Should minors be allowed to ride in a taxi or Uber without a parent or guardian present? The answer is more complicated than it may seem.
There are limited restrictions and no general rule when it comes to children under 18 riding in a taxi without a parent or guardian present. For most taxis, as long as the person riding has enough money to pay for the trip, it does not matter what age they are. In many busy cities like New York, parents often say they let their children take taxis alone because it is hard to get around the city otherwise.
Certain rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar have some restrictions about the age of their passengers. For Uber and Lyft, all account holders must be 18 years or older and anyone over 18 is not allowed to request a ride for a minor, unless they are accompanying them on the journey. Sidecar does not explicitly state whether parents can request rides for their children, but account holders must also be 18 years of age.
These are the policies that the companies set in place to ensure their drivers and passengers are safe. However, there is no rule that Uber drivers have to refuse to drive a minor, even if the person is clearly under 18. It is up to the driver’s personal discretion whether or not they should give the child a ride, and the driver cannot be held accountable for checking to see if the person is of age.
Drivers should be cautious of this because even though there is no rule which states they have to refuse a minor—there are still ways that the driver could end up in trouble. They should use precaution when deciding who to give a ride to or not, especially if the child appears to be under 10 years old, or if it seems like they are sneaking around without their parent’s consent.
So, in conclusion: it depends on the company, the driver, and the circumstance you are in, to determine whether or not you should drive a minor in your car and it is always best to get parents permission before you give a ride to a minor!
Felicia is an intern at Unleashed, LLC. She is from upstate NY, and is currently pursuing a Marketing degree at Bentley University. One day she hopes to travel the world and visit every continent.