Governor McAuliffe signs legislation enabling transportation network companies to legally operate in Virginia
Today Governor McAuliffe signed SB1025 and HB1662, which established licensing procedures for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to legally operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Earlier this year, Governor McAuliffe and Attorney General Herring’s offices worked with the Department of Motor Vehicles and TNC companies to find a compromise that allowed these entities to temporarily operate in Virginia until the General Assembly passed permanent legislation.
“I am proud to sign this legislation, which supports innovation in our transportation system while also protecting the safety of citizens across the Commonwealth,” stated Governor McAuliffe. “Virginia is leading the way on attracting and supporting innovative companies in every sector of our economy, and I am glad that the General Assembly was able to build upon the progress our administration made this summer in allowing TNCs to effectively and safely operate in Virginia.”
“As other states grapple with regulation of TNCs and the emerging sharing economy, they should look to Virginia, where we have found a balance between safety, passenger protection, and innovation,” said Attorney General Herring. “We should also be proud of the process that produced this law. By getting all stakeholders to the table over the summer, we were able to hammer out a temporary agreement that provided critical data and served as the foundation for a law which passed with broad bipartisan support. This law will strengthen our economy, give consumers more transportation options, and further cement Virginia’s reputation as a national leader for pro-business policies and reasonable regulation.”
SB1025 and HB1662 establish the process for licensing of transportation network companies by the DMV, as well as outlining specific requirements transportation network companies must comply with to receive licenses to operate. Requirements include, but are not limited to, TNC screening of drivers, ensuring that all drivers are at least 21 years old and properly licensed to drive, conducting background checks on all drivers and requiring that all drivers be insured and registered with DMV for TNC use. Additionally, the legislation authorizes DMV to conduct periodic reviews of TNC companies to confirm compliance and authorizes fees to cover DMV’s costs of administering the program.
The legislation, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers. Senator Bill Stanley, a co-patron of SB1025, commented, “This legislation creates a smart and effective regulatory scheme that will protect both the users of Uber/Lyft services as well as those Virginians who participate as drivers in this new and emerging industry. I was honored to be a part of the team led by Senators Watkins and Senator Newman that crafted this new law.”
Delegate Tom Rust, who introduced and carried HB 1662 added, “Now that this legislation will become law, Virginians can take advantage of this new technology with assurance that reasonable safety and liability measures are governing its use.”