Motor Carrier laws that have been in the books since 1989 are just now being enforced with area limousine services, forcing some to shut their doors.
"We knew nothing about it, as far as I know, no limousine company was told anything about it," said owner of Moonlight Limousines Dave Zentgraf. Area limousine services were told in mid-December, 2011, that they had to get up to code or face a fine or possibly be shut down.
"You have to have a motor carrier number, a USDOT number, a TXDOT number, and then to get the rest of the way compliant with the 5 million dollars insurance," said Prime Time owner Michael Kephart. That new liability insurance will bring his cost up an estimated $2,000 a year, and he also had to have all of his drivers CDL certified, and drug and alcohol tested.
Overall, the process cost Prime Time about $3,500-5,000. Zentgraf said the process is just too much for his small business, so he is selling his limos and closing down.
Sgt. Wilson with the Dept. of Public Safety said, while the laws have been in place for more than 20 years, they simply "fell through the cracks" locally. He said most area limo companies have been "voluntarily compliant."