San Jose Police Seizing Drivers Licenses and Detaining Drivers at San Jose International Airport

majikbear

New Member
I am a driver for Uber and Lyft. At 7:53 yesterday I arrived to drop off a rider at San Jose International Airport at the Alaska terminal. While exiting the airport I was stopped by a police officer who asked for and took my driver's license. I was directed to follow a police car along with three other cars who were in front of me. The car directly in front of me was a silver four door sedan. The person in the silver sedan was on their phone and stopped for some time so I was not able to proceed to follow the police car. At the time the officer who had stopped me to take my license complained that this is what happens when people use their phones while driving. By the time I resumed driving the police car I was supposed to follow was gone so I was not able to follow them. I continued driving until I reached the San Jose Airport Police Department, where I went to the door, rang the doorbell and asked where I was supposed to go. The officer who answered the door instructed me to go out, turn left, and go to the second entrance into the Cargo / Fire entrance. I drove into the lot and was stopped by an African American man in a black jacket who identified himself as Mark. He explained that inspections were being performed and that I should wait in my car. He went away to talk to another driver, then came back and explained that because I was an Uber driver I was there for an inspection and asked me to pull forward into a line between orange cones where other cars were waiting. I sat there for about five minutes before I was instructed to continue into the parking lot. Another tall, skinny dark-skinned bald man whose ethnicity I was unsure of instructed me to pull forward in front of a garage and stop there, then he left. I sat in my car for half an hour before exiting my car to inquire about what was going on. I approached a caucasian man in a reflective vest and asked if I was under arrest. He said no, I was not under arrest. I asked if I was free to go. He said he was not sure. He went to ask another person in a reflective vest. Subsequently I was spoken to by several more people, including Mark again, who explained that I was there for an inspection, that I was not under arrest, but I was not free to go. I stated that I felt I was being detained unlawfully. I stated that I could not afford to give $150 at that time, as I had not had any notice that I would need to pay that money today. A conversation ensued wherein Mark explained that Uber and the City of San Jose had been arguing since February about the fact that drivers for Uber and Lyft were required to pay for a business license to operate at the airport. I stated that Uber and Lyft both had told me that I required a license to pick up passengers at the airport, but that I did not require a license to drop them off. This was and still is in their driver training documentation at the time of this report. Mark stated that it was my fault that I did not know about the argument between San Jose and Uber. When I stated that it would have been impossible for me to be aware of the private communications between Uber and San Jose, Mark shrugged and said he did not know what to tell me.

I repeated the question about whether I was free to go. I was again told I was not free to go and that I needed to get in line in front of a tent that had been set up where I would be required to pay a fee of $150 to the person sitting behind the table under the tent. I asked repeatedly if I was under arrest and if I was free to go. I was told repeatedly that I was not under arrest but I was not free to go. One police officer approached and told me, quote, "those are not your rights. I don't know what videos you have been watching, but those are not your rights." End of quote. When I explained to this officer that I felt I was being detained unlawfully he told me that I didn't know what I was talking about, that I had no right to leave, and that whatever videos I had been watching those were not my rights. The officer spoke in a harsh tone and his posture and facial expression indicated that his intent was to be demeaning to me and to discredit my belief that I should be free to go. I asked the officer who was the authority body in charge of the operation. He said it was the San Jose Utilities Commission. I asked if the San Jose Utilities Commission had the right to detain citizens. The officer stated that I was not being detained. I asked if I was not under arrest and I was not being detained, was I free to go. The officer stated that being under arrest and being held for a citation were different things. I asked if I was being served a citation. The officer said no. I asked again if I was free to go. The officer said no, I was not free to go. I asked again who was responsible for the operation. He said it was the San Jose Utilities Commission. I asked him if he could ask them if I was free to go. He said no, but I could ask them myself. I said to the officer, since he was the one who told me I was not free to go he should go ask the San Jose Utilities Commission employee if I was free to go. The officer called one of the men in a reflective jacket over and began to explain to him that I was there to pay a $150 fee for a business license for the state of San Jose in order to operate as a driver at the San Jose International Airport. Because I was not allowed to leave and had no other choice, I got into the line to complete the application and pay my fee. While standing in line I was informed that in addition to the $150 fee, I would have to pay a $75 fine and 1% of all earnings I had made from dropping off and picking up passengers at the San Jose International Airport. When I got to the front of the line, I was not asked to pay the $75 and the 1%. I was asked to pay a $35 fee because I estimated that I would spend less time operating at the airport than would require the $150 fee. So I was not assessed a fine.

I was required to stand in the sun waiting to file the application. I was told that if I stepped out of line I would have to start over at the back of the line. The table for the police officers had donuts and each officer had a bottle of water, but none were offered to the drivers standing in line during the four hours I waited. After I filed the application I received a receipt to put under the windshield of my car and was allowed to leave the airport. Before leaving I returned with a pack of water bottles and offered one to each person in line. The time of my departure from the airport was 11:45. This puts the total time in detention at 3 hours 52 minutes.

1:00 P Called San Jose Police Department. Was told that my call was not important enough because the person receiving the call also took 911 calls, even though I called the non-emergency number. They transferred me to Internal Affairs, but the call dropped. I called Internal Affairs directly and was told they were too busy to take my call, and that they would call back and asked me if I would be available at my number. I gave them a callback number and told them I would be available until at least 3PM.

1:27 PM Called airport operations. Representative refused to take any action and hung up on me. I called back and asked to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor said she would report my complaint to "whoever was on duty for san jose police."

I attempted to contact Uber several times:

* Their urgent request phone number is just a recorded message telling you to contact them through the app.
* Their Twitter support person told me to contact them through the app.

I have had no response from Uber after contacting them through the app.
 

Bart McCoy

Well-Known Member
What type of inspection?

Or were they giving you a citation for dropping off? That's the same here, you can drop off, but you may need some stuff to pick up.

You should have filmed everything from the beginning,not sure if utilites commissions has arrest/detain powers, look into that
 

SEAL Team 5

Well-Known Member
drivers for Uber and Lyft were required to pay for a business license to operate at the airport. I stated that Uber and Lyft both had told me that I did not require a license to drop them off. Mark stated that it was my fault that I did not know.
It is sad, but ignorance of the law is no excuse. It's not U/L job to make sure a commercial operator is in compliance. It's the owner/operator of the vehicle to know all laws, rules and regulations. Perfect example of believing the Internet. Just because Uber says so is not always the legal way. There are some operators that have had their vehicles impounded. Just make sure you know all the laws of your state for fare for hire.
 

SEAL Team 5

Well-Known Member
What type of inspection?

Or were they giving you a citation for dropping off? That's the same here, you can drop off, but you may need some stuff to pick up.

You should have filmed everything from the beginning,not sure if utilites commissions has arrest/detain powers, look into that
In AZ we are governed by AZ Dept of Weights and Measures and by AZ DOT. And both those entities have the power to arrest, detain, impound and confiscate. They take commercial driving seriously here, and I'm sure CA is tougher then AZ.
 

Ringo

Active Member
I don't go to SJC and it's unfortunate what happened, this is what should have happened in the beginning of rides hare not 7 years into it.

SJC has been in constant surge it appears the trap has been set.
 
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Yomann

Well-Known Member
majikbear - thanks for filing your detailed TR.
I was herded off at the beginning of the year and inspected by CPUC personnel, who were polite and organized.
Total time spent in line - less than 20 minutes.
Subsequently; I got my biz license at City Hall downtown.
$150 is the maximum annual costs, but they have exceptions based on income, frequency of driving, age etc.
Being over 65, I got my license at zero cost.
SJC needs to come up with a sticker/placard like SFO and LAX have done, so drivers clearly displaying it are not inconvenienced.
 

Gung-Ho

Well-Known Member
I am a driver for Uber and Lyft. At 7:53 yesterday I arrived to drop off a rider at San Jose International Airport at the Alaska terminal. While exiting the airport I was stopped by a police officer who asked for and took my driver's license. I was directed to follow a police car along with three other cars who were in front of me. The car directly in front of me was a silver four door sedan. The person in the silver sedan was on their phone and stopped for some time so I was not able to proceed to follow the police car. At the time the officer who had stopped me to take my license complained that this is what happens when people use their phones while driving. By the time I resumed driving the police car I was supposed to follow was gone so I was not able to follow them. I continued driving until I reached the San Jose Airport Police Department, where I went to the door, rang the doorbell and asked where I was supposed to go. The officer who answered the door instructed me to go out, turn left, and go to the second entrance into the Cargo / Fire entrance. I drove into the lot and was stopped by an African American man in a black jacket who identified himself as Mark. He explained that inspections were being performed and that I should wait in my car. He went away to talk to another driver, then came back and explained that because I was an Uber driver I was there for an inspection and asked me to pull forward into a line between orange cones where other cars were waiting. I sat there for about five minutes before I was instructed to continue into the parking lot. Another tall, skinny dark-skinned bald man whose ethnicity I was unsure of instructed me to pull forward in front of a garage and stop there, then he left. I sat in my car for half an hour before exiting my car to inquire about what was going on. I approached a caucasian man in a reflective vest and asked if I was under arrest. He said no, I was not under arrest. I asked if I was free to go. He said he was not sure. He went to ask another person in a reflective vest. Subsequently I was spoken to by several more people, including Mark again, who explained that I was there for an inspection, that I was not under arrest, but I was not free to go. I stated that I felt I was being detained unlawfully. I stated that I could not afford to give $150 at that time, as I had not had any notice that I would need to pay that money today. A conversation ensued wherein Mark explained that Uber and the City of San Jose had been arguing since February about the fact that drivers for Uber and Lyft were required to pay for a business license to operate at the airport. I stated that Uber and Lyft both had told me that I required a license to pick up passengers at the airport, but that I did not require a license to drop them off. This was and still is in their driver training documentation at the time of this report. Mark stated that it was my fault that I did not know about the argument between San Jose and Uber. When I stated that it would have been impossible for me to be aware of the private communications between Uber and San Jose, Mark shrugged and said he did not know what to tell me.

I repeated the question about whether I was free to go. I was again told I was not free to go and that I needed to get in line in front of a tent that had been set up where I would be required to pay a fee of $150 to the person sitting behind the table under the tent. I asked repeatedly if I was under arrest and if I was free to go. I was told repeatedly that I was not under arrest but I was not free to go. One police officer approached and told me, quote, "those are not your rights. I don't know what videos you have been watching, but those are not your rights." End of quote. When I explained to this officer that I felt I was being detained unlawfully he told me that I didn't know what I was talking about, that I had no right to leave, and that whatever videos I had been watching those were not my rights. The officer spoke in a harsh tone and his posture and facial expression indicated that his intent was to be demeaning to me and to discredit my belief that I should be free to go. I asked the officer who was the authority body in charge of the operation. He said it was the San Jose Utilities Commission. I asked if the San Jose Utilities Commission had the right to detain citizens. The officer stated that I was not being detained. I asked if I was not under arrest and I was not being detained, was I free to go. The officer stated that being under arrest and being held for a citation were different things. I asked if I was being served a citation. The officer said no. I asked again if I was free to go. The officer said no, I was not free to go. I asked again who was responsible for the operation. He said it was the San Jose Utilities Commission. I asked him if he could ask them if I was free to go. He said no, but I could ask them myself. I said to the officer, since he was the one who told me I was not free to go he should go ask the San Jose Utilities Commission employee if I was free to go. The officer called one of the men in a reflective jacket over and began to explain to him that I was there to pay a $150 fee for a business license for the state of San Jose in order to operate as a driver at the San Jose International Airport. Because I was not allowed to leave and had no other choice, I got into the line to complete the application and pay my fee. While standing in line I was informed that in addition to the $150 fee, I would have to pay a $75 fine and 1% of all earnings I had made from dropping off and picking up passengers at the San Jose International Airport. When I got to the front of the line, I was not asked to pay the $75 and the 1%. I was asked to pay a $35 fee because I estimated that I would spend less time operating at the airport than would require the $150 fee. So I was not assessed a fine.

I was required to stand in the sun waiting to file the application. I was told that if I stepped out of line I would have to start over at the back of the line. The table for the police officers had donuts and each officer had a bottle of water, but none were offered to the drivers standing in line during the four hours I waited. After I filed the application I received a receipt to put under the windshield of my car and was allowed to leave the airport. Before leaving I returned with a pack of water bottles and offered one to each person in line. The time of my departure from the airport was 11:45. This puts the total time in detention at 3 hours 52 minutes.

1:00 P Called San Jose Police Department. Was told that my call was not important enough because the person receiving the call also took 911 calls, even though I called the non-emergency number. They transferred me to Internal Affairs, but the call dropped. I called Internal Affairs directly and was told they were too busy to take my call, and that they would call back and asked me if I would be available at my number. I gave them a callback number and told them I would be available until at least 3PM.

1:27 PM Called airport operations. Representative refused to take any action and hung up on me. I called back and asked to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor said she would report my complaint to "whoever was on duty for san jose police."

I attempted to contact Uber several times:

* Their urgent request phone number is just a recorded message telling you to contact them through the app.
* Their Twitter support person told me to contact them through the app.

I have had no response from Uber after contacting them through the app.
This is a remarkably well written account. All with correct spelling and punctuation. It is very detailed and makes sense.

Therefore I don't believe you are an uber driver but a paid uber shill posting what amounts to a public service announcement for drivers in the San Jose area.
 

MissNisee

Member
I agree, Robertk If they gave you your licence back. and you were not under arrest. Then Just LEAVE.
I'm not sure about the Uber shill thing Gung-Ho.....Maybe.
I did think it was a little weird the way he was describing the ethnicity of the people he talked to. I don't know why that was necessary for us to hear. It's not like we were taking his statement.

. I drove into the lot and was stopped by an African American man in a black jacket who identified himself as Mark. He explained that inspections were being performed and that I should wait in my car. He went away to talk to another driver, then came back and explained that because I was an Uber driver I was there for an inspection and asked me to pull forward into a line between orange cones where other cars were waiting. I sat there for about five minutes before I was instructed to continue into the parking lot. Another tall, skinny dark-skinned bald man whose ethnicity I was unsure of instructed me to pull forward in front of a garage and stop there, then he left. I sat in my car for half an hour before exiting my car to inquire about what was going on. I approached a caucasian man in a reflective vest and asked if I was under arrest.
 

Robertk

Well-Known Member
In AZ we are governed by AZ Dept of Weights and Measures and by AZ DOT. And both those entities have the power to arrest, detain, impound and confiscate. They take commercial driving seriously here, and I'm sure CA is tougher then AZ.
there is no local, state, or federal agency anywhere in this country that has the power to arrest someone for lack of a business license. (doesn't apply to doctors, pilots, etc)
 

chitownXdriver

Well-Known Member
there is no local, state, or federal agency anywhere in this country that has the power to arrest someone for lack of a business license. (doesn't apply to doctors, pilots, etc)
Maybe they categorize uber drivers under pilots as we get people from point A to point B, or as doctors as we deal with a lot of mentally ill patients
 

chitownXdriver

Well-Known Member
I agree, Robertk If they gave you your licence back. and you were not under arrest. Then Just LEAVE.
I'm not sure about the Uber shill thing Gung-Ho.....Maybe.
I did think it was a little weird the way he was describing the ethnicity of the people he talked to. I don't know why that was necessary for us to hear. It's not like we were taking his statement.

. I drove into the lot and was stopped by an African American man in a black jacket who identified himself as Mark. He explained that inspections were being performed and that I should wait in my car. He went away to talk to another driver, then came back and explained that because I was an Uber driver I was there for an inspection and asked me to pull forward into a line between orange cones where other cars were waiting. I sat there for about five minutes before I was instructed to continue into the parking lot. Another tall, skinny dark-skinned bald man whose ethnicity I was unsure of instructed me to pull forward in front of a garage and stop there, then he left. I sat in my car for half an hour before exiting my car to inquire about what was going on. I approached a caucasian man in a reflective vest and asked if I was under arrest.
Yeah I don't think I've ever heard of an African American named Mark, that's such a white persons name :rolleyes:
 

UberAnt39

Well-Known Member
Thanks for adding this, I get dragged into SJC sometimes (I even added the actual locations of the 2 TNC pickup points to google maps cos Uber's directions were written by last years least literate intern who was too lazy to do it) . I've noticed SJC surging 2X a lot the last few days so I guess this explains it. I already got stung by SF for 2 yrs of $91 taxes (which at least Uber blanket negotiated down from $500 incl fines etc till 8/31), so I sure won't be going into SJC anymore. There goes the acceptance rate again. Thanks for being Professional and working this all out Uber.

PS Count yourself lucky Uber Support didn't answer you, reading that junk only shortens your life.
 

SEAL Team 5

Well-Known Member
there is no local, state, or federal agency anywhere in this country that has the power to arrest someone for lack of a business license. (doesn't apply to doctors, pilots, etc)
Try opening up a dispensary in AZ without a license, try selling alcohol in AZ to the public without a license, try opening up a charter school in AZ without a license, try selling firearms in AZ to the public without a license. Do you know that agents for the AZ Liquor Dept carry guns and handcuffs. It's not for kinky sex with their wives. I have witnessed a driver of a scab cab get arrested by AZ Dept of Weights and Measures. It's actually a criminal offense. I don't think you know what you're talking about.
 

chitownXdriver

Well-Known Member
Officers carry guns and handcuffs cuz they're a bunch of trigger happy tyrants on a power trip who consider themselves judge jury and executioner's.
 

SEAL Team 5

Well-Known Member
Officers carry guns and handcuffs cuz they're a bunch of trigger happy tyrants on a power trip who consider themselves judge jury and executioner's.
With your city already having 462 murders this year I think Chicago needs a bunch more of those trigger happy tyrants on a power trip. And by the way, not one of those 462 murders were committed by a law officer.
 
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