Could single permitting finally happen in Florida? That’s the goal of legislation currently moving through the Florida House and Senate, which has been supported by the Florida Limousine Association (FLA). Bills HB 807 and S 1700, nicknamed the Limo Reciprocity Bills, are aimed at eliminating the need for multiple licenses and permits in the various counties and municipalities that legally operating for-hire companies are currently required to possess to do pickups and drop-offs in those areas. If passed, the legislation could take effect as early as this summer.
The multiple permits requirement has long been an issue—an expensive one, as well—for Florida operators. In addition to the redundant permits, which quickly take up valuable space on vehicles, operators were often subject to extra inspections or for drivers to possess a special license. To make matters worse, TNCs operating in state aren’t subject to the same requirements, putting chauffeured transportation operators at an extreme disadvantage and often at a financial hardship.
According to the FLA, the stiff penalties attached to the citations the counties impose for noncompliance are even more of a burden. The association notes that it forces many operators to pick and choose which counties they will get permits for, playing a game of Russian Roulette when they dispatch a vehicle to another county.
According to a press release from the association: “The limo industry is a vital part of the infrastructure that moves the people and the businesses in our state, [and] the passage of Florida HB 807 is vital to the future success of the limousine industry in the state. By standardizing licensing requirements across counties and municipalities, the bill would promote competition, encourage innovation, and reduce compliance costs. It would also create a more consistent and unified regulatory environment for limousine operators, which would help streamline operations and benefit consumers. The industry's growth and profitability depend on the passage of HB 807, and it is essential that lawmakers in Florida recognize its importance and take action to pass it into law.”
HB 807 was introduced last month and is currently working its way through the Commerce Committee. S 1700 was introduced earlier this month and has been referred to the Transportation Committee. The bill’s progress can be tracked here.
FLA will also be hosting its Florida Ground Transportation Show at the Palm Beach Convention Center this June 12-13. More information is available here.
Visit floridalimousine.com for more information.