Log In

Inside SFO

Inside SFO

See What It's Like to Drive on an Airport Tarmac
On The Latest Episode of Inside SFO

Search form

You are here

Off-Airport Rental Car


Please note that all off-airport rental car operators are required to have a permit to pick-up or drop-off at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Applicants must be licensed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) prior to applying for an Off-Airport Rental Car Permit at SFO.  Out of state carriers must have Operating Authority granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  Visit CPUC Carrier Status or FMCSA to verify status.

All applicants are required to complete a Mandatory Orientation.  Visit the Ground Transportation Permit Calendar to schedule an appointment.

Airport mechanics will inspect vehicle(s) at time of application and every year thereafter.  Upon completion of a successful inspection, a transponder (which records trips to the Airport) and associated decals will be issued.  These items grant access to the Airport.   The permit decal must be affixed to the vehicle’s rear window and replaced each year upon renewal. 

Operators must submit a refundable bond for the permit and transponder deposit for each permitted vehicle.  Rates are established on an annual basis by the Airport’s policy-making body, the Airport Commission.

There is an additional business agreement that is required for this permit.  Please contact the Revenue Development & Management office at 650.821.4500 for more information.


Off-Airport Rental Car Permits expire on February 28 of each year.  Annual renewal notices are emailed in December and permits are renewed during the months of January and February. There is an annual registration fee (see Fees below) for each vehicle. All previously submitted information will be reviewed to ensure accuracy and all vehicles will be inspected by Airport mechanics. In addition, vans or buses with less than 11 seats require a certified brake certificate. Outstanding trip fees and/or administrative fines must be paid prior to renewal.


If you are planning to cease operating from SFO, please complete the PDF iconTermination Request form. Once a permit is terminated, an operator must wait 9 months before reapplying.


Bonds & Deposits

The bonds are based on the equivalent of six months of trips and may be increased accordingly. Bonds may be paid by money order, cashier's check, Irrevocable Letter of Credit, and Faithful Performance Bond. Bonds and deposits are refundable after the termination of a permit. Any money owed to the Airport will be deducted from the bond.

The bond amount is based on the estimated number of trips made within six months times the designated trip fee (the # of trips x 6 months x trip fees).

Trip/Loop Fees


Annual Registration

Annual registration fees must be paid at the renewal of each type of permit and when adding a new vehicle to a fleet.



Temporary Identification Permit (TIP)



Operator Re-orientation Fee (for revoked or suspended permits)



Late Permit Renewal Fee (Non-Limousine)

30 days or greater from the annual renewal date (per permit) $200.00


Offsite Vehicle Inspection Service Fee (for fleets of 25 or more vehicles)

  • Less than 20 miles away from SFO (per vehicle) $15.00
  • 20 miles or more (per vehicle) $30.00


Fees may be paid by check and credit card (Visa/Mastercard/Discover).  Cash will not be accepted.

Pick-up & Drop-off Locations

Pick-up & Drop-off areas are restricted to the Rental Car Center.  No curbside access is permitted.

Pick-up Instructions

Your passengers should contact you either by mobile phone or by the courtesy phone at the center island, pickup location at the Rental Car Center. Please dispatch your vehicle for pick-up at that time.

Please contact the Ground Transportation Unit (GTU) at gtu@flysfo.com with questions. When emailing GTU, please indicate your Company name and TCP# (MCC, ICC, DOT,) in the “Subject” line.
For directions, visit: www.flysfo.com/maps.

Thank you for your cooperation with the Airport’s on-going program to ensure the safety and security of all SFO passengers.