NEW YORK (AP) — New York City officials have changed a rule governing what taxi drivers can wear — and it’s not too shabby.

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted unanimously to amend existing regulations to require that drivers maintain “a professional appearance.”

The previous rule had prohibited specific clothing from being worn as outerwear, such as underwear, tank tops, and swimwear.

The new rule emphasizes broad parameters, that a driver’s overall appearance has to be neat, clean and professional. TLC Commissioner David Yassky says ethnic and religious garb are welcome.

Drivers will face a $25 fine for any violation, but Yassky insisted before Thursday’s vote that there would be no fashion police.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (59)
  1. sh says:

    Why does veryoen have to make abig deal out of things? many proffesional jobs require fromal dresscode. So why should cab drivers be any different? I don’t think it makes them better drivers, but if there is a dress code who cares? But it is more important to me that they don’t smell!

  2. NewYawker says:

    This is sad. I myself have always loved those half-naked, sweaty taxi driver with a couple days worth of stubble, or the slickly-hot slightly greasy female taxi drivers who are driving a cab but looking for something a little extra on the side, both lurvvvve and money. The swarthy fellows want to give it to you and the slick females want to take it from you, but either way they were great in their time. And let’s face it, when you’ve spent an unsuccessful night clubbing in NYC, as you get dropped off at your $2,000 a month studio apartment what you’re looking for is a little “no strings attached” companionship.

    Man, this is sad. The grittiness of New York taxicab drivers is one of the things that’s always made people wonder: “Where has this cab been?”

  3. NotFondOfLibs says:

    So, in New York, does “professional appearance” mean the driver wears a jock strap and a “Go Jets” jersey? Just asking. All you little cowboys have a nice day.

    1. Paco says:

      I just told my cab driver “GO JETS” and he told me “I don’t want to leave” Do we have a English problem?

    2. Garr Obl says:

      I’d rather see them forced to take a shower and change their underwear now and then as opposed to a dress code.

  4. jr23 says:

    In most places in the USA big city the costs to the driver is extreme thats why you get the type of drivers a decent persons won;t take the job the medallion cost
    regulation rental of the car fees to the city airports take a cut if the driver doesn’t\
    work 60 to 72 hours a week he barely makes a living
    and some citys come up with new regulations and fees on a whim because the drivers have no recourse.
    there are no benefits, vac or retirement .
    the charge on the meter doesn’t all go to the driver theres car rental in most cases the driver cannot own the cab medallion owner(there owned by investors in most cases or the co that rents the cab)parking tickets
    gas and if the hit a pothole on one of the great maintained streets and a taxi inspector and some places police they can be fined if they loose a hub cap.
    also radio dispatch and some places a gps meter has to be rented
    so if a driver makes 5 an hour there lucky

    1. PHIL says:

      jr23 speaks the truth!

  5. cop says:

    How bout they just start with not smelling bad.

    1. NotFondOfLibs says:

      I’m certainly willing to contribute to a case of Right Guard if I ever have to visit NY

  6. deowll says:

    I don’t care if they wear a sack. Just show up on time. Take me directly to where I’m going for a reasonable price.Leave off the profanity and abusive language.

  7. John C says:

    Does this mean they’ll have to take baths more than once a week?

    1. Buck N Farack says:

      Dam, that was what I wanted to post! LOL

    2. Rick says:

      Once a week? I’d be happy with once a month. Nasty!

  8. Sal Monella says:

    Japanese cabbies are courteous (open the door for you) , the cabs are spotless and there is no tipping. did they lose the war?

    1. Pete Nole says:

      Plus they all wear a shirt and tie, a cap, and…white gloves.!

  9. Enery Iggins says:

    Ello mates! Oim from merry ole england oie es. Ova ea wees a bunch o geezers be eyend da weeeo. A right smack adoo. Bluh eee fooos eye.

    1. NotFondOfLibs says:

      You’re cut off. Finish your pint and hit the trail.

  10. Laurie 1 says:

    Auckland, New Zealand, all taxi drivers must wear a white shirt, blue tie, grey trousers, black shoes. Uniform jacket available. All dress alike, clothing available cheap on bulk order. Neat, tidy, non controversial appearance ensues.

  11. Percy Wonderfulllll says:

    I looove it when those fellas handle their devices while they drive! Yeehaw cowboy! How do I get you to hang onto my saddle horn?

  12. KT says:

    I’m starting a campaign; it’s called “Stop Tipping Cab Drivers Who Are On The Phone”! I don’t care what they wear, as long as they are clothed. I don’t want to hear their phone conversations and it’s illegal for cab drivers to be on hand held devices. Join Me Today! Pay your fare but no tip if they talk!

    1. KT says:

      It’s also illegal for cab drivers to be on hands free devices!

  13. eugene#1 says:

    A little cultural sensitivity here please. Do you not remember what our president asked us for last week even? Duhhh. We have to share this planet.
    Peace out.

    1. Real Rick says:

      C’mon Eugene, that’s no fun!

  14. Cogito says:

    The next important piece of legislation will require taxi drivers to issue prophylactics to couples (both male and female) who ride in the back seat.

  15. Chris says:

    I’d be equally concerned about hygene. They may dress neat, but that will do nothing to hide the smell of not bathing for a week at a time.

    1. ed says:

      Apparently you are not concerned enough to learn how to spell “hygiene”. LOL. What a moron.

  16. Callie369 says:

    dobromski wrote, “Thanks a lot Sarah Palin!!!”

    Are you nuts?? I suppose she is to blame for you being an idiot too.

  17. Jim says:

    I would like to see a dress code for NYC School teachers.

  18. jesus says:

    its bad enough these guys have to worry about being robbed, stabbed and/or killed by lower income city dwellers. who cares what they wear as long as they are honest and get people from a to b safely

  19. dobromski says:

    Thanks a lot Sarah Palin!!!

    1. borntobePolitical says:

      I thought it was Bush?

      1. doh-bromski says:

        It was Cheney.

    2. elsargento says:


  20. Bach Seetstayen says:

    First, as a frequent NY taxi PAX, I’ve greater concern regarding the biochemistry of the many mysterious passenger seat stains than the driver’s clothing selection. By contrast. “developing nation” Beijing taxis that I’ve taken have had freshly laundered white linen seat covers and spotless interiors. At $600,000 valuation for each NY taxi hood medallion, one would think that providing heightened compartment cleanliness has greater merit than directing an unenforcible driver dress code.

    Second, NY taxi drivers pose a problem for tourists by electing longer, more costly “scenic routes” to a destination than for street-wise New Yorkers. This is a universal problem without a solution.

    Third, with many drivers being expatriots from the Caribbean, central Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia and Arab states, assuring English mastery rates higher than driver apparel.

    Bottom Line — before hailing your NYC cab, stock up on rags, city maps, 409 cleaner, Lysol, and phrase books in French, Arabic, Russian, Slovakian, Swahili, Nigerian, and Hoboken. Oh yes, and dollar bills for tips, and liquid CO2 for bed bug control.

    1. bye George says:

      You right about the unsought scenic tours one can…as many a visitor has experienced…most prefer getting kissed before getting f….d…bye George…(~.-)

    2. RJHJ says:

      “Second, NY taxi drivers pose a problem for tourists by electing longer, more costly “scenic routes” to a destination than for street-wise New Yorkers. This is a universal problem without a solution.”

      It’s called GPS. Make all cabs install Garmin or other brands and put it where the passenger can see it. It should always be set for shortest route.

  21. Paul says:

    how about teaching them how to drive and speak English first???

    1. Chicago Nick says:

      Oh that would be racist Paul, we can’t make people comprende da English!!! 😉

      I agree…..flippin’ Idiotic politico’s, wrong place wrong thing always at the wrong time.

  22. Justin says:

    I think its long over due that federal employees and I mean ALL OF THEM have a dress code + a uniform. ALL OF THEM. No long hair or facial hair. Professional looks.

    1. JW says:

      Nanny Nanny Nanny Goat…I mean govenment

    2. SerfOfObama says:

      And a cellophane bag over the head.

    3. Chicago Nick says:

      How about just firing about 2/3rd’s of them for being worthless in the first place?

      I’m all for that

  23. Rick says:

    In London it takes two to three years to learn the city and pass the taxi drivers test to get a license. The must not only know where to go but take the shortest route (if they take a longer route because of traffic they ask you if it is o.k. In tokyo they not only know where to go but they are clean, don’t smell and dress like a professional..

    1. Gregg says:

      Rick , having lived in London and travelled Japan ,you are 100% correct. I hate taking taxi’s in New York. Years ago the taxi drivers were great in New York being Italion,Jewish and Irish. TLC has to be corrupt !!

      1. Jimmy says:

        A $12 ride in NYC would cost you over $40 in London.

  24. Darrin says:

    NYC – what a freakin’ joke of a city!

    1. Chicago Nick says:

      My city’s a bigger joke than your city Darrin!! These nimrods allow illegals to get sanctuary in this dump 20 miles safely to the south of me here. 🙁

      They and the ghetto-ites have turned it into a third world dump thanks to Barney Rubble Daley.

  25. Donald says:

    Only a bureaucrat would find this fluff more important than the basics like knowing the language or the routes. As long as they’re sufficiently covered up and don’t stink, that’s all I care about concerning their attire.

    Let me guess… did Bloomberg push for this? Because it sounds like one of his junk schemes.

    1. Barb says:

      Exactly! Who cares what they wear? They drive around all day, and should be comfortable. And as you said, as long as it’s somewhat decent and they driver doesn’t stink, let it be.

  26. Sandra says:

    How can you enforce this is the Cab Company is a private Corp? I would be more concerned with the smell and if they are honest and can communicate.

    1. Frank says:

      I agree. Every time I go home to visit, the smell on some of these cab drivers can be overwhelming. Back in the day, you were able to have a conversation on the way to your home or where ever. Now you can’t wait to get to where you are going because the silence is pretty creepy.

  27. Hank Warren says:

    Useless gov’t politicians and their absurd laws, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  28. Pat Curtis says:

    Can you imagine if the city tried to place these same requirements on its own City Workers! The unions would shut down NYC!

    1. SerfOfObama says:

      Let’s call the bluff. The city could get a part-time high school student to replace every 20 of them for about $12/hr.

  29. Common Sense is my Middle Name says:

    I just wanted to add that I don’t care what the driver is wearing. I’m not such a shallow person that I would pass judgement on someone based on his/her modest clothing. Just please don’t stink!!

    1. gregg says:

      I agree,and know where you are going and speak English ! I take a taxi in NYC everyday and when I ask the driver if he knows how to get to wall street from mid-town,most of the time they don’t even answer me and when they tell me yes they do -they go the wrong way.Years ago it was a pleasure to take a cab in NYC as they drivers were friendly ,spoke english and knew directions !

  30. Dr. Bombay says:

    “Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.”
    – Henry David Thoreau

  31. Common Sense is my Middle Name says:

    Who is going to enforce this rule? Don’t the cops have enough to do without checking to see if some cabby is wearing his underwear as outerwear? I’m tired of bureaucrats with waaaay too much time on their hands passing dumb laws in order to justify their reason for collecting a paycheck from overtaxed taxpayers. Cab drivers are adults. Surely they can dress themselves. If their personal hygiene is so bad that passengers have to ride with their heads out the window, then the passengers should not be generous with their tips and they should comment about the cabbbie’s horriffic B.O. before they bolt from the car.

    Problem solved!

    1. Other Mr T. says:

      See, cops don’t do that in NYC., that would make too much sense. Instead we have this Taxi and Limousine Commission. Their inspectors are the ones who are supposed to do that. It’s one of the most corrupt municipal agencies in NYC. These people are as corrupt as Mexican cops. Yassky is a failed politician and a Bloomberg hack. This man is as clueless about regulating taxi business, as Cathy Black is about public education policy. Yassky never owned a medallion, never held a hack license, never driven a cab, no academic background in anything even remotely related to transportation management or urban traffic management policy. Yassky’s job is to squeeze the hell out of the taxi nusiness in New York. This is a parasite lawyer and a political opportunist who runs an agency like he is a poliician running an election campaign: in the Mass media! This is why few people want to invest in small businesses, like a taxi medallion, in NYC. You are beset with predatory (usually corrupt) regulation agencies, coming up with nonsense ‘regulations’ like ‘professional’ dress codes for drivers who work 12 hr shift, outdoors.

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