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(The Center Square) – Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed into law Senate Bill 999, freeing ride share and delivery services from being regulated like the trucking industry.

Oklahoma Director of the National Federation of Independent Business Jerrod Shouse said a distinction will be made for "light-property carriers" to help keep the cost of food or grocery delivery and courier services down for customers.

"With Senate Bill 999, a distinction will now be made between the traditional for-hire motor carrier services that are regulated by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, and light-property carriers such as food and grocery delivery and courier services," Shouse told The Center Square. "Under the new law, courier drivers avoid over-regulation, which is good for the consumer because it can help keep costs down."

The Courier Application Services Act, protecting businesses that use an app or digital services for daily on-demand operations, goes into effect Nov. 1, 2021.

Shouse said with more people working from home, restaurant and grocery delivery popularity has increased, allowing the light-property courier opportunities to continue growing, which is good for both the driver and consumer.

“Delivery services like Uber Eats, Door Dash, Grub Hub and even Amazon Flex have exploded in popularity over the past year, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sen. Michael Bergstrom, R-Adair, said in a news release. “This measure ensures these delivery companies can safely operate in our state without over-regulation, but with consumer protections as well. It’s a win-win for Oklahomans, and these companies who provide an in-demand service in the digital age. This ensures that Oklahomans will have these types of opportunities to supplement their income.”

According to the bill summary, courier application services (CAS) must adopt a zero-tolerance policy for CAS drivers operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol while providing services. CAS networks must require drivers to submit information regarding ones' address, age, driver's license and other information required by the CAS prior to being admitted into the network as a driver.

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