Uber Drivers Need Licenses in Australia's Queensland by January

(Bloomberg) -- Ride-booking operators and drivers, such as those from Uber Technologies Inc., will need licenses to offer their services in the Australian state of Queensland under new regulations announced Sunday in Brisbane. 

The eligibility tests for drivers and booking entities will be the same for all those offering personalized transport, Mark Bailey, Queensland’s minister for main roads, road safety and ports, said in a statement. Applications opened Sunday and ride-hailing drivers must have a license by Jan. 15, while anyone who arranges bookings for such a service must have a permit by Dec. 1.

“This allows us to ensure all parties are fit and proper to provide services that are of the high standard that Queenslanders expect when using a taxi or ride-booking service,” Bailey said.

Uber has faced battles worldwide over the legality of its ride-hailing service, as traditional cab drivers whose business has been threatened fought back by lobbying for stiffer regulations. London has revoked Uber’s license, and Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi is due to fly into the U.K. capital in coming days to try to negotiate a deal that prevents the ride-hailing service from being banned in its largest European market.

Queensland will also require booked-hire vehicles to display signs that clearly identify which entity it is operating under and that are clearly visible from at least 20 meters (66 feet) away. A new class of compulsory third-party insurance for booked hire and limousines will apply, according to the statement.