According to a company blog post published this afternoon, Uber will now be performing federal and county background checks on all new drivers in American markets. The company will also be running federal and county checks for all current drivers who have not cleared the tests yet.
The expanded background-check system comes on the heels of multiple scandals involving misbehaving rideshare partners, including 28-year-old driver Daveea Whitmire’s verbal and physical assault of a passenger. Whitmire had gone through at least one stint in prison for a felony before working for Uber, according to Pando. Uber drivers will still be screened by third-party background check service Hirease, in addition to undergoing the more rigorous federal and county checks.
Hirease’s Multi-State Criminal Database has been largely blamed for letting through drivers with criminal histories, as Uber noted that, “While many counties regularly provide their records to state authorities, some counties do not participate in this reporting the way we and our users expect they should.”
Some analysts suggest Uber should begin using the Live Scan fingerprint-based system required by many taxi companies, as the scans check official FBI and Department of Justice databases.
Checked out the two-page email Uber sent out to drivers last month requesting new background checks, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.