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Dec 13, 2016 3:44 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Fingerprint Requirements Approved For Livery Drivers In Southampton Town

Bryan DaParma, owner of Hometown Taxi in Southampton Village. JEN NEWMAN
Dec 14, 2016 9:44 AM

In order to obtain a for-hire driver’s license in Suffolk County, livery drivers need to spend approximately $150 on a physical test, $26 for a drug screening, $99.75 for a fingerprint search, $50 for a driver’s fee, $25 for a defensive driver’s course, and $300 for a vehicle registration.

With safety concerns on the rise following the explosive growth of app-based ride companies like Uber and Lyft, many individual municipalities within the county have begun to require their own additional licenses and background checks for drivers.

Southampton Town is the latest to join those ranks.

The Town Board on Tuesday approved a change to a local law that makes fingerprinting mandatory for all drivers when applying for an operator’s license in the municipality, regardless of whether they have already obtained a license from the county.

The legislation was approved by a vote of 4-1, with Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman casting the lone dissenting vote. He said the town should work with the county to get updated information on criminal records without enacting additional fees for drivers.

The update requires that all drivers submit their fingerprints to the town regardless of whether they were already collected for Suffolk County’s license—meaning drivers will need to pay for more fingerprints.

Bryan DaParma, the owner of Hometown Taxi in Southampton Village, said he felt this would put an unfair economic burden on drivers who already have to pay fees and get fingerprinted in multiple municipalities in order to work on the East End.

“There may be some other ways around this that might be worth exploring rather than creating financial hardship to people who aren’t making a lot of money,” Mr. DaParma suggested at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting.

Each livery business is already subject to a $750 town license fee. There is also a $150 license fee for each vehicle, plus a $100 fee per operator.

Southampton Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer said municipalities that require fingerprints are the ones that get updates of any criminal record, hence the push for the updated town law. She said she did not disagree with Mr. DaParma but added that she thinks “that’s a discussion for higher up, so they better manage the systems.”

Councilman Stan Glinka, who introduced the legislation to the Town Board, said he would look into speaking with the county and the state to try and coordinate fingerprinting in the area—instead of making drivers pay for multiple sets of prints.

“There should be a centralization of all this information,” Councilwoman Christine Scalera agreed. “But I’m going to support this in the interest of public safety first.”

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Duplication of prints, fees . Isn't there a data base for these things? Taxi license is good in all of ny. Town license should include three vehicles, why a fee for each driver? They must have paid for a license?
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Dec 13, 16 5:13 PM
Does anyone know the safety record of Uber and Lyft verse other taxi or limo services? This is just government trying to profit off of entrepreneurial success. Should be a state and federal data base like commercial truck drivers. One Fee. Over with.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Dec 13, 16 5:57 PM
Why is there a drug test and license fee to make money but none for food stamps and educational benefits (i.e. to take money)? And has Stan Glinka ever been drug tested?
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Dec 13, 16 7:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Fees and taxes are the crack cocaine of politicians, no surprise here.
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Dec 14, 16 2:09 AM
But after 15 years the Town Board has done nothing to protect passengers from Taxi drivers price gouging when you're stuck in the middle of nowhere. No meters for the taxi companies just give me 30 bucks for a 10 minute ride, no wait 40. Good job!
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Dec 14, 16 7:07 AM
You overlook two (2!) important elements of all this:

1] There's the Free Trade part -- charging what the market will bear.

2] We're all on the East End -- as a practical matter, just about everywhere out here is "in the middle of nowhere."

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Dec 14, 16 8:02 AM
They learned nothing from the election. The Southampton Town Board goes out of their way to put people out of business. Town services are awful and you have to go through hoops to even use something like a parking lot at the beach. I guess this is what they want. The trade parade gets bigger.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Dec 14, 16 7:41 AM
Be specific: this is all coming from Stan Glinka. It was his idea to push this and he should be held responsible. What problem does this solve? Answer: the problem of the Stan Glinka Re-election Fund needing money from donations from interested parties. The fact is that Uber and similar services have customer reviews posted instantly after use and that regulates cab driver behavior much more efficiently than any government oversight. These new laws do nothing but throw sand into the gears ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Dec 14, 16 8:57 AM
Try inspecting the taxi's. Took one a while ago and smelled.
Taxi limo commission, inspector, two secretaries, vehicle???

By knitter (1941), Southampton on Dec 14, 16 9:42 AM
How about drug tests for teachers, cops, and politicians?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Dec 15, 16 9:36 PM