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.
There are three main areas to be concerned with: The online application & driver profile, the background check, and the vehicle inspection. It’s possible to run into issues on each step of the way
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
- Completing the online application and your driver profile. This is where you’ll submit your information: Name, car, location, insurance info, drivers license, etc.
- 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
- The Vehicle Inspection. Your vehicle must pass a mechanical and cosmetic inspection. Read more about Lyft vehicle requirements
If you successfully complete those three steps, you’ll likely be hired by Lyft as a driver.
Lyft driver requirements
- You must be at least 21 years old
- You must own a 4-door car that is year 2006 or newer. Varies city to city, so check the full list of model year requirements
- 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
Related articles that will help you get started
You might not get hired if you don’t correctly complete the online application
You must upload documentation that proves you meet the requirements listed above. All that really means is that you use your phone snap pictures of your drivers license, your auto insurance, your registration, and your car. Before you apply, make sure you have all of your documentation ready to go.
I’ve found that when drivers get held back by a certain step in the initial process, their chances of completing their application go way down. Set yourself up for success by being prepared.
Find the Cheapest Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Important things to remember about online application and requirements
- Your name must be on the insurance policy
- Your name does not have to be on the vehicle registration
- Lyft does not accept vehicles with salvage titles
- Liberty Mutual - Policies for ride share drivers are available in many states!
I am affiliated with Liberty Mutual and I may receive a commission for referring you to them.
You might not get hired if you fail the Lyft background check
One of the first steps in the application process is to consent to a background screening that looks at your driving record and your criminal history. The background check typically takes around 3-10 days to complete.
In general, the Lyft background screening looks back around seven years into national and county-level databases to check the following:
- Criminal background check
- No violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, property damage, felonies, or drug-related offenses
- Driving record check
- 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)
The background check does a lifetime screen against Individuals registered on the National Sex Offender Registry and DOJ50-State Sex Offender Registry.
- Full details: The Lyft background check
You might not get hired if your vehicle is too old, or fails the inspection
Before you get on the road, you have to prove to Lyft that your car is new enough, and that it’s in the proper mechanic and cosmetic condition. You’ll enter your vehicle model year (check model year requirements here) into the application and later upload your vehicle registration. Lyft will also provide you with an inspection form that you have to bring to a licensed facility in your state. It’s a pretty basic inspection, but it is possible to fail.
You may not pass the vehicle inspection if your car isn’t in great mechanical condition. The inspection looks at basic safety features like your brakes, tires, lights, and horns. If you regularly maintain your car, you should be fine. Parking lot scrapes and dings are fine, a bumper lashed onto your car with bungee cables is not fine.
If your car fails the inspection but you pass the background check, you can still become a driver. You just need to fix the issues that made your car fail the inspection, then re upload your inspection form to your Lyft profile.
You will get hired as a lyft driver if…
- You have all of your information in order, and you meet the requirements
- If your driving record and criminal background are clean
- If your car is in decent condition
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.
Can you reapply if Lyft rejects your application?
If you’ve completed all of the steps and Lyft decides to reject your application, can you reapply? It is possible to reapply, but you generally have to wait around 3-6 months before Lyft will reconsider your application. Here’s a more detailed article on reapplication:
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.
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.