Dear PoPville – Why Do Some Cabs Have Two License Plates?

by Prince Of Petworth — February 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm 13 Comments

Dear PoPville,

Recently, I’ve seen a number of cabs around (and I don’t think they have all been from the same company) that have DC plates with a VA plate sort-of tacked on below the original, as in the attached photo. What’s that about? Is it so they can pick-up in both places? Or because the operators of the vehicles live in VA but drive in DC? If that’s the case, it seems like about 90% of cabs in DC would be required to have two license plates. I noticed that they had seemingly removed the area code of the phone number that was painted on the side of the taxi, too.

  • Doc

    I always assumed it was so they could operate in multiple jurisdictions, but perhaps it’s because they live in another jurisdiction and need to have their car legally registered there as well. Will be interested to hear a definitive answer from someone who knows.

    • ah

      This is my assumption – second plate is because they live elsewhere and want to park on the street.

      The pictured cab (and others like it I’ve seen) has a taxi plate for DC, where it can operate as a taxi (including taking people to/from DC).

      The Virginia plate is not a taxi plate. Besides, it’s not the plate but the taxi license that makes it legal for them to act as a taxi in a given locale.

  • Grand Funk

    So they can claim the other one when they refuse to pick you up while on duty

    • Ben

      If only PoP had a like function….

  • Anonymous Coward

    And what’s with taxis with DC tags overnighting in VA? how is that legal?

    • ah

      Why would it be illegal? Other than perhaps violating a parking restriction, how is it different from me or you (at least if your car is registered in DC) from spending a night in Virginia?

  • Tim

    I thought it was illegal to register a car in two states.

    • saf

      Private car, yes. Livery vehicle, no.

  • Does anyone use Google?


    It’s so that the vehicle can be a) legally garaged in Virginia (where the owner ostensibly lives) while b) legally being used as a DC cab.

    • Brightwood
    • I often wonder this same thing when people post ridiculous questions on facebook, assuming their fb friend community will have the best answer that’s out there.

    • My cab had this last week, so I asked. This is almost right.
      It is so the driver can park the cab on the street in Virginia (mostly Fairfax county). If they have a garage – then they don’t need the second license plate.


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