LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles sent cease and desist letters to Uber and Lyft Thursday, ordering the ride-sharing companies to stop operating in the state.

The two companies are in violation of state law, according to the department, for operating without permits.

In the cease and desist letters, DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb told representatives for both companies that they must stop operating in Virginia until they get the proper authority.

The department issued civil penalties against the companies in April – $26,000 for Uber and $9,000 for Lyft – for trips that their drivers provided throughout the state despite warnings by the state agency that Virginia law does not allow their business model, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Holcomb told the companies to alert their Virginia drivers that the DMV will enforce existing laws prohibiting illegal operations by companies and drivers that lack the proper authority.

But that’s not stopping Uber.

“We’re still operating as usual throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia,” Uber’s East Coast Regional General Manager Rachel Holt said Thursday evening. “So rides are happening as usual.”

The DMV is encouraging both companies to join an ongoing study reviewing Virginia’s passenger transportation laws and business models.

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