Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–301.29a. General requirements for private vehicles-for-hire.

A private vehicle-for-hire company shall:

(1) Create an application process for a person to apply to register as a private vehicle-for-hire operator;

(2) Maintain an up-to-date registry of the operators and vehicles associated with the private vehicle-for-hire company;

(3) Provide the following information on its website:

(A) The private vehicle-for-hire company’s customer service telephone number or electronic mail address;

(B) The private vehicle-for-hire company’s zero tolerance policy established pursuant to paragraphs (9) and (10) of this section;

(C) The procedure for reporting a complaint about an operator who a passenger reasonably suspects violated the zero tolerance policy under paragraphs (9) and (10) of this section; and

(D) A telephone number or electronic mail address for the DFHV;

(4) Verify that an initial safety inspection of a motor vehicle used as a private vehicle-for-hire was conducted within 90 days of beginning service and that the vehicle passed the inspection and was determined safe by a licensed mechanic in the District pursuant to § 47-2851.03(a)(9) or an inspection station authorized by the State of Maryland or the Commonwealth of Virginia to perform vehicle safety inspections; provided, that an initial safety inspection need not be conducted if the motor vehicle used for service is compliant with an annual state-required safety inspection. A safety inspection conducted pursuant to this paragraph shall check the following motor vehicle equipment to ensure that such equipment is safe and in proper operating condition:

(A) Brakes and parking brake;

(B) All exterior lights, including headlights, parking lights, brake lights, and license plate illumination lights;

(C) Turn signal devices;

(D) Steering and suspension;

(E) Tires, wheels, and rims;

(F) Mirrors;

(G) Horn;

(H) Windshield and other glass, including wipers and windshield defroster;

(I) Exhaust system;

(J) Hood and area under the hood, including engine fluid levels and belts;

(K) Interior of vehicle, including operator's seat, seat belts, and air bags;

(L) Doors;

(M) Fuel system; and

(N) Floor pan.

(5) Verify the safety inspection status of a vehicle as described in paragraph (4) of this section on an annual basis after the initial verification is conducted;

(6) Perform the background checks required by § 50-301.29b(b) on each applicant before private vehicle-for-hire service is provided and update those checks every 3 years thereafter;

(7) Establish a trade dress as required by § 50-301.29d;

(8) Transmit the required amount pursuant to § 50-301.31(b)(11);

(9)(A) Establish a policy of zero tolerance for the use of alcohol or illegal drugs or being impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs while a private vehicle-for-hire operator is logged into a private vehicle-for-hire company’s digital dispatch;

(B) Immediately suspend, for the duration of the investigation conducted pursuant to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, a private vehicle-for-hire operator upon receiving a written complaint from a passenger submitted through regular mail or electronic means containing a reasonable allegation that the operator violated the zero tolerance policy established by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph; and

(C) Conduct an investigation when a passenger alleges that a private vehicle-for-hire operator violated the zero tolerance policy established by paragraph (A) of this subparagraph;

(10)(A) Establish a policy of zero tolerance for discrimination or discriminatory conduct on the basis of a protected characteristic under § 2-1402.31 while a private vehicle-for-hire operator is logged into a private vehicle-for-hire company’s digital dispatch. Discriminatory conduct may include:

(i) Refusal of service on the basis of a protected characteristic, including refusal of service to an individual with a service animal unless the operator has a documented serious medical allergy to animals on file with the private vehicle-for-hire company;

(ii) Using derogatory or harassing language on the basis of a protected characteristic;

(iii) Refusal of service based on the pickup or drop-off location of the passenger; or

(iv) Rating a passenger on the basis of a protected characteristic;

(B) It shall not constitute discrimination under this paragraph for a private vehicle-for-hire operator to refuse to provide service to an individual with disabilities due to violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal conduct by the individual. A private vehicle-for-hire operator shall not, however, refuse to provide service to an individual with a disability solely because the individual’s disability results in appearance or involuntary behavior that may offend, annoy, or inconvenience the operator or another person;

(C) Immediately suspend, for the duration of the investigation conducted pursuant to subparagraph (D) of this paragraph, a private vehicle-for-hire operator upon receiving a written complaint from a passenger submitted through regular mail or electronic means containing a reasonable allegation that the operator violated the zero tolerance policy established by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph; and

(D) Conduct an investigation when a passenger makes a reasonable allegation that an operator violated the zero tolerance policy established by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;

(11) Maintain records relevant to the requirements of this section for the purposes of enforcement; and

(12) Submit to the DFHV for the purposes of registration:

(A) Proof that the private vehicle-for-hire company is licensed to do business in the District;

(B) Proof that the private vehicle-for-hire company maintains a registered agent in the District;

(C) Proof that the private vehicle-for-hire company maintains a website that includes the information required by paragraph (3) of this section;

(D) Proof that the private vehicle-for-hire company has established a trade dress required by § 50-301.29d, including an illustration or photograph of the trade dress;

(E) A written description of how the private vehicle-for-hire company’s digital dispatch operates;

(F) Proof that the private vehicle-for-hire company has secured the insurance policies required by § 50-301.29c; and

(G) The certification required by § 50-301.29g; provided, that the DFHV shall not impose a registration, licensure, certification, or other similar requirement for a private vehicle-for-hire company to operate in the District that exceeds the requirements set forth in this subchapter.

(13)(A) Submit to the DFHV and the District Department of Transportation ("DDOT") the following information in a format approved by the Mayor, for the period July 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018 no later than February 15, 2019, and for each calendar quarter thereafter no later than 30 days after the end of that calendar quarter:

(i) The total number of private vehicle-for-hire operators that utilized the digital dispatch services of the private vehicle-for-hire company in the District;

(ii) A log of anonymized data relating to prearranged rides provided by private vehicle-for-hire operators that utilized the digital dispatch services of a private vehicle-for-hire company in the District that shall include the following categories of information:

(I) For each trip originating and terminating inside of the District:

(AA) The latitude and longitude for the points at which each ride originated and terminated, calculated to three decimal degrees;

(BB) The date and time of request, pick-up and drop-off; and

(CC) Whether a private or shared service was requested, and if a shared service was requested, whether the requesting rider was successfully matched with another rider;

(II) For each trip originating outside of the District and terminating inside of the District:

(AA) The latitude and longitude of the origination point, calculated to two decimal degrees, and the latitude and longitude of the destination point, calculated to three decimal degrees;

(BB) The date and time of request, pick-up and drop-off; and

(CC) Whether private or shared service was requested and, if a shared service was requested, whether the requesting rider was successfully matched with another rider; and

(III) For each trip originating inside of the District and terminating outside of the District:

(AA) The latitude and longitude of the origination point, calculated to three decimal degrees, and the latitude and longitude of the destination point, calculated to two decimal degrees;

(BB) The date and time of request, pick-up and drop-off; and

(CC) Whether private or shared service was requested and, if a shared service was requested, whether the requesting rider was successfully matched with another rider;

(iii) The total miles driven, including both while en route to a pick-up point and while en route to a drop-off point, in the District by private vehicle-for-hire operators that utilized the digital dispatch services of the private vehicle-for-hire company in the District;

(iv) The average fare and average distance for shared service trips and the average fare and average distance for private service trips; and

(v) Any additional trip data that the DFHV or DDOT deems necessary for inclusion as set forth in rules adopted by the Mayor pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2; provided, that such rules shall specify that such trip data shall be anonymized and may be used only for the purposes of public safety, congestion management, and transportation planning, including curbside management, road improvements, traffic management, transit service planning, and the allocation of public monies for those purposes.

(B) The Mayor may request additional relevant information from a private vehicle-for-hire company pertaining to any trip referenced in a Metropolitan Police Department police report, provided that the report references one or more alleged criminal incidents alleged to have occurred during the time that a private vehicle-for-hire operator that utilized the digital dispatch services of the private vehicle-for-hire company was conducting a trip in the District.

(C) Any information that is received pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph shall be deemed confidential and shall:

(i) Be exempt from disclosure pursuant to § 2-532;

(ii) Be safely and securely stored by the District and the District shall take all reasonable measures and efforts to protect, secure, and, when appropriate, encrypt or limit access to any data provided; and

(iii) For information received pursuant to subparagraph (A), not include the personal information of passengers or private vehicle-for-hire operators that utilized the digital dispatch services of the private vehicle-for-hire company in the District.

(D) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to govern the sharing or publishing of conclusions and analysis derived from any information that is received pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph; provided, that the conclusions and analysis shared shall not contain the original information that is received by the District pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph and any shared or published data derived from the information that is received by the District pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph shall be anonymized and aggregated across all private vehicle-for-hire companies.

(E)(i) The Mayor may enter into a confidential data sharing agreement with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ("WMATA") or the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments ("MWCOG") to provide those entities with anonymized and aggregated data derived from information that is received by the District pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph; provided, that the Mayor shall provide such data in a quantity and at a level of detail that is reasonably necessary for WMATA or MWCOG to conduct the analysis specified in the confidential data sharing agreement.

(ii) A confidential data sharing agreement entered into pursuant to sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph shall require WMATA or MWCOG to agree that:

(I) The data provided shall not be disclosed by WMATA or MWCOG and shall be treated as confidential or otherwise protected for purposes of WMATA's or MWCOG's public-records requirements;

(II) Notwithstanding sub-sub-subparagraph (I) of this sub-subparagraph, WMATA or MWCOG may disclose conclusions and analysis derived from the original information received pursuant subparagraph (E); provided, that the Mayor approve such disclosure and that any data disclosed by WMATA or MWCOG shall be anonymized and aggregated across all private vehicle-for-hire companies; and

(III) WMATA or MWCOG shall pay the District an amount certain for each violation of the terms of the confidential data sharing agreement.


(Mar. 25, 1986, D.C. Law 6-97, § 20j-1; as added Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-197, § 2(k), 61 DCR 12430; June 22, 2016, D.C. Law 21-124, § 401(cc), 63 DCR 7076; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 6142(a), 65 DCR 9388; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-224, § 2(j), 66 DCR 187.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6132(a) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6132(a) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

Editor's Notes

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.