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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A new law in Rhode Island taking effect in October of 2016 – S 2864 as Amended – requires Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft who use third party Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) for the background screening of potential drivers to only use CRAs accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®).

The new law amends Title 39 of the Rhode Island General Laws entitled “PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS” by adding a chapter called “TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY SERVICES” that will include the following section concerning what background screening TNCs will perform before permitting individual driver to accept trip requests through its digital network:

  • Require the individual to submit an application to the TNC. The application shall include the individual’s name, address, age, driver’s license number, photocopy or electronic copy of the driver’s license, motor vehicle registration for the personal vehicle that the individual intends to use to provide prearranged rides, automobile liability insurance, and other information as may be required by the TNC.
  • Conduct, or have a third party accredited by the national association of professional background screeners conduct, a local and national criminal background check for each applicant that shall include: (i) Multi-state/multi-jurisdictional criminal records locator or other similar commercial nationwide database with validation (primary source search); and (ii) Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website; and
  • Obtain and review, or have a third party obtain and review, a driving history research report for such driving applicant.

S 2864 also requires the TNC to certify that the required background screening verifies that the applicant drivers meet the following criteria:

  • Has not had more than three (3) moving violations in the prior three (3) year period, or one of the following major violations in the prior three (3) year period: (i) Attempting to evade the police; (ii) Reckless driving or driving on a suspended; or (iii) Revoked license;
  • Has not, in the past seven (7) years, been convicted of or pleaded nolo contendere to any of the following: (i) Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; (ii) Felony fraud; (iii) Sexual offenses; (iv) Use of a motor vehicle to commit a felony; (v) Felony crimes; (vi) Acts of violence or felony acts of terror;
  • Is not a match in the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website;
  • Possesses a valid driver’s license;
  • Possesses proof of registration for the motor vehicle to be used to provide prearranged rides or TNC services;
  • Possesses proof of automobile liability insurance, which satisfies the financial responsibility requirement for a motor vehicle under §31-47-2(13)(i)(A), for the motor vehicle(s) to be used to provide prearranged rides or TNC services; and
  • Is at least nineteen (19) years of age.

Besides requiring driver background checks from screening firms accredited by the NAPBS accredite, S 2864 – which was passed in June of 2016 – puts Uber, Lyft, and other TNCs under the oversight of the Rhode Island public utilities commission, sets minimum insurance requirements, and establish an annual $30,000 permit for companies with 200 or more drivers, WJAR Channel 10 in Providence, RI reports.

The NAPBS is a nonprofit organization consisting of more than 750 member companies engaged in the background screening profession that has been dedicated to providing the public with safe places to live and work since 2003. NAPBS members help employers, staffing agencies, and nonprofit organizations make more informed decisions regarding potential employees. To learn more, visit

Since its inception, the NAPBS has maintained that there is a strong need for a singular and cohesive industry standard. The NAPBS created the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) to be a “seal of approval” representing a background screening organization’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement.

To become accredited, background screening firms must pass a rigorous onsite audit – conducted by an independent auditing firm – of its policies and procedures as they relate to six critical areas:  consumer protection, legal compliance, client education, product standards, service standards, and general business practices. To learn more about NAPBS accreditation, visit

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) IS NAPBS Accredited

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), a leading global background screening company, is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®).  Read more about ESR achieving NAPBS accreditation at

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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