Tri-City Taxi Cited for Expired Licenses
The Hoquiam Police Department cited Tri-City Taxi for operating without proper licenses.
Following a citizen complaint, the Hoquiam Police Department investigated Tri-City Taxi. The citizen alleged the company was operating without a taxi cab license, a city business license, city licensed taxi cab drivers, proper markings or vehicle safety inspections.
Upon investigation, it was found that the company had not applied for a business license or company taxi cab license for 2013 and no drivers for the company had applied for a Hoquiam taxi cab operator license for the new year.
An undercover Hoquiam detective called the company for a ride from one end of town to the other.
The 51-year old Aberdeen taxi driver was arrested at the scene. The driver had a taxi operator license; however it had expired on December 31, 2012.
The owner of the business, a 53-year old Hoquiam man, admitted he did not have a business license but said his taxi license was valid. The owner claimed he had not realized the licenses were expired and he had just overlooked or neglected to renew.
The company had been put on notice by the city in December 2012 when they failed to file proof of insurance or verification of safety inspections for their vehicles in 2012. They were told that their 2012 license would be revoked if they failed to comply.
The company failed to respond to the requirements and never renewed any licenses for 2013.
The owner of the company was cited for operating a taxi company without a license and conducting business without a city business license. Both the driver and the owner are scheduled to appear in Hoquiam Municipal Court on February 5th to answer to the charges.
Under city code, taxi service providers are required to have a safety inspection by a mechanic, insurance and a city business license. Employees driving for the company must have a city taxi cab operator license.
Taxi company and driver licenses expire December 31st of each year and must be renewed. Renewal involves current proof of insurance and proof of a vehicle safety inspection.
Any violation of the city taxi regulation ordinance is a misdemeanor criminal offense.