BAY SHORE - Suffolk County is preparing to increase regulations for taxi and limousine drivers.
The new Suffolk County Taxi & Limousine Commission has oversight rules similar to those in place in Nassau County and New York City. Beginning at the end of the month, taxi and limousine drivers must register their license and photo I.D., get fingerprinted for a criminal background check and submit to drug and alcohol testing.
The proposal would also make the fee for a license $50 each year. Taxi companies will have to pay a one-time fee of $300 a year per vehicle and an annual fee of $250 per vehicle.
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While some cab drivers claim the commission is just a way to gain extra taxi revenue, Suffolk County Labor Commissioner Frank Nardelli says that's not the case.
"You want to know whether that driver has been convicted in a criminal court, whether or not he's been charged with DWI or drug possession, those types of things," Nardelli says.
Some critics have also complained that it took Suffolk County over a year to get the program going.
"With most things, government operates at a snail's pace unfortunately. And this is certainly an example of that, says Legislator Tom Cilmi.
Commissioner Nardelli says the registration website will be fully functional by the end of the month.