Want to deliver for DoorDash? Being a Dasher is a flexible gig, and it is easy to get started.
To start delivering, you’ll have to meet the simple DoorDash requirements outlined in this article.
And if you want to know what it’s like to be a Dasher, read on to learn what it’s like to do a delivery, how delivery pay works, how to schedule hours, and what you can expect from the application process.
What you need to know
- You must be 18 or older to become a Dasher
- Any vehicle qualifies. There is no inspection
- You can start taking orders after you pass a background screening
- DoorDash Driver Requirements
- DoorDash Vehicle Requirements
- Becoming a Dasher: The Application Process
- How Dashers Get Paid
- The DoorDash Scheduling System
- What Do Dashers Do? How to Do a Delivery
Requirements to Become a Dasher
- You must be 18 years or older
- Have access to a vehicle
- Any car, truck, or van qualifies
- You can deliver on a scooter or bicycle in some markets
- Valid driver’s license
- Current auto insurance (if you plan to deliver with a vehicle)
- Pass a background & driving record check
- iPhone or Android smartphone to run the DoorDash partner app
About the DoorDash age requirement: 18 and up
DoorDash accepts applicants who are 18 or older. That makes DoorDash one of the best options for younger people who want a flexible delivery gig.
Many other driving gigs—like Uber and Lyft—require drivers to be 21 or 25.
DoorDash vehicle requirements: Any vehicle qualifies
DoorDash has very flexible vehicle requirements. Any working vehicle qualifies. In some markets, you can also deliver with motorcycles, scooters, or bicycles.
- Any model year is acceptable
- There is no vehicle inspection
- There are no cosmetic requirements
- Motorcycles qualify
- Scooters and bicycles are allowed in some cities
More about vehicle requirements for delivery apps and rideshare
Can you deliver for DoorDash with a bicycle or scooter?
In some cities, you can deliver with a motorcycle, bike, e-bike, or scooter. Unfortunately, DoorDash doesn’t currently provide a full list of cities that allow bicycles or scooters.
To find out if you can deliver for DoorDash on a bicycle or scooter in your area, begin the DoorDash application and check to see if delivering on a bicycle, e-bike, scooter, or motorcycle is listed as an option in the early steps of the application.
Becoming a Dasher: The application process
- Apply online or in the app
- Wait to complete the screening process
- If DoorDash accepts you, start dashing!
The application process can be as short as 3–5 days if there are no issues with your screening and if DoorDash is currently accepting new Dashers in your area.
The waitlist: When DoorDash isn’t accepting new Dashers
DoorDash may add you to a waitlist after you apply if a market has too many Dashers.
The Dasher app will have a message like, “We’ve added you to our waitlist. Please check back here to see when we’re ready to have new Dashers join.”
When you’re on the waitlist, occasionally check the app for updates and look out for emails or text messages letting you know when a spot opens up.
DoorDash says Mondays are the best day to check the Dasher app for new openings.
DoorDash will send you an email when you are taken off the waitlist. Then, when your spot is open, you’ll be able to log into the Dasher app and start delivering.
While you wait to get off the waitlist, you can sign up for other delivery apps.
Getting your hot bag and Red Card
After DoorDash activates your Dasher account, they will send you a free welcome kit with a hot/cold delivery bag, the Red Card to pay for certain orders, and a Getting Started manual.
If you don’t receive the welcome kit, contact DoorDash to request one.
How Dashers get paid
Dashers are paid for each completed order. The payout for a delivery is calculated according to a formula: Base pay + Promotions + Tips = Total Earnings.
The amount you make for each delivery depends on several factors, like the base pay from DoorDash, any customer tips you receive, and bonuses or promotions that DoorDash offers on some deliveries.
DoorDash base pay is a calculation of “time, distance, and desirability.” Base pay typically ranges from $3–$6, but it can climb higher during periods of high demand.
Tips are a significant portion of Dasher pay. When you receive an order request, it will show an estimated payout that includes some or all of the tip left by the customer.
A low estimated payout indicates that the customer didn’t leave a tip, so many Dashers skip the lowest-paying orders.
When a customer tips during checkout, some or all of that tip is included in the up-front order payout.
The payout estimate will be low when customers don’t tip. You are free to accept or decline any order that comes in, so feel free to decline an order if it doesn’t meet your pay standards.
Earn by Time: Another earnings option
In many markets, DoorDash now has two earnings options: Earn Per Offer—as described in the section above—and Earn by Time.
Earn by Time offers guaranteed hourly minimum pay for the time you spend on a delivery plus 100% of tips. When you Earn by Time, you can only reject 1 to 2 orders per hour to continue delivering.
Earn by Time offers less flexibility than Earn Per Offer, but it gives you more predictable earnings. You will always get the guaranteed rate if you continue accepting orders.
Getting paid: Direct deposits & Dasher Direct
Dasher earnings are paid once per week on Wednesday via a free direct deposit, or you can withdraw your earnings on demand with Fast Pay for a $1.99 fee.
DoorDash also offers a debit card called DasherDirect. With DasherDirect, your earnings will be deposited instantly at the end of each Dash, with no fee required.
DasherDirect also has benefits like cash back on gas and no-fee ATMs.
DoorDash offers several bonuses that can help increase your pay.
Peak Pay is a bonus added to each order you complete during busy times and peak hours.
An example of a Peak Pay offer: “Earn $3 extra per order in Los Angeles between 11 am–2 pm.”
Areas eligible for Peak Pay will have a label that specifies the Peak Pay amount.
Challenges are a bonus for completing a set number of deliveries during a specific period. Not all markets offer Challenges.
For example: “Earn $20 for completing 15 deliveries in a week.”
DoorDash drivers are independent contractors
Dashers are 1099 independent contractors. That means that DoorDash does not deduct tax withholding from your earnings.
You are responsible for reporting your DoorDash income and paying any taxes that you owe.
DoorDash does not pay for your gas, insurance, or any other expenses you run into along the way.
You can minimize your taxes at the end of the year by keeping track of all mileage during your shift using a mile-tracking app.
How to schedule shifts on DoorDash
DoorDash uses a scheduling system to prevent markets from becoming oversaturated with too many Dashers.
Use the scheduling section of the Dasher app to reserve shift blocks. Block times range from an hour up to a full day.
You can also Dash without a schedule by using the “Dash Now” feature, which is enabled when a delivery region needs more Dashers to meet increased demand. More on that below in the Dash Now section.
New shift blocks are released at midnight daily, so some Dashers stay up late to claim the best shifts.
If you have Early Access scheduling, you can select hours at 3 pm each day instead of midnight.
There is a penalty for missing a shift or starting late: DoorDash may cancel your shift if you don’t log in within 30 minutes of the start time.
Early Access scheduling
DoorDash has a feature called ‘Early Access Scheduling‘ that gives highly-rated drivers first access to scheduling hours.
With Early Access, Dashers can sign up for new shifts each day at 3 pm rather than midnight. One limitation is that you have to re-qualify for Early Access each week.
Dash Now & Dash Along the Way
The Dash Now option allows you to sign in and deliver without scheduling a delivery block. Dash Now appears when delivery demand in a region is high.
When Dash Now is available, a delivery region appears red in the Dasher app. The red color indicates that anyone inside the region can sign on and start accepting deliveries without being on the schedule.
Dash Now toggles on and off dynamically, so Dash Now may no longer be available if enough Dashers sign on. Once a region turns back to gray, you’ll need to be on the schedule to Dash in that area.
If you’re outside of a region that is currently red, you’ll see an option called “Dash Along the Way.” Dash Along the Way locks in your spot in the Dash-now region, and allows you to accept orders while you are travelling over to the zone.
If you don’t select Dash Along the Way, Dash Now might not be available by the time you arrive.
What DoorDash drivers do: The delivery process
In a nutshell, Dashers use the Dasher app to receive and complete on-demand delivery requests.
You begin by signing into the DoorDash app to wait for delivery offers.
When an offer pops up, it will show the estimated payout, the name & location of the restaurant or store, the location of the pickup, the location of the drop-off, and the total estimated miles to complete the delivery.
After accepting a delivery request, navigate to the restaurant and pick up the order using the information in the app.
After picking up the order, the DoorDash app will direct you to the customer and give you any special instructions needed to complete the delivery.
For example, many customers choose the ‘leave at door’ option, which asks you to make a no-contact delivery. Simply leave the delivery at the customer’s door, take a photo, and leave.
Sometimes you will make multiple pickups and drop-offs if you accept a ‘stacked’ order.
The DoorDash app makes it easy to contact the customer for more information about directions, parking, or gate access codes.
Paying for orders: The Red Card & COD
Dashers don’t handle the payment for most orders. Instead, payments happen behind the scenes, and all you have to do is pick up and deliver the order.
But for some orders, you may have to pay with the Red Card, a special pre-paid card that can only be used while you are on delivery.
Order requests indicate when an order is a Red Card order. So if you prefer not to do Red Card orders, decline the request.
DoorDash also allows cash on delivery in some cities. Currently, COD is opt-in only, so don’t opt in if you prefer not to deal with cash.
Shop and deliver orders & other retailers
For shop and deliver orders, Dashers go inside stores to pick out items, pay for the order with the Red Card, then deliver the items to the customer.
Shop and deliver orders are similar to shopping for Instacart. You will see the store location, the item count, the estimated payout, and the total miles.
You may also get order requests from other retailers like Petco, Sephora, and others. Pay for those orders works the same: You will see an upfront payment estimate, delivery route and total estimated miles.
DashMart & DashLink
In some cities, DoorDash operates convenience stores called DashMart. At DashMart, DoorDash employees pack the orders, then Dashers pick up & deliver the order.
DashLink is another order type where you pick up a large batch of packages and deliver them to customers along a delivery route.
About acceptance rates: You don’t have to accept every order!
Each Dasher has an acceptance rate, a metric for the number of orders a Dasher accepts divided by the number of orders they were offered.
DoorDash encourages Dashers to accept more orders, but according to the DoorDash deactivation policy, you won’t be deactivated for having a low acceptance rate.
You are free to accept or decline as many orders as you want, so don’t worry too much about your acceptance rate.
DoorDash frequently launches new incentives and programs designed to get you to accept more orders, but you are still free to decline as many orders as you want without risking your account.
However, DoorDash may pause or end your Dash if you decline too many orders in a row.
Interested in other delivery gigs?
DoorDash isn’t the only app in the game! Try other delivery apps and see which one works best for you.