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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles issued Uber and Lyft, two popular alternatives to cabs, a 'Cease and Desist' order.

According to the letter, Uber failed to obtain authority before operating in the commonwealth. The DMV says it has also assessed a civil penalty against the company, for collecting money for transportation services.

The letter also states that Uber drivers will be issued civil penalties if they continue.

Uber sent us a response to today calling the DMV's actions "shocking and unexpected."

The spokeswoman said the decision hurts thousands of small business entrepreneurs. And countless residents who rely on Uber for affordable transportation.

Uber said it looks forward to continuing to work with Virginia to find a permanent home for ride-sharing in the Commonwealth.

The car services are similar to taxis. But rely more on transactions solely using your phone to book, track, and pay for a ride.

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