Taxi Drivers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Taxi drivers do not usually need to meet any particular educational requirements, but a high school education will help you adequately handle the record-keeping part of the job. Also take courses in driver education, business math, and English.

Postsecondary Training

The primary form of postsecondary education is a period of on-the-job training provided to new drivers by most taxi companies, which is required by law in some jurisdictions. Training includes how to operate the taximeter and other communication equipment, how to complete required paper work, driver safety, and customer service. Training may also cover the safe, non-emergency transport of elderly or disabled passengers. Additionally, the Transportation Alliance offers online training courses for taxi drivers. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Those interested in becoming a taxi driver must have a regular driver's license. In most large cities, taxi drivers also must have a special taxicab operator's license—commonly called a hack's license—in addition to a chauffeur's license. Police departments, safety departments, or public utilities commissions generally issue these special licenses. To secure the license, drivers must pass special examinations including questions on local geography, traffic regulations, accident reports, safe driving practices, and insurance regulations. Some companies help their job applicants prepare for these examinations by providing them with specially prepared booklets. The operator's license may need to be renewed annually. In some cities (New York, for example), new license applications can take several months to be processed because the applicant's background must be investigated. Increasingly, many cities and municipalities require a test on English usage. Those who do not pass must take a course in English sponsored by the municipality.

Other Requirements

Most municipalities require taxi drivers to be 21 years of age or older and have a clean driving record and no criminal record. Check with your local taxi commission or regulating agencies for details.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

No experience is needed to work as a taxi driver, but any driving experience will be useful.

Taxi drivers should be in reasonably good health and have a good driving record and no criminal record. In general, they must be 21 years of age or older to drive a taxicab. While driving is not physically strenuous, they will occasionally be asked to lift heavy packages or luggage. They should have especially steady nerves if they work in a big city because they will spend considerable time driving in heavy traffic. They must also be courteous, patient, and able to get along with many different kinds of people.

Taxi drivers who own their own cab or lease one for a long period of time are generally expected to keep their cab clean. Large companies have workers who take care of this task for all the vehicles in the company fleet.