Washington Limousine Services Operating Illegally

by transreviews on April 6, 2010

Many Washington limousine services are operating illegally.

There are approximately 480 limousine companies who are registered with the Department of Licensing (DOL) which is responsible for regulating limousine companies operating within the state of Washington.  Most of the states limousine companies operate within the Seattle, Washington area.  According to the city of Seattle, city officials estimate that approximately 20% of the limousine companies operating within the Seattle metro area are operating illegally without a valid permit.

A growing number of Seattle limousine companies advertise limousine services online.   Many Seattle limousine companies either advertise limousine services on their company owned website and or advertise on third party websites.  The Washington state legislature enacted law RCW 46.72A.080 within the Revised Code of Washington, a compilation of all permanent laws within the state of Washington, which specifically requires limousine companies to display their Unified Business Identifier (UBI) in advertisements that display a company business name or address.

The Unified Business Identifier (UBI) is a 9 digit number and is required in order to conduct business within the state of Washington.  The UBI number is used to identify the business name and owner and is used by many state agencies within the state of Washington.  All Washington limousine companies are required to register for a UBI Number.

Based on research conducted by Transportation Reviews, approximately 3% of Washington limousine companies display their UBI Number on their company website which is considered to be an advertisement.

In addition to the state of Washington, many other states have similar legislation. For example, Assembly Bill 1310 within the state of California requires limousine companies to display their permit number. Based on previous case studies performed by Transportation Reviews, approximately 47% of the California limousine companies display their permit number on their company website.

Most limousine companies who operate illegally are not transparent and advertise business names which are not registered with state of Washington.  Washington state law RCW 46.72A.080 was enacted by the state legislature to protect the public.  The Department of Licensing (DOL) provides a License Query System on their website which allows the public to verify license information on limousine companies who operate within the state of Washington.  The traveling public can conduct various queries, including searches based on company UBI Number, registered company name, and business address.

Approximately 97% of all Washington limousine service companies do not display their UBI Number on their company website and approximately 1/3 of all companies display a complete business address.  In addition, most limousine companies communicate many different business names on their website.  The majority of these business names are not registered with the state of Washington. As a result, the traveling public is unable to verify the permit status of most limousine companies who advertise online.

Illegal limousine carriers are unlicensed, may operate unsafe vehicles, and are uninsured.  Before you make your reservation for limousine services, Transportation Reviews recommends the traveling public to contact the Department of Licensing (DOL) directly at 360-664-1400 in order to verify the permit status of the Washington limousine service company.

Limousine Service Links:
Washington Limousine Company License Query System

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