Uber and Lyft Drivers
Did you apply to be a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft but were denied a background check clearance certificate? Are you a rideshare driver who was suspended for a disqualifying condition on your record? If so, the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy can help you appeal the denial or suspension.Massachusetts Rideshare Driver Regulations
Driving for Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare company offers unrivaled flexibility. You can earn an income on your own terms, working whenever you want. However, because rideshare drivers are not subject to federal regulation, each state creates its own framework for determining who can become a rideshare driver. In Massachusetts, Uber and Lyft drivers are held to a very high standard.
The Transportation Network Company (TNC) Division of the Department of Public Utilities oversees all rideshare companies operating in Massachusetts. As a result, the TNC Division also regulates rideshare drivers. Generally speaking, there are two requirements for becoming a rideshare driver:
- You must obtain a transportation network driver certificate from a rideshare company; and
- You must obtain a background check clearance certificate (BCCC) from the TNC Division
Under Massachusetts law, not just anyone can become a rideshare driver—and once you are qualified as a rideshare driver, any change in your driving record can result in your suspension. For example, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 159A½ provides that a rideshare company can only provide a transportation network driver certificate to you if:
- You are at least 21 years old;
- You have access to an acceptable vehicle;
- You maintain the appropriate insurance coverage;
- You are not on the National Sex Offender Registry;
- You do not have certain convictions on your record within the past seven years;
- You do not have more than four traffic violations or a single major traffic violation; and
- You passed a background check.
A background check clearance certificate is a document provided by the TNC Division stating that you can drive for a rideshare company. Under the Massachusetts rideshare driver suitability standards, there are three types of disqualifications.Mandatory Disqualifications
If you have certain criminal convictions or traffic citations on your record, you are automatically disqualified from receiving a BCCC. For example, if you have two or more convictions for operating under the influence (OUI), you are indefinitely barred from obtaining a BCCC.Presumptive Disqualifications
The TNC Division may determine that you are presumptively disqualified if you have a Continuation Without a Finding (CWOF) for certain offenses, even though the incident occurred more than seven years ago.Discretionary Disqualifications
Even if you do not have a disqualifying conviction or CWOF on your record, the TNC Division can issue a discretionary disqualification if “reliable information demonstrates that a Driver acted in a manner that resulted in jeopardy to the health, safety, or welfare of any person, or that a Driver’s provision of Services is not consistent with the public interest.”How Can a Rideshare Hearing Lawyer Help?
If the TNC Division denies your application for a background check clearance certificate or you are suspended for a disqualifying condition, you have the right to appeal to the Division. When you file an appeal, you must convince the TNC Division why its initial decision should be reversed. An attorney can help in gathering all necessary documentation and preparing a compelling case for why you should be granted a BCCC. An attorney will also be familiar with these hearings and can help prepare you for what to expect, so you don’t make a small mistake that could end up impacting the Division’s decision.
At the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy, we help those prospective Uber and Lyft drivers through all aspects of the administrative appeals process, including:
- Denial of a background check clearance certificate;
- Uber driver suspensions;
- Lyft driver suspensions; and
- Appealing an adverse TNC Division decision.
If you are trying to drive for Uber or Lyft and have encountered problems obtaining your background check clearance certificate, reach out to the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy for immediate assistance. Attorney Murphy provides free consultations to all prospective clients, during which he will offer an honest assessment of your case and discuss how he can help. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Boston rideshare administrative appeals lawyer today, call (617) 367-0450 . You can also reach Attorney Murphy through the firm’s online contact form.