Uber and Lyft in Massachusetts to Start Background Checks Early

They agreed to comply with the new law by April.

Photo via iStock/Mlenny

Photo via iStock/Mlenny

Beginning in April, if you hail a ride with Uber or Lyft, you can expect that your driver will have passed a background check.

The companies, the governor’s office announced today, have agreed to begin complying with updated screening rules by January and to ensure that everyone who picks up passengers using the app has completed a Criminal Offender Record Information (or CORI) check on top of another national screening for commercial operators. All drivers in the state are to be screened by April 3.

That was one of the major components of the law passed this summer that brought new requirements to the services, among them rules about inspecting ride-sharing cars and an update to the minimum amount of insurance those cars need to have.

In a statement Monday, Baker called the checks the most stringent in the nation.

“The safety and security of the riding public is our top priority, and I am pleased this agreement will set a national standard for the most comprehensive state background checks for TNC drivers in the country,” Gov. Charlie Baker says in a prepared statement. “With the signing of these agreements, consumers who take advantage of the innovative technology services provided by Transportation Network Companies can have confidence that the driver has undergone a thorough background check that includes both criminal and driving records.”

The law had originally required that the screenings start a year from now.