RIDE SHARING LAW
Ride sharing became effective in New York State on June 29th, 2017. After many years of uncertainty, ride sharing became a reality and legal in New York State. The State Legislature answered many questions of how to regulate individuals and companies that provide ride sharing. Companies like Uber and Lyft have been operating in the State without any guidance. For example, before the new law went into effective an Uber driver who operated their own private vehicle would not be covered for livery services they provided by their own insurance company. Their own insurance company specifically excluded coverages for private auto that is operated for hired.
The legislature seems to solve this problem by requiring the ride sharing company to maintain insurance liability limits of a minimum coverage of $75,000 per person and $150,000 for anyone injured as result of injuries caused by a ride sharing company, such as Uber when they were engaged or enroute to a job.
Moreover, the coverages increase to a total of $1,250,000 when the driver picks up a passenger and while enroute he causes injury to either his passengers or another party.
This relief comes as the summer travel season is upon us. Passengers in Upstate New York have been without options since there has been no taxi or livery in rural areas. The Legislature also made it a requirement that the driver of a ride sharing company has photo identification and that his/her vehicle indicate the name of the company, e.g. LYFT. The driver must also be over 19 years old and must pass a criminal background check. The driver must also indicate the make, model and plate number of their vehicle to potential passengers.
The Governor empowered the Department of Motor Vehicle to enforce the law.