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  • NJ A3695
  • Regulates transportation network companies.
Introduced
(5/19/2016)
In Committee
(5/19/2016)
Crossed Over
(12/19/2016)
Passed
(12/19/2016)
Signed
(2/10/2017)
Dead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill regulates transportation network companies. A transportation network company (TNC) is defined as a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity operating in New Jersey that uses a digital network to connect a TNC rider (rider) to a TNC driver (driver) to provide a prearranged ride. The bill establishes safety and insurance requirements for TNCs that conduct business in New Jersey. Under the bill, a TNC is required to obtain a permit from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) upon proof of required insurance, proof that the TNC is licensed to conduct business in New Jersey, payment of an initial and annual $50,000 fee, and any other information the MVC may require. The MVC may revoke a permit if the TNC does not comply with the bill's provisions. The TNC is required to appoint and maintain an agent for service of process in New Jersey. Prearranged rides provided by a driver are not to be considered transportation provided by an autocab, taxi, limousine, autobus, jitney, motor bus, or other for-hire vehicle, and is not to be considered ridesharing. A TNC or a driver is not to provide taxi, limousine, or other for-hire vehicle service. A driver is not to solicit or accept any ride that is not prearranged through a transportation network company's digital network. The bill provides that TNCs are to be regulated by the State, and that a county or municipality is not to require a TNC or driver to obtain a license or permit to provide prearranged rides in that county or municipality, or require a TNC driver to obtain a license or permit to use a personal vehicle to provide prearranged rides in that county or municipality. A county or municipality is not to impose a tax or fee that only applies to a TNC or driver; provided that, the TNC or driver is to be subject to a tax or fee that applies generally to all businesses or residents of the county or municipality. A transportation network company is required to annually submit data collected from prearranged rides provided through the company's digital network to the Department of Transportation, which is to include, but is not limited to, the points of origin and destination of a prearranged ride and the date and time of a prearranged ride. Information to Riders The bill requires a TNC to provide riders, on its website or digital network, the fare and method by which the TNC calculates fares, the applicable rates being charged, and the option to receive an estimated fare prior to entering the driver's vehicle. A TNC is also required to provide a rider or potential rider with the picture of the driver that is to provide the prearranged ride and the license plate number of the driver's vehicle used to provide the prearranged ride. Within a reasonable time after completion of the prearranged ride, the TNC is to provide the rider with an electronic receipt detailing the points of origin and destination of the prearranged ride, the total time and distance of the prearranged ride, and an itemization of the total fare paid. Insurance Requirements Under the bill, a TNC, driver, or both, is required to maintain primary automobile liability insurance in an amount of at least $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death or bodily injury per incident, and $25,000 for property damage while the driver is logged on to the TNC's digital network as a driver and is available to receive requests for a prearranged ride, but is not providing a prearranged ride. In this situation, the TNC, driver, or both, is also required to maintain primary personal injury protection benefits. A TNC, driver, or both, is to maintain primary automobile liability insurance in an amount of at least $1,500,000 for death, bodily injury, and property damage while the driver is providing a prearranged ride. In this situation, the TNC, driver, or both is also required to maintain primary automobile insurance for medical payments benefits to provide coverage only for the benefit of the driver in an amount of at least $10,000 per person per incident. While accessing the TNC's digital network but not providing a prearranged ride, and while providing a prearranged ride, the TNC, driver, or both, is required to maintain uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. The bill provides that if the insurance coverage maintained by a driver has lapsed or does not provide the required coverage, insurance maintained by the TNC is required to provide the necessary coverage and the TNC has a duty to defend the claim. In addition, the bill requires a driver to carry paper or electronic proof of the required insurance at all times while using a personal vehicle in connection with a TNC's digital network. In the event of an accident, a driver is required, upon request, to provide insurance coverage information to the directly interested parties, automobile insurers, and investigating law enforcement officers. A driver is also required, upon request, to disclose to the directly interested parties, automobile insurers, and investigating law enforcement officers whether the driver was logged on to a digital network as a driver or whether the driver was providing a prearranged ride at the time of the accident. The bill also provides that a TNC is not to permit a driver to accept requests for prearranged rides on the TNC's digital network until the TNC discloses in writing to the driver: (1) the insurance coverage, including the types and limits of coverage, that the TNC provides; and (2) that the driver's own private passenger automobile insurance policy may or may not provide any coverage while the driver is logged on to the digital network as a driver and is available to receive requests for prearranged rides or while the driver is providing a prearranged ride. Under the bill, an insurance company may exclude any and all coverage afforded under a private passenger automobile insurance policy issued to an owner or operator of a personal vehicle for loss or injury that occurs while the personal vehicle is being used by a driver and the driver is logged on to the TNC's digital network as a driver or is providing a prearranged ride. TNC Maintenance of Certain Systems The bill requires a TNC to maintain a system that permits a driver to: (1) opt out of any communication with the TNC; (2) establish an independent business while engaging with the TNC's digital network; and (3) operate in any municipality in the State, without providing notice to the TNC. A TNC is not to restrict a driver from utilizing another TNC's digital network. Zero Tolerance Alcohol and Controlled Dangerous Substance Policy Under the bill, a TNC is to implement a zero tolerance controlled dangerous substance and alcohol policy while a driver is logged on to the TNC's digital network as a driver or is providing a prearranged ride through the TNC's digital network. The TNC is to provide riders, on its website, digital network, or electronic receipt, notice of the zero tolerance policy and procedures to report a complaint about a driver's suspected violation of the policy. The TNC is to investigate the complaint and, if results of the investigation corroborate the rider's complaint, immediately revoke the driver's access to the TNC's digital network. The TNC is to maintain records concerning the enforcement of the zero tolerance policy. Non-Discrimination and Accessibility Policy Under the bill, a TNC is required to adopt a non-discrimination policy against riders or potential riders on the basis of destination, race, color, national origin, religious belief or affiliation, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Drivers are required to comply with all applicable laws regarding non-discrimination as well as laws relating to the accommodation of service animals. A TNC is prohibited from charging an additional fee for accommodation of a person with a physical disability. Driver Application Materials A TNC is to require a TNC driver applicant to submit an application with the applicant's address, age, and social security number, and a copy of the applicant's driver's license, motor vehicle registration, and automobile liability insurance. Social Security Number Trace Before allowing an applicant to log on to a TNC's digital network as a driver or to provide prearranged rides as a driver, a TNC or a third party is to conduct a social security number trace that identifies the applicant's addresses for the past seven years. The applicant is to provide three of the following documents for purposes of conducting the social security number trace: (1) the applicant's driver's license; (2) the applicant's motor vehicle registration; (3) the applicant's automobile liability insurance policy; (4) a utility or credit card statement containing the applicant's name and address issued within the past 90 days; (5) a high school or college transcript containing the applicant's name and address issued within the past two years; (6) a current lease or rental agreement containing the applicant's name as the lessee or renter; (7) a letter or correspondence addressed to the applicant and received from the Internal Revenue Service or the Division of Taxation in the New Jersey Department of the Treasury within the past year; or (8) first-class mail addressed to the applicant and received from a federal, state, or local government agency within the past six months. Criminal Background Check and Driver's License Check The TNC or a third party is required to conduct a criminal background check, approved by the Division of State Police (State Police), before allowing an applicant to log on to the TNC's digital network as a driver or to provide prearranged rides as a driver. The criminal background check is to include a search of a multi-state and multi-jurisdictional criminal records locator or similar commercial nationwide database with validation and the United States Department of Justice's Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. If the method of conducting a criminal background check by a TNC or third party is not approved by the State Police, an applicant is to provide the State Police with the applicant's name, address, fingerprints, and written consent for a criminal history record background check to be performed by the State Police, in accordance with regulations adopted under the New Jersey Administrative Code, before the applicant is authorized to log on to the TNC's digital network as a driver or to provide prearranged rides. If the method of conducting a criminal background check by a the TNC or third party is not approved by the State Police, a TNC is not to permit an applicant to log on to its digital network as a driver or provide prearranged rides until the State Police provide the TNC with information concerning the applicant's eligibility to be a driver. The applicant is to pay all costs associated with a criminal history record background check conducted by the State Police. A TNC or third party is also required to conduct a driving record check of the applicant before allowing the applicant to log on to the TNC's digital network as a driver to provide prearranged rides. Applicant Disqualification An applicant is disqualified from logging on to a TNC's digital network as a driver or providing prearranged rides as a driver if the applicant was convicted for any of the disqualifying crimes provided in the bill, unless the applicant can provide a valid certificate of rehabilitation. An applicant is also disqualified if the applicant has received more than three moving violations in the past three years, or, within the past three years, a violation for: (1) driving under the influence; (2) resisting arrest, eluding an officer; (3) reckless driving; (4) driving with a suspended or revoked license, or (5) a comparable violation committed in any other state, territory, commonwealth, or other jurisdiction of the United States. Additionally, an applicant is disqualified if the applicant is a match on the United States Department of Justice's Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website, is not a holder of a valid driver's license, does not possess proof of a valid vehicle registration, or proof of valid automobile liability insurance, or is less than 21 years old. Restricted Access to TNC Digital Network The TNC is to restrict access to its digital network and prohibit unauthorized drivers from logging on to the digital network as a driver by assigning a unique network access key, which is to include a username and password, that is not to be shared with a third party. A TNC is to respond to complaints from riders that the picture provided of the driver does not match the driver of the prearranged ride. Vehicle Inspection Prior to allowing an applicant to log on to the TNC's digital network to provide a prearranged ride as a driver, a TNC is to require that the applicant's personal vehicle to be used to provide prearranged rides meets the State's inspection requirements for passenger automobiles and that the driver maintains a valid inspection certificate of approval for the personal vehicle. TNC Identifying Marker The MVC is required to issue an identifying marker to every driver who logs on to a TNC's digital network to provide prearranged rides. The identifying marker is to indicate that the vehicle is used to provide prearranged rides. A driver is to prominently display the identifying marker whenever the driver is logged on to the TNC's digital network as a driver or is providing a prearranged ride. Inspection of TNC Records A TNC is to maintain records of individual prearranged ride records for at least six years after the date of the prearranged ride and individual records of each driver for at least six years after the driver terminates status as a driver. The bill authorizes the MVC and the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety (division) to inspect TNC records to investigate and resolve a specific complaint against a driver. The MVC or division may require TNC records maintained in-State or out-of-State to be available to the MVC or division within 14 business days of the MVC's or division's request to inspect the records. A TNC may request an extension of the 14 business day deadline for out-of-State TNC records if the deadline imposes an undue burden upon the TNC. In the event of exigent circumstances, the MVC or division may require a TNC to make its records available before 14 business days from the time of the MVC's or division's request if receipt of the records before 14 business days is reasonably necessary under the circumstances for the investigation or resolution of a complaint. The bill also authorizes the MVC or division to visually inspect certain TNC records to verify the TNC's compliance with provisions of the bill or to assure the integrity and performance of a TNC or driver. The inspection is to take place in a mutually agreed upon location in New Jersey. Records provided to or inspected by the MVC or division may exclude information tending to identify a specific driver or rider and are not considered public records. A TNC that repeatedly fails to comply with the maintenance and inspection provisions of the bill or to permit the MVC or division on the TNC's premises during regular business hours to conduct investigations or reviews is subject to suspension or revocation of its permit to operate in the State. The TNC is also subject to any other fine, penalty, or enforcement action determined by the MVC or division. An investigation or review conducted by the MVC or division may include, but is not limited to, discussions with customers and drivers, examination of motor vehicle records, questioning of employees, and the use of other investigatory techniques that may be necessary for the enforcement of the maintenance and inspection provisions of the bill or regulations adopted by the MVC or division. The commission and division are required to enter into a memorandum of understanding to effectuate the authority granted to them by the record maintenance and inspection provisions of the bill.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, 2nd Reading in the Senate, Bills and Joint Resolutions Signed by the Governor, Passed Assembly, Passed both Houses
Approved P.L.2017, c.26.  (on 2/10/2017)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
2/10/2017 A Approved P.L.2017, c.26.
12/19/2016 A Passed Assembly (Passed Both Houses) (69-7-0)
12/19/2016 A Received in the Assembly, 2nd Reading on Concurrence
12/19/2016 S Passed by the Senate (29-5)
12/19/2016 S Emergency Resolution (34-0) (Sarlo)
12/19/2016 S Senate Amendment (33-0) (Sarlo)
12/19/2016 S Substituted for S2179 (SS)
11/3/2016 S Received in the Senate without Reference, 2nd Reading
10/20/2016 A Passed by the Assembly (61-11-3)
9/29/2016 A Assembly Substitution (Lagana)
5/19/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading
5/19/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee
5/19/2016 Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Hearing (10:00 5/19/2016 Committee Room 11, 4th Floor)
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 12/19/2016 Senate Floor: Substitute For S2179 (Voice Vote) 0 0 0
Detail 12/19/2016 Senate Floor: Second Reading (Voice Vote) 0 0 0
Detail 12/19/2016 Senate Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 29 5 6
Detail 12/19/2016 Senate Floor: Amend 33 0 7
Detail 12/19/2016 Assembly Floor: Concur in Senate Amendments 69 7 4
Detail 12/19/2016 Senate Floor: Enact Emergency Clause 34 0 6
Detail 10/20/2016 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 61 11 8
Detail 5/19/2016 Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee: Reported with Amendments 11 0 2