Massachusetts to begin Uber, Lyft driver background checks

Tens of thousands of drivers for ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft will begin undergoing what Massachusetts officials say are the country's most stringent background checks.

The checks are set to launch Friday and will be overseen by the state. They're designed in part to bar registered sex offenders from driving.

Under an agreement, San Francisco-based Uber and Lyft will perform multi-state criminal and driving checks for each driver and will check them against a national sex offender database.

Massachusetts officials will run each name through the state's criminal and sex offender registries and check each driver's record with the Registry of Motor Vehicles

Any driver who fails the check is disqualified.

A few ride-hailing drivers have been charged with rape, sexual assault and assault with intent to murder in Massachusetts.