Uber, Lyft Can Resume Operations in Virginia

Ride-sharing services had been issued cease-and-desist letters in June

Uber and Lyft will be allowed to resume ride-sharing services in Virginia, following a temporary agreement with Virginia officials.

The companies had been sent cease-and-desist letters back in June, when DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb called them "illegal operations."

He wrote at the time that Uber and Lyft, which let users find rides via smartphone apps, are illegal in Virginia because the companies profit from ride-sharing.

McAuliffe said in a press release Wednesday that the reversal of the decision would be good for Virginia's economy.

"In order for Virginia to remain economically competitive, it is important that we welcome innovative companies like Uber and Lyft," said McAuliffe in the press release. "Technology -- specifically related to smart phones -- continues to advance at a rapid pace, and I am pleased that we were able to work together to find a swift solution."

The decision is effective immediately -- but there are conditions that must be met.

The Virginia DMV will mandate background checks for all drivers with immediate disqualification for felonies, sex offenses or violent crimes. Both companies must also review driving records for disqualifying incidents, and there are also requirements for rate transparency, insurance and other stipulations. You can find more infomation here.

The agreement is a temporary fix to bridge the gap for permanent legislation. The Virginia DMV is reviewing passenger carrier laws that would include ride-sharing companies, and plans to publish a report in 2015.

In the press release, a spokesperson for Uber, Justin Kintz, praised the decision.

"Thanks to the leadership of Governor McAuliffe and Attorney General Herring for putting consumers first and embracing innovation, choice and opportunity," Kintz said. "We look forward to continuing to work together to create a permanent home for ridesharing, providing residents and visitors with safe, reliable transportation options."

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