Vehicle inspections: taxis and for-hires

In Seattle, every taxi and for-hire vehicle must:

  • pass a yearly safety inspection
  • be seven years old or newer
  • have insurance

Each vehicle must be insured with coverage for personal injury liability, property damage and underinsured motorist coverage.

Every taxi and for-hire vehicle must have a working digital security camera. Taxis must have a fare meter, a silent alarm and GPS.

Taxi and for-hire vehicle inspections are performed at the City Consumer Affairs Unit test station. The test station is located at 805 S. Dearborn St., which is at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Dearborn Street. From I-5, you can take the Dearborn Street exit to reach the station. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Vehicle inspections

The City of Seattle inspects all taxis and for-hire vehicles at least once every year. This inspection covers all major components of the vehicle, as well as vehicle features that aid the driver and keep the passenger comfortable. The vehicle inspection covers major vehicle systems such as:

  • steering
  • brakes
  • tires and suspension
  • exhaust
  • body panels, windshield and windows

Driver aids such as car displays, mirrors, windshield wipers, defroster and horn are also inspected. Passenger comfort components, such as heating and vehicle interior, are checked as well.

Security camera inspections

Security camera inspections are required any time the camera has been serviced by an approved camera installer. The inspection verifies that each digital photo trigger inside the vehicle activates properly. The inspector verifies that the image produced by the camera meets requirements.

Meter inspections

Taxis must have their meters inspected. Meter tests are done on a simulated distance device that includes roller equipment turned by the taxi wheels. Both the driver and the inspector are inside the vehicle during testing. The total distance of the test is one mile.