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How To Probate A New York City Taxi And Limousine Commission Medallion

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What is a New York City Taxicab Medallion?

The New York City taxicab industry was historically highly regulated – the most important regulation being a restriction on the number of taxicabs allowed to operate in the city.  In order to legally operate a taxicab in New York City, the cab was required to own and display a taxicab medallion.  There are 13,587 such medallions in circulation.  Medallions can be bought, sold, mortgaged, and inherited, just like any item of property.  Just prior to the boom in ride sharing apps and legislation relaxing the ability of cars to pick up passengers in the outer boroughs, the price of medallions exceeded $1 million.

How is a New York City Taxi Medallion Transferred at Death?

There are special provisions for the transfer of a Medallion owned by a Decedent.  In order to transfer a Medallion, one must look to NYC_rule_book_current_chapter_58.  The Executor, Personal Representative, or Administrator of Decedent’s estate is required to submit a certified death certificate together with the certified letters of administration, or in the case of non-New York domiciliary, ancillary letters of administration or ancillary letters testamentary.
Chapter 58 of the Rule Book is the exclusive method for transferring ownership of the Medallion. 
Part (a) – Notice, provides that:
Notice of the death or the declaration of incompetency of a Medallion Owner must be given to the Chairperson promptly upon the occurrence. A Medallion Owner which is a Business Entity must also give prompt notice upon the death or the declaration of incompetency of a shareholder, partner, or member of a Business Entity.
A fine of $250 may be assessed for a failure to notify the Chairperson.  See § 58-48(a).

Chapter 58, Section 48(b)(2) provides that a distribution of interest in a Medallion to a legatee in trust may be had only if the distribution is made to a trust for the benefit of a minor and the ownership interest is in the stock of a corporation, or the interest is in membership of an LLC that owns one or more Medallions. See §58-48(b)(2)(i).

This part further provides that:
(ii) The ownership interest in the Taxicab Medallion must be distributed out of the trust within 60 days after the date on which the beneficiary reaches the age for ownership of a Taxicab Medallion (see §58-04(b)).
(iii) The beneficiary must apply and be approved as a Transferee under these Medallion Transfer rules before the transfer will be effective.
(iv) Notice must be given to the Chairperson promptly upon the beneficiary reaching the age for ownership of a Taxicab Medallion.
See §58-48(b)(2).

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