Wicomico County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted 1959 Code, secs. 508, 509 and 510. 1945, Ch. 671, secs. 397A, 397B and 397C. Amended in its entirety by the County Council 6-24-1997 by Bill No. 1997-3. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Taxicab companies —  See Anno. Code of Md. (1957), Art. 78, § 45 et seq.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
In order to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Wicomico County and other persons who may use taxicab facilities therein, the County Council is hereby authorized and empowered to enact, amend and repeal ordinances to fix requirements for the ownership and operation of taxicabs in Wicomico County. The regulation herein provided for the taxicab industry for Wicomico County shall be in addition to any regulation by the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Public Service Commission of Maryland.
In this chapter the following words have the meanings indicated:
CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCE
Has the meaning stated in Article 27, § 277 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
DEPARTMENT
The Wicomico County Office of Sheriff.
OWNER
The person or business entity in whose name a taxicab is registered with the Motor Vehicle Administration of the State of Maryland.
PERMIT
A permit issued under this chapter to operate a taxicab in the county.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization.
TAXICAB
A motor vehicle for hire designed to carry seven persons or less, including the driver, operated upon any public street or highway in Wicomico County or, on call or demand, accepting or soliciting passengers indiscriminately for transportation for hire between such points along public streets or highways in Wicomico County as may be directed by the passenger or passengers so being transported, provided that nothing in this chapter shall be construed to include as a taxicab a motor vehicle operated, with the approval of the Public Service Commission of Maryland, on fixed routes and schedules.
The provisions of this chapter are applicable to any taxicab which picks up any passenger in Wicomico County outside the corporate limits of any municipality or other jurisdiction. The provisions of this chapter may also be made applicable within the corporate limits of any municipality which so requests, provided that an appropriate agreement has first been executed between the county and the municipality.
A. 
An individual shall not operate a taxicab in the county without first obtaining a valid taxi driver's permit.
B. 
An owner of a taxicab shall not allow the taxicab to be operated by a driver without a valid taxi driver's permit.
A. 
An applicant shall submit an application to the Department. The application shall contain, but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) 
The applicant's name, current residence, residence(s) for the previous year, date of birth, race, height, weight, hair color, eye color, place of birth and motor vehicle driver's license number;
(2) 
The applicant's previous employer;
(3) 
A copy of the applicant's current driving record, including traffic violations, if any, from the Motor Vehicle Administration of the applicant's state of residence;
(4) 
The business address and telephone number from which the applicant will operate.
(5) 
A criminal justice information system (CJIS) Central Repository application for a criminal record check and the required fee to the CJIS Central Repository and a release of the information to the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department.
[Added 2-25-1998 by Bill No. 1998-4]
B. 
The applicant shall obtain from the Department two photographs: one shall be attached to the permit when issued and one shall be attached to the application.
C. 
Upon receipt of a completed application, the Department shall issue a temporary taxi driver's permit which shall be valid for no more than 30 days. Within 48 hours of issuance of the temporary permit, the applicant shall submit to the Department the results of a drug screening test from a laboratory certified to engage in testing for controlled dangerous substances by the Maryland Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.
D. 
The Department shall inquire into the applicant's qualifications, including a criminal and driving record check, and, within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the application and drug screening test results, the Department shall either approve or deny the issuance of a permit. In the case of approval, the Department shall notify the applicant in writing of the approval and shall issue a permit on a form established by the Department. In the case of denial, the Department shall notify the applicant in writing of the denial. The notice of denial shall inform the applicant that he has the right of appeal to the Board of Appeals.
[Amended 2-25-1998 by Bill No. 1998-4; 7-6-2004 by Bill No. 2004-6]
A. 
To qualify for a permit, an applicant shall:
(1) 
Submit an application to the Department in accordance with this chapter.
(2) 
Possess a valid motor vehicle driver's license and shall be at least 18 years old.
(3) 
Be able to understand the English language well enough to complete the permit application satisfactorily.
B. 
The Department may refuse to issue or renew a driver's permit if the driver:
(1) 
Does not meet a qualification for the permit;
(2) 
Has had any taxicab driver's permit or a similar license or permit revoked once or suspended twice; or
(3) 
Makes a material false statement on the application.
(4) 
Has been convicted of a crime that bears a direct relationship to the driver's fitness to serve the public as a taxicab driver.
[Added 2-25-1998 by Bill No. 1998-4]
A. 
An owner of a taxicab shall not allow the taxicab to be operated in the county without a valid owner's permit issued to the owner by the Department.
B. 
An owner of a taxicab shall not allow the taxicab to be operated in the county without the minimum liability insurance coverage required by the State of Maryland.
C. 
To qualify for a taxicab owner's license:
(1) 
A taxicab owner must be in compliance with all applicable provisions of Chapter 225, Zoning, and possess all applicable permits.
(2) 
A taxicab owner shall pay the required fee.
(3) 
A taxicab owner shall submit a taxicab owner's permit application, on a form supplied by the Department, that includes the following information:
(a) 
The make, year, model, serial number and registration number of each taxicab;
(b) 
The owner's name and address and, if a corporate owner, the name and address of the current resident agent for the corporation;
(c) 
The trade name under which the taxicab will be operated; and
(d) 
The Wicomico County address and telephone number from which the taxicab will be operated.
D. 
If more than one person owns a taxicab, any one of them may apply for a permit.
E. 
If a corporation applies for a permit, the application shall include the names and addresses of all persons holding a twenty-five-percent or greater ownership interest in the corporation.
F. 
The Department may refuse to issue or renew an owner's permit if the owner:
(1) 
Does not meet a qualification for the permit;
(2) 
Has had any taxicab owner's permit revoked once or suspended twice; or
(3) 
Makes a material false statement on the application.
A. 
Permit fees applicable under this chapter shall be as follows:
(1) 
Owner's permit: $10 per year.
(2) 
Drug screening tests: The taxi driver shall be responsible for all costs associated with the initial test upon application and for the first random test each year. In the event that an individual is selected for random testing more than once per license year, the county shall bear all costs associated with said tests and shall select the testing facility.
B. 
Permit fees shall not be prorated for portions of a year.
A. 
Each person who holds a driver's permit shall conspicuously display the permit in the taxicab while operating a taxicab in the county.
B. 
Each driver's permit issued under this chapter shall expire on the date one year from the date of issuance. The initial issuance of permits shall be on a staggered basis as determined by the Department.
A. 
A taxi driver's permit may be renewed if the driver is in compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
B. 
An owner's permit may be renewed if the owner pays the renewal fee and is in compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
A taxicab owner or driver shall notify the Department of a change in business address or telephone number, in writing, within three business days.
[Amended 10-17-2006 by Bill No. 2006-11]
The Department shall establish a system to have taxi driver's permit holders randomly tested for the use of controlled dangerous substances. When an individual is selected for testing pursuant to said system, he or she shall be notified by the Department. Within 48 hours of notification, the individual shall submit to a drug screening test at an approved facility of his or her choice. Approved facilities shall be those facilities certified by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
A. 
The Department may revoke or suspend a person's driver's permit if it finds:
(1) 
Facts existing prior or subsequent to the issuance of a driver's permit that would be cause under this chapter for refusal to issue or renew a permit;
(2) 
A violation of this chapter by the driver;
(3) 
That the driver has procured or attempted to procure a license or permit through fraud, misrepresentation, a false or misleading statement or an omission of material facts;
(4) 
That the driver has operated or allowed a taxicab to be operated in a manner that endangers the public health, safety or welfare;
(5) 
The driver's motor vehicle operating privileges have been suspended or revoked;
(6) 
The driver tests positive for the presence of a controlled dangerous substance as the result of a test administered under § 205-12 of this chapter. The first positive test shall result in a suspension of the driver's permit until the driver has, at his own expense, successfully completed a rehabilitation program. A second positive test shall result in revocation of the driver's permit; or
(7) 
The driver refuses to consent to a test required by the Department under § 205-12 of this chapter.
B. 
In the event that the Department revokes or suspends the permit of a driver, the driver's permit shall be immediately returned to the Department and the driver's employer shall be notified of the suspension or revocation.
C. 
The Department may revoke or suspend a person's owner's permit if it finds:
(1) 
Facts existing prior or subsequent to the issuance of a owner's permit that would be cause under this chapter for refusal to issue or renew a permit;
(2) 
A violation of this chapter by the owner;
(3) 
That the owner has operated or allowed a taxicab to be operated in a manner that endangers the public health, safety or welfare.
A. 
Upon determination to revoke or suspend a owner's or driver's permit, the Department shall:
(1) 
Notify the holder of the permit of the Department's decision in writing by certified mail; and
(2) 
State the reasons for the Department's action.
B. 
The holder of an owner's or driver's permit revoked or suspended by the Department may, within 10 days of the decision, appeal the Department's decision to the Board of Appeals. The hearing before the Board of Appeals shall be conducted within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the notice of appeal.
[Amended 7-6-2004 by Bill No. 2004-6]
[Amended 10-24-2000 by Bill No. 2000-9]
Any person who shall operate a taxicab in the county without a valid taxi driver's permit and any person who shall permit such operation of a taxicab in violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a civil violation and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 per violation. The office of the Sheriff or his designee is hereby authorized to issue citations for civil infractions of this chapter. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.