Transporting for Hire - transporting persons, freight, or property

Transporting for Hire - transporting persons, freight, or property

The Vehicle for Hire program regulates the operations of taxi, livery, limousine, and transportation network companies also known as rideshare. (24)

Contact: Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Services, Professional Services: Vehicle for Hire Licensing, 602.712.5948


A transportation business may be subject to additional licensing/permitting with the Arizona Department of Transportation. (24)

Contact: Arizona Department of Transportation: Motor Vehicle Services


If you plan to offer passenger transport to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or Tucson International Airport, contact them for requirements. (24)

City of Phoenix, Sky Harbor International Airport, Aviation Department, Ground Transportation Office, 602.273.3383
Tucson Airport Authority Ground Transportation Office, 520.573.8100


The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) is charged by state law with enforcing rules and regulations governing the safety operations of motor carriers, shippers and vehicles transporting hazardous materials. (24)

Contact: Arizona Department of Public Safety: Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE)


CVE troopers and professional staff administer the state regulations governing tow trucks, school buses, and school bus drivers. They also inspect commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), school buses, and tow trucks to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. (24)

Contact: Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS): Tow Service Program


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) monitors and ensures compliance with motor carrier safety (all carriers) and commercial (for-hire, non-exempt carriers) regulations. Companies may find they are subject to registration requirements for both safety (safety registration) and commercial regulation (operating authority registration). Companies subject to the safety requirements are also required to obtain a USDOT Number. (24)

Contact: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 


Offerors and transporters of certain quantities and types of hazardous materials, including hazardous wastes, are required to file an annual registration statement with the U.S. Department of Transportation. (24)

Contact: U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Registration Overview, 202.366.4488 or 800.467.4922



Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax/Licensing

Unless exempt, anyone in the business of transporting for hire, persons, freight, or property by motor vehicle, railroads, or aircraft from one point to another in Arizona is subject to transaction privilege (sales) tax/licensing under the Transporting classification. For more information, see section below titled, "Engaging in activities subject to transaction privilege (sales)/use tax" or click here

You may be in the business of transporting even if the actual transporting is done by a third party independent contractor with its own vehicles. If you receive orders from customers, dispatch vehicles, do the billing and receive payment from the customer, you are subject to tax under the transporting classification. (24)

Please note: According to the Model City Tax Code, the hiring of mobile equipment (cranes, airplanes, limousines, etc.) is considered rental, leasing, or licensing of tangible personal property whenever the charge is for a fixed sum or hourly rate. By comparison, the activity of a common carrier conveying goods or persons for a fee based upon distance, and not time, shall be considered transporting for hire. So, if you are charging by the hour or a fixed sum, you are subject to transaction privilege (sales) tax under the personal property rental classification. If you are charging by the distance, and not time, then you are subject to transaction privilege (sales) tax under the transporting for hire classification. (24) 


Additional Information:

See also: Moving Company

See also: Towing and Recovery

Arizona Department of Revenue, Publications: 606 Personal Property Rentals, 616 Transporting

U.S. Department of Transportation: Other Regulatory Links

The Arizona Trucking Association’s mission is to represent their members before legislative, regulatory and enforcement agencies, to serve as the trucking industry’s primary voice on transportation and other public policy issues and to provide members with cost-effective services that can help them comply with all relevant laws and regulations.