Taxicab Regulation




At the May 14 meeting, the Arlington County Board approved the following:

  1. Allow for a temporary $1 surcharge per trip as authorized under Arlington County Code, Section 25.1-16(G). Adjustments in Rates of Fare to be effective June 1, 2022 through November 30, 2022.
  2. Adopted an amendment to the Taxicab Ordinance, Section 25.1-20 of the County Code (see attachment A of the staff report), relating to increasing the maximum model-year age of taxicab vehicles as follows: increase the maximum model-year age for service from 10 years to 12 years for gasoline-only powered non-wheelchair accessible vehicles; increase the maximum model-year age for service from 10 years to 15 years for wheelchair accessible vehicles; and increase the maximum model-year age for service from 10 years to 15) years for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and/or electric vehicles.


Current Companies


Note: Uber, Lyft, cars-for-hire and other Transportation Network Companies are regulated by the state, not Arlington County (see TNC section below)


On Jan. 1, 2016, the Arlington County Board approved amendments to the Taxicab Ordinance allowing an increase in the mileage rate from $2.10 per mile to $2.16 per mile, and the initial charge from $2.75 to $3.

The rate schedule for fares and service charges is as follows:

  • A temporary $1 surcharge per trip to be effective from June 1 through Nov. 30, 2022
  • For the first one-sixth mile (initial drop charge): $3
  • For each succeeding one-sixth mile or fraction thereof: 36 cents
  • For each 56 seconds of wait time: 36 cents; wait time begins five minutes after appointed pickup time
  • For each additional passenger 12 or older: $1
  • Cleaning fee: $25

Taxicab Ordinance

The operation of taxicab service within Arlington is regulated and controlled by Chapter 25.1 of the County Code. This includes the operation of taxicabs for hire, rates and charges for service, and qualifications of operators.

  • The County’s hack inspector, an officer in the Arlington Police Department, is responsible for addressing the licensing of drivers and inspection of taxicabs as well as addressing concerns about taxicab violations.
  • The County’s taxicab industry regulator, a member of the Transportation Planning Bureau found under the Department of Environmental Services, is responsible for monitoring and regulating taxicab companies.

How Regulations Protect Passengers

Other taxicabs and vehicles for hire, such as those operating for Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, don’t have these same regulations and may not provide their passengers with the same protections.

  • Certainty of Fare: Passengers in Arlington taxicabs can only be charged per the rates established in the Arlington Taxicab Ordinance. All fares are calculated and displayed on the taxicab meter and all taxicab meters are tested for accuracy at least once a year.
  • Driver Qualifications:  Arlington taxicab drivers must have an exemplary driving record. Prospective and current taxicab drivers all undergo a U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background check and may not have relevant criminal convictions. All Arlington taxi drivers must obtain and display a valid taxicab operator’s license. To obtain a license, a prospective Arlington taxicab driver must pass a test of their knowledge of local geography, driving laws and taxi regulations administered by the Arlington County Police. Taxicab operator licenses can be suspended or revoked for violations of motor vehicle law or a criminal conviction of verified complaints.
  • Vehicle Conditions: Arlington taxicabs must pass an annual physical inspection conducted by the Arlington County Police in addition to state vehicle inspections. If an Arlington taxicab is found to be not in proper working order, it will be immediately ordered out of service. Arlington taxicabs can be no more than 10 years old.
  • Required Insurance: All Arlington taxicabs are required to have a minimum of $300,000 of coverage for personal injury and $50,000 of coverage for personal property loss.
  • Identified Companies: All Arlington taxicabs and drivers are affiliated with a company whose identity is prominently displayed on the vehicle. Company affiliation helps passengers to retrieve lost articles, make special arrangements for pick-up and file or address complaints.

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs)

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft are regulated by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle. Legislation regulating TNCs took effect in the Commonwealth of Virginia on July 1, 2015. Arlington, and other localities, are not authorized to regulate TNCs, their drivers or vehicles.

If you have a complaint about any of these companies, you must file it with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles by filling out a Consumer Complaint Against a Passenger Carrier Form (form OA 411) and submitting it using one of the following options:

Mail: Department of Motor Vehicles
Motor Carrier Services (TNC)
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, Virginia 23269-0001

Fax: 804-367-1003


Telephone: 804-249-5130