual safety and mechanical inspection.
Can I transfer my certificate, permit, or PVDL to someone else?
No, Certificates, permits, and PVDL’s are issued to one person only and cannot be transferred.
What can I do in the event of denial, suspension, or revocation of my certificate, permit, or public vehicle driver license (PVDL)?
If your application for a certificate, permit, or PVDL has been denied, suspended, or revoked, you may request a hearing before a Hearing Officer.
How can I file a complaint?
If you witness or are subjected to an unlawful practice of the Vehicle for Hire Ordinance, you may file a written complaint. Submit a complaint online here or call (813) 635-8316 and select Option 2. If you have a complaint regarding the service provided by the Tax Collector’s office, contact us by phone, mail, website, or in person.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Cash, check, money order, debit or credit card

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What is the cost to apply or renew my company certificate?
Original and Renewal fee is $300.00
When does my current Certificate expire?
The BOCC has provided a 90-day extension on all credentials for persons who are currently operating vehicles for hire in the County. This extension is valid through December 31st.
What transportation vehicles are exempt from the Vehicle for Hire Ordinance?
  1. Ambulances licensed by the State of Florida
  2. Hearses, Operated or limited exclusively to use by a license mortician
  3. Passenger vehicles seating more than 15 passengers, including the driver
  4. Passenger vehicles owned, operated, leased, and controlled by a governmental agency
  5. Shuttle Services owned and operated, leased, or controlled directly by a hotel or motel for transportation limited to registered guests thereof and for which no extra or separately charged compensation is paid for the transport of the passenger or the passenger’s luggage
  6. Low speed vehicles as defined by Section 320.01 (41), Florida Statutes. As may be amended
  7. Sight-seeing cars and buses operated by an entity in the business of providing sight-seeing services
  8. School buses and church buses
  9. Vehicles owned and operated, leased or controlled by resorts, private academies and other businesses whose vehicle fleet is used solely for pick-up and drop-off of its customers
  10. Transportation network companies, transportation network drivers, and transportation network vehicles as defined by Chapter 2017-12, Laws of Florida, as may be amended.
What do I do if my business address changes?
A certificate holder must submit notification in writing no later than 10 days after changing the physical location or mailing address of the business. Complete form # HCTC_CH02 Rev 10-17.
I’ve lost my certificate, what should I do?
If your certificate is current, HCTC would issue a replacement certificate. The replacement cost would be $6.25.
I’ve sold my business, what do I do?
Certificates and permits are not transferable to new owners. If a company (other than a Taxi Business) wants to sell its business, the new owner will need to apply for a new certificate and whatever permits it needs. The original owner’s certificate and permits are considered cancelled. Taxi Certificate Holders will have to follow the BOCC’s process regarding the award of Taxi Permits to be established at a later date.
If I’m applying for my vehicle permits at the same time as my original or renewal Business Certificate, do I have to complete a Permit Application too?
No, only the Certificate application is needed (the permit application would be an unnecessary duplicate); however, Three Proofs of Insurance: Commercial motor vehicle liability insurance for each tow truck, garage liability insurance and garagekeeper’s legal liability insurance, the ASE Certification and a current vehicle registration would be needed for each vehicle as indicated on the vehicle permit checklist.

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Vehicle Permits

What is the cost for an original or renewal vehicle permit?
All annual vehicle permits cost $150.00
What is included in the ASE Certified vehicle inspection?
  1. Foot brakes and parking brake
  2. Condition of tires, including tread depth
  3. Windshield
  4. Windshield wipers
  5. Headlights
  6. Taillights
  7. Brake lights
  8. Turn indicator lights
  9. Door and lock operation
  10. Horn
  11. Speedometer
  12. Interior and exterior rearview and side view mirrors
  13. Safety belts
  14. Air conditioning
  15. Suspension and steering
  16. Front seat adjustment mechanism
  17. Bumper
  18. Muffler and exhaust system
  19. Oil or other fluid leaks

In addition, all tow trucks shall be equipped with a cradle or tow plate to pick up vehicles. The cradle or tow plate shall be equipped with safety chains and constructed in such a manner that it will not damage the vehicle towed; dual rear wheels; clearance and marker lights and all other equipment as required by Chapter 316, Florida Statutes, as may be amended; a rotor beam or strobe-type light, amber in color, mounted on the tow truck in such a manner that it can be seen from the front, rear and both sides; name, address and telephone number of the business permanently affixed in a conspicuous place on both sides of the truck in letters at least three (3) inches in height. The address and telephone number must be in letters at least one (1) inch in height; one flashlight and at least one five (5) pound or larger fire extinguisher.

Are classic, antique or vintage limousines exempt from the safety equipment requirements of newer model vehicles and do I need an ASE Certification form to get a permit?
Classic, antique and vintage limousines are exempt from the safety equipment requirements of newer model vehicles. An inspection form is required and the County (not HCTC) must designate the vehicle if such a limousine meets the requirements of this exception.
Do I have to show proof of insurance for an original or renewal vehicle permit?
Yes, certificate holders must maintain motor vehicle liability insurance for each permitted vehicle. The certificate holder must provide proof of insurance at the time of the initial application for permits and annually thereafter upon renewal of the permits. Tow truck owners must maintain three types of insurance: Commercial motor vehicle liability insurance for each tow truck, garage liability insurance and garagekeeper’s legal liability insurance. The certificate holder must provide proof of insurance at the time of the initial application and annually thereafter upon renewal.
If I get my front or rear windshield replaced how do I obtain a replacement decal.
Retrieve all or part of the damaged decal and turn it in. HCTC will issue a replacement. The replacement cost is $6.25.
What if I decide to sell a vehicle or tow truck because of age and condition, and replace it with a newer vehicle?
HCTC would issue a replacement permit and assign it to the new vehicle. The replacement cost would be $6.25.
Previously there was a limit to the model year a vehicle could be if I was bringing it into the fleet for the first time. Does that limit still exist?
No. However, vehicles exceeding 10 model years on December 31st of any year must obtain an additional annual inspection of the interior restraint and safety equipment to ensure it is in good working order.
Is there a limit to what model year can stay in service?
No; however, vehicles exceeding 10 model years on December 31st of any year must obtain and additional annual inspection of the interior restraint and safety equipment to ensure it is in good working order.

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Public Vehicle Driver License (PVDL)

I have a valid PVDL that was issued from the Public Transportation Commission (PTC). It is not expired. Do I need to come in before December 31st and/or before it expires to get something from the Tax Collector’s office?
No. Drivers who obtained a PVDL from the PTC that have not expired are not required to visit the Tax Collector’s office until it is time for renewal. The expiration date is printed on the face of the PVDL.
I have a current PVDL and it’s time to renew, why do I have to provide a set of fingerprints and get another Level II criminal background screening?
It is a requirement of the new Ordinance (Section 11).
What is the cost to submit a PVDL application?
PVDL Application fee is $65.00.
What is the cost to renew my PVDL?
Renewal fee is $65.00.
I’ve lost my PVDL. How much does a replacement cost?
The replacement fee is $35.00.
I’ve come to the Tax Collector’s office and processed my PVDL application and I’ve gone to the Sheriff’s office and had my fingerprints taken. How long should I wait until I come to pick up my PVDL?
You should wait at least five business days before checking to see if your background screening is complete. We will contact you when your PVDL is ready for pick up. If you haven’t heard from us, you can contact us at 813-635-5253 to inquire if your PVDL is ready for pick up.
If my PVDL application is processed but my issuance is denied, can I apply for a refund?
No. The application fee is non-refundable.

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Handicab Drivers PVDL

I am a handicab driver. When do I need to complete a certified standard first aid course; state certificated standard CPR training course; and a defensive driving course?
Within thirty (30) days of obtaining a PVDL
Do my certifications have to be current to renew my PVDL?
Yes, all drivers issued PVDL's to operate a handicab must maintain these required certifications and must provide evidence of such at the time of renewal and upon the request of the Agency and/or Department.
My defensive driving course certificate doesn’t have an expiration date on it, what should I do?
If the driver is still employed with same company, we would consider them to be in compliance, if they have already completed the required driving course.

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Trespass Towing and Immobilization Services Questions

What is exempt from the towing or immobilization ordinance?
  • The towing or immobilization of a vehicle or vessel which occurs:
    1. With the consent of the vehicle's or vessel's owner or operator
    2. If the vehicle or vessel is a law enforcement, firefighting, rescue squad, ambulance, or other emergency vehicle which is marked as such
    3. At property owned by a governmental entity
  • Any vessel located in hillsborough Countys or the City of Tampa's navigable waters
  • Emergency vehicles or vessels may not be towed or immobilized except as directed by law enforcement or at the request of the owner or operator of the emergency vehicle or vessel
  • Commercial vehicles which reasonably appear to be of the kind routinely used for the deliver of mail, packages, supplies, or other projects may not be towed or immobilized if it reasonably appears that the vehicle is parked at the location for purposes of making a routine delivery or other service for the property owner or its lessees, unless law enforcement orders the removal or immobilization or the property owner, or authorized employee has signed an order prior to removal or immobilization
What types of insurance must I maintain?
  • Garage liability insurance. A garage liability insurance policy covering the towing and/or immobilization service operations, including, but not limited to, the towing and/or immobilization service business, equipment and vehicles, which covers all locations within Hillsborough County. The limits of liability of this policy shall be no less than $300,000.00 for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage liability combined single limit each occurrence and aggregate. This aggregate limit shall apply separately for each location to be used by the towing and/or immobilization service
  • Garagekeeper's legal liability insurance. A garagekeeper's legal liability insurance policy insuring its legal liability for loss of or damage to vehicles of others towed or stored by a towing and/or immobilization service which covers fire, theft, collision, and other insurable perils. The deductible for these coverages shall not exceed $1,000.00 per vehicle. The limits of coverage shall not be less than $50,000 for each occurrence, at each location, including towing, for property damage liability. If separate on hook liability insurance is obtained, the minimum coverage will also be $50,000 as with property damage liability
Should I keep a copy of the towing mechanical inspection form in the tow truck?
Yes, a towing and/or immobilization service shall be placed within the tow truck in an easily accessible location so that the tow truck driver can provide it upon request

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