Becoming a Lyft driver is a pretty straight-forward process, but there are a few things you can do to botch the process and ruin your chances of getting hired. If you’re looking to drive very soon, you don’t want to delay the process or sabotage your chances of getting hired by making an easily-avoidable mistakes.
Lyft’s website doesn’t make the driver application process 100% clear, so I can understand why some drivers take awhile to get hired.
The Lyft driver application process can be broken down to three steps
- The online application. This is where you’ll submit your information: Name, car, location, insurance info, drivers license, etc.
- The Mentor Session Welcome Ride. You go on a test ride with a working Lyft driver who checks out your car and makes sure you’re not crazy. Read about how to pass the Lyft mentor session in detail.
- The background check and driving record check. After you complete your Mentor Session, Lyft runs these two checks and then lets you know if you’re hired or not
Lyft driver requirements
- You must be at least 21 years old
- You must own a 4 door car that is year 2004 or newer (2005 in some cities)
- You must have in-state insurance with your name on the policy
- Must have an in-state license
- In-state plates with a current registration (commercial plates are acceptable as well)
- Clean driving record
- Pass a background check
Lyft says: “Prove it!” You must upload documentation that proves you meet the requirements. Basically that just means snapping pictures of your drivers license, your auto insurance, your registration, and your car. After you consent to a background check, Lyft will make sure you’re not a terrible driver or a seasoned felon.
You need to pass the ‘Mentor Session’ to get hired
On the last page of the Lyft application, you’ll be asked to schedule a “Mentor Session” with a Lyft Mentor. Lyft Mentors are drivers who inspect your car and take you on a test ride called the Welcome Ride. When you request your Welcome Ride, you’ll receive a ride request from the mentor. You accept the request, drive to the mentor, then the mentor inspects your car using a special features of the Lyft app.
You and the Lyft Mentor will go on a brief test drive so the mentor can see if your car is up to Lyft standards (the standards aren’t super high, to be honest).
You won’t pass the Mentor Session if…
Your car is damaged, dirty, or safety/comfort features don’t work
You’ll probably fail the Welcome Ride if you didn’t bother to clean your car, or if the air conditioning doesn’t work, or if there are huge dents and dings and paint damage on your car. Parking lot scrapes and dings are fine, a bumper lashed onto your car with bungee cables is not fine.
If you failed your Mentor Session due to your car but you pass the background check, you can still become a driver. Lyft will tell you that your car needs to improve before you can get hired, and that once you get the issue fix and send proof to Lyft, you can get started.
You’re a nervous or aggressive driver
If you don’t use your turn signals, don’t pay attention to the road, ignore road signs, etc, you’ll fail. Just don’t be a bad driver and you’ll pass.
You or your Mentor don’t show up
If you don’t show up to the Mentor Session, you’ll have to reschedule it. A Mentor should reach out to you to reschedule, but do your best to make it happen the first time! If you no-show your first appointment, you won’t leave a good impression with your Mentor and you’re likely to get a poor rating for them once you do meet with them.
Not sure if you passed the Mentor session? Here’s a trick you can use to find out
I get a lot of questions and comments from readers who have taken the Mentor session, but they’re not yet sure if they’ve passed. Sarah, one of my readers and a Lyft Mentor, suggested using a great trick that will let you know if Lyft is still considering you, or if they’ve moved on.
The best way to see if you passed would be to test the mentor. If you are able to reach them and you’re still in their queue, you’re good! But if you get a response saying your mentor (or “your driver”) is not available, you’ve failed the check and have been disqualified from driving for Lyft and your name had been removed from their mentoring queue. – Sarah
You will get hired as a lyft driver if…
- You have all of your information in order, and you meet the requirements
- If your car is in decent condition and you take your Lyft Mentor on a pleasant, uneventful Welcome ride
How to apply for Lyft when you don’t have a car
You may have trouble completing the Lyft application if you don’t have a car because the application requires that you to input your vehicle information. The problem is that you may plan to drive with a Hertz, Enterprise, or other type of Lyft rental. You fall into this loop: You can’t apply to Lyft without a car, and you can’t get the rental without being an approved driver.
To apply without a car, apply to the Lyft Express Drive program. That application doesn’t require vehicle info, so it will allow you to fill out basic information and do a background screening before you get a vehicle.
Need help getting hired? Have questions?
If you have any questions about the hiring process, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you. You can contact Lyft support, but expect to wait a few days before you get a response.
There’s also an active community of Lyft, Uber, and other ride sharing drivers over at therideshareguy.com who can answer questions about the hiring process or tell you what it’s really like to do this job. You’ll get a quick response from the forum.
Once you understand all of the driver requirements you’ll need to meet and you get all of your documentation in order, getting hired by Lyft and giving your first ride can take only a few days.