If you want to become a Lyft driver, you will need to complete a background check and a driving record check. This background screening ensures that all drivers meet Lyft’s safety standards.
During the application process to become a driver, Lyft will ask you to consent to a background screening that is administered by a third party company.
The Lyft background check typically takes around 3-10 days to complete, then Lyft notifies you whether they will accept or reject you as a driver. Will you pass the background check? Check the standards below to see.
Basic facts about the Lyft background check
- All Lyft driver applicants must undergo background screening. You must consent to the screening and provide your social security number
- Lyft uses a third-party company to run a criminal background check and a DMV driving record check
- The screening looks back a minimum of 7 years
- The background screening process can take anywhere from a few days, to a few weeks
The Lyft background check looks for these issues
The Lyft criminal background check looks back a minimum of seven years into national and county-level databases to check for the following:
- Violent crimes
- Sexual offenses
- Drug-related offenses
- Theft and property damage
You may be rejected by Lyft if any of those issues appear on your background screening in the last 7 years. Not all offenses are disqualifying, but Lyft does not provide any further detail about what exactly constitutes a qualifying or disqualifying offense.
The background check also does a lifetime screen against:
- Individuals registered on the National Sex Offender Registry and DOJ50-State Sex Offender Registry
Driving record standards for Lyft drivers
To be accepted as a Lyft driver, your driving record must meet the following criteria:
- 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)
Problems with pending traffic tickets? Off The Record can help you fight tickets and keep them off your record.
Some cities and states have different standards
The criteria listed above applies to most Lyft markets, but some local governments require different standards or a different screening process. Head to this Lyft page and scroll to the list of states to find a link to more information about the standards in your state.
More information about Lyft driver requirements
- Lyft driver requirements: What do they really mean?
- Lyft vehicle requirements: Can you drive with Lyft in your car?
How long does the Lyft background check process take?
Lyft doesn’t make any promises about how long or short the background check process should take, but most applicants report that it takes anywhere from 3-10 days.
That time frame may vary depending on the number of driver applications Lyft and their background check partner are dealing with at the moment.
If your background check is flagged for closer consideration, you will receive a free copy of the background check and instructions for disputing the results. If your background is flagged, it will extend the process.
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How far back does the Lyft background check actually look?
Lyft says that their screening looks back a minimum of 7 years, and longer in some areas. Does that mean that an offense older than 7 years old won’t disqualify an applicant? It’s not fully clear, and typically depends on the offense and the background standards of the market.
Generally, your chances of getting hired increase if your issue was 7 or more years ago. For more serious issues like felonies or multiple misdemeanors, Lyft may still reject you even if the issues were 8 or more years ago.
Pending issues may count against you
A common question many applicants have is whether a pending issue will be considered during the background screening process. According to Lyft, if an issue shows up during screening, they can use it to make a hiring decision. Pending legal issues show up on background checks, so expect that Lyft may count pending issues against you.
Lyft may run your background check yearly, or more
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 you suspect that you may get rejected due to your background, it might be a good idea to apply to a similar company first to see whether you get accepted or not. Both Postmates and Doordash run a similar background check. If they accept you, Lyft probably will too. If they don’t, use it as a chance to get a copy of your record and work to clear any issues that you can.
Lyft Background Check FAQ
“My background check is taking forever. What should I do?”
Lyft will tell you if you passed or failed once the check is complete. If it has been more than 10 days, contact Lyft. 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 or felony on my record, but it’s almost been 7 years since it happened. Do I qualify?”
Nobody can look at your record and tell you for certain whether Lyft will accept you or not. The only way to find out for sure is to apply.
“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.
“Lyft rejected me. Can I reapply?”
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.
Will you pass the Lyft background check?
Lyft doesn’t offer much detail about their hiring criteria other than the basic information I’ve listed here. Nobody can tell you for sure whether you will pass or not, and the only way to find out is to apply. It’s a free online application, so there isn’t much risk in applying.