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Background Checks of Drivers for Transport Network Companies: SEARCH Survey Gauges State Practices


tncsSEARCH has released the results of a recent informal survey of its Membership Group to gauge the practices of different states in conducting background checks of drivers for transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft.

According to SEARCH Law and Policy Director Becki Goggins, the issue of background checks of drivers for such “car-hailing” companies has drawn media attention this year, as drivers have been accused of committing crimes against customers in Chicago, Dallas, Boston Washington, DC and New Delhi.

She added that legislators in some states have been pushing for stricter background checks, with this issue likely to draw continued attention as the popularity of these companies—and the use of their smartphone apps—increases.

Highlights of the TNC survey, in which 28 states responded, include:

  • 25 percent of responding states do require background checks for TNC drivers.
  • None of these states require these background checks to be fingerprint-supported.
  • 15 states said TNC applicants are not held to the same criminal-backgrounding standard as taxi and limousine drivers.
  • Three states reported having counties and/or municipalities in their state that require fingerprint-based background checks for TNC drivers.

SEARCH’s Membership Group is a national body of state-level justice professionals, many of whom are responsible for operational decisions and policymaking concerning the management of criminal justice information, particularly criminal history record information and associated background checks.

Contact Becki Goggins if you have any questions or need more information about the survey.

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