“Uber fired me!” 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 screen in the app saying “Your account needs attention.”
It’s a huge disappointment to be fired from your ridesharing job, and to make things worse, you’re given little to no warning or explanation about your deactivation. I wrote this guide to explain why drivers get deactivated, how to avoid it, and what to do to get your account 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 into the driver app you may see messages like these:
- “Your account needs attention”
- “The partner account you drive under has been disabled”
- “Your account has been placed on hold”
- Your profile status at partners.uber.com is rejected, 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.
Related topics for Uber drivers
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. Learn how to improve your Uber driver ratings
- 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.
- 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
- 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. Do not try to contact your passenger after the ride is over, unless it’s to discuss a lost item
- 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.
- Fraud. This includes purposely increasing the time/distance of a trip, creating fake accounts to take advantage of promotions, claiming fraudulent fees, accepting falsified trips
- Driving with a companion in your car. You are not permitted to drive with a spouse, friend, or any other companion
- Allowing someone else to use your account, or providing false information about yourself or vehicle. Don’t let a friend drive on your account, don’t use a vehicle different than listed on your profile
- Violating the Uber Terms of Service in any way. Any TOS violation can get you deactivated. I have listed most of the reasons here, but consult with Uber’s deactivation policy for the full policy
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.
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How to find out why you were deactivated by Uber
Not every deactivation notice includes an explanation, so if you were deactivated without reason, you’ll have to message Uber at help.uber.com to find out the cause. One good way to directly message Uber about your deactivation is to open the driver app. If your driver app has the “Your account needs attention” screen, there is a “Contact Support” button that links you directly to a contact form that allows you to easily ask Uber why you’re deactivated and what you can do to change that.
If you believe you were deactivated due to expired documents, go to partners.uber.com, hover over your name in the upper-right corner, and click on My Profile. Click on the “Manage Documents” tab and check to see if there are any issues with your documents. If there are, update the document. If the document statuses all look ok, you’ll have to contact Uber to find out why you were deactivated.
Be patient — it could take days or weeks 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 try not to become argumentative and angry. Stick to the facts.
Visiting an Uber Greenlight Hub can be a faster way to find out why you were deactivated. Support representatives at the hubs will typically give you more detail than email support reps, and you’ll be able to ask as many questions as you want without having to wait days for a response.
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 driver 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. To speed up the process you can visit an Uber Greenlight Hub, or call into Uber driver phone support if it’s available in your area. Typically a support agent can reactivate you on the spot once they verify your document.
If you’ve been deactivated due to low ratings: Contact Uber or search help.uber.com to see if a quality improvement course is available in your area. Currently it’s called the “7×7 Experience,” and depending on your location it may be an online class or an in-person class. It’s a customer service course specifically designed to help struggling Uber drivers improve their service and driving skills. The classes typically cost less than $100. After you complete the class, you can upload the certificate at help.uber.com. Search for ‘reactivate.’
If you’ve been deactivated for another reason: Contact Uber via help.uber.com, or visit an in-person office and politely ask to be reactivated. Your odds of success are low, but from personal experience and the experiences of readers, this approach can work. You have to be persistent, and stick to a simple message. Don’t overwhelm Uber support agents with too much detail, stay polite, and don’t argue.
Prevent deactivation by fighting traffic tickets
If you receive a traffic violation as an active Uber driver, you run the risk of deactivation when Uber runs the yearly background check. Preventing the ticket from going on your record is the best way to avoid deactivation.
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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 typically won’t change their mind.
- 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 it’s your word vs. the customer.
If you can’t get reactivated by Uber, do this instead
While you are doing everything you can to get reactivated, try signing up for other driving jobs that are similar to Uber. It may take weeks or months to be reactivated, so it’s always good to have a backup plan.
The application links above are my personal referral links, so I may receive a commission if you apply using them.
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.
If your ratings are slipping, I recommend my guide: How to improve your Uber driver ratings.