After a stopgap measure last year allowed ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber to operate in Virginia temporarily, the commonwealth’s governor signed a bill Tuesday that will officially legalize ridesharing company operations.
“I am proud to sign this legislation, which supports innovation in our transportation system while also protecting the safety of citizens across the Commonwealth,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement.
“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 [transportation network companies] to effectively and safely operate in Virginia.”
The agreement will require the companies to go through licensing procedures through the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The ridesharing companies must meet and comply with specific requirements in order to receive operation licenses.
“We have found a balance between safety, passenger protection and innovation,” the state’s Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement. “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.”
Under the new law, companies will be required to screen to ensure all drivers are at least 21 years old, properly licensed to drive and have gone through a background check. All drivers must also be insured and registered with the DMV to operate as a transportation network company driver.