The province says it is taking action against illegal ride-hailing companies operating in B.C. by serving drivers with fines and cease-and-desist orders.

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a statement Monday that it has issued over 20 cease-and-desist orders and 23 fines of $1,150.

"New 'ride hail' services and passenger transportation options cannot operate at the expense of passenger and driver safety," the statement read.

Although the biggest names in ride-hailing like Uber and Lyft aren’t operating in Metro Vancouver, local competitors have opened up shop despite heavy government fines.

The ministry identified several companies that have set up ride-sharing services and apps like Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool and AO Rideshare. It said the companies have been recruiting drivers to use their personal vehicles to transport commercial passengers in the Lower Mainland.

Passengers should know that vehicles hailed through these services are operating illegally in B.C., the ministry said. Drivers transporting commercial passengers need a government-approved safety inspection, insurance for carrying passengers and a police background check in order to operate legally.

"It is the driver, not the app companies, that are operating illegally and are subject to penalties and fines of $1,150," its statement read.