(Here’s what you need to know!)
For hire transportation is closely regulated in the City of Toronto. As I prepare this blog, the basic conditions and requirements are laid out in Chapter 545 of the City of Toronto Act. We just call it “the bylaw.” It’s possible to avoid reading the entire section of 545 that deals with Limousines by going to the City’s website and looking under Business Licenses in the Municipal Licencing & Standards (“The Commission”) section where you will be able to follow the links to information on how to obtain a license, the costs, and the documents that will be required by the City. What follows in the blog is a sort of Coles Notes version of that information plus some Super Stealth specific information that will apply to how we do business and what we’re looking for in an affiliated owner / operator.
To start with, our fleet consists of affiliated owner / operators. This means that all of our chauffeurs own their own cars and operate independent businesses as permitted by, and described by; the bylaw.
So, assuming you are considering a career in our industry, the first thing you need to do is obtain a Limousine Driver Licence. To do that, you need to register with the City at 850 Coxwell Ave. to take a course in a City facility at Markham Rd. and Milner. The Limousine driver’s Course lasts for a week and runs about 7 hours per day. It will give prospective candidates a good grounding in the bylaw and the basic business of being a limousine operator. The vast majority of the prospects we speak to say that the Course better prepares them for life on the road.
Once you’ve passed the Course (there is a test) you’re almost ready for your license. You’ll still need to get a Basic CPR Certificate. There are many ways to get that and the staff at Coxwell can and do help out there. You will also need a medical and a Police Report.
Once all of these pre-requisites are dealt with, you can (finally) obtain your Limousine Driver License. And once you have that license, you are in a position to get your Limousine Owner License and live the life of the independent business person.
To become an owner you must purchase a vehicle on the Approved Limousine List. This is what the City calls a “living document” which means it changes frequently. Always consult it BEFORE signing the purchase order on your vehicle. However, before buying, I heavily recommend prospective owners make the rounds of insurance brokerages that offer taxi / limo insurance. Talk to a few Limousine Service Companies and see if they will make any recommendations in this area. INSURANCE IS JOB 1. THERE IS NO POINT IN COMMITTING YOURSELF TO A VEHICLE PURCHASE IF YOU CAN’T INSURE IT!
Other useful tips while shopping for insurance: If you don’t have any documented taxi or limo insurance experience, start putting together documentation of your private lines auto insurance experience sufficient to document the most recent 5 years.Or get as close as you can. Talk to others in the industry and speak with more than one Limousine Service Company. Most people in our business are helpful and will provide useful information to help get you started. Certainly if you come to us at Super Stealth Inc. there is much we can do for prospects who fit our service profile: enthusiastic about service, energetic and willing to learn.
Once you have your license, insurance and a vehicle you are ready to affiliate with a Limousine Service Company. Once you have affiliated you can apply for your Limousine Owner Licence. Congratulations! And if you’re the Best of the Best, come see us at Super Stealth Inc.