Virginia Highway Safety Office News ReleasesFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 23, 2012
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
Limo Rentals Increase During Prom, Graduation Season
Use DMV Website to Find Safe, Secure Transportation
RICHMOND - With prom season and graduation night just around the corner, many students and their parents will rent limousines this spring. Whether it's to impress a date or end high school in style, 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 DMV's website, www.dmvNOW.com.
"Randomly selecting a limo company from the phone book or online does not guarantee the company is properly licensed or insured," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. "Give yourself some peace of mind by using our website to help you avoid those companies that could potentially put you, your children or your friends in danger. Reputable limo companies hire drivers with proper training and licensing, which can be a relief for parents this time of year."
Virginia Limousine Association (VLA) members require parents and teens to sign a Prom Pledge before renting a limousine stating they will not use alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs inside the limo. Also, a Prom Promise saying drivers will not allow these activities in any of their vehicles during the 2012 prom and graduation season is signed by all VLA members, and all licensed limousine companies are encouraged to sign it.
DMV offers several tips for consumers before they secure a limousine to make sure they are getting the specific vehicle they want. For example, ask to see the actual limousine that you will be renting, and ask for a test ride. Also, make a checklist of the following:
- The limousine is clean, and will comfortably and safely hold everyone in your party
- The vehicle is equipped with working seat belts for all passengers
- The Virginia vehicle inspection sticker and license plate decals are current
- Ask about the company's insurance coverage, vehicle maintenance and driver screening programs
When renting a limousine, inquire in advance if there will be any additional charges for gratuities, vehicle cleaning, mileage and fuel costs. Do not sign a contract or make payment for a limousine until you have read the contract. It should give you exclusive use of the limousine during the entire contract period.
To file a complaint about a limo service, contact the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services consumer protection hotline at (804) 786-2042, the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia at (804) 648-0016, or the Department of Motor Vehicles at (804) 249-5140.