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San Francisco

Requisites for a Driver Permit, Transportation Code (TC) Division II, Article 1100, Section 1103C (2):

  1. Be a legal resident of the United States.
  2. Be clean in dress and person.
  3. Be free of any disease, condition, infirmity, or addiction that might render the applicant unable to safely operate a motor vehicle or that otherwise poses a risk to public health and safety.
  4. Hold a valid California driver’s license of a class sufficient for the lawful operation of the motor vehicle to be driven.
  5. Have the physical capacity to operate a motor vehicle for at least four hours per day.
  6. Have no prior convictions of a crime that would, in the judgment of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), present a risk to public safety if the permit is granted, including but not limited to convictions involving sexual assault, the use of a vehicle in the commission of a felony, fraud, violence against a person, reckless disregard for public safety, two or more recent convictions of drug-related offenses, or two or more recent convictions of driving under the influence within the previous five years, whether or not such convictions occurred while driving a Motor Vehicle for Hire.
  7. Have attained the age of 21.
  8. Speak, read and write the English language.

Step 1. Go to the SFMTA Taxi Services office for New Driver Pre-Screening, One South Van Ness, 7th Floor on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 2 to 4 p.m.

Step 2.  Attend and complete the taxi training at one of the approved Taxi Schools and obtain a Taxi Training Certificate and Sensitivity Training Certificate (See the next page for a list of approved taxi schools)

Step 3. Obtain a fingerprint and background check from one of the listed Live Scan locations (See the next page for a list of Live Scan locations)

Step 4. Obtain one (1) passport-sized color or black and white, full face photograph. (NOTE: Absolutely no large photos. Do not wear a hat, scarf, or sunglasses)

Step 5. Obtain a ten (10) year printout of your driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles. (Note: Printout must be dated within 30 days of the application)

Step 6. Obtain a letter of intent to hire from a San Francisco taxi company

Step 7. Bring items from steps two through five to SFMTA Taxi Services, One South Van Ness, 7th Floor during application hours:  Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 2 to 4 p.m.

  • You will be given an application and short written exam to complete
  • The application process may take approximately one (1) hour – Plan to arrive one hour before closing, by 10:30 a.m. or 3 p.m., to complete the application process
  • The current application fee is $137.50, money order or credit card only.

SFMTA classes are held every other Thursday

Upon completion of the one-day class and passing of the exam, a temporary permit will be issued to you. Once the temporary permit is issued, you may begin to work as a San Francisco taxicab driver.

Step 8. Attend the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Intro to Safe Cycling. This is a free, four-hour class on how to ride a bike safely in City traffic. It is important to your taxi driver training because there are a large number of bicyclists on San Francisco — bicycle ridership increased 58% between 2006 and 2010 — and every taxi driver needs to be trained about the bicycle rider’s perspective in order to make the streets safer for everyone. You will need to obtain written proof of attendance of this workshop in order to get your permanent driver permit.

Step 9: After eight (8) weeks you may contact SFMTA Taxi Services to check if your background check has cleared and your permanent driver permit (A-Card) and badge are ready for pick up. If they are, you may pick up these items from SFMTA Taxi Services.  You may submit your proof of attendance of the Intro to Safe Cycling at that time.

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