If you are an Uber or yellow cab taxi driver in New York City, you must have a TLC driver’s license. In case of arrest, such a TLC license will be suspended shortly after your arrest. However, after TLC license suspension, the driver will be allowed to request and appear at the administrative hearing. At such a hearing you can try to convince the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) to recommend the Commissioner of TLC to restore your license while your case is pending. Recently such hearings were conducted virtually but at any point, the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (“OATH”) may require an in-person appearance. It is your right to have an attorney experienced in conducting TLC license suspension hearings to represent you.
According to TLC Rules, the Chairperson can summarily suspend a TLC driver’s license based upon criminal charges pending against a Licensee if the Chairperson believes that the charges, if true, would demonstrate that continued licensure would constitute a direct and substantial threat to public health or safety. Such charges include but are not limited to the following:
(i) Any charge for a crime which constitutes a felony;
(ii) Or any charge for the following offenses:
If the Respondent requests a Summary TLC License Suspension hearing, the Commission must schedule such hearing to be held within 10 calendar days of receipt of the Respondent’s request.
According to NYC TLC Rule 68-15(d)(5), at the Summary TLC license suspension hearing, TLC must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning more likely than not or 51%) that the charges pending against you (the Respondent) if true demonstrate that the continuation of your license during the pendency of the criminal charges would pose a direct and substantial threat to public health or safety. At the hearing, TLC has the burden of proof. The purpose of the hearing is not to determine whether you are guilty of the pending criminal charge(s). Instead, an administrative law judge will determine whether the reinstatement of your license while criminal charges are pending would pose a direct and substantial threat to public safety.
At the hearing, both TLC and the Respondent may present evidence relevant to the determination, including, but not limited to:
(i) The particular facts and circumstances underlying the criminal charges, including the connection between the alleged offense and the Respondent’s duties and responsibilities as a driver licensed by the Commission;
(ii) The Respondent’s driving record, including any history of serious violations or TLC license suspension under these Rules or applicable provisions of law relating to traffic or Vehicles licensed by the Commission;
(iii) The Respondent’s previous criminal record, or lack thereof;
(iv) The Respondent’s character and standing in the community; and
(v) Any other evidence relevant to whether continued licensure of the Respondent during the pendency of criminal charges would pose a direct and substantial threat to public health or safety.
Administrative Law Judge must render his or her decision within ten business days from the close of the record of the Summary TLC License Suspension hearing. If the Recommended Decision is not rendered within this deadline, the TLC license suspension will immediately be lifted until the Chair’s decision is rendered. TLC can accept, reject, or modify the Recommended Decision in a written decision that includes the reasons therefor. TLC may not reject or modify the Recommended Decision without setting forth a reasonable basis for doing so. TLC must render a decision on continued TLC license suspension within twenty calendar days of the date of the Recommended Decision, but only after promptly providing the Respondent a copy of the Recommended Decision and an opportunity to respond to the Recommended Decision within ten calendar days. If TLC does not render a decision within the 20-day period, the TLC license suspension must be lifted until such action is taken by the TLC’s Chairperson.
Within five (5) business days of receiving a Recommended Decision recommending that the TLC license suspension be lifted, the Chairperson must: (i) accept the recommendation and lift the TLC license suspension, or (ii) provide the Respondent notice that the Recommended Decision may be rejected or modified, and the reasons therefor, and ten calendar days to respond in writing to such notice. TLC must render a decision within five business days of receiving a response from the Respondent to such notice. If TLC fails to meet these deadlines, the TLC license suspension will immediately be lifted until the Chair’s decision is rendered.
Notwithstanding the procedures for lifting a TLC license suspension during the pendency of criminal charges as described above, once your criminal case is over you must obtain from the Court’s clerk a Certificate of Disposition and bring it to TLC. Within one business day of receipt of a certificate of disposition indicating that the charges against you have been dismissed, withdrawn, reduced to an offense not specified at the beginning of this article, or otherwise disposed of in a similar manner, TLC license suspension must be lifted. In all other cases, within five business days of receiving from the Respondent a certificate of disposition of the criminal charges, TLC must either lift TLC license suspension or commence revocation proceedings. If you have any questions about TLC license suspension due to an arrest please contact our office.