Applying to drive for Uber and Lyft is as easy as filling out an online application, but finding out if you were accepted or rejected isn’t always so easy. Many people find their application stuck in limbo, and weeks go by without Uber or Lyft sending out a direct answer on whether you were accepted or rejected as a driver.
And if you discover that your application was rejected, neither company will tell specifically why you were rejected, or how you can reapply.
It is possible to reapply, but you have to wait 3 – 6 months and your chances of being hired following a rejection are very low. Read on for more detail.
How to find out if you were rejected
One of the frustrating things that many drivers face is not knowing for certain whether they were rejected or not. Both companies give a vague answer about how long the process will take. Uber says 7 – 10 days, and Lyft says up to several weeks. After sitting around and waiting that long, you may not be contacted directly with the results.
Lyft is better at directly contacting you about your results. Typically in a text or email, they’ll say whether you were accepted or not. If you’re not accepted, they will send a message along the lines of, “Unfortunately, after a final review of your profile, we’ve decided not to move forward with an invitation to join our driver community.”
Uber doesn’t consistently reach out to rejected drivers directly. Usually if you’re accepted, you’ll get an email and text that congratulates you. But if you’re rejected, you might not hear anything at all. In that case, you have to email Uber and ask for an answer.
After it’s been 7 – 10 days since you applied, email every few days until you get a response. If you get a robotic response that doesn’t quite answer your question, reply to that email instead of starting a new thread.
What these statuses mean in your Uber account
Head to partners.uber.com and click My Profile to find out your status. Here’s what these statuses mean
- The Onboarding status typically means Uber is reviewing your documents or background check.
- The Waitlisted status for Uber can mean a lot of things. It can mean that there are issues with your documents, or it could mean that they’re re-running your background check if you’re already a driver.
- The Consider status next to your Uber background check status means that the background check is still underway, or that they’re taking a closer look at your background because there are issues. If your status stays “consider” for several days, you will likely be rejected.
- The Active status means you’re able to log in to driver mode and accept rides.
The top reasons why applicants are rejected by Uber or Lyft
Neither Uber nor Lyft will specifically tell you why you were rejected. They may say vague things about your background, but they won’t tell you exactly what charge or what driving issue caused them to reject you. Lyft will not tell you that you failed the Mentor Session, and in almost every case, you’ll get no level of detail on why you were rejected. From speaking with drivers and company support staff, I’ve found that these are the most common reasons for rejection.
- There were issues on your background check. Uber and Lyft can reject you for just about any issues on your background check, even if the timing of your charge falls outside their stated guidelines. Pending issues and arrests without convictions are also common causes of rejection.
- There were issues on your driving record check. If you have driving on a suspended license or driving without insurance on your record, you’re just about guaranteed to be rejected. Both companies are also known to reject you even if you have fewer than 3 minor violations, contrary to their stated guidelines.
- You didn’t pass the Lyft Mentor Session. Lyft Mentors rate you and your car on many different factors, and Lyft makes their final hiring decision based on the Mentor review. If your Mentor didn’t like you or the way you drive, it’s likely that they left a bad review and Lyft rejected you for that reason.
- Will you pass the Uber background check?
- Fired by Uber: Why drivers get deactivated, and how to get reactivated
- The Lyft Mentor Session: Drivers tell you what it’s really like
Accepted by one company but not the other – Why?
If you’re accepted by one company, you might expect to be accepted by the other. Most drivers are able to get hired by both Uber and Lyft, but I’ve heard from many drivers who were accepted by one and not the other. Even though both companies have similar background requirements, in the end the hiring decision is made by a human, so there is some variation.
There are also market-specific forces at play. If demand for new drivers is very high for one company, they might loosen their standards while the other company keeps their standards the same. Neither company publishes the specifics of their hiring policies for drivers, so there’s no way to prepare for this or work around the differences in hiring practices.
You can reapply to both Uber and Lyft, but you have to wait several months
You can reapply to drive for both companies, but neither company gives direct guidelines on when you can reapply. In emails with support staff from both companies, I’ve gotten answers varying from “We take it on a case-by-case basis” to “rejected applicants can reapply after X time goes by.”
- Uber: You can reapply after 2 – 4 months
- Lyft: You can reapply after 3 – 6 months
How to reapply to Uber and Lyft
Neither company shares instructions on how to reapply, but it is possible. Don’t try to fill out the online application again because you’ll probably get error messages saying that you already have a driver account.
When you want to reapply, contact support and let them know. Ask them what you need to do. Keep emailing until you get a response.
If you reapply, your chances of getting hired are low
Even though it’s possible to reapply with both companies, your chances of being hired are low. If you were rejected due to your background, it’s very unlikely that either company will reconsider your application.
For Lyft applicants, there is some hope if you think you failed the Mentor session. As long as your background and driving record stay clear, you may have a chance at doing another Mentor ride 3 – 6 months after you are rejected. The second time around, make sure to follow my guide on passing the Lyft mentor session.
Alternative jobs if you can’t work for Uber or Lyft
If you’ve been rejected from Uber and Lyft but you still want to use your car to earn, there are alternative jobs that you can try.
- Postmates and DoorDash. They are on-demand delivery apps that have easier requirements and hire younger applicants
- Amazon Flex. Use your car to deliver packages