House passes bill allowing Uber, Lyft to operate in Virginia

virginia-newThe House of Delegates passed legislation today sponsored by Del. Tom Rust (R-Herndon) that allows transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to be licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The measure passed with broad bipartisan support.

Speaking about the legislation, Del. Tom Rust said, “Uber, Lyft and other transportation network companies provide a transportation service that Virginians clearly like to use. In crafting this legislation, we sought input from all stakeholders involved, and I’m grateful for their many hours of work on it. When the Governor signs it into law, Virginians can take advantage of this new technology with assurance that reasonable safety and liability measures are governing its use.”

Delegate Tim Hugo (R-40), the chief co-patron of HB1662, said, “The legislation that passed today provides the perfect balance of public safety measures while fostering innovation. Improving transportation for Virginians takes more than just building infrastructure; it requires us to embrace new technology to better meet citizens’ transportation needs. Today’s action by the House allows Virginia to provide a permanent home to these transportation network companies.”

“This legislation is a true compromise, incorporating input from the public, from the companies, from the DMV, from taxi cab operators and many others,” said House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford). “It was important that we got this bill right, and the bipartisan support in today’s vote is a testament to the hard work that so many put into it. This collaborative effort shows how the House should go about doing the people’s business.”

Background on House Bill 1662 (Rust): The bill requires transportation network companies (TNCs) to screen drivers (TNC partners), ensure that all drivers are at least 21 years old and properly licensed to drive, and conduct background checks on all drivers including criminal background, driving history, and status on the sex offender registry.

The bill also requires that TNC partner vehicles be titled and registered personal vehicles; be insured; have a maximum seating capacity of no more than seven persons, excluding the driver; be registered with DMV for TNC use; and display TNC and DMV identification markers. The bill further requires that TNC drivers be covered by a specific liability insurance policy. The bill also imposes several other operational requirements, including requirements that the TNC provide a credential to the driver and disclose information about the TNC partner and TNC policies to passengers, and specifies the nature and limits of the insurance coverage.

The bill authorizes DMV to conduct periodic reviews of the TNC to confirm compliance and authorizes fees to cover DMV’s costs of administering the program.

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