California Uber drivers would need only one business license under new legislation

April 5, 2017
Los Angeles, CA

By Liam Dillon

California Uber and Lyft drivers would have to register for only one business license no matter where they drive in the state under a bill unveiled this week by a Los Angeles lawmaker.

Senate Bill 182 from state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Los Angeles) attempts to make it easier for drivers to comply with local rules governing taxation and registration for independent contractors — an employee classification the companies have long argued fits their drivers.

“This bill would add clarity to the process of obtaining a business license for drivers while protecting working-class Californians from fees and costs that can dramatically impact their ability to do business,” Bradford said in a statement.

California cities and counties have been trying to implement the fees as a way to regulate the fast-growing ride-hailing industry. Last year, San Francisco began pushing drivers to pay the $91 annual fee to register. Drivers have worried that cities will require them to register wherever they drive, creating a web of licenses needed to work legally across different jurisdictions. Bradford’s bill would allow drivers to register with one city and use that license to drive across the entire state.