Experiences involving transportation in New York City
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
Do I need a special license or permit to drive my guests to and from my experience if I don’t charge them for the ride?
You don’t need a special license or permit to drive your guests as long as you are not charging them for the ride.
In order to drive guests without getting an extra license or permit, you:
- cannot charge them for the transportation you provide (either directly or by adding the cost of transportation to your experience Fee), and
- should clearly mention in your Listing that transportation will be provided “at no charge.”
If you want to charge your guests for the ride, you need to get special licenses.
- Example: Marco takes his guests on a pub crawl through his favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Marco wants to give them a free ride to/from the experience. His listing makes it clear he will pick up Guests who need a ride to get to his experience at no charge to the Guest. Marco does not need special licenses (aside from his regular driver’s license) to do this.
If I want to charge for the ride, do I need a special license or permit to drive guests to and from my experience?
Yes. If you’re charging your guests to drive them around New York City, you must obtain a Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Permit (TLC Permit), known as a For-Hire permit, in advance. The process to obtain a TLC permit ($550) is lengthy, expensive, and requires extensive training activities. You must be at least 19 years old to apply. A For-Hire driver must convert his driver’s license to a Class E driver’s license (which costs $20); it costs $252 to apply for a Class E license and $84 annually to maintain, thereafter.
A driver of a For-Hire vehicle must obtain a Chauffeur’s License (Class A, B, C or E). In addition, a City authorized knowledge class ($250), wheelchair passenger assistance training, sex trafficking awareness training, and a defensive driving course must be taken and passed. Applicants must pass a TLC drug test and background check, which includes fingerprinting ($100).
Also, applicants will need to go to the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to upgrade their driver’s licenses from a standard Class D driver’s license to a Class E driver’s license. This requires an application to be filled out, showing a current driver’s license as proof of identity and date of birth, a vision test, a $20 or less fee, and surrendering the Class D license for the new Class E license.
Picking guests up at the airport: A For-Hire license does not guarantee that you will be allowed to pick up guests at the New York area airports. Many airports have their own requirements for transportation providers for passengers, such as licensing, background checks, vehicle inspections, placards, requirements of prearrangement, and designated passenger loading and unloading areas. Pages 12-24 of the Airport Rules of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey can provide you with some more details around ground transportation and general vehicle operating requirements. Be sure to check with the airport before charging guests for airport pickup even if you have a For-Hire permit, For-Hire driver’s license and registered For-Hire vehicle.
- Example: Marika wants to give her guests a ride to her experience involving a walking tour that specializes in sampling trendy desserts (cronuts, cruffins and cream puffs) at high end sweet shops throughout the City. Marika charges each guest $10 for the ride. Since Marika is charging guests a fee to drive them in New York City, she’ll need to obtain in advance a Taxi and Limousine Commissioner (TLC) Permit (a For-Hire Permit) ($550). This requires Marika to take a knowledge class ($250), wheelchair passenger assistance training, sex trafficking awareness training, and a defensive driving course. She will also need to pass a TLC drug test and background check which includes fingerprinting ($100). She also will need to go to the DMV office to upgrade her driver’s license from a standard Class D driver license to a Class E driver license. This requires an application to be filled out, showing her current driver’s license, a vision test, a $20 or less fee, and surrendering her Class D license for the new one.
How else can I help my guests get to and from my experience?
How you handle your experience and your guest’s transportation needs is entirely up to you. You may choose to:
- Give them a ride for free.
- Charge them if you have the necessary licenses.
- Get them a Lyft, Uber, taxi, or other state licensed vehicle with a licensed driver. You can even pay for these licensed transportations options yourself and include the cost as part of your experience Price.
- Ask your Guests to get their own transportation to and from your experience.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).