Washington law requires pre-arrangement to engage a limousine service that must be initiated by a customer in most situations*. The engagement documents must be with the limousine driver at the time of the ride to be able to provide proof of pre-arrangement. If the driver is unable to provide the proper documentation, then the limousine and driver could receive penalties such as civil infractions or fines.
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*Washington Law does allow a limited exception to pre-engagement of a limousine services know as a stand-hail limousine that is only permitted at a facility owned and operated by a port district in a county with a population of one million or more that is licensed and restricted by the port district.
Washington law regarding rules of engagement of limousine services is as follows:
RCW 46.72A.020: Engagement of and fares for carrier services—Service records—Carrier information—Penalties—Rules.
(1) Contact by a customer or customer’s agent to engage the services of a carrier’s limousine must be initiated by a customer or customer’s agent at a time and place different from the customer’s time and place of departure. The fare for service must be agreed upon prior to departure. Under no circumstances may customers or customers’ agents make arrangements to immediately engage the services of a carrier’s limousine with the chauffeur, even if the chauffeur is an owner or officer of the company, with the single exception of stand-hail limousines only at a facility owned and operated by a port district in a county with a population of one million or more that are licensed and restricted by the rules and policies set forth by the port district.
(2) At the time of the conduct of the commercial limousine business, the chauffeur of a limousine and the limousine carrier business must possess written or electronic records substantiating the prearrangement of the carrier’s services for any customer carried for compensation, except for vehicles meeting the requirements of the exception for stand-hail limousines described in subsection (1) of this section. Limousine carriers and limousine chauffeurs operating as an independent business must list a physical address on their business license issued under chapter 19.02 RCW where records substantiating the prearrangement of the carrier’s services may be reviewed by an enforcement officer. A limousine carrier must retain these records for a minimum of one calendar year, and failure to do so is a class 3 civil infraction against the carrier for each record that is missing or fails to include all of the information described in rules adopted under subsection (4) of this section.
(3) Limousine carriers and limousine chauffeurs operating as an independent business must list a telephone or pager number that is used to prearrange the carrier’s services for any customer carried for compensation.
(4) The department must adopt rules specifying the content and retention schedule of the records required for compliance with subsection (2) of this section.
(5) The failure of a chauffeur who is operating a limousine to immediately provide, on demand by an enforcement officer, written or electronic records required by the Department substantiating the prearrangement of the carrier’s services for any customer carried for compensation, except for limousines meeting the requirements of the exception for stand-hail limousines described in subsection (1) of this section, is a class 2 civil infraction and is subject to monetary penalties under RCW 7.80.120. It is a class 1 civil infraction for a repeat offense under this subsection during the same calendar year.
(6) The department must define by rule conditions under which a chauffeur is considered to be operating a limousine, including when the limousine is parked in a designated passenger load zone.
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