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How to Become a Taxi Driver in Austin, Texas

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Every city defines standards and ruling authorities differently through ordinances for taxi drivers, also known as holding a chauffeur's permit in Austin, Texas. In 2010 three taxi franchises were operating around Austin including Yellow Cab, Austin Cab and Lone Star Cab. After obtaining the initial documents, your next step involves acquiring sponsorship from one of the three companies. (There are no insurance requirements, the sponsoring company will include the costs as part of your lease contract.)

Secure a certified copy of your Texas driving record online at the the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) website (see link in Resources). Select option "3a" and use a credit card to submit your payment. As of 2010 this fee was $12. According to the TDPS, expect 14 days processing and delivery time.

Obtain a certified copy of your criminal history in person at the TDPS office located at 108 Denson Drive, Austin, TX 78752, adjacent to the Highland Mall. You will be thumb-printed and charged $25 (as of 2010). The office only accepts exact cash or money order as payment options.

Visit the cab company of your choice, and sign up for its next orientation to obtain sponsorship.

Learn how to use the "MAPSCO Austin Street Guide." Every taxi is required to have this publication at all times. Half of your final exam will relate to this guide; the other half will pertain to local rules and laws. The sponsor company orientation will prepare you for this multiple choice test.

Fill out the chauffeur's application and get the document notarized. Your sponsoring company will give you this form and notarize it once you've completed it.

Take your certified driving record, criminal history report, driver's license and notarized application to the City of Austin Ground Transportation Office at 1111 Rio Grande, Austin, TX 78701. During 2010 there was a $10 fee to administer the chauffeur's permit test while your paperwork is reviewed. Your permit is legal for 48 months and must be displayed while operating a taxi in Austin, TX.

Schedule a practice ride with your sponsoring company and decide your best options for getting your cab. Most first time drivers take a 12-hour daily shift from a current lease owner, check the bulletin boards located in the training room at your company for owners looking for drivers.