Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–301.03. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “ADA” means the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, approved July 26, 1990 (104 Stat. 328; 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.).

(2) “Alternative fuel” means advanced fuels, which can be any materials or substances that can be used as fuels, other than conventional fuels such as fossil fuels, including biodiesel, compressed natural gas, electricity, and ethanol. The term “alternative fuel” shall also apply to hybrid vehicles that use alternative forms of power such as electricity.

(3) “Capital City Plan” means the formal alphabetical and numerical pattern and layout of streets within the District’s 4 quadrants, the formal pattern and layout of avenues and circles within the District, and the formal system and pattern of addresses within the District.

(4) “CNG” means compressed natural gas.

(5) “CNG vehicle” means an automobile powered by compressed natural gas.

(6) Repealed.

(7) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking.

(8) “Committee” means the Vehicle-for-Hire Accessibility Advisory Committee established by § 50-301.25.

(8A) “Digital dispatch” means the hardware and software applications and networks, including mobile phone applications, which passengers and operators use to provide public and private vehicle-for-hire service.

(8A-i) "Director" means the Director of the Department of For-Hire-Vehicles.

(8B) “Dispatch” means the traditional methods of pre-arranging vehicle-for-hire service, including through telephone or radio.

(9) “DDOE” means the District Department of the Environment.

(9A) "DFHV" means the Department of For-Hire Vehicles established by § 50-301.04.

(9B) "FHVAC" means the For-Hire Vehicle Advisory Council established by § 50-301.10a.

(10) “Fund” means the Public Vehicles-for-Hire Consumer Service Fund established by § 50-301.20.

(11) “GPS” means Global Positioning Satellite.

(12) “Hospitality industry” means any person or entity involved in the operation, management, support, or ownership of a restaurant, catering business, hotel business, conference business, travel business, tourism business, tour business, or tour guide business.

(13) “Industry member” means a person experienced in the transportation or hospitality industry.

(14) “Limousine” means a public vehicle-for-hire that operates exclusively through advanced registration, charges exclusively on the basis of time, and shall not accept street hails.

(15) Repealed.

(15A) "ORPP" means the Office of Regulatory Policy and Planning established by § 50-301.06.

(15B) "OCS" means the Office of Client Services established by § 50-301.06.

(15C) "OCE" means the Office of Compliance and Enforcement established by § 50-301.06.

(15D) "OHCR" means the Office of Hearings and Conflict Resolution established by § 50-301.06.

(16) “Passenger surcharge” means a fee assessed to passengers for each public vehicle-for-hire ride in an amount not to exceed 50 cents.

(16A) “Private vehicle-for-hire” means a class of transportation service by which a network of private vehicle-for-hire operators in the District provides transportation to passengers to whom the private vehicle-for-hire operators are connected by digital dispatch.

(16B) “Private vehicle-for-hire company” means an organization, including a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, operating in the District that uses digital dispatch to connect passengers to a network of private vehicle-for-hire operators.

(16C) “Private vehicle-for-hire operator” means an individual who operates a personal motor vehicle to provide private vehicle-for-hire service in contract with a private vehicle-for-hire company.

(17) “Public vehicle-for-hire” means a class of transportation service by motor vehicle for hire in the District, including a taxicab, limousine, or sedanclass vehicle, that provides for-hire service exclusively using operator[s] and vehicles licensed pursuant to this subchapter and § 47-2829.

(18) Repealed.

(19) Repealed.

(20) “Sedan-class vehicle” means a public vehicle-for-hire that operates exclusively through digital dispatch, charges on the basis of time and distance, except for trips to airports, and other point-to-point trips based on well-traveled routes or event-related trips such as sporting events, which may be charged on a flat-fee basis, and shall not accept street hails.

(21) “Taxicab” means a class of public vehicle-for-hire that may be hired by dispatch, digital dispatch, or hailed on the street, and for which the fare charged is calculated by a DFHV-approved meter with uniform rates determined by the DFHV; provided, that a taxicab hired by a passenger through digital dispatch may use rates set by the company that operates the digital dispatch pursuant to the requirements of this subchapter.

(22) “Taxicab association” means a group of taxicab owners organized for the purpose of engaging in the business of taxicab transportation for common benefits regarding operation, logo or insignia. An association must have a minimum of 20 taxicabs having a uniform logo or insignia and having unified control by ownership or by association.

(23) “Taxicab company” means any person, partnership, or corporation engaging in the business of owning and operating a fleet or fleets of taxicabs having a uniform logo or insignia. A company must have a minimum of 20 taxicabs having a uniform logo or insignia and having unified control by ownership or by the company.

(24) “Taxicab fleet” means a group of 20 or more taxicabs having a uniform logo or insignia and having unified control by ownership or by association.

(25) “Taxicab industry” means all taxicab companies, associations, owners, and operators, or any person who by virtue of employment or office is directly involved in the provision of taxicab services within the District.

(26) “Taxicab operator” means a person operating or licensed to operate a taxicab in the District of Columbia.

(27) “Taxicab owner” means a person, corporation, partnership, or association that holds the legal title to a taxicab that is required to be registered in the District. If a taxicab is the subject of an agreement for the conditional sale or lease with right of purchase upon performance of the condition stated in the agreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee, or if a mortgagor of a taxicab is entitled to possession, the conditional vendee, lessee, or mortgagor shall be considered the owner for the purpose of this subchapter.

(28) “Taxicab rate structure” means the rates, fares, charges, and methodologies used to determine the price of taxicab street-hail service.

(29) “Taxicab service” means passenger transportation service originating in the District in which the passenger directs the points between which the service is to be provided, the service is provided at a time chosen by the passenger, and, when hailed on the street, the fare and fees for which are prescribed by the DFHV.

(30) “Underserved area” means a designated zone, as determined by the DFHV, with an established need for greater taxicab service.

(30A) “Vehicle-for-hire industry” means all public and private vehicles-forhire, including companies, associations, owners, operators, or any person who, by virtue of employment or office, is directly involved in providing public or private vehicle-for-hire services within the District.

(30B) “Vehicle inspection officer” means a District employee trained in the laws, rules, and regulations governing public and private vehicle-for-hire service to ensure the proper provision of service and to support safety through street enforcement efforts, including traffic stops of public and private vehicles-for-hire, pursuant to protocol prescribed under this subchapter and by regulation.

(31) “Washington Metropolitan Area” means the area encompassed by the District; Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Frederick County in Maryland; Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudon County, and Prince William County, and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park in Virginia.

(32) “Wheelchair-accessible vehicle” means a vehicle compliant with the ADA that accommodates a passenger using a wheelchair or other personal mobility device who needs a ramp or lift to enter or exit the vehicle. The vehicle must comply with the provisions of 49 C.F.R. Part 38.1 — 38.39.


(Mar. 25, 1986, D.C. Law 6-97, § 4, 33 DCR 703; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-165, § 3(a), 33 DCR 6705; May 21, 1997, D.C. Law 11-268, § 10(ii)(1), 44 DCR 1730; Oct. 22, 2012, D.C. Law 19-184, § 2(c), 59 DCR 9431; Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-270, § 2(a), 60 DCR 1717; Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-197, § 2(a), 61 DCR 12430; June 22, 2016, D.C. Law 21-124, § 401(c), 63 DCR 7076; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-242, § 2(a), 64 DCR 1608; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-224, § 2(a), 66 DCR 187.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-1703.

2001 Ed., § 50-303.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-404.02, § 22-404.03, and § 50-2201.03.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-184 rewrote the section.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-270 substituted “through digital dispatch, charges on the basis of time and distance, except for trips to airports, and other point-to-point trips based on well-traveled routes or event-related trips such as sporting events, which may be charged on a flat-fee basis” for “through dispatch, charges exclusively on the basis of time and distance” in (20).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-197 added (8A), (8B), (16A), (16B), (16C), (30A), and (30B); rewrote (17); repealed (18) and (19); rewrote (21); substituted “taxicab street-hail service” for “taxicab service” in (28); and substituted “and, when hailed on the street, the fare" for “and the fare” in (29).

Cross References

Certificates of title for motor vehicles and trailers, excise tax exemptions, “taxis” and “taxicabs” defined, see § 50-2201.03.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Taxicab Service Improvement Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-403, July 24, 2012, 59 DCR 9116).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 19-184, § 7, see § 7007 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 19-184, § 7, see § 7007 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 19-270, § 5, see § 7017 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 19-270, § 5, see 7017 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

Short Title

Section 7001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle A of Title VII of the act may be cited as the “Subject to Appropriations Repealers Amendment Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-184 provided that the act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register.

Section 5 of D.C. Law 19-270 provided that the act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register.

Section 7007 of D.C. Law 20-61 repealed D.C. Law 19-184, § 7.

Section 7017 of D.C. Law 20-61 repealed D.C. Law 19-270, § 5.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-197: Section 7 of D.C. Law 20-197 provided, in part, that §§ 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the act shall apply as of March 10, 2015.