HOUSTON-- The City of Houston has eased certain rules for new Uber drivers, there's no more required drug test or physical.
Officials said the relaxed rules are designed to make it easier for drivers to sign up in time for Super Bowl LI.
The city's permitting office has been swamped with people signing up for transportation network company licenses. On the day before New Year's Eve, more than 500 people received Vehicle for Hire licenses.
Uber and Houston officials hope to get as many drivers as possible on the road before game day.
"We think we hit that sweet spot where we are still protecting the public, but getting drivers through the process as quickly as possible," said Lara Cottingham, Deputy Assistant Director for Houston's Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department.
Uber drivers must still pass a background check through Uber itself and pass a city fingerprint check to get a permanent TNC license. Drivers must also pass a warrant check and have their vehicle inspected.
Melissa Lyeons got her permit to drive and will be on the road in time for Super Bowl LI.
"I want to watch football, but I also want to make some money," she said. "It will be worth it."
Lyeons said she was surprised she didn't have to conduct a drug test before signing up. She believes its a requirement the city shouldn't have dropped.
"I know that if my kids ride Uber, I want to know that the people that come in are driving safe," said Lyeons. "Drug testing is a must."
(© 2017 KHOU)