The National Limousine Association provides these seven tips when you hire a transportation service for your teenager's big night:
1. Ask the transportation company for the Prom Promise. This is a document that teens sign in agreement of not drinking or taking drugs on prom night. Many limousine and chauffeured transportation companies offer this contract as a way to give parents an outlet to discuss the importance of safety on prom with their teens.
2. Give the transportation company a curfew. That's right; the chauffeur will abide by any rules you set forth, and will make sure to pick up and drop off your kids at a designated hour. This is a great way ensure your kids make it home on time, no excuses.
3. Check with industry associations to make sure the company you choose is reputable. Organizations such as the National Limousine Association (NLA) is a good indication that your service provider does their due diligence.
4. Set some ground rules. As the parent, you have the right to tell the transportation company what will and will not be tolerated in the vehicle. For example, you can ask that the chauffeur keep the privacy screen down for the entire ride, so that he/she has a full grasp of what your kids are up to. If any of your rules are broken, the chauffeur can turn the car around and bring your kids home.
5. Remember to sit back and relax. A reputable company hires drivers with proper training and licensing. Theses chauffeurs are used to carting around excited passengers all day long, so they know how to keep things under control.
6. Ask your transportation company about the chauffeur. You should always ask about the chauffer, who will it be, how much experience does he/she have? How will he/she be dressed? Believe it or not, not all Limousine Companies offer chauffeurs that will be dressed in formal or dress attire. Some Limousine companies will send drivers dressed in jeans, t-shirts or polo shirts.
7. Ask about Insurance and licensing. Be sure to ask the Limousine Company if they are properly licensed and insured to provide For Hire Limousine Services. North Carolina laws require that ALL For Hire Companies purchase $1,500,000 in liability insurance for each vehicle and that all for hire vehicles have a "FOR HIRE" license plate attached to the rear of the vehicle. It does not matter how many or how few the vehicle is designed to carry, if it is offering for hire transportation service the insurance and the License Plate is required. It may be as easy as walking around the Limousine and looking at the license plate. If the license plate does not specifically show as "FOR HIRE", then the vehicle is operating unlawfully.
Below are images of the correct and incorrect License Plates to look for on any and all chauffeured transportation services.
The plate above is a normal NC License plate. This plate is intended for normal "Personal" vehicles. If you observe this type of plate on a Limousine then the Limousine is NOT properly licensed and you should assume that the vehicle is not properly insured and it is unlawful to offer transportation services.
The plate above is a sample of what a Valid North Carolina "FOR HIRE" license plate should look like. If your Limousine has this type plate on it it is likely that your Limousine Company is operating lawfully.