Background Check News


Ride-hail rule opens driver door
By Jordan Graham|7 hours ago

IN GEAR: The state has loosened regulations for driver prospects at Uber, Lyft and other ride-hail companies, giving many who were rejected a second chance.
State officials have walked back requirements for Uber and Lyft drivers after background check requirements were widely slammed for being overly burdensome because they disqualified potential drivers with decades-old infractions.

The new regulations, which will go into effect later this month, give Department of Public Utilities officials much greater leeway when deciding whether potential drivers should be allowed to drive.

Applicants who received a continuance without a finding - where a defendant admits to sufficient facts in exchange for probation but is not found guilty - more than seven years ago will get an automatic hearing, at which they can argue why a black mark on their record should not prevent them from driving.

"We have the folks in, they can present character references, many folks will bring letters from employers, basically indicating they are suitable to drive people around," said Chris Henry, director of the DPU's Transportation Network Company division, which oversees ride-hailing companies.

The changes come after an emotional public hearing earlier this year, when dozens of drivers told DPU officials how they were disqualified from driving because of long-ago offenses on charges for which they were never found guilty.

Henry said the TCN division would talk to the ride-hailing companies about how to handle drivers who were initially rejected but would have another chance under the new regulations.

As of Thursday, DPU has approved 107,718 applications from drivers, and rejected 13,735.

In a statement, Uber said it is still reviewing the new regulations, but is pleased with the changes. Lyft also said it is still reviewing the changes.


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