RECIPROCITY: Operators Gain Mobility In NYC Area

Posted on September 30, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW YORK — As a public service to operators, LBOA recently compiled frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the issue of operators taking clients to and from —and through — multiple areas with differing regulations.

The term “reciprocity” may not sound very interesting, but the concept is vital to operators’ freedom to do business with as many clients as possible.

While these particular questions address reciprocity and regulatory issues confronting operators in New York — the busiest nexus of chauffeured transportation in the U.S. — they speak to similar reciprocity issues in other metro regions nationwide.


What is reciprocity?

Reciprocity is the name for the idea that certain vehicles and drivers licensed in one place can operate in a limited way in another place. Reciprocity is possible because of a change in NY’s Vehicle and Traffic Law.

What type of service is covered by reciprocity?

Service must be pre-arranged for-hire service. Service by a vehicle accepting a street hail is not covered.

What licensing jurisdictions are covered?

• Vehicles and drivers that are licensed by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, the Nassau County Taxi & Limousine Commission, or the Westchester County Taxi and Limousine Commission are covered. Vehicles and drivers licensed by individual towns or villages within Westchester or Nassau Counties, and not by the Westchester or Nassau TLCs are NOT covered.

What do I need to have to be allowed to operate?

• You and your vehicle must be licensed to do for-hire work by any of the three jurisdictions (NYC TLC, Westchester County TLC, or Nassau TLC).

• You have to keep proof of your car and driver license in the car and available for inspection.

• You must have a trip log if you’re outside your home jurisdiction (Westchester TLC requires all livery drivers to have trip logs at all times)

What needs to be on my trip log?

• Passenger name

• Time and location of scheduled pickup

• Location of any stops

• Final destination

• At the conclusion of the trip, the time the trip ends

Does my trip log have to be in writing?

It has to be in writing or in an electronic format that cannot be edited.

How does reciprocity affect me and how am I allowed to operate?

If you and your vehicle are licensed to do pre-arranged for-hire work for any one of the three covered areas and you have a trip log, you may:

• Pick someone up in one of the other two participating locations for drop-off in the area where you are licensed;

• Pick up someone in the area where you are licensed to drop off in one of the other two participating locations;

• Go through another participating location for a trip that starts and ends in the area where you are licensed.

My vehicle and I are both licensed by Nassau. May I take a customer from Nassau and drop them off in New York City?


May I take that customer to several stops in New York City?

Yes, as long as the original passenger gets back in the car at each of the stops, and the trip is completed within 24 hours.

My vehicle and I are both licensed by Westchester County. May I pick up a customer at Penn Station and take them to White Plains?


May I pick up a customer at Penn Station and take them to Lincoln Center?

No, unless you will also take the same customer from Lincoln Center into Westchester County within 24 hours.

My vehicle and I are licensed by the New York City TLC. May I take a passenger from Suffolk and drop them off in Nassau County?


My vehicle is licensed by the New York City TLC and I have a license from the Nassau County TLC. May I pick up a passenger in New York City and take them to White Plains?


My vehicle and I are licensed by Nassau County and I’ve taken a passenger from Hempstead to LaGuardia airport. While I’m in New York City, I receive a traffic ticket. Do I have to pay it and what happens if I don’t?

Yes, you must pay the ticket. The reciprocity law states that the area where you are licensed (Nassau County) must suspend your license if you have not satisfied outstanding fines or judgments arising from traffic or rules violations in any of the other participating locations. So if you don’t pay your ticket, Nassau County will suspend your license and you won’t be able to operate at all.

My vehicle and I are licensed by the New York City TLC. After I drop off my customer off in Nassau County, I am hailed by a passenger who wants to go to New York City. May I accept the passenger?

No. Reciprocity applies only to pre-arranged trips. That means you may not accept street hails. If a passenger wants to go from Nassau to New York City, the only way you may accept the trip is if the passenger has telephoned your base and asked the base to provide transportation.

Source: LBOA

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