Mississippi becomes latest state to regulate Uber, Lyft

The Southern state is 32nd state to enact legislation covering transportation network companies. (Photo: iStock)

Mississippi will begin regulating Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services on a statewide basis beginning July 1.

On Monday, Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed House Bill 1381, which puts the state’s Insurance Department in charge of regulating so-called transportation network companies. Regulation of taxi services had traditionally been left to cities in Mississippi.

The law requires each transportation network company to pay a $5,000 yearly license fee and requires the driver or the company to have insurance covering the transportation of passengers. While carrying passengers, the driver would have to be insured for up to $1 million.

Transportation network companies also have to conduct criminal background checks on drivers, and display a driver’s picture and license plate number online before a passenger is picked up.

“Bringing clarity and consistency to rideshare insurance laws while enhancing consumer choice and protections was a top priority for PCI in Mississippi and around the country. We commend the legislature and governor for taking action to close the TNC insurance gaps and ensuring that the people of Mississippi are protected in the event an accident occurs,” said Joe Woods, vice president of government relations for the Chicago-based Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

According to PCI, Mississippi is the 32nd state to adopt ridesharing legislation. Colorado was the first state, followed by California. Nine states currently have similar pending legislation: New Jersey, New York, Alabama, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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