What is a Transportation Network
A TNC is an entity that uses an app on a phone or tablet device to
connect a passenger to a driver. Taxis, charter buses, limousines and other
for-hire vehicles are excluded. Uber and Lyft are examples of TNCs.
Who is regulating TNCs?
Under the new law, the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff has
the primary responsibility and authority to regulate TNCs and their
The Act puts requirements in place regarding the
- mandatory permitting from ORS
- mandatory insurance coverage and annual vehicle inspections
- mandatory trade dress identifying the TNC with which the driver is
- must be readable from 50 feet in daytime and reflective, illuminated
or otherwise viewable at night
- mandatory background checks
- prohibition against cash tips and against picking up or soliciting
A municipality cannot pass local ordinances regulating TNCs or their
drivers in areas addressed in the Act.
What role do municipalities play in regulating
TNC drivers continue to be subject to local traffic and parking
regulations as well as other municipal laws not addressed in the
Example: City A wants to restrict cabs and TNC drivers from picking
up passengers on certain streets to keep traffic on certain thoroughfares from
becoming congested. This is an area that is not addressed by state law, and is,
therefore, a permitted area of local regulation.
How does this impact local law
Certified South Carolina law enforcement officers, including local
law enforcement officers, are authorized to enforce the requirements of the Act.
However, only magistrates have jurisdiction over contested violations. Fines are
not less than $100, $500 or $1000 for first second and third
Is my municipality required to do anything under this
Municipalities must provide annexation information to the Revenue and
Fiscal Affairs Office within 30 days after the annexation is
What about business license tax
Within 30 days of the end of each calendar quarter, TNCs must remit
to the ORS a local assessment fee equal to 1 percent of the total gross trip
fare collected from TNC passengers during the quarter. ORS will keep 1 percent
of this total fee for its expenses. Then ORS must remit to each municipality the
percentage of the local assessment fee proportionate to the gross trip fares for
trips originating in each municipality.
Example: Assume $100 million is the total gross trip fare collected
by a TNC for rides originating in SC. Assume $20 million or 20 percent
of the total gross trip fares came from rides originating in City
A. The total local assessment remitted to ORS would be $1 million. ORS would
keep $10,000, leaving $990,000 in local assessment fees to be distributed. City
A would receive 20 percent of the $990,000 or $198,000.
A municipality is not allowed to assess a tax against TNCs, TNC
drivers or TNC vehicles, including a business license tax, unless the TNC is
located within the municipality’s jurisdiction and receives revenue not
otherwise subject to a business license tax or local assessment fee