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Economy

New Law Requires Comprehensive Background Checks For Uber, Lyft Drivers

A driver displays Lyft and Uber stickers on his front windshield as he drops off a passenger in downtown Los Angeles, Jan. 12, 2016.
Associated Press
A driver displays Lyft and Uber stickers on his front windshield as he drops off a passenger in downtown Los Angeles, Jan. 12, 2016.

People in California who drive for Uber, Lyft and other ride-booking companies will face more extensive background checks in the new year.

Mary Beth McMann recently used a ride-booking app. She was driven from Sacramento International Airport to Napa where she lives. McMann said it was the worst hour of her life.

"I genuinely did not know if I was going to make it home," McMann said.

She said the driver was making lewd comments and missing freeway exits. She supports the new law.

"I’m grateful that the government is stepping in and trying to enforce something that I think the company should do on their own," McMann said.

The companies have already been doing background checks, but only for a driver’s past seven years. The new law requires the companies to look at a driver’s entire record. It prohibits companies from hiring registered sex offenders or people convicted of any violent crime, assault, domestic violence or DUI.

Karen Wilkinson drives for Lyft and Uber in the Sacramento area. She said the new law will be good for business.

“It’ll give passengers more confidence in their experience, help passengers feel safe,” Wilkinson said.

Although she’s worried costs for the comprehensive background checks will be passed onto drivers.

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