It’s every Uber driver’s worst nightmare: You try to log into the Uber Driver app to start working and you find that your account has been disabled. You may receive an email from Uber letting you know that you’ve been deactivated as an Uber partner, or a message in the app that says you can’t drive.
It’s a huge disappointment to be fired from your ride sharing job, and to make things worse, you’re given little to no warning or explanation about your deactivation. I wrote this guide to teach you why drivers get deactivated, how to avoid it, and what to do to get your account reactivated.
Good news: Uber finally published a more detailed deactivation policy that lists all the ways you can be deactivated and how to get reactivated.
If you’ve been deactivated by Uber you’ll get these error messages in the Uber Driver app
Uber rarely emails you that you’ve been deactivated. Instead, when you try to log in you may see messages like these:
- “Your driver account has not been activated”
- “The partner account you drive under has been disabled”
- “You are waitlisted”
- “Your account has been placed on hold”
- Your profile status gets stuck as onboarding or waitlisted
Typically those messages mean that your account has been disabled. There are many reasons why Uber drivers can be deactivated, ranging from the bureaucratic (forgot to update documents) to the performance-related (star ratings too low, customer complaints). The good news is that if you’ve been deactivated, there’s a chance you can be reactivated if you patiently work your way through Uber’s email support system and correct the issue that got you deactivated.
Why do Uber drivers get deactivated? The top reasons
- Average star rating drops below 4.6. If your star ratings are low, you’ll be given a warning and be placed under ‘quality review.’ If your ratings continue to stay low, you’ll be deactivated.
- Documents expire. Your driver’s license, auto insurance, vehicle registration, and vehicle inspection all have expiration dates. Make sure to upload the up-to-date versions of your documents at least a week before they expire to avoid trouble. These deactivations usually come without notice, but they’re the easiest to correct.
- Cancel too many rides, aka Cancellation Abuse, ACRO, or Skipping. To avoid a low ride acceptance rate, some drivers will accept a ride and then immediately cancel it. Uber will deactivate you for canceling too many rides.
- Violate the Code of Conduct. Uber requires drivers to follow a code of conduct that prohibits violent or inappropriate behavior, drug and alcohol use, and any other illegal behavior.
- Unsafe driving. Uber will deactivate you if passengers report any unsafe driving
- Unwanted contact with passengers after the ride is over
- Become inactive by not giving a ride for more than 90 days. Uber deactivates inactive drivers. Sometimes you’ll be warned with an email, sometimes you won’t.
- Passenger makes a serious complaint about you. If a passenger goes out of their way to tell Uber that you were rude, or that you’re a bad driver, or that you made them uncomfortable in any way, you can be immediately deactivated without prior notice. You aren’t likely to be reactivated after a major passenger complaint.
- You violate the Uber Terms of Service. Common policy violations that cause deactivation: Manipulating hourly pay guarantees, picking up street hails, manipulating the ratings system, picking and choosing passengers.
- You failed a background check refresh. Uber runs your background check once each year. If new issues pop up, you can get deactivated. Read more about the background check refresh
- Driving with a companion in your car. You are not permitted to drive with a spouse, friend, or any other companion
You will not be deactivated for a low ride acceptance rate
In the past, if you didn’t accept enough of the ride requests that you received, Uber would warn you and deactivate your for having a low acceptance rate. As of April 2016, Uber will no longer do this. Instead, Uber will warn you via text and email that you aren’t accepting enough rides, and if you continue to keep a low acceptance rate, they can temporarily lock you out of the app.
Keep in mind that you can still be deactivated for a high cancellation rate. So if you accept and then cancel too many rides, you may be deactivated.
How to find out why you were deactivated
Not every deactivation notice includes an explanation, so if you were deactivated without reason, you’ll have to email Uber to find out the cause. Be patient — it could take days to get a response that explains the full situation. If you’re not satisfied with the response you get, don’t give up. Keep asking for more detail, but don’t argue or complain.
You might be upset and frustrated that you’ve been deactivated, but the worst thing to do at this stage is to lash out at Uber. If you let your emotions get the best of you and fire off angry emails to Uber reps, you’ll ruin any chances you have at reactivation. Stay calm and make sure all of your messages are polite.
How to reactivate your Uber account
In some situations, you can reactivate your driver account if you correct the issue that got you deactivated and diligently follow up with Uber via email or in person. Uber can be a slow moving machine, so be patient but stay persistent and email every few days.
- If you’ve been deactivated due to a documentation problem, upload the updated document and you’ll be reactivated.
- If you’ve been deactivated because of low ratings, email Uber and ask if you can take a class to be reactivated. The classes typically cost less than $100.
- If you get deactivated due to inactivity, email Uber and tell them you’d like to become active again. Make sure to give at least one ride every month to stay active.
- If you’ve been deactivated for other reasons, politely ask Uber in emails or in person to reactivate you. Your odds of success are low, but this does work sometimes.
You probably won’t get reactivated if…
- You violated an Uber policy that relates to safety or fraud. If Uber thinks you broke the rules or did something unsafe, they won’t want you back.
- You received a serious passenger complaint. Uber values the passenger experience over anything else, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be reactivated in this situation. Like most service jobs, you’ll often lose if if it’s your word vs. the customer.
If you can’t get reactivated by Uber, do this instead
After you’ve done everything you can to get reactivated, try these alternative driving jobs that are similar to Uber.
Avoid deactivation from Uber by being a better driver!
Avoiding many of the reasons for deactivation is straightforward: Keep your documents up to date, follow Uber’s rules, and be a good driver. If you do slip up and trigger a deactivation, try to correct the issue as soon as possible and don’t antagonize Uber support employees. Remember — this is a service job. Your passengers want a safe ride from a sane driver, so don’t do anything to make your passenger uncomfortable and keep conversation light and positive.
If your ratings are slipping, I recommend my guide to understanding and improving your Uber driver ratings.