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Transferring Taxi Medallion from a Deceased Individual in New York

In order to transfer a taxi medallion from a decedent’s estate, Chapter 58 of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission Rule Book requires the executor/administrator of the estate to submit a certified copy of the death certificate of the former owner on file with the Commission, certified letters testamentary or letters of administration, or for estates administered outside New York, ancillary letters testamentary or ancillary letters of administration. The interest can only be transferred in accordance with the Rules of Chapter 58 to a qualified transferee.

Transfer of Tax Medallion Interest to an Estate

For estate tax purposes, the transfer of a New York Taxi Medallion interest to a trust may be done under the following circumstances and conditions in accordance with Chapter 58:

“(i) An interest in a Medallion Taxicab can only be distributed to a Trust if the distribution is made to a trust for the benefit of a minor and:
A. The ownership interest is in the stock of a corporation, or
B. The interest is in membership of an LLC that owns one or more Medallions.

(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.”

Temporary Operation of Taxi Medallion Interest after Death of Owner/Declaration of Incompetency

Under Chapter 58, for a short interim period not to exceed 120 days after the death of a New York Taxi Medallion owner or after the owner has been declared incompetent by a court of law, the interest may be operated by an Agent. If an Executor/Administrator is appointed on behalf of the estate, the Executor/Administrator has 60 days from appointment to be approved for operation of the Taxi Medallion. The Agent is allowed to continue operating the Taxi Medallion while the Administrator is waiting for approval.

Exceptions to the above Rule may occur when the owner of the Taxi Medallion interest is owned by an independent Medallion owner. In that case, the Owner-Must-Drive Rule under Chapter 58.05(d) will be waived for the Agent interim period of 120 days and the 60 day approval of Administrator period. If no authorized Agent or Administrator has been approved, then the Medallion must be placed in storage until either an Administrator or transferee has been approved and qualified for operation of the Medallion interest.

By the end of 180 days from the owner’s death or the owner’s declaration of incompetency, if no one has been approved to operate the Medallion, then the Commission will transfer the interest in the Medallion to a third party transferee who has applied and received Commission approval as a qualified transferee for the Medallion interest.

If you need assistance with estate planning issues concerning the ownership interest and transfer of a New York Taxi Medallion asset, a New York probate and estate attorney is qualified to assist you with such matters.

If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at
(212) 233-1233.