Uber and Lyft must follow a new state law that went into effect on July 1, 2017.

What does the new law require?

Here are some highlights of the new legislation:

  • The driver must disclose the fare at the beginning of the ride, or the rider can request an estimated fare before the ride begins.
  • The digital network must show the rider a photo of the driver and the license plate number of the vehicle before the rider enters the vehicle.
  • The rideshare service, referred to as a transportation network company or TNC within the law, must electronically send a receipt to the rider with sufficient detail and within a reasonable time.
  • The TNC must maintain auto insurance that covers the driver while the driver is logged on to the network or driving a rider.
  • When the driver is logged on but does not yet have a rider, the car insurance policy must have a minimum of $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident, and $25,000 for property damage. The TNC must also carry personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured, and underinsured motorist coverage as required by law.
  • When the driver is transporting a passenger, the coverage must be at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damages, plus the PIP levels required for a limo, as well as the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage required by law.
  • TNCs must have a zero-tolerance policy for drug or alcohol use by drivers when accessing the TNC’s digital network.

Does the law prohibit certain people from being drivers for TNCs?

Yes. The new law requires local and national criminal background checks, sex offender website search, and driving history reports for all applicants before becoming drivers, and every three years after that. People cannot be rideshare drivers in Florida if they have:

  • More than three moving violations in the last three years;
  • A felony conviction in the last five years;
  • A misdemeanor conviction in the last five years for DUI of drugs or alcohol, for reckless driving, hit and run, fleeing, or attempting to elude law enforcement;
  • A misdemeanor conviction for sexual battery, lewdness, indecent exposure, or a violent offense; or
  • A conviction in the last three years of driving while your license was suspended or revoked

Applicants cannot be TNC drivers if they:

  • Are in the National Sex Offender website;
  • Do not have a valid driver’s license; or
  • Do not have valid proof of registration for the vehicle they will use while driving for the TNC

Who does the new law impact?

The law applies to transportation network companies who provide transportation by a driver to a rider as requested through a digital network. The law application begins when the driver accepts the ride and ends when the rider exits the vehicle after the ride.

Who does the new law not impact?

The law specifies certain groups that the legislation does not cover. These include:

  • Taxicabs
  • For-hire vehicles
  • Street hail service (not using a digital network)
  • Carpools
  • Other services in which the fee is no greater than the driver’s cost
  • Other ridesharing defined under Florida Statute § 341.031

Check out our blog for more news on Uber and Lyft in Florida.