How to Retrieve Things Left in a New York City Taxi

by Eliza London, studioD

It's easy to forget about everything else when you're surrounded by the sights and sounds of New York City, but try not to become distracted when getting out of a taxicab. Between paying, figuring out a tip and gathering your things, you can easily leave an item behind. Don't panic if you find yourself in this situation; drivers are required by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission to return lost property to its owner if possible, or to drop it off at the police station. The commission also has an online form to help passengers recover lost items from city cabs.

Check first with the front desk or lost and found at the location where you were dropped off; the driver may have returned your item there.

Call or stop by the police lost and found center closest to your final destination. Each borough of New York City has its own lost and found center, which can be located on the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission website.

Gather information about your taxi ride and the lost property if you are unable to find it at the police station. Write down the taxi's medallion number found on your receipt, the time and date of your cab ride, your pickup and drop-off locations, how you paid for your cab ride and the driver's name and/or license plate number, if you have this information. Also determine the estimated value of your lost property.

Visit the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission website to submit a lost property inquiry. Fill out the form on the website that corresponds with having or not having the medallion number. Submit the information you gathered about your cab ride in the form, including your contact information.

Call the taxi's garage directly to try to track down your lost property. The Taxi & Limousine Commission will contact you a few days after you fill out the online form with the taxi's garage number if they are able to find it.


  • Use another phone to call a cell phone left behind in a taxi; the driver or another passenger may answer it and return it to you.
  • Keep your receipt from a taxi ride since it shows the cab's medallion number. If you have the medallion number, it is much easier to track down the taxi and potentially recover your property.
  • Double check the backseat every time you get out of a cab to avoid leaving property behind.

Items you will need

  • Taxi receipt
  • Date and time of your taxi ride
  • Pickup and drop-off locations
  • Driver's name or ID number
  • License plate number
  • Description of lost item(s)

About the Author

Based in Philadelphia, Eliza London has been a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in business and retail trade magazines, as well as on numerous websites. London holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Susquehanna University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images