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Drive for Lyft or Uber in SF? Your wallet is about to get lighter

Frisco flings further fees for freelance ferriers

The City of San Francisco will soon be requiring people who drive for ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber to have a business license.

The city's Treasury Office said that it has begun notifying via mail drivers of transportation network companies (such as Uber and Lyft) that they have 30 days to obtain a license from the city if they wish to continue driving for the companies.

The license, which all drivers will have to obtain and renew annually, will cost most drivers around $91 per year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Drivers will also have to pay the fee for any previous years they drove for the services without a business license.

City Treasurer Jose Cisneros said that the rules do not specifically target Uber and Lyft drivers; rather the city is beginning to enforce existing laws that require anyone doing business in San Francisco to have a license.

"I take seriously my obligation to fairly implement San Francisco's business registration requirements," Cisneros said in announcing the policy.

"I urge all the people receiving this notice, and all unregistered businesses operating in San Francisco, to take prompt action to come into compliance immediately."

Drivers who do not have a license by the end of the 30-day period will run the risk of additional fines if caught.

The city of San Francisco has had a contentious relationship with Uber and Lyft, despite both being headquartered here. In 2014, San Francisco teamed up with Los Angeles to file suit against Uber over allegations of failing to properly screen drivers.

Uber, meanwhile, is planning to make itself less of a presence in San Francisco, opting to put its new office across the bay in Oakland. ®

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