Transportation Network Companies FAQs

Administrative Rules for Transportation Network Companies are effective on December 1, 2017. Some information may be subject to change.

Program Implementation

1. What does House Bill 100 do?

House Bill 100 (85R) establishes a uniform, statewide approach to regulating and permitting transportation network companies (TNCs) through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).

2. What is a transportation network company?

A TNC is a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity that, for compensation, enables a passenger to prearrange with a driver, exclusively through the entity’s digital network, a digitally prearranged ride. The term does not include an entity that provides:

  • street-hail taxicab services;
  • limousine or other car services arranged by a method other than through a digital network;
  • shared expense carpool or vanpool arrangements; or
  • a type of ride service for which:
    • The fee received by the driver does not exceed the driver’s costs of providing the ride; or
    • the driver receives a fee that exceeds the driver’s costs associated with providing the ride but makes not more than three round-trips per day between the driver’s or passenger’s place of employment and the driver’s or passenger’s home.

3. When did House Bill 100 (85R) take effect?

On May 29, 2017, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 100. The law went into effect immediately upon his signature.

4. Does that mean existing transportation network companies can operate now in Texas without a local or state permit?

House Bill 100 (85R) provides that, beginning on May 29, 2017, any municipal or other local ordinance or policy related to TNCs or drivers authorized to access TNCs digital networks is void and has no effect. However, this law does not prevent airport owners and governmental entities with jurisdiction over cruise ship terminals from imposing regulations, including a reasonable fee, on a TNC that provides prearranged rides to or from an airport or cruise ship terminal.

An existing TNC operating under a local or municipal ordinance or policy may continue to operate until its application for a TDLR TNC permit has been approved or denied.

5. When can a transportation network company apply for a TDLR permit to operate in Texas?

Once the rules regulating TNCs are adopted and the application is online a TNC must apply for a permit within 30 days. TDLR is currently developing the application process and data system. Join the TDLR email notification list to receive updates regarding the TNC program, including the application process.

6. When will TDLR adopt rules?

TDLR will announce the date the rules will be published in the Texas Register and the rule adoption date through our TDLR email notification list. Sign up now to receive up to the minute updates regarding the TNC permitting process.

TDLR began the rulemaking process by reaching out to stakeholders and consumers to get their input regarding transportation network companies. TDLR’s rulemaking process provides for public notice, public comment, and total transparency. Join the TDLR email notification list today.

7. Are transportation network company drivers required to get a permit or license from TDLR?

No, TNC drivers do not need a permit or license from TDLR. However, drivers must be approved by a TNC to drive for that company in accordance with state law.

8. What should I do if I have a complaint about a transportation network company driver?

Generally, consumers may direct issues or complaints about a driver to the TNC. In addition, House Bill 100 specifically provides that consumer complaints regarding a suspected violation of the TNC’s intoxicating substance policy may be made directly to the TNC through its Internet website.

9. What should I do if I have a complaint about a transportation network company?

Consumer complaints about a TNC operating in Texas can be sent to TDLR at: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/Complaints

10. How do I stay up-to-date about TDLR’s transportation network companies program?

Subscribe to TDLR’s email notifications and receive the latest TNC program updates.


Transportation Network Companies

1. What is a Transport Network Company (TNC)?

A TNC is a company that allows a passenger to arrange a ride through a digital network. The driver receives compensation for this service that is more than the driver’s costs of providing the ride. TNCs do not include street-hail taxicabs, limousines, shared expense carpool/vanpool arrangements or where the fee received does not exceed the cost of providing the ride.

2. Are ride-sharing and ride-hailing companies the same things as TNCs?

Yes, TNCs are often referred to as ride-sharing and ride-hailing companies.

3. How do I apply for a TNC permit?

TDLR is currently creating and finalizing the application processes and forms. Please sign up for email updates to receive notifications regarding this process. Applications are expected to be available on December 1, 2017.

4. How much are the TNC permit fees?

  • The original application fee is $10,500.
  • The renewal fee is $7,500.
  • Permit amendment fee is $25.
  • Address change fee is $25.
  • Name change fee is $25

5. For how long is a TNC permit valid?

TNC permits expire one year from the date it is issued.

6. Does the permit allow a TNC to operate anywhere in Texas?

Yes. The TNC permit issued by TDLR will allow the TNC to operate statewide.

7. Can a TNC operate at an airport with the permit issued by TDLR? Are there any other places a TNC may need a special permit/license to operate?

Yes. However, airports and governing bodies with jurisdiction over cruise ship terminals may adopt additional regulations and fees for a TNC operating at their location. These additional regulations may not conflict with state law.

 7. Are there age limits for TNC drivers?

Yes. A TNC driver must be at least 18 years of age.

8. What are the insurance requirements for a TNC?

A TNC driver or a TNC on the driver’s behalf must maintain primary automobile insurance as required by Texas Insurance Code 1954 while the driver is logged on to the TNC’s digital network and while engaged in a prearranged ride. The requirements for insurance may be satisfied by the TNC’s insurance, the TNC driver’s insurance or a combination of both.

See Texas Insurance Code 1954 for a full list of insurance requirements.

9. I have a social media account that connects riders and drivers for a fee. Do I need a TNC permit?

If the company or driver receive a fee that is more than the cost to provide the ride, a permit is required.

10. Do drivers on my company’s transportation network need a TDLR permit to drive?

No. Drivers must be authorized by the TNC to use its digital network and provide prearranged rides but do not need a separate permit from TDLR to act as a driver.

11. Are TNC drivers required to be drug tested?

A TNC company is required to maintain an Intoxicating Substance Policy that prohibits a driver who is logged in to the company’s digital network from any amount of intoxication. A pre-screen drug test for application is not required by TDLR. However, a TNC may choose to require a pre-screen drug test for its drivers.

12. Does my TNC have to keep records of all rides arranged through its network?

Yes. TNCs are required to keep all individual ride records for five years and driver records for at least five years after the date the driver ceases to be authorized as a driver for the TNC. A TNC is also required to keep records showing evidence of compliance with all state requirements for two years.

13. Is there a maximum number of drivers I can have for my TNC?

No. There is no limit on the number of drivers you have logged into your TNC in Texas or in specific regions at one time.

14. Does my TNC need to offer wheelchair-accessible transportation?

A TNC must provide the passenger an opportunity to indicate whether the passenger requires a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. If a wheelchair-accessible vehicle cannot be provided, the TNC must direct the passenger to an alternate provider of wheelchair-accessible service.

15. What is the Accessibility Pilot Program?

The Accessibility Pilot Program is a two-year pilot program offered in one of the four largest markets in which the TNC operates to offer its services to disabled persons using a fixed-frame wheelchair and make referrals to services that do not unreasonably delay the requested ride service. The reporting requirements can be found in the TNC Administrative Rules, effective December 1, 2017. For more information please contact Customer Service at 800-803-9202.

16. What are the reporting requirements of a TNC?

A TNC is required to submit to the department a report demonstrating its compliance with the Accessibility Pilot Program. The reporting requirements can be found in the TNC Administrative Rules, effective December 1, 2017. For more information please contact Customer Service at 800-803-9202.

17. Is a TNC driver an employee of the TNC?

No. Under Texas Occupations Code 2402.114 a TNC driver is considered an independent contractor if the company does not:

  • Prescribe the hours the driver is required to be logged into the digital network; or
  • Impose restrictions on the driver’s ability to use other transportation network companies’ digital networks; or
  • Limit the territory the driver may provide digitally prearranged rides; or
  • Restrict the driver from engaging in another occupation or business.

The TNC and driver may agree in writing that the driver is an independent contractor.

18. Can cities/municipalities contract with a TNC for large events?

Yes. A TNC may contract with a municipality or other entity for coordination of large events occurring in the municipality or entity’s jurisdiction. An agreement with the municipality or entity may not exclude a TNC from providing services at the event and must have comparable terms for each TNC providing services at the event.

19. Can a TNC share its data with a local municipality?

Yes. A TNC may voluntarily enter an agreement with a municipality to share its data.


TNC Drivers

1. Are drivers required to get a criminal background check? If so, how often?

Yes. A TNC must perform a background check on all their drivers. This check includes at a minimum a local, state, and national criminal background check that includes a commercial multistate and multijurisdictional criminal records locator or similar national database. The criminal background check must also include a background check that includes the national sex offender public website maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice or a successor agency.

A TNC must perform the background and driver history checks at least annually on each of its drivers.

2. Are TNC drivers required to be fingerprinted?

No. However, a TNC may choose to require fingerprinting of its drivers.  

3. What criminal history prevents me from being a TNC driver?

Individuals may not be a TNC driver if they were convicted of any of the following crimes in the preceding seven-year period:

  • use of a motor vehicle to commit a felony;
  • any felony crime involving property damage;
  • fraud;
  • theft;
  • An act of violence; or
  • An act of terrorism; or
  • driving while intoxicated

Individuals who are registered in the national sex offender public website maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice or a successor agency may not be a TNC driver.

4. What driving history prevents me from being a TNC driver?

Individuals with any of the following offenses in the previous three years may not be a TNC driver:

  • more than three offenses classified as moving violations; or
  • fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer; or
  • reckless driving; or
  • driving without a valid driver license.

5. I just moved to Texas and have an out of state driver license. Can I use this license to be a TNC driver until I get a Texas driver license?

Drivers who recently moved to Texas may use their out of state or District of Columbia driver license to work as a TNC driver in Texas. to determine how long you may drive in Texas using your out of state or District of Columbia license after moving.

6. What are the requirements for a TNC vehicle?

Vehicles must meet the requirements of and additionally must: have four doors; have a maximum passenger capacity of eight people including the driver; and be owned, leased, or rented by, or made available to, the driver. A TNC may have additional requirements for vehicles.

7. Since I’m driving my own car, can I decide whom I allow to ride in it?

No. A TNC driver may not prohibit or refuse a ride for a passenger based on location, destination, race, color, national origin, religious belief or affiliation, sex, disability, or age.

A TNC driver may only refuse a ride to a passenger acting in an unlawful, disorderly or endangering manner.

8. If a passenger has a service animal, do I have to allow the service animal in my car?

Yes. A TNC driver must provide service to passengers with a service animal.

9. As a TNC driver, do I need to get a license/permit from TDLR?

No. Only TNCs are licensed by TDLR. A driver must be approved and authorized by the TNC before being allowed to operate on the TNC’s digital network.

10. Are there age limits for TNC drivers?

You must be at least 18 years old to be a TNC driver.

11. Does my regular car insurance cover me while driving for a TNC?

Standard insurance companies may choose to deny coverage while operating as a TNC driver. Check with your insurance company and TNC to determine what coverage is provided.

12. What insurance minimums are required for a TNC driver?

A TNC driver or a TNC on the driver’s behalf must maintain primary automobile insurance as required by Texas Insurance Code 1954 while the driver is logged on to the TNC’s digital network and while engaged in a prearranged ride. The requirements for insurance may be satisfied by the TNC’s insurance, the TNC driver’s insurance or a combination of both.

See Texas Insurance Code 1954 for a full list of insurance requirements.

13. As a TNC driver, can I work for multiple TNCs?

Yes. You may work for multiple TNCs.

14. If a vehicle is approved for TNC use, can it also be used as a taxi or other form of vehicle-for-hire?

No. A TNC vehicle is a personal vehicle that is not a taxicab, limousine, or other vehicle regulated by a municipality or joint airport board.

15. Is a pedicab company considered a TNC?

Pedicab companies are not considered TNCs.

16. If I am stopped by a law enforcement officer or a government official enforcing TNC laws, do I have to give them anything other than my driver license?

Yes. On request of law enforcement or a government official you must display the digital identification and electronic proof that the ride was matched through the digital network. You do not have to relinquish control of your mobile device to display this information, but it must be presented.


TNC Passengers/Riders

1. Can I hail a Transportation Network Company (TNC) driver on the street or walk up to a marked TNC vehicle and ask for a ride?

No. TNC drivers are not allowed to accept street hails.

2. Are there penalties if TNCs do not comply with regulations?

Yes. TDLR may suspend or revoke a TNC’s permit to operate in Texas.

3. What measures are in place to ensure public safety?

  • A TNC must perform initial and annual criminal history and driving history checks at a minimum on all their drivers.
  • A TNC must perform annual sex offender checks at a minimum on all their drivers.
  • Passengers see a photo of the driver and the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle before getting into the vehicle. This allows passengers to know they have the right driver, who has been approved by the TNC to drive.
  • Most TNC apps allow you to provide feedback on your driver that other passengers and the TNC can see. This allows TNCs to take corrective action on problematic drivers.

4. Do TNCs prohibit drivers from driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol?

Yes. TNCs are required to maintain an intoxicating substance policy that prohibits a driver who is logged in to the company’s digital network from any amount of intoxication. The TNC must give passengers the ability to make a complaint against a driver who is suspected of violating this policy.

5. Where do I submit a complaint about a TNC driver?

Submit complaints about a TNC driver directly to the TNC either through the mobile app or the TNC’s web site.

6. Where do I submit a complaint about TNCs?

Complaints regarding the TNC itself can be sent to can be submitted to TDLR at online at https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/Complaints or by phone at 800-803-9202.

7. If TNC drivers use their own car, how do I know which car to get in?

Before getting into a car, a TNC must show you the driver’s photo and first name, and the make, model and license plate number of the driver’s vehicle. Additionally, some TNC’s drivers may choose to display ‘trade dress’ that includes the use of logos, lights, stickers, or car decorations that prompt a passenger to quickly identify their TNC driver.

8. What is surge pricing? Is it legal?

Surge pricing is when rates increase due to demand or limited number of drivers. Surge pricing is allowed.

9. Are TNC drivers licensed and trained?

TNC drivers must maintain a valid driver license to be logged into the TNC’s digital network and provide prearranged rides. Any training of drivers is performed by the TNC.

10. Are drivers required to be drug tested?

No. Pre-screened drug tests are not mandatory but may be performed by the TNC. The TNC must maintain an intoxicating substance policy that prohibits the driver from any form of intoxication while being logged into the TNC’s digital network.

11. Do I know how much my ride will cost?

A TNC must make available to you before getting into the vehicle the applicable rates and the option to receive an estimated fare. The TNC must also disclose the fare calculation method on its digital network.

12. Can a TNC release my personal information when I use its app?

Your personal information may only be disclosed to a third party if you consent or if the TNC is required to release the information by a legal obligation or to investigate a violation. A TNC may share your name with a driver to facilitate identification of the passenger or to help communication between the passenger and the driver.

13. Do I get a receipt for using a TNC service?

Yes. Within a reasonable time following the completion of the ride, the TNC must email or text a receipt to the passenger who requested the ride. The receipt must include the origin and destination of the ride, the total time and distance of the ride, and an itemization of the total fare paid.