Do you need a license to operate a bus/minibus in California?


I would like to provide a minibus service: a customer makes an order through a web page and a minibus picks this customer up to ride him anywhere he wants. The payment is done by a credit card on the order web page.

Most probably the customer would have to share the ride with other customers in this minibus.

Does a company need a special license to provide such service in California?

(I have asked this question since I don't think that such kind of service can be classified as a taxi cab service).

UPD: If we assume that ordering a trip through a web site makes this trip 'prearranged ', then we can say that we have a chauffeur service, and no taxi medallion is needed. Right?


asked Oct 15 '11 at 20:57
4 points

2 Answers


Check out Uber [cab]'s legal issues. Don't even think of doing what you are describing without reading all about California regulations (a quick google leads to ).

Don't take the word of some random stranger in a forum for something as specific as this. You could be in very serious trouble.

answered Dec 15 '11 at 06:25
Alain Raynaud
10,927 points


I'm pretty sure what you're suggesting fits perfectly into the definition of a Taxi service. I can call up any local taxi provider, pre-arrange and pay by credit card right now but that doesn't stop it from being a taxi.

Or, think of it this way, what's going to happen when one of your drivers is accused of misconduct/assault? will anyone, in this day and age actually trust a completely unlicensed, unregulated "Taxi" service? I'm sure you're aware of the large number of people that come to harm every year from shady unlicensed/illegitimate taxi drivers.

I personally can tell you that neither I, nor anyone I know, would get into an unlicensed taxi.

answered Oct 16 '11 at 00:35
Shane Kilkelly
101 points

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