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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4: Transportation network driver certificates; posting in vehicle location visible to riders; driver qualifications; background checks; suspension of certificate; quarterly audit of transportation network company's driver certification and background check processes

[ Text of section added by 2016, 187, Sec. 4 effective November 3, 2016.]

  Section 4. (a) A driver who seeks to utilize the digital network of a transportation network company to provide pre-arranged rides shall apply to a transportation network company for a transportation network driver certificate. A person shall not provide transportation network services in the commonwealth without a valid background check clearance certificate and a transportation network driver certificate. The transportation network driver certificate shall be in a form prescribed by the division which shall include the name, picture of the driver and the license plate number of the vehicle in use and shall post a certificate for each transportation network company that has certified the driver in a location in the vehicle that is visible to the rider while transportation network services are being provided. A transportation network company shall not issue a transportation network driver certificate to a driver applicant unless the transportation network company has verified that the driver has received a background check clearance certificate from the division.

  (b) At a minimum, and subject to such other requirements as the division may establish by regulation, a transportation network company shall only issue a transportation network driver certificate to a driver who:

  (i) is at least 21 years of age;

  (ii) has access to a vehicle that has been registered in the commonwealth and inspected pursuant to section 7A of chapter 90 and regulations promulgated under said section 7A of said section 90 at a facility licensed by the registry of motor vehicles; or has access to a vehicle that has been registered in another state, and the vehicle complies with the inspection requirement of the state where the vehicle is registered;

  (iii) complies with insurance requirements established in this chapter or in section 228 of chapter 175;

  (iv) provides notice to all insurers of the vehicle that the applicant intends to use the vehicle to provide transportation network services;

  (v) is determined to be suitable to perform transportation network services pursuant to subsections (c) and (d);

  (vi) does not appear on the National Sex Offender Registry;

  (vii) has not had a conviction in the past 7 years for: (1) a sex offense or violent crime as defined in section 133E of chapter 127; (2) a crime under section 24 of chapter 90 or been assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program by a court; (3) leaving the scene of property damage or personal injury caused by a motor vehicle; (4) felony robbery; or (5) felony fraud; and

  (viii) has a driving record that does not include more than 4 traffic violations or any major traffic violation, as defined by the division of insurance, in the preceding 3 year period.

  (c) Prior to providing transportation network services, a driver applicant shall be subject to a 2-part background check process to determine if the driver applicant is suitable. The transportation network company shall: (i) conduct a background check and disqualify applicants on the basis of a suitability standard to be determined in regulations promulgated by the division; and (ii) submit identifying information regarding an applicant to the division, which shall refer that information to the department of criminal justice information services, which shall obtain all available criminal offender record information, as defined in section 167 of chapter 6, and pursuant to section 172 of said chapter 6 and sex offender registry information.

  (d) Not less than 2 times per year, the transportation network company shall conduct a background check pursuant to clause (i) of subsection (c) and shall immediately remove a driver from its digital network if the driver is found not suitable pursuant to the suitability standards to be determined in regulations promulgated by the division.

  (e) The transportation network company shall immediately suspend a transportation network driver's certificate, and notify the division of the suspension, upon learning of and verifying a driver's arrest for a crime or a driver's citation for a driving infraction that would render the driver unsuitable to provide transportation network services. A transportation network company shall report such suspension, in a form and manner prescribed by the division, to the division, which shall ensure all transportation network companies that certified that driver take appropriate action. Any such suspension may be limited to the period of time necessary to determine whether continued provision of transportation network services by the driver is consistent with the public interest.

  (f) In accordance with this section, the division shall quarterly audit the driver certification and criminal background check processes of a transportation network company. Non-compliance with this section shall constitute cause for the division to suspend or revoke a transportation network company permit pursuant to section 6.