The horrible limousine crash in upstate New York raises concerns about the safety of the vehicles.
When you're looking for a limo company, check for two incredibly important things: Are they licensed, and have there been any violations against them?
In Maryland, limos are regulated by the Public Service Commission. You can check both active and suspended limo company licenses.
In Virginia you can find the information you need about a limo company on the DMV's website. Limo companies must be licensed, and the DMV has a database of approved carriers, including limousines, and will provide you with a list of approved limo companies.
In DC, limousine companies must be certified by the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, and those that are registered you can search for them on their website.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a website called Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System (SAFER) that includes information like inspection summaries and crash information for limousines that have interstate operating authority.
Never do business with any unlicensed company and ask for proof of the limo company's insurance, then contact the company to make sure they paid their policy.
You should also go in person to the limo company and visually inspect the limousines. Often times your gut is a good indication whether you're dealing with a reputable company.