New Illinois Ride-Share Law Requires More Extensive Background Checks

An Illinois law that took effect Tuesday, is now requiring ride-share drivers to undergo adequate background checks to ensure safety among those who use the service.

According to a statement from Illinois Senate Democrats, the law requires that those applying to be ride-share drivers provide their full name and social security number, as well as their date of birth.

Some Chicago-area ride-share passengers were surprised this wasn’t already a requirement.

The statement says that previously, prospective drivers were only required to give their address, age, driver's license number, motor vehicle registration and automobile insurance liability.

The new regulations come after an accident that left a 23-year-old Lyft passenger killed near Humboldt Park about two months ago—her driver, police say, was under the influence of a drug.

In addition, the driver of the car that hit the Lyft vehicle, was later charged with a DUI and reckless homicide.

The passenger's family is now applauding this new safety measure, emphasizing that they don’t want a similar incident to occur ever again.

Although ride-share companies like Uber say it was already their standard,  LegalRideshare attorneys say the industry is still evolving.

“We’ve seen people slip through the cracks,” said LegalRideshare Attorney Bryant Greening. “If we were the ones making a hiring decision(s), we probably wouldn’t have put them on the road.”

State Sen. Daniel Biss, an Evanston Democratic, was a sponsor of the bill.

"Ride-sharing companies are now held to the same standard that other licensed transportation services have been held to for years," Biss said.

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