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Uber Denies Suspending Drivers For Registering Vehicles As Commercial

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Uber has allegedly been under fire for suspending some of its drivers after complying with advice from California officials. But the app-based, commercial ride-booking service says that's not the case.

In an alert earlier this month, the Department of Motor Vehicles asked that any vehicle used commercially in the transportation of people should be registered as such.

On Friday evening, DMV director Jean Shiomoto retracted that alert, saying "We jumped the gun... The matter requires further review and analysis which the department is undertaking immediately."

Ken Bensinger, an investigative reporter BuzzFeed News, said Uber has been telling their drivers that they should register their vehicles as personal. This gets tricky in instances where drivers are purchasing new cars, sometimes using Uber financing to do so, where they're still being told by the company that personal is the way to go and that they should be getting personal insurance.

Uber said their drivers are allowed to use personal plates adding that the DMV has yet to recognize new legislation passed by Governor Brown which would authorize this. Any earlier cases of drivers being deactivated because they were using commercial plates was related to a miscommunication, Uber said, with the problem now resolved.

"Uber does not require a driver to register his/her vehicle as personal, it is not our policy to deactivate a driver for registering his/her vehicle as commercial," Uber spokesperson Eva Behrend said in a statement to KPIX 5.

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