Experiences involving transportation in Portland
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These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
Do I need a special license or permit to drive my guests to and from my experience if I don’t charge them for the ride?
You don’t need a special license or permit to drive your guests as long as you are not charging them for the ride.
In order to drive guests without getting an extra license or permit, you:
- cannot charge them for the transportation you provide (either directly or by adding the cost of transportation to your Experience Fee), and
- should clearly mention in your Listing that transportation will be provided “at no charge.”
If you want to charge your guests for the ride, you need to get special licenses if you pick up within the City of Portland including at the Portland International Airport.
- Example: Claire takes her guests on a meditative walk through Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area and wants to give them a free ride to/from the experience. Claire’s listing makes it clear she will pick up Guests who need a ride to get to her experience at no charge to the Guest. Claire does not need special licenses (aside from her regular Oregon driver’s license) to do this.
If I want to charge for the ride, do I need a special license or permit to drive guests to and from my Experience?
Yes. If you’re charging your guests to drive them around the City of Portland, you need a Private For-Hire Transportation (PFHT) permit from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Here is the PFHT application link.
Under the PFHT program, you will apply for three things: a company permit, a permit for your vehicle, and a City of Portland PFHT driver’s permit. First, a company permit ($250 application/$500 permit) for a touring vehicle must be obtained using this application form. To get this permit, you must obtain commercial insurance, automobile liability insurance, and register your company with the Oregon Secretary of State. This process takes 60 days. Once the company permit is granted, you will receive stickers to display on your vehicle to show you have a company permit and will be listed on the city’s website.
Second, you need to get a PFHT vehicle permit ($225 initial/$180 renewal) using this application. As part of obtaining the vehicle permit, your vehicle will be inspected annually to ensure cleanliness and good condition, plus undergo a mechanical inspection by a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Blue Seal recognized shop or by an automotive technician with a current valid ASE certification. Vehicle certification typically takes 3 days after all information is submitted.
Third, you will need to obtain a driver’s PFHT permit ($100). In order to get your driver’s permit, you’ll need to complete the Driver Certification application, and pass written tests covering topics like routes and locations of common destinations, customer service, City regulations and map reading. An applicant must also pass the City’s background check ($75) which may take up to 30 days.
Picking guests up at the airport: Note that a PFHT license does not guarantee that you will be allowed to pick up guests at the Portland International Airport. Many airports have their own requirements for transportation providers such as background checks, vehicle inspections and placards. Be sure to check with the airport before charging guests for airport pickup even if you have a license.
How else can I help my guests get to and from my Experience?
How you handle your experience and your guest’s transportation needs is entirely up to you. You may choose to:
- Give them a ride for free.
- Charge them if you have the necessary licenses.
- Get them a Lyft, Uber, taxi, or other state licensed vehicle with a licensed driver. You can even pay for these licensed transportations options yourself and include the cost as part of your Experience Price.
- Ask your Guests to get their own transportation to and from your experience.
- Example: Austin wants to give his guests a ride to his experience kayaking around the Columbia River. Austin charges each guest $15 for the ride. Since Austin is charging guests to drive them in the City of Portland, he’ll need to get a Portland business license ($19), a Portland PFHT company permit ($250), a vehicle permit ($225) which includes a vehicle inspection, and a PFHT driver’s permit ($100 application fee) after passing a background check ($75). He will need to start this process at least 60 days in advance to ensure he receives all his permits before he begins providing his experience.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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