How to Become a Taxi Driver
Prerequisites and application steps
Below you can review the steps in the process for becoming a trusted driver of a San Francisco taxi.
(1) Proof of Residency
You must be a legal resident of the United States.
(2) Personal Hygiene
Professional — Be clean in dress and person.
(3) Good Health
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) CA Driver's License
Have a current California driver's license and have held a valid driver's license issued in the United States for one year immediately prior to the date of application.
(5) Able to Drive 4+ Hours
Have the physical capacity to operate a motor vehicle for at least four hours per day.
(6) Criminal History
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) Legal Age
Have attained the age of 21.
(8) Language Proficiency
Speak, read and write the English language.
(9) Drug History
Receive a negative test result on the pre-issuance drug test under the Taxi Driver Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy. In addition, have not, within the past two years, failed a pre-employment drug or alcohol test that resulted in the applicant not getting hired.
2New Driver Pre-Screening
Go to the SFMTA Taxi Services office for New Driver Pre-Screening.
One South Van Ness, 7th Floor
Monday - Friday 9:00 to 11:30 am or 2:00 to 5:00 pm.
Find a Taxi Training School
Attend and complete the taxi training at one of the approved Taxi Schools below. Obtain a Taxi Training Certificate and Sensitivity Training Certificate
1. San Francisco Taxi School 415-202-3728
555 Selby (at Desoto Cab)
San Francisco, CA 94124
2. Taxi Driver Institute 415-701-TAXI (8294)
2940 – 16th Street, Room 314
San Francisco, CA 94103
3. Golden Bear Taxi School 415-763-8394
1200 Mississippi Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
4Fingerprinting & Background Check
After completeing taxi school, return to SFMTA Taxi services office to pick up a form. Obtain a fingerprint and background check from one of the listed Live Scan locations on the given form.
Get Drug Tested
After completeing taxi school, return to SFMTA Taxi services office to pick up a Chain of Custody and Donor form. Obtain a drug test from one of the listed clinic locations on the given form.
10 Year Printout of Driving Record
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)
7Letter of Intent to Hire
Obtain an Offer From a Taxi Company
Obtain a letter of intent to hire from a San Francisco taxi company.
8Apply at SFMTA
Pay Application Fee
Bring items from steps two through six to SFMTA Taxi Services, One South Van Ness, 7th Floor during application hours: Monday-Friday 9:30 to 11:30 am or 2:00 to 4:00 pm.
*Notice: Due to a current shortage of taxi drivers, the $255.50 application fee for new drivers will be waived for all driver permit (A-Card) applicants until further notice.
You will be given an application to complete. You will then be assigned the next available test date and provided the Rules and Regulations for SFMTA and SF Airport. SFMTA classes are held every Thursday of the month (space is limited with first come, first served).
Take the Class and Test
The Class and test are held (unless otherwise notified) 8:50am - 4:00pm at One South Van Ness Ave, Second Floor Atrium San Francisco, CA 94103
There will be a class in the morning with speakers from organizations including the SFMTA Taxi Services, Bicycle Coaltion, Lighthouse for the Blind, and SF Paratransit. There will be a lunch break and a test in the afternoon.
Upon completion of the one-day class and passing of the exam, a temporary permit will be given to you. It can be picked up the following week after the exam at One South Van Ness Ave, 7th Floor San Francisco, CA 94103. Once the temporary permit is issued, you may begin to work as a San Francisco taxicab driver.
9A-Card and Badge
Contact SFMTA in 8 Weeks
After eight (8) weeks from when you received your temporary permit, please go to SFMTA Taxi Services to either pay for and receive your A-card and badge, or renew your temporary permit (depending on your background check results).