Background checks coming for Uber and Lyft drivers

Drivers will not have to go through fingerprint check, however

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

BOSTON (WWLP) – It will soon become harder to be an Uber or Lyft driver in Massachusetts. The ridesharing services have agreed to make all their drivers undergo extensive background checks, in order to ensure that the person picking you up can get you to your destination safely.

State lawmakers voted to regulate so-called “Transportation Networking Companies” like Uber and Lyft this year. That includes new policies to make sure the person taking you from Point A to Point B is a law-abiding citizen.

Beginning January 7, all drivers must pass a full state criminal background check and a sex offender check in order to operate in Massachusetts. Drivers will not, however, have to go through a fingerprint check.

“We’re not going to be able to check 100% of the people that will never get in trouble, but I think we can send a strong message to make sure that we at least have a good handle on who’s driving, and make sure they’re responsible,” said Rep. Paul Tucker (D-Salem).

Every Uber and Lyft driver must pass the state background check by April 3 of next year in order to pick up passengers.