Las Vegas Sun

October 19, 2019

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Clark County to Uber and Lyft: Not so fast

Ride-Sharing Las Vegas

Jeff Chiu / AP

In this Jan. 4, 2013, file photo, Lyft passenger Christina Shatzen gets into a car driven by Nancy Tcheou in San Francisco. Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are preparing to enter the Las Vegas market.

Uber and Lyft drivers could be on the road in Las Vegas as early as Monday — it just could be illegal.

That’s according to Clark County, the officials of which claimed today that it would be against the law for the ride-hailing companies to operate within its jurisdiction without business licenses. The catch? The county has yet to create a legal framework for the companies to receive that authorization.

“It’s unlicensed activity,” said Ann Perez, who represented the county’s business license office at a Nevada Transportation Authority meeting today.

The Clark County Commission plans to introduce an ordinance Tuesday that will begin the process of creating the business licenses for the ride-sharing companies. Perez said that final approval would take until late October, although the NTA would likely give final approval to Lyft and Uber on Monday.

The ride-sharing companies, which have had been gearing up for operations in Las Vegas for months, are eager to get on the road. Chelsea Wilson, a spokesperson for Lyft, said the company is “planning on launching as soon as regulations allow. We anticipate that being on Monday.”

So, what would happen were Uber or Lyft to operate in Las Vegas without a county business license?

Perez said that Clark County could ask the NTA to take action against them. NTA Commissioner Keith Sakelhide said that although the authority could impose penalties ranging from fines to a revocation of the statewide permits, it would be unclear whether it would do so, given that the county ordinance has not yet been drafted.

“I can argue either side of that pretty well,” Sakelhide said.

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