One of the initial requirements that all potential Lyft drivers have to complete is a background check and a driving record check
After you apply to become a Lyft driver, Lyft will ask you to consent to a background check and a driving record check that is administered by Checkr, a background check company. The background check will take around 3-10 days to complete and you’ll be notified by Lyft whether you pass or fail.
The background check is only one of several other initial requirements. Learn the other driver and vehicle requirements in these articles:
- Lyft driver requirements: What do they really mean?
- Lyft vehicle requirements: Can you drive for Lyft in your car?
The Lyft driving record check looks at:
- No more than three moving violations in the past three years (e.g. accidents, traffic light violations)
- No major violations in the past three years (e.g. driving on a suspended license, reckless driving)
- No DUIs or other drug-related driving violations in the last seven years
- No extreme infractions in the last seven years (e.g. hit-and-run, felonies involving a vehicle)
The Lyft criminal background check looks at:
The Lyft background check looks back around seven years into national and county-level databases to check the following:
- No violent crimes
- No sexual offenses
- No theft
- No property damage
- No felonies
- No drug-related offenses
The background check does a lifetime screen against:
- Individuals registered on the National Sex Offender Registry and DOJ50-State Sex Offender Registry
The background check typically takes around 3 – 10 days
Lyft says it should take 3-10 days, but that time frame may vary depending on the number of driver applications Lyft and their background check partner are dealing with at the moment. Most drivers report that it takes around 3-5 days.
How far back does the Lyft background check really look?
The seven year window I cite in this article is only a guideline, not an absolute cutoff. Generally, if your issue was 7 or more years ago, your chances of getting hired increase. But for more serious issues like felonies or multiple misdemeanors, Lyft may still reject you even if the issues were 8 or more years ago.
Lyft will re-run your background check once each year
Lyft does yearly background checks to make sure that your driving record and criminal record continue to meet their standards. Typically you’ll get an email notification and/or an in-app notification that instructs you to re-consent to the background check. It will say something like, “You must read and authorize an annual background check to keep driving.”
Follow up background checks won’t be an issue for most drivers, but you may fail the second background if you’ve had moving violations or criminal issues since your last check. Some drivers who pass the first check fail the second one even though they don’t have any new issues. That happens when Lyft changes their standards and decides past issues are now disqualifying. It seems unfair, but both Uber and Lyft do it regularly.
Not sure if you’ll pass? Try applying to a similar company first
If Lyft rejects you, typically you have to wait 6 months or more to reapply. If you suspect that your background may hold you back from getting hired, you can prevent using your one chance to apply to Lyft by applying to a similar company that runs a similar background check. Both Postmates and Doordash run a similar background check, so if they hire you, Lyft probably will too. If they don’t, use it as a chance to get a copy of your record and work to expunge everything that you can.
Lyft background check FAQ
“My background check is taking forever. What should I do?”
If it has been more than 7 days, start emailing Lyft support. Lyft will tell you if you passed or failed once the check is complete. Be persistent, but don’t spam Lyft’s system with too many emails. One email every few days should be enough.
“I have a misdemeanor/felony on my record, but it’s almost been 7 years since it happened. What should I do?”
I can’t say for certain that Lyft will accept you if you pass the 7 year mark, but for offenses like misdemeanors, it could be worth it to wait until the 7 years have passed. For felonies, Lyft still has a good chance of rejecting you even if it was more than 7 years ago.
“I have been accused of a crime, but I haven’t been convicted yet. Does Lyft see pending charges?”
Pending charges do show up on your background check, so Lyft can use that information to make a hiring decision. If you don’t think the issue will work itself out for a long time, you can try to apply and hope for the best. If you’re rejected, you can always apply again after your legal issue is out of the way.
“I failed the background check. Can I reapply?”
According to Lyft, you can apply again in 3-6 months. Why such a long window? Lyft isn’t all too clear. Depending on the reason you were rejected, you may not be able to reapply at all. If you fail, email Lyft until they give you more specific reasons why you didn’t pass and ask how to go about re applying.