Ministry of Communications and Works
Taxi and Livery
Release Date:
Wednesday, 21 February 2024 - 2:32pm






Tuesday 20th February 2023


Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to inform this Honourable House and the people of the Virgin Islands about the anticipated improvements to the approval process for Taxi Permits. The Ministry of Communications and Works has worked diligently in partnership with the Taxi and Livery Commission to develop a cristeria for issuing taxi permits that will engender transparency, fairness, efficiency and quality in the taxicab industry in the Virgin Islands.

Firstly, we focused on simplifying and streamlining the process for acquiring a taxi permit. The criteria for approving taxi permit applications will establish a standardised, efficient procedure that outlines precise requirements and reduces the waiting period for a response to an application. The criteria will require aspiring taxi operators to have knowledge of local roads and just as important, it will ensure driver competency through rigorous background checks, including criminal records, driving record evaluations, and proof of medical fitness. These checks will provide our citizens and visitors with safer, more secure taxi services.

Secondly, we endeavoured to mitigate the reality of limited taxi permit availability in our Territory. The system for the approval of applications must allow for fair competition and encourage innovation. There are currently 708 active taxi licences in the Virgin Islands. To prevent oversaturation of the industry, it is necessary to set a reasonable cap on the number of taxi permits issued while safeguarding an open, transparent process for obtaining them. This will foster a healthy market environment where drivers are motivated to provide excellent service, and passengers have access to a variety of options.

Thirdly, we are pursuing the ultimate goal of maintaining a well-functioning taxi industry. Accountability is crucial to this goal. Therefore, the establishment of a responsive, regulatory body that handles complaints, investigates reports of misconduct, and takes appropriate action against drivers who violate the rules is paramount. Transparent reporting mechanisms are already in place to ensure that the public is aware of the steps being taken to address any issues emerging within the industry. The Taxi and Livery Commission will continue to enhance the taxi industry in its functions as the regulatory unit within the Ministry.

Furthermore, we must consider the introduction of performance-based standards for issuing taxi permits. We will establish clear benchmarks that drivers must meet to continue operating. These standards can include factors such as customer satisfaction ratings, adherence to traffic rules, and vehicle maintenance records.

Madam Speaker the Taxi and Livery Commission will be empowered to enforce these measures, which will raise the overall quality of taxi services in our city and provide improved experiences for our residents and visitors alike.

According to the Road Traffic (Taxi-Cab) Regulations, regulation 12: “The Minister may from time to time determine the maximum number of taxi permits that should be issued during the course of a year.” Also, regulation 17 states: “In the exercise of his or her powers under regulation 12…the Minister may consult with the Commission for the purpose of determining the number of taxi-cabs currently in use in the taxi-cab industry.”

With that in mind, Criteria for Approving Taxi Permit Applications have been developed to guide the approval of new applications and the renewal of applications. These criteria, will be submitted to Cabinet for review and approval, and they are as follows:

An applicant:

  1. Holds the requisite Virgin Islands Driver Licence issued under the Road Traffic Act;
  2.  Has held the Virgin Islands Driver Licence for a period of two (2) consecutive years prior to the to the date of applying for a Taxi Permit;
  3. Possesses a police certificate indicating that he or she has not been convicted of a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment for three (3) months or more or a fine exceeding $1,000 within the last five (5) years;
  4. Possesses a certificate of medical fitness, including an eye examination, indicating that he or she is fit to operate a taxicab.
  5. Has satisfactorily completed a course of training for new drivers of vehicles applying for hire, conducted by the BVI Tourist Board.

Once the above criteria are met:

The applicant further satisfies the Licensing Officer that:

  1.  He or she has adequate knowledge of the roads in the area to which these regulations govern.
  2. He or she is a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence; and
  3. He or she has a current Trade Licence enabling them to engage in Taxi Operations.

Madam Speaker upon satisfying all of the above listed conditions, it is recommended that an applicant for a Taxi Permit be selected from each geographical/district area in the territory as per the following allotment of Maximum Number of Taxi Permits per calendar year:





West End, Carrot Bay (Tortola)    



Meyers, Cane Garden Bay, Brewers Bay, Spooners etc. (Tortola)


Jost Van Dyke



Sea Cow’s Bay and Surroundings (Tortola)



Road Town and Surroundings (Tortola)  



Huntum’s Ghut, Long Trench, Horse Path, Fahie Hill, Georges Northside etc.



Baugher’s Bay and East Central  



Long Look (Tortola) and Beef Island



East End, Greenland and Hope Estate (Tortola)



Virgin Gorda







Therefore, a maximum of twenty-three taxi permits will be approved annually.

Additionally, the following criteria apply to special circumstances:

  1. Retirement from the Transportation for Hire Industry:
  1. The Department of Motor Vehicles will provide a standard form letter, which a retiring Public Transport Operator can fill and submit as evidence/confirming that he/she, wishes to retire from the Industry. Once this is done, if a family member of the retired Operator desires to take their place, they will be given first preference providing they meet all the other criteria.
  2. The afore-said standard letter would also feature a space to indicate the reason for retirement: e.g. health, age, etc.


  1. Death of active Public Transport Operator:

A family member of the deceased Operator who meets all other criteria will be given first preference to operate the said business using the same permit. This criteria is to be tied to a medallion or similar system for sale/transfer of Permit.

  1. Relocation:

Where a Public Transport Operator permanently migrates to another country and no longer has a need for the Permit, the standard form letter mentioned in Criteria 1 above must be submitted. In this case, a family member will be given first preference to use the permit once they meet the relevant criteria.

  1. Resignation from Transportation for Hire Industry:

Where a Public Transport Operator resigns from working in the Industry, a reason would have to be supplied similar to the proposed standard letter in item 1 above.

  1. Procedure to add Public Transport Operators on additional (new) Taxi Stands:

A new Taxi Operator permit would be issued on the grounds that the applicant has prospective membership with a Taxi Stand, especially a Stand that is in an area where one is needed or simply that they will be joining an existing Stand versus being an independent Operator.

In conclusion, the Ministry of Communications and Works, along with the Taxi and Livery Commission, is pleased to advance the process of simplifying and modernizing the process of issuing of a taxi permit. We are prioritising the establishment of the Taxi and Livery Commission as the accountable regulatory unit that promotes fair competition and enhances public safety.

The impact of the implementation of these criteria will be closely monitored and evaluated. To ensure that we are meeting the transportation needs of the public, we will undertake a review of the criteria after three years. We are committed to providing safe and efficient transportation for all, while contributing to the growth and prosperity of our Territory.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.