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Assembly Bill 1289, passed on September 28th, has made background checks mandatory for drivers working for a Transportation Network Company (TNC) in California. This bill applies to both employees and independent contractors.

What is a TNC?

TNCs are organizations that connect paying passengers with drivers who provide transportation using their own non-commercial vehicles. All parties connect to the service via website and mobile apps. These are companies like Uber and Lyft.

Background check requirements for TNCs:

  •         A multi-state and multi-jurisdiction criminal records locator or other similar commercial nationwide database with validation; and
  •         A search of the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) National Sex Offender Public website


A TNC shall not contract with, employ, or retain a driver if he/she meets the following criteria:

  •         Is currently registered on the USDOJ National Sex Offender public website
  •         Has been convicted of a violent felony
  •         Has been in violation of Section 11413, 11418, 11418.5 or 11419 of the Penal Code


A TNC shall not contract with, employ, or retain a driver if he/she has been convicted of any of the following offenses in the last seven years:

  •         Misdemeanor assault or battery
  •         Domestic violence offence
  •         Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  •         A felony violation of Section 18540 of the Elections Code


Assembly Bill 1289 goes into effect on January 1, 2017. We recommend that each Transportation Network Company review their background screening procedure to ensure compliance with the new bill as well as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other local laws. Each violation of the new law will result in fines between one and five thousand dollars per incident.


To view Assembly Bill 1289 in full, click here.