The Transportation Policy Research Center gets questions from legislative and other offices. Today’s question is about background checks and companies like Uber and Lyft, known as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). The answer is provided by TTI Associate Transportation Researcher Maarit Moran.
I’m doing some research concerning statewide TNC legislation and I came across your PowerPoint presentation entitled “Transportation Network Company Laws and Regulations.” It was very helpful, but I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering another question that I had. In your presentation you state that 40 states have passed TNC laws and only 30 have passed laws regarding background checks. Could you possibly specify which 30 states? Or, if its more convenient, the 10 states of the 40 which have not passed laws regarding background checks.
Also, your presentation says that no state requires fingerprint-based background checks. Is this still the case or has this changed? If so, which states are now requiring fingerprint-based background checks. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Thank you for reaching out to us with your question. I am glad that you found the presentation useful, and I am happy to provide a more detailed, and updated, answer to your question about background checks. Through January 2017, 43 states (including Washington, D.C.) have passed some form of state legislation regarding TNCs. Thirty-five of those states include a requirement that TNC drivers undergo a background check. Note that, of the eight that do not, most have passed legislation related only to insurance requirements for TNCs and TNC drivers. This table includes all 43 states and their background check status.
In addition, the TTI Transportation Policy Research Center has a TNC legislation map that I regularly update. It provides additional information on state and Texas municipal TNC activity, as well as links to each legislation that you may find useful.
To your final question: no states currently require fingerprint-based background checks for TNC drivers. A number of states considered it—Maryland, Nevada, Kansas, to name a few—and the discussions around the issue that occurred in those states may provide some useful information. At the local level, New York City and Houston are two cities where fingerprint-based checks are required and Lyft and/or Uber operate in compliance with those rules. Some of these examples are noted in this report as well.