Note: The TRIP protocol is not fully decentralized at this time. Demonstrating Operator eligibility does not guarantee you will be added to the network. Guidance will be provided when the network is ready for more Operators.

What is an Operator?

An Operator handles the regulatory and operational requirements of providing rideshare service.

What are the requirements of an Operator?

All Operators must be validated on the network by an Auditor. At a minimum, all Operators:

  • Must establish mechanisms for registering and responding to customer requests and complaints.

  • Have credible and qualified owners and leadership.

  • Must have a valid rideshare license and rideshare insurance.

What responsibilities does an Operator have?

Operators must obtain licenses and insurance, and be operationally prepared to comply with regulatory and safety requirements in each geography they wish to serve, before they can begin matching riders and drivers within those locations.

Operators who operate using the TRIP protocol are subject to the same requirements as rideshare operators who operate outside the TRIP protocol. This includes:

  • Full compliance with all applicable local regulations and laws.

  • Handling customer support requests.

  • Cooperating with law enforcement.

  • Resolving disputes and issuing refunds.

What is the benefit of becoming an Operator?

Operators connect drivers and riders and get compensated with a percentage of fares, as well as network rewards issued by the protocol.

Running an operator is running a business that enables the rideshare network to operate.

How does becoming an Operator work?

After Operators have acquired licensing and insurance, they use software called a “rideshare server” that helps them connect drivers & riders as well as handle customer support requests. Most of the work involved is fairly automated and straightforward.

Can there be more than one Operator in an area?

Yes. One of the reasons prices on TRIP are fairer is that multiple Operators can compete on pricing in any given area.

How do I get started?

The process will require you to get a license from your state, country, or municipality, and get all the required insurance. An auditor will then validate that your business is capable of and permitted to operate. Next, fill in this form, and someone from the TRIP core team can help you set up the rideshare server so your company can get ready to operate.

Getting Your TNC License

A Transportation Network Company (TNC) permit or license enables an entity to operate pre-arranged transportation rides in a given state. It is important to note that each state that you operate in requires its own TNC permit.

Before applying for a TNC license, be aware of 3 important factors.

  1. Understand what the TNC regulations are for the state.

  2. Make sure that you or someone you appoint has the bandwidth to see the process through to the finish line.

  3. Have the rideshare insurance ready before starting the process. It will save you a lot of headaches.

If you already have a legal business entity set up in the state where you plan to operate rideshare, disregard this next section.

Starting the Operating Business

  • Incorporate your business: You can use a company like Zen Business to help you incorporate your entity. Typically, you either incorporate in Delaware or the state where you plan to operate. In either case, you will need the following: an Operating Agreement, a Certificate of Formation, and Organization Resolutions.

  • Get the basics for starting your business: It is important to follow the steps in the order that they are shown:

    • Set up a registered agent in the incorporation state and the foreign state, if applicable.

    • Buy a domain and create a simple website on Webflow.

    • Using the domain, create a Google Workspace and set up an ops@domain email address.

    • Apply for a virtual mailbox to have a business mailing address. You can use companies like Anytime Mailbox.

    • Create an EIN with the IRS. Please note that you can only apply for 1 EIN per day.

    • Open a bank account that allows you to write paper checks.

  • Foreign State Registration: If you incorporate in Delaware but want to operate in another state, such as Arizona, you must do a foreign qualification with the Secretary of State. Please note that rideshare is taxable in some states. You may need a Sales Tax permit from the Department of Revenue. This whole process can take up to 3 weeks.

Applying for the TNC License

Now, you're ready to start applying for the Transportation Network Company license in the desired state. It is important to track down the right application and read through it before starting. We learned two lessons:

  • Most states require you to have active rideshare insurance.

  • You must be able to pay the application fee via a physical check.

Certain states enforce a higher application fee. Be aware of that before starting this process. It is important to review the application and make sure you collect and draft all of the supplementary documents that are required. Regulators will reject your application if the package doesn't meet their standards and typically it can be analysts doing the review. Please note: In some states, even if your application isn't approved, the state will cash your check to avoid it lying around the DMV.

Once you have physically mailed the application, the review process can take up to a month. Be patient and make sure to follow up with the regulators. They often sit in the state's Department of Motor Vehicles so find a general phone number and usually, you can be helped by someone. We advise calling every few days once you know the application has reached the regulator.

Tip: The Operator applying for the TNC License should make it known that the business applying for the license is no different than any other rideshare provider. The mechanism to connect riders and drivers is through the Teleport app. That clarity is key.


You're encouraged to help improve the quality of this guide.

Please contribute if you see any typos or factual errors. To get started, you can read our Contributing to TRIP section.

You may also find incomplete content or stuff that is not up to date. Please do add any missing content by creating a free account in GitBook. Check the TRIP Guides Guidelines for style and conventions.

If for whatever reason you spot something to improve but cannot do it yourself, please open an issue.

And last but not least, any kind of discussion regarding TRIP documentation is very welcome in the official TRIP Community on Telegram.

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