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Sonoma County considers licensing taxis, cab drivers

A proposal set for public review early this year would add Sonoma County to the growing list of local governments that regulate taxi companies and cab drivers.

The ordinance would require separate annual permits for vehicles and drivers at a combined estimated cost of more than $400. The county is proposing to waive those fees and the permit process for companies and operators already licensed by local cities.

Because most of the 36 taxi companies and 117 cabs registered to operate in the county fall under those city rules, county officials said, they expect as few as 25 cabs, operating primarily in the unincorporated area, may be subject to the county rules.

"It's only a handful that would need the county permits," said Michael Gossman, a county administrative analyst.

He said the ordinance is needed to comply with a 1983 state law that requires cities and counties to adopt regulations governing taxi service in their jurisdiction.

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