Thousands of Uber and Lyft Drivers Fail Massachusetts Background Checks

Photo: © Mohamed Ahmed Soliman |

- April 20, 2017

Massachusetts state officials announced a law passed in 2016 requiring Uber and Lyft drivers to undergo more thorough background checks and screening. The law resulted in more than 10 percent of drivers failing the exams.

Figures released by The Associated Press reveal more than 62,000 drivers passed the extensive background checks, but 8,200 failed. The most common failures were suspended licenses, having a license for less than three years and multiple driving offenses. In addition to the background checks, officials discovered 300 drivers had previous felony convictions and another 51 were registered sex offenders.

“Public safety is a top priority for this administration and we are pleased to have completed this first round of in-depth background checks a year ahead of schedule,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

The two-part check requires Uber and Lyft to conduct their own multi-state criminal, sex offender and driving background checks. Once a driver passes, they are referred to the state which runs its own background checks.

Officials from Uber claim the background process is too strict.

“Thousands of people in Massachusetts have lost access to economic opportunities as a result of a screening that includes an unfair and unjust indefinite look back period,” said Uber. “We have an opportunity to repair the current system in the rules process so that people who deserve to work are not denied the opportunity.