We believe the consumer should be informed of all the rules and regualtions regarding the limousine business. We are happy to share our knowledge of the limousine business. Listed below are the important issues regarding limousine transportation. When renting a limousine, make sure you've asked about these areas of the business.
Did you know that the person who hired the vehicle could be liable for damages if the limousine company is not properly insured? Make sure the company carries enough insurance. Vehicles that carry up to a 14-passengers should carry $1.5 million insurance. A vehicle carrying more than 16-passengers should have $5.0 million insurance policy. Check to make sure they are covered with commercial passenger insurance and not a personal policy. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK!
Have a look at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration web site to see if the company is current with their insurance, companies are listed in alphabetical order. If the company name is not listed on this site, BE SURE TO ASK THEM ABOUT INSURANCE AND HAVE THEM SHOW YOU THE POLICY.
Drivers of vehicles that are designed or used to carry 16 or more persons including the driver should have a Commercial Driver License (CDL) with passenger endorsement and the vehicle should have BUS license plates. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK ABOUT PASSENGER ENDORSEMENTS OF THE DRIVERS! This information is for your safety. All of the drivers who drive our LimBUSines have CDLs with passenger endorcement.
The Federal penalty to a driver who violates the CDL requirements is a civil penalty of up to $2,500 or, in aggravated cases, criminal penalties of up to $5,000 in fines and/or up to 90 days in prison. An employer is also subject to a penalty of up to $10,000, if he or she knowingly uses a driver to operate a CMV without a valid CDL.
USDOT numbers are required on vehicles carrying 9 passengers or more and the driver is required to have a medical examiner's certificate. USDOT numbers are issued when a motor carrier has Single State Registration (SSR). Beginning November 15, 2007 the SSR became the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) and requires individuals and compaines that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce to register their business and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet. Crossing state lines without an UCR may cost up to $37,000 on inspection by US DOT. Motor Carrier (MC) numbers are required when the commercial motor vehicle crosses state lines. ALL interstate Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) carrying property or passengers will have their USDOT number on both sides of the power unit, along with the legal name of the entity controlling the motor carrier operation.
Consumers BEWARE of the company that does not follow all regulations, your limousine experience may turn out badly.
Please look at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration web site to see if the company has USDOT numbers.
Look at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration web site for physical qualifications for drivers.
Read more about Commercial Drivers Licenses at Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration web site.
Intrastate vs. Interstate Authority:
New issues in the limousine business is intrastate and interstate authority. You should ask about this issue before you rent a limousine.
- adj. Relating to or existing within the boundaries of a state.
- adj. Involving, existing between, or connecting two or more states.
- n. One of a system of highways extending between the major cities of the 48 contiguous United States.
- n. Power assigned to another.
Intrastate Authority is the authority to operate within the boundaries of a state.
Interstate Authority is the authority to operate between states.
Interstate authority is required for a limousine to cross over state lines. Limousines transporting persons into another state must have interstate authority. Limousines and drivers could be detained without proper authority. This could lead to missed airline flights, dinner reservations or no ride home.
Please look at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration web site to see if the company has proper authority.
Knight Rider Limousine is fully ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) licensed and insured since 1994. This allows the company to safely and legally transport clients across state lines. Should an accident occur, Knight Rider Limousine is fully covered in the respective state.
What is a bus? Courtesy of LCT Magazine September 2008
For chauffeured transportation, buses and vans now must be mentioned in the same breath as limousines.
The U.S. Department of Transportation defines a (school) bus as "any vehicle that is designated for carrying a driver and more than 10 passengers" (49 U.S.C. Statute 30125). This means that a 15-passenger van (designed for carrying more than 10 persons) is considered a bus.
Unlike a sedan or limousine, anything DOT considers a bus must be driven by a driver holding a valid commercial dirver's license (CDL).
The DOT also requires that each driver is qualified as outlined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations, Part 391. The qualifying process is designed to keep the public safe and includes reviewing many aspects of the driver.
What does this mean?
All vehicles (buses/vans) carrying more than 10 passengers in interstate commerce (crossing state lines) for compensation are defined as being a bus and are required to have bus plates and proper amount of insurance. Knowledge is power, make sure your transportation company has proper authority, licensing and insurance before you reserve.
Drinking of alcoholic beverages is allowed in limousines, 21 years or older. Please feel free to bring along what ever you would like to drink in the car. Knight Rider Limousine or it's chauffeurs are not allowed by law to provide alcohol. Prom and other school related functions and any parties for under age passengers must complete a Teen and Under Age Passenger Limousine Contract.
Did you know that serving alcohol without a Class A liquor license is illegal in the state of Wisconsin? Some limousine companies provide alcohol with their service. Fines for these companies can be up to $10,000 or up to 9 months in jail or both.
Limousine companies who advertise "complimentary" drinks or provide alcohol, are subject to a Special Occupational Tax (SOT) and have a Class A liquor license. Providing such a service is illegal unless the SOT is paid. A true complimentary or gift situation, where a business that serves alcohol beverages is not subject to SOT, is likely to be a rare situation.
Please look at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau web site to learn more about alcohol tax.
Gratuity Industry Standard:
At Knight Rider Limousine, we provide outstanding service to all clients. In the limousine industry, the standard voluntary gratuity is 20% of the entire fare. Although 20% gratuity is not required, if you receive first-class service, it is customary to exceed the Industry Standard.
Your chauffeur must be confident in his or her abilities and must be prompt and courteous. Your chauffeur should be seen and not heard, professional, courteous with regard to the customer, vehicle and others. Ultimately, what happens in the limo, stays in the limo!