Background check basics
If you want to drive for a rideshare company (also known as a Transportation Network Company or “TNC”) in Massachusetts, the first step is to apply to drive with a TNC. A list of permitted TNCs can be found here and TNC contact information can be found here.
Before becoming a TNC driver, you must undergo a two step background check. First, the TNC you applied to performs a national check of your criminal and driving history. This includes a check of how long you have had your driver license because Massachusetts has special requirements for license history:
- You must be at least 21 years old
- If you are over 23 years old, you must have had a valid U.S. driver license for at least one year
- If you are under 23 years old, you must have had a valid U.S. driver license for at least three years
If the TNC approves you, you will receive an email and then your information will be sent to the TNC Division for the second check. The TNC Division performs a comprehensive Massachusetts-based background check against the Suitability Standard, including:
- Criminal (CORI) history
- Driving (RMV) history
- Warrant check
- Sex offender check
If you are approved, you will receive a Background Check Clearance Certificate (BCCC) sent by email. BCCCs do not expire but can be suspended or revoked for disqualifying conditions. If you are denied or suspended, you will receive an email with information with the reason(s) why. If you wish to appeal the denial or suspension, visit our Appeals page.
If you have an open case on your criminal (CORI) or driving (RMV) record, the TNC Division may not allow you to drive until the case is closed.
If your U.S. driver license is not active, you cannot drive for a TNC in Massachusetts.
Social Security Number
You must apply to your TNC with a valid Social Security Number. ITIN, TIN, and other numbers are not acceptable.
Out of state license
A Massachusetts driver license is not required to drive for a TNC in Massachusetts, however applying with an out of state license may result in the Division needing more time to process your background check. If you move to Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles requires you to convert your out of state license to a Massachusetts license. If you drove for your TNC in another state and then moved to Massachusetts, ask your TNC to submit your new Massachusetts license to the TNC Division instead of your old license.
If your TNC has deactivated you as a driver, the TNC Division cannot process your background check. You must reapply with the TNC and start the process over again. Please note that the TNC Division cannot compel a TNC to reinstate you as a driver if you have been deactivated.
Speed of background check
The TNC Division cannot guarantee a completion time for background checks, however most background checks are completed within 3 to 5 days after the Division receives your information, though sometimes checks can take longer. Contacting us will not speed up the process. If you have been waiting more than 30 days for a decision, please let us know.
Questions or concerns
If you have questions or concerns about eligibility requirements or the background check process, you can check the following resources:
- Rideshare company laws and regulations
- Request and correct your criminal (CORI) records
- Request and review a copy of your driving (RMV) records