San Francisco

San Francisco to Require Uber, Lyft Drivers to Obtain Business Licenses

Uber will not challenge the city, but Lyft opposes the plan

It's about to get more expensive to drive an Uber or Lyft car in San Francisco.

Officials will require the 37,000 company drivers who work in the city seven or more days a year to obtain a business license, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The license will cost $91 a year. Drivers who earn $100,000 or less in gross receipts annually will be required to pay back fees for the license.

City Treasurer Jose Cisneros wouldn't fully explain why he is now requiring the license. But one reason, the newspaper reported, is that he finally has the names of the drivers.

The city also launched its online business registration system in March. Before, registrants had to go to City Hall to apply in person.

Uber says it will not challenge the city.

"Uber partners with entrepreneurial drivers and as independent contractors, they are responsible for following appropriate local requirements," Uber spokeswoman Laura Zapata wrote in an email.

Lyft spokeswoman Chelsea Wilson, however, said the company is opposed to the plan.

"We have serious concerns with the city's plan to collect and display Lyft drivers' personal information in a publicly available database," Wilson told the newspaper in an email. "People in San Francisco, who are choosing to drive with Lyft to help make ends meet, shouldn't have to compromise their privacy in order to share a ride."

Cisneros said he doesn't expect that all 37,018 drivers who receive the letter are still driving for the companies.

The license fees are expected to generate $3.37 million a year for the city. An unknown number of drivers already have the license.

It is also unclear to what extent Cisneros will be able to enforce the business registration requirement. He said San Francisco law requires firms to display a registration certificate in their car, and drivers could be cited for failing to do so.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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