RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced an agreement on Wednesday with two transportation network companies that will help ensure that passengers are safe and provide more transparency into their operations.
Herring's office issued cease and desist letters to Uber and Lyft on June 5 to bring the companies into compliance with Virginia law. The companies brokered a temporary legal framework after extensive discussions with Herring's office, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the administration of Governor Terry McAuliffe.
“I knew there had to be a better way to ensure the safety of Virginia passengers," Herring said. "These companies offer services that Virginians want, but it just wasn't acceptable for them to operate without complying with regulations or other measures to help ensure the safety of passengers and motorists."
Under the terms of the agreement, the Department of Motor Vehicles will grant temporary operating authority and applications for transportation broker's licenses immediately if they meet extensive regulations, have appropriate insurance and comply with state law. Uber and Lyft must conduct extensive background checks of drivers, review driving history, institute a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol, institute rigorous insurance requirements and only accept rides booked through the companies' mobile device apps.
"I'm proud that we were able to get folks back to the table and get them talking again, and now we've shown that Virginia can be responsive to innovative businesses while promoting public safety and the rule of law," Herring said. "Because of this cooperation, Virginians are going to have more transportation options that are safer, more transparent, and appropriately regulated. I hope other states will look to Virginia as a model for how to safely integrate the so-called sharing economy."