Taxis and limos are considered vehicles-for-hire services. Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners has established minimum standards of service and consumer protections regarding vehicle-for-hire companies in Hillsborough County. Consumer Protection Services collaborates with the Tax Collector, law enforcement, and citizen groups to promote safe service.
The information presented on this page does not apply to companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, which operate in the State of Florida as transportation network companies (TNC) under Section 627.748 Florida Statute. These companies, vehicles, and drivers are not governed by the Hillsborough County Vehicle for Hire Ordinance.
Know Your Rights
- Make sure the vehicle has a permit. There must be a decal and/or license number on the rear exterior on the driver’s side and another on the front window on the passenger’s side
- Make sure the driver has a public vehicle driver’s license (PVDL). The driver should have the PVDL readily visible while driving or on duty as a driver. The PVDL will have the driver’s picture and registration number, and it must be presented upon request
- Ensure the driver only charges approved rates, as per BOCC Resolution
Passengers have a right to:
- Be transported without fear or refusal
- Obtain a receipt upon request that contains the certificate holder (business) name, the vehicle number, date, driver name, and the total cost of the fare
- Maintain a current PVDL
- Operate a vehicle only if the vehicle has a valid permit
- Provide quality service to passengers and never use abusive language or be discourteous
- Maintain a clean and well-groomed appearance while on duty
- Operate the vehicle in a clean and orderly manner at all times
- Operate the vehicle’s air conditioner at the passenger’s request, if not already operating
- Use the shortest possible route (time or distance) to the passenger’s destination, unless a specific route is requested by the passenger
- Accept cash, credit cards, and debit cards as forms of payment for transportation of passengers
- Not smoke cigarettes, cigars, or other devices while a passenger is in the vehicle
- Not use a cellphone or other electronic device, with the exception of a GPS/navigational system and a taximeter, other than in hands-free mode, while driving the vehicle with a passenger
- Not transport any child 5 years of age or younger unless the child’s parent or guardian provides for the protection of the child during transport
- Not refuse to transport an individual with a disability because they are accompanied by a service animal or refuse to transport a service animal accompanying an individual with a disability
Complaints can be filed electronically using the link below or in person at one of our locations. Provide documentation (such as receipts) and the following information:
- Amount of payment
- Details about what happened
- Vehicle description (color, company, and permit number or license plate)
- Driver description and name, if possible
- How the ride was requested (online, by phone, or on the street)
For best results, be as specific as possible regarding your experience and offer evidence to support your claim.
Report a driver who:
- is not licensed
- is reckless or unsafe
- refuses service
Report a vehicle that:
- is unsafe/has broken equipment
- is unsanitary
- The Florida Legislature repealed the state law regulating taxis, limos, and other vehicles-for-hire in Hillsborough County. The Public Transportation Commission (PTC), which previously regulated these companies, is now closed.
Consumer protection compliance
Under the County’s ordinance, Consumer Protection Services performs the following functions:
- Receives and reviews all complaints of ordinance violations
- Evaluates and investigates complaints received and takes action(s) deemed appropriate as provided for by the ordinance
- The department may request additional information from the complainant for purposes of processing the complaint and/or investigate potential violations regardless of the absence of a written or verbal complaint
- Makes periodic physical inspections of vehicles-for-hire to ascertain compliance with the provisions of the ordinance
- Inspects the records of certificate holders and/or owners of vehicles-for-hire at their respective place of business during regular business hours
- Enforces provisions of the ordinance
- Provides written notice, with proof of delivery, of the suspension or revocation of certificates, permits, and public vehicle driver’s licenses, specifying the grounds for the suspension or revocation
- Issues citations for violations of the ordinance
Vehicle license requirements
The Hillsborough County Tax Collector is responsible for business certificates, public vehicle driver’s licenses (PVDL), and vehicle permits. Questions or concerns about the licensing process can be addressed with the Tax Collector by calling (813) 635-5200.
For more information about companies offering vehicle-for-hire services, contact Consumer Protection Services at (813) 635-8316.