11/16/2014 12:56 EST | Updated 01/16/2015 05:59 EST

Taxi driver background checks mandatory in Quebec as of Dec. 1

Background checks will now be mandatory for all taxi drivers in Quebec, announced Transport Minister Robert Poëti on Sunday.

His announcement confirmed CBC News’ earlier reporting of the coming changes.

CBC also reported over the summer about taxi safety after a number of women reported being assaulted in cabs.

All would-be cab drivers will need to conform to the new rules as of Dec. 1, meaning new cab drivers will need to have a background check performed before obtaining their licences.

As of Jan. 1, 2015, current drivers will need to undergo a background check at the time of their licence renewal.

Drivers who have been found guilty in the past five years of a crime that could compromise passengers’ safety will not be issued a licence.

Poëti said the law already existed, but that it hadn’t been enforced for some time.

Quebec’s automobile insurance board, the SAAQ, will issue permits to drivers who pass their background checks everywhere except Montreal.

In Montreal, the taxi bureau will issue the permits.

The renewed enforcement of the rules comes after CBC News and several other Montreal media outlets reported a series of assaults in cabs.