Uber and Lyft Now Legal in Virginia

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently signed a bill into law allowing ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber to legally operate in the state. The companies operate via a smartphone app in which users can summon a driver, who uses his or her personal vehicle to pick up customers.

This decision comes after the state had enacted an agreement last summer permitting the companies to operate temporarily until a concrete set of standards was established. Prior to that, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles had banned the ride-sharing services from operating within the state due to the companies not having proper licenses to operate.

The bill spells out a firm set of standards and procedures for drivers to follow, such as passing criminal background checks and driving record screenings, before they can give customers rides. Drivers also must be over the age of 21 and have liability insurance of more than $1 million. These requirements closely mimic the companies’ own screening procedures that serve as guidelines for hiring drivers.

The state is optimistic that the signing of the bill will result in positive change for both Virginia residents and the economy as a whole. It hopes to serve as an example for other states that need to develop their own sets of regulations for transportation organizations.