The Office of Public Carrier ("OPC") regulates the operation of taxicabs, limousines, charter buses and non-emergency ambulances ("Public Carriers"), and Transportation Network Companies ("TNC") such as Uber and Lyft.
Public Carrier Definition of Services
A Public Carrier is any individual or business entity that picks-up and drops-off passengers within the State of Delaware for compensation. To operate as a Public Carrier an individual or business entity must obtain and maintain a Delaware business license, an OPC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity ("Certificate") and register all vehicles with a Division of Motor Vehicles (2 Del C, c. 18, §1801). An individual or business entity may seek a Certificate by completing an OPC application which is available on this website or through the OPC.
Public Carrier Exempted Services
Individuals or business entities that transport students to and from school or school-sponsored events under regulation by the Department of Public Instruction do not need a Certificate to operate. Individuals or entities that transport people to and from a church, synagogue or place of worship are exempted from regulation. Shuttle-type transportation services provided by business establishments without charge to customers are also not subject to OPC regulation. Lastly, any individual or business that picks-up passengers in Delaware and drops them off at a location out of state, or vice-versa, are not subject to OPC regulation.
Benefit of Public Carrier Regulation
Public Carriers are regulated to protect and promote public safety by:
- Requiring Public Carrier vehicles to be inspected twice a year.
- Requiring Public Carriers to undergo random on the street safety inspections.
- Requiring Public Carriers to maintain statutory insurance coverages.
- Requiring Public Carrier owners and employees to pass a State and Federal background check that verifies that they do not have adverse driving records, and/or have not been convicted of a felonious or infamous crime.
- Requiring Public Carriers maintain compliant, mandatory vehicle maintenance records, trip logs and driver listings.
- Requiring Public Carriers to display medallions and their Certificate to the public.
Definition of a TNC
TNC's are companies that provide ride services through an on-line app. TNC's rides are provided by individuals who are hired by the TNC to transport people using their personal vehicles. These individuals are independent contractors. All ride services are arranged through the TNC app and a TNC driver cannot pick-up passengers unless directed by the app.
Benefit of TNC Regulation
TNC's are regulated to protect and promote public safety by:
- Requiring TNC's and TNC drivers to maintain statutory insurance coverage's.
- Requiring TNC drivers to pass a State and Federal background check that verifies that they do not have adverse driving records, and/or have not been convicted of a felonious or infamous.
- Requiring TNC drivers to undergo a quarterly audit conducted by the OPC
OPC Contact Information
The OPC is part of the Delaware Department of Transportation's ("DelDOT") Delaware Transit Corporation ("DTC"). The office is located at:
Delaware Transit Corporation's, New Castle County Administrative Office
119 Lower Beech Street
Wilmington, Delaware, 19805
(Corner of Maryland Ave. and Lower Beech Street)
800-652-3278, Option 7
Other Important Numbers and Information
To obtain a Delaware Business License, contact the Division of Revenue by calling: 302.744.1085 (Dover), 302.856.5358 (Georgetown), or 302.577.8200 (Wilmington).
To register your business with the Delaware Secretary of State, contact the Division of Corporations at 302.739.3073.
To obtain information regarding interstate operation (crossing state lines) please contact the:
U.S. Department of Transportation,
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
300 S. New Street, Suite 2101
Dover, DE 19904