What to Know
The limo that crashed in New York, killing 20 people, including the driver, should never have been allowed on the road.
In California, there are pretty strict laws as well.
California passed a law requiring the CHP to inspect modified limos like the one in New York.
New York officials say the limo that crashed, killing 20 people, including the driver, should never have been allowed on the road.
In California, there are pretty strict laws as well. The NBC4 I-Team looked into what you need to know before renting a limo, to keep you and your family safe.
Recently California passed a law requiring the CHP to inspect modified limos like the one in New York.
They happen every 13 months and those companies have to be cleared with the state.
"Anything over 10 passengers you have to have a CDL, passenger endorsed license," said Brandan Stein, who runs Exclusive Sedan Service, a family-owned business that's been operating for 38 years.
The driver in New York did not have the proper license and that the SUV failed inspection just last month.
"The owner of the company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The limo in New York was a modified SUV, essentially cut in half and extended. A crash in the Bay Area in 2013 led to major changes for those types of cars in California. Five women, including a bride-to-be, were killed on the San Mateo bridge.
Now, modified limos must have rear windows or rear side doors that open from the inside in case of an emergency.
Stein says his fleet gets checked regularly.
"When CHP comes out and does their inspections here they tell you if your vehicle is safe to be put on the road or not to be put on the road and they will ground the vehicles," he said.
Before you get into a limo here is an easy thing you can do, make sure the vehicle has one a TCP number that indicates it is registered with the state. You can then go online and make sure that the company is in good standing The I-Team searched the California Public Utilities Commission website and found some companies had their status revoked and suspended.
Others like Exclusive Sedan Service is active. That means they have met all the requirements, including passing inspections, and have insurance.
"I think anything that has your life in hand and safety you should do the research on," Stein said. You can check the status of companies across the state and find the top 10 things you need to do before getting in for a ride.
You can get more information about how to look up limo/car services in good standing with the state and the Top 10 tips before you hop in a limo:
CPUC info page about limos and party
Look up carrier information here
CPUC licensing requirements for drivers of limos and party buses