Assisted Living communities providing transportation in a vehicle with seating capacity for more than 10 (including the driver) are required to have a Z permit issued by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The filing fee is $1000 and there is no limit to the number of vehicles you may operate under the permit.
Annual inspections by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) are also required, as are inspections by a qualified mechanic at least every 45 days and an inspection by the driver daily. If you are in the process of obtaining the Z permit and currently operating the vehicle, the CHP recommends that you contact your local CHP for the annual inspection as soon as possible while the permit is pending.
In addition to obtaining a Z permit, enrollment in the DMV Employer Pull Notice Program, which will provide ongoing review of driver records, is also required. Drivers must be appropriately licensed and undergo drug testing.
While 501(c) organizations are exempt from the Z permit requirement, they must register with the CPUC as a private carrier and are subject to CHP inspection and other safety inspections.
CPUC Z Permit forms and CHP checklists
Regulatory Reminder: Z Permit Resources & Information (Members Only)
“Caution: The PUC and CHP May Come Knocking at Your Door,” Legal Library March 2007 (Members Only)