Virginia Highway Safety Office News ReleasesFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 13, 2009
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
Limo Rentals Increase During Prom, Graduation Season
Use DMV Website to Find Safe, Secure Transportation
RICHMOND - Whether it's to impress a date or end high school in grand style, many students and their parents will rent limousines this spring for prom or graduation night. Beware: not all limos services are equal. In Virginia, a limousine service must be properly licensed, insured and should meet certain safety criteria.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers an online resource for teens and parents who want to make the right choice for prom or graduation night. A list of registered and insured limousine companies operating in Virginia is available on the DMV website, www.dmvNOW.com.
"Reputable limo companies hire drivers with proper training and licensing, which can be a relief for parents this time of year," said John Saunders, Director of DMV's Virginia Highway Safety Office. "Randomly selecting a limo company from the phone book doesn't guarantee that company is properly licensed and insured. Using our online resource can help you avoid those limo companies that could potentially put you, your children or your friends in danger."
Virginia Limousine Association (VLA) members signed a Prom Promise in March that says drivers will not allow the illegal use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco in any of their vehicles during the 2009 prom and graduation season. VLA companies also require parents and teens to sign a Prom Pledge before renting a limousine.
DMV offers several tips for consumers before they secure a limousine, to make sure they are getting the specific limo they want. Ask to see the actual limousine that you will be renting, and ask for a test ride.
Make a checklist of the following items:
- The limousine is clean, and will comfortably and safely hold everyone in your party.
- The limousine is equipped with working seat belts for all passengers.
- The Virginia vehicle inspection sticker is current.
- Ask about the company's insurance coverage and vehicle maintenance program
- Ask about the company's policy that prohibits underage alcohol use in their vehicles.
When renting a limo, customers should inquire if there will be any additional charges for gratuities, vehicle cleaning, mileage and fuel costs. Do not sign a contract for a limo or pay any money until you have read the contract. It should give you exclusive use of the limousine during the entire contract period.