Becoming an Uber or Lyft driver in Virginia recently got a little easier.
Drivers for the two ride-sharing companies no longer need to obtain a free, special vehicle registration from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The law changed March 25.
People who choose to work for Uber or Lyft now need only a standard vehicle registration. Those firms are the only transportation network companies currently licensed to do business in Virginia.
The DMV said drivers whose vehicles are currently registered with the DMV for ride-sharing use do not need to take any action as a result of the change in the law, and the black-and-yellow license plate decals remain valid until their expiration date.
Del. Ron Villanueva, R-Virginia Beach, and Sen. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg, sponsored legislation that removed the added special registration requirement. The law took effect March 25. The new law also modifies registration requirements for out-of-state transportation network company drivers.
DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker said as of late last month, there were 7,019 Uber and Lyft vehicles registered in Virginia Beach; 3,896 in Norfolk; 2,893 in Chesapeake; 1,195 in Portsmouth; and 760 in Suffolk. Statewide, there were more than 184,000 of the vehicles registered when the new law took effect, DMV said in a news release.
“We don’t really have any idea of how many drivers will be exchanging their TNC registration for the standard registration, but we want to make this really easy for people,” Brubaker said.
In order to be an Uber or Lyft driver, authorization from one of those companies is still required. Drivers also must still submit to regular criminal and driving history screenings, have appropriate insurance coverage and an annual vehicle safety inspection.
Out-of-state transportation network drivers may now obtain a vehicle safety inspection from their home state if the Virginia State Police deems that state’s inspection program to be comparable to Virginia’s, the DMV said.