Prom Guide:  What are some things that parents/teens/school administrators do to ensure they are booking a legitimate limousine or party bus for prom?

Joe Guinn:  The number one thing that someone should do before booking a limousine is to verify that the company has the proper operating authority.  Any car that holds more than 7 passengers is required to have a DOT number on both sides of it.  Ask the company for that number, and ask if it is posted on both sides of their vehicles.  If a prospective limo company does not want to give you their number during booking DO NOT book the car with the company.  Upon receiving that number a consumer should always check it out on the FMCSA website http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov  and click the link “company snapshot.”  From there you can enter the DOT number and learn if the company is registered with the FMCSA.  You will be able to look for details such as if a company has been authorized as a for hire company, and if they are authorized for carrying passengers.  This is also where you will want to look to see if they are authorized to cross state lines.  Things to look for if this car is traveling across state lines are if the carrier has an “MC” number and the word INTERSTATE as opposed to INTRASTATE.

If all of this checks out then you should feel safe to book the car, but will want to remain diligent when the car arrives to pick you up.  Look to see if the car has the same DOT number posted on the side as the one you received at booking, or if the car has a DOT number posted at all.  It is extremely common for a broker to take a reservation, and then “farm out” the run to the lowest bidder.  Usually an illegal company.  Should a car arrive with another number on it there is a possibility that the company had to use a partner, but you should ask questions prior to allowing your children to climb in it.  The SAFER website is mobile friendly so go ahead and pull up the DOT number, and call the company to ask for clarification of what happened.  If a company had a break down it is very common that they had to use another company to pick you up, but they should be willing to give you that information.  This is a common practice and sometimes is the only way that a company can fulfill their obligation without leaving you stranded with out a car.

Prom Guide:  Should parents be aware that their teens could be questioned regarding their chauffeur and transportation provider’s compliance with laws by local police?

Joe Guinn:  If law enforcement has questions for the passengers it is always best to have a copy digital or hard copy of the contract with you.  If all the steps are verified in the first step this should not be an issue.  Typically when dealing with students an officer is more than anything checking for illegal activity such as drug or alcohol usage.

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Prom Guide:  What can parents do to prepare their teens for the possibility of questioning?

Joe Guinn:  Remind the students to NEVER argue with a police officer on the side of the road, and remember that the officer is only concerned with making sure that all parties are safe, and make it home at the end of the night.

Prom Guide:  Should teens even be questioned as they are less likely to have booked the limo or signed a contract?

Joe Guinn:  This is why it is smart to carry a copy of the contract, but remember more than likely if the officer begins to question the students, it  is less about the car service, and more about checking for drug and alcohol use.

Prom Guide:  Should parents meet their kids at prom in a separate vehicle if they are the ones who booked the vehicle to intercept questioning?

Joe Guinn:  I do not believe that this is necessary at all.  If a parent does their research, hires a reputable company, stays in contact with the driver, and goes over basic instructions with their children, they should feel confident that their children are going to have an amazing uninterrupted experience.

Prom Guide:  What  can owner/operators do to ensure that prom teens make their grand entrance despite questioning?  In other words, should they instruct teen to behave a certain way during questions such as do no exit the vehicle?

Joe Guinn:  When encountering an officer in a traffic stop in any chauffeured vehicle the passenger should never get out of the vehicle, or attempt to interact with law enforcement in any way, unless engaged by the officer.  It is like the old saying “speak when spoken to.”

If your driver has done something illegal to get pulled over its common to want to receive some type of compensation for the inconvenience of being late.  Something that the students need to understand is that all adjustments will need to be made the next day with the people in the office, and not with the driver.

Parents should take the time to exchange phone numbers with the driver.  There is nothing wrong with picking up the phone and calling the driver to verify that the evening is going as planned.

Parents should also be specific on where the driver can go, such as a specific list of addresses for pick ups and drop offs, as well as the restaurant location and dance venue.  This can be pre-arranged when booking the transportation so that the driver can pre-plan the best route to take in the over-sized vehicle.

36 COMMENTS

  1. What a great information to know before renting a car or a limo and I learned a lot from this article. I will also share this with my co-parents.

  2. Prom Guide’s blog is really wonderful and I have followed it for a long time. On “How to Book a Legitimate Limo or Party Bus for Prom, it was a good introduction and comparison for the transport option. Limo is a good option it seems.

  3. This is a lot of really good information for those going to prom. Especially for young people who might not know any better on how to book a limo or party bus.

  4. It’s good to have safety in mind first, instead of price in mind first, right? I like your tips on how to book a limo or party bus – seems very relevant to prom age kids (and their parents) for sure.

  5. Who loves riding on limo during prom? Definitely me! This is a very useful guide soon for me when my teens will have their first prom ever.

  6. This is so informative! It’s so much better to be safe and cautious than sorry. On another note, it is my dream to be inside a limo or party bus once in my life!

  7. You do have to make sure everything is on the up and up with a limo. I mean I don’t want my daughter to feel like I would distrust her but knowing the agreements for the service would be a good thing to protect everyone I think.

  8. This article is a pool of information and knowledge on how to book a limo or party bus for prom. I am amazed.

  9. Bookmarked, useful resource! Will revisit in a few years when my little ones start going to prom. But by then it will be self driving limos most likely 😛

  10. Making sure a limo or party bus company is reputable is always smart. You might not think about it for a business like this, but of course it is important to do so!

  11. These are some handy tips for booking a legitimate limo for party. I usually just call a limo company I trust, I have never thought I should have asked for DOT number and check it online. I am glad that I know now.

  12. Prom Guide is so detailed, really helpful. It is good to have an idea of what needs to be done before prom so as to prepare appropriately to book a limo or party bus. This guide makes it easy.

  13. It’s tough in this day/age to trust business with your kids so these are some good tips for find a cheap, safe limo or party bus!

  14. These are excellent tips to remind the kids not to pick a fight with any law enforcement when their limo or party bus is stopped. They’re just doing their job and trying to keep everyone safe.

    Joy

  15. Thank you for providing so much depth and detail about limo guides… I’ll be keeping this all in mind. I know tonnes of young people taking limos for prom (or anyone who rents a limo for an occasion, too!) will find this extremely useful.

  16. All very good tips and information. These days you cannot be too careful. Book long a legit prom limo or party bus is so important!

  17. Hi. I have discovered promguide.com and i see you’ve got some
    wonderful content so probably it is the reason that I found you in google.
    And I’m so glad that I did. Now I have the tools I need to book a legit limo or party bus for prom.

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