Legislators in California's state senate are considering a bill that would simplify the way Uber and Lyft drivers operate in California. The bill would change regulations so that drivers of the ridehailing service would only need to get one business license instead of carrying multiple licenses for each city they drive through.
The bill faces strong opposition from local governments, who see it as a way for the state to take away local licensing control. Few cities enforce their current business license rules for Uber and Lyft drivers, but the new legislation would preempt their ability to enforce it at all, which is irritating local governments.
One example is San Francisco, who sent notices to nearly 60,000 people it believes drives for Uber and Lyft. More than 19,000 people have already paid the annual fee of $91 for the license.
The program allows the city to track ride-hailing on city streets, providing data for things like a recent report on the amount of drivers who work in San Francisco every day. The bill being considered by the state senate would do away with all that.
Uber and Lyft drivers are classified as 'independent operators,' meaning they often have to get business licenses in every city where they do business. Those rules don't make much sense for drivers who regularly travel through different cities according to the bill's author, state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena).
Senate Bill 182 is currently pending before the Assembly in Sacramento. It still needs to pass both houses for it to be eligible to become law before the end of the legislative year in September.