ENFORCE THE LAW: Backgrounder

Highway Traffic Act (HTA)


Picking up passenger for compensation prohibited without licence, etc.

39.1 (1) A driver of a motor vehicle other than a bus shall not pick up a passenger for the purpose of transporting him or her for compensation where a licence, permit or authorization is required to do so by,

(a) the Public Vehicles Act;

(b) a municipal by-law passed under Part IV of the Municipal Act, 2001;

(c) a regulation made under the Department of Transport Act (Canada); or

(d) an airport or airport authority,

except under the authority of such licence, permit or authorization.

Toronto Municipal Code


  1. 545.2 (9) of the Toronto Municipal Code (the Code) requires every owner and every driver of a taxicab to take out a licence from the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division (MLS)


  1. 545-139.2. of the Code provides


  1. No driver shall drive any taxicab unless the owner of the taxicab is licensed as such under this chapter.


  1. No owner shall allow any person other than a licensed driver to operate his or her taxicab.


  1. No driver, while having the care and control of a taxicab, shall permit any person other than the owner or an employee of the owner of the taxicab to drive it.


  1. Every owner of more than one taxicab required to be licensed under this chapter shall take out a separate licence for each taxicab.


  1. Every driver and owner shall carry his or her licence with him or her at all times while operating a taxicab and shall produce the licence for inspection when requested to do so by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division or a police officer.


  1. No owner shall permit any taxicab which he or she does not own to be driven under the authority of his or her owner's licence.


Therefore an Uber driver in Toronto, unless operating under the authority of a Taxicab Licence issued under S.545.2 (9) of the Code, is committing an offence under s39.1 (b) of the HTA as well as under the above noted sections of the Toronto Municipal Code.