Taxis, For-Hires, TNCs and Limos: Telling Them Apart

Learn the differences between Seattle taxis, for-hires, TNCs and limos so you know what to expect from each service.


In Seattle, taxis are painted one solid color: Yellow, orange, green or white are common. Also, taxis:


For-hire vehicles are painted different colors than taxis—the vehicle body paint is two or more colors rather than one solid color. Also, for-hire vehicles:

  • May be hailed from the street.
  • Charge a flat rate per trip for an agreed-upon price.
  • Do not have a meter inside the vehicle.
  • May not have the words "taxi" or "cab" printed on the car.

Transportation network companies (TNCs)

TNC drivers use their own personal vehicles to transport passengers for compensation. They are not specially marked and may not be hailed from the street. Unlike taxis and for-hire vehicles, they connect with passengers only through an online application using a device such as a smartphone or tablet.


Limousines are for-hire luxury motor vehicles. Limos are commonly black, four-door sedans, such as a town car. Some are multidoor stretch limos or SUVs. In Seattle limousines are:

  • Unmarked luxury vehicles.
  • Do not have a meter inside the vehicle.
  • May not advertise that they provide taxi services.