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Taxi permits more expensive to acquire

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Getting a taxi permit in the city of Wilmington is going to take a few more steps, which will ultimately cost the cab driver more money, but may make our streets safer. Getting a taxi permit in the city used to consist of paying $15, and getting a statewide criminal background check. Now, the police department wants to make sure those driving the public around are clear of any criminal or drug history. Taxi drivers aren't happy because this new permit is going to cost more. The first step is a drug test conducted by Mobile Medical Lab off Carolina Beach Road, which costs $35. Next, fingerprints are taken at the police station for not only a statewide background check, but a national one conducted by the FBI. That's another $18. And finally, a taxi permit, which is the cheapest step at $15. That adds up to almost $70 dollars. Some taxi drivers said that's an entire day's pay. "The police department is requiring us to have background checks, drug tests, and everything else, which are good things, cause you don't want the public out there in a cab with someone that's going to hurt them, we don't have a problem with that, it's the financial part of it,” said taxi driver Sarah Pendergrass. City council voted to crack down on permit requirements in order to make it tougher for just anyone to drive the public around in the city. These new measures came into effect February 3rd. Now in order to obtain, or renew a taxi permit in the city, everyone must go through these steps.

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