Safety standards for taxis

At a glance:

  • only taxis can do unbooked work
  • taxis must have a roof light and sign displaying the word ‘TAXI’. ‘CAB’ or ‘CABS’
  • duress alarms and vehicle tracking systems need to be installed in all taxis providing services in Sydney, Wollongong, the Central Coast and Newcastle
  • new specifications for fare calculation devices (meters) and security cameras will be phased in by late 2018

The laws outline safety standards for vehicles used as taxis. It is a condition of authorisation that Taxi Service Providers comply with these standards.

Affiliated providers, the licence holder and the owner of the taxi also have obligations relating to the safety standards, and face penalties for non-compliance.

This page contains the following information:

Read the Safety Standards for Taxis fact sheet for more information.

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Safety standards

Authorised Taxi Service Providers, Affiliated Taxi Service Providers and licence holders (Affiliated Providers are usually the holder of the licence) must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the following safety standards are complied with.


Vehicle registration

The vehicle must be appropriately registered and safe to be driven on the road.

Taxis need to have annual pink slip registration inspections even if the vehicle is less than 5 years old.

Third Party Property insurance

The taxi must be covered by a valid insurance policy for third party property damage with cover of at least $5 million.

Maintenance and repairs

Vehicles must be regularly maintained, consistent with the manufacturer’s recommendations and any maintenance and repairs (excluding minor repairs) must be performed by a licensed mechanic.

Basic maintenance such as oil changes, spark plug replacements and tyre changes do not need to be carried out by a mechanic.

Records of all maintenance and repairs carried out on a vehicle should also be kept.

An easy way to stay on top of things is by keeping a maintenance schedule that allows all of the information to be kept in one place.

Signs, lights and markings (not applicable to the vehicle owner)


Roof light and sign:
A taxi that does unbooked work must have a roof sign that displays the word ‘TAXI’ in black lettering at least 70mm high and a roof light that is clearly visible in daylight from a distance of 40m. The roof light must be lit when the taxi is available for hire, but not lit at any other times. Since 27 July 2018, an exemption has been in place that allows taxis to display the words 'CAB' or 'CABS' rather than 'TAXI' in their roof signs.

A taxi that does unbooked work must be painted or marked so that it’s clearly identifiable as a taxi. It must prominently display the name, logo and contact information of the authorised Taxi Service Provider.


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Specified safety standards for authorised Taxi Service Providers, Affiliated Taxi Service Providers and licence holders

Authorised Taxi Service Providers, Affiliated Taxi Service Providers and licence holders must not contravene a specified list of safety standards, inlcuding:

Accommodation standards

A taxi must be able to seat the driver and at least four adults, but no more than 11 passengers.

It must also have at least four side doors, unless it is a maxi taxi or a wheelchair accessible taxi.

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Wheelchair accessible vehicles

A wheelchair accessible taxi must meet specific Australian Standards for hoists, tie downs and ramps for wheelchair accessible vehicles.

New requirements for wheelchair accessible vehicles

The space where a wheelchair is carried inside a vehicle must be at least 130cm long, 80cm wide and 150cm high, with no intrusions except for seatbelt devices.

Existing vehicles must be adapted within two years, while new vehicles must be fitted to the new requirements.

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Fare calculation devices (meters)

New specifications for fare calculation devices apply which require taxis doing unbooked work to have a working, tamper resistant meter, with a display that is visible to all passengers.

The device must:

  • be securely fixed to the taxi or secured properly in a mounting which is designed for the purpose, in a way which is not likely to cause injury to passengers or the driver
  • display the fare, including any fees, charges or tolls, in Australian dollars
  • be capable of accurately calculating the authorised fare

New specifications coming into effect in late 2018

All taxis that do unbooked work must upgrade their meters before 1 November 2018 when the new requirements come into effect.

In the meantime, all taxis must still have a device that complies with the specifications set out in the Passenger Transport Regulation 2007.

Display of information

The following information must be displayed inside a taxi which does unbooked work and be visible to all passengers:

  • the registration number of the taxi (e.g. T1234)
  • contact information for the authorised Taxi Service Provider
  • how a fare is calculated and if any additional charges apply, including cleaning fees

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Security camera systems

Taxis doing unbooked work must be fitted with a working security camera system that meets specifications published by Transport for NSW.

They must have signs on the inside and outside of the taxi informing people they may be under video surveillance while in or near the taxi.

Video recordings are disposed of no earlier than 30 days, and before 60 days, unless requested by the Point to Point Transport Commission or NSW Police.

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Duress alarms and vehicle tracking systems for taxis in Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong

Taxis doing unbooked work in Sydney and some parts of NSW must be fitted with a working duress alarm and vehicle tracking system that complies with new standards set by Transport for NSW.

This new requirement applies only to taxis in the following Transport Districts: Metropolitan (Sydney), Newcastle and Wollongong, and the Central Coast local government area.

Note: If taxis in your fleet do unbooked work outside these areas, it may still be a good idea to have these facilities in your taxis. You should make a risk assessment in consultation with your affiliated providers and drivers about whether these facilities would be reasonable measures to help you mitigate safety risks to drivers and passengers.

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