August 2nd, 2000, 05:10 PM
I JUST GOT A LIMO TO START MY LIMO SERVICE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BUT I REALLY DON'T HAVE THE INFORAMATION IN REGARDING THE LIMO BUSNESS STARTUP'S LIKE SPECIFIC LICENCES,AND PERMITS IF ANY BODY OUT THERE CAN GIVE ANY USEFUL INFROMATION I WOULD REALLY APPRICIATE IN ADVANCE THANK YOU ALL SAM
August 2nd, 2000, 05:29 PM
So you bought a limo without knowing what permits and licensing are necessary? Hmmm...
Your query sounds like a job for Karl ... give him a few hours to find your question -- I'm sure he can help as he is in So Cal. To start off with, we can start with the 3 infamous letters known in CA -- "T C P". I will let Karl fill in the blanks.
August 2nd, 2000, 08:13 PM
And I just got home about an hour ago from our association meeting. Too bad our friend couldn't have been there. The NLA was there, PUC was there, and L.A. area operators were joined by operators from Ontario, Highland, Rancho Cucamonga, San Diego, Santa Barbera, and Bakersfield... I was expecting Brandy from Eureka, but maybe next time (actually, I think we have plans to get up into northern California pretty soon to meet with those operators up there).
I'll start this off by saying the obvious: do not attempt to conduct any operations until you are properly licensed and insured. If the car you just bought has to sit, trust me, let it sit. If that doesn't suit you, perhaps you could lease it to another operator for a short term, but don't take any chances. The law may decide you're the last straw and make and example out of you. Cars are being impounded all over the state at an incredible rate. Don't be a gypsy.
In short, you will need authority as a charter party carrier of passengers. This is commonly known as a "TCP" but is also called simply a PUC permit. There are certificates, which are a little more involved to obtain and will only be needed if you plan to operate larger vehicles, and there are permits. Most limousine operations are conducted under a permit.
The filing fee is $500.00 non-refundable. The fun part is, you will have to get the car (which you already did), then you have to get it insured with either $750,000 or $1.5 million in insurance. Your regular auto insurance will not do. If you have employees, you will need to file proof of workers compensation insurance, also.
You will setup a anti-drug and alcohol misuse program, enroll in the mandatory pull-notice program with the DMV, and register with the CHP as a motor carrier.
After having done all these things completely, file your PUC application for the desired certificate or permit. In your application you will be required to submit a financial report and projected balance sheet for up to the first year of operation. Also required is a roster of all vehicle VIN's, capacity, year, make, model, etc., and whether owned or leased. You will be required to apply for special "Livery" license plates for those vehicles seating less than nine.
One key secret to completeting the application I stress to applicants all the time is to read the application from front to back twice. Make a copy of the forms (about twenty-plus pages at last count) and use those to get your info in order, then: I strongly suggest you TYPE your application. Make it as neat as you possibly can. You want nothing to delay the process. The wait minus any delays can be as little as 30 days or as much as indefinite if something isn't right.
By the way, whenyou get your insurance, make sure your insurance person knows that you are filing your first PUC and that they need to file the certificates with PUC and the airport. You may as well get the authority to serve LAX because you may not be able to survive without it. You'll be dealing with City of L.A. anyway to get into ONT, so may as well get it all. One stumbling block you may incur along the way in dealing with the airports is that L.A. is rampant on all businesses domiciled in the city to apply for and hold a Business Tax Registration Certificate (BRTC). Since you aren't in L.A. City proper it shouldn't be a problem, but they may insist you have one.
Anyway, after getting (hopefully) your TCP numbers, you'll go to your local DMV office with the papers the PUC sent you authorizing you to get your required special license plates (if needed). But once you get the TCP numbers, you may then operate.
Now, somewhere back in this message I suppose some reading it may have felt a grumbling in their stomach. Seems like lots of fire to jump into and dance around in. Well it is, but it's not impossible. It's more a gauntlet of procedures than anything else if you are serious about succeeding in this industry. And I would guess it may not be so much different from other states and jurisdictions.
My point for elaborating was to emphasize the importance of pre-planning and research. Many regulars here know my mantra: get some experience in the business before going at it alone. It doesn't have to be scores of experience. Six months as a part-timer working weekends would be a tremendous help as opposed to nothing. And, the question of how to go about getting licensed does come up from time to time. Thanks for your attention... I hope this helps.
August 3rd, 2000, 02:29 PM
There is nothing more to say, Karl has provided his usual excellent answer.
August 3rd, 2000, 05:49 PM
Thanks Dick, and to Michael as well.
As I said, while I did reply specifically with Calfornia requirements in mind, I hope potential operators will be prompted to ask whoever grants the operating authority in their area questions about similar requirements for their jurisdictions.
On a somewhat related note, I'd like to point out that we are just about six months to the day and counting to the next LCT Show in Las Vegas. The dates will be Feb 5 - 7, 2001. I spoke with Linda Bouland earlier today and it appears they will again offer special programs and seminars for new operators at the next show. I know that they had a very good response to the new operator series last year. Like industry associations it may not be for everybody. But some may want to keep it in mind.
August 7th, 2000, 09:05 PM
Karl, thanks for looking for me at the conference. I would have loved to be there, but I have been extremely busy here lately and couldn't get away. I would love to have some company up this way some time. Everyone can expect to see me at the show in Vegas next year though. PS: You told it how it is getting started. Good job