Getting deactivated by Lyft is a devastating blow to any Lyft driver.
Sometimes, it’s only a temporary suspension you can solve by updating a document or waiting for a timer to end.
Other times, deactivations can be permanent. Or they could lead to frustrating weeks of back-and-forth messages with Lyft support.
If you’ve been deactivated, there are steps you can take to get your account back! But be warned—there is no guarantee.
And if you haven’t been deactivated, it’s helpful to know all of the common situations that can lead to trouble with your account.
What you need to know
- Lyft can suspend or deactivate your account if you violate the terms of service
- Permanent deactivations are usually due to safety incidents and serious complaints from passengers
- Temporary suspensions are typically due to expired documents, excessive cancellations, or an investigation that is in process
- To get your account back, contact Lyft and ask to be reactivated
- How to tell if your account is deactivated
- 3 reasons why you can’t go online
- Why Lyft drivers get deactivated: The top reasons
- FAQs about acceptance rate and cancellation rate
- How to get reactivated
- Deactivated because of false accusations? What to do
- What are your legal options after a deactivation?
Is your Lyft account deactivated? How you can tell
To see if your Lyft account is deactivated or suspended, try to go online and look for any app messages: If you are deactivated, you will see a message when you try to go online letting you know there is an issue with your account.
Check your account status: In the driver app, go to Menu > Feedback and rewards > Your feedback > Account status.
You can also tap on your ratings to quickly reach the Your feedback page.
Your account status will let you know if your account is in good standing or if there’s an issue.
What’s the difference between ‘suspended’ and ‘deactivated?’
Your driver account can be temporarily suspended or permanently deactivated. You can drive after your suspension is over, but you can’t drive after you are permanently deactivated.
Suspensions are for minor issues like expired documents or higher-than-average cancellation rate.
Permanent deactivations are for major issues, like serious accusations from customers or repeated violations of the Lyft TOS.
Emails from Lyft: Lyft will email you to let you know when you have an account issue.
3 reasons why you can’t go online
Can’t go online? There are 3 common reasons: Document issues you need to correct, your account is on hold, or your account has been deactivated.
Minor, correctable issues, such as expired documents. You will see messages and notifications in the app that will let you know the issue and how to correct it.
When you try to go online, Lyft will tell you which documents are expired and how to update them. You may also see a notification letting you know that you have changes to make.
1. Your account has been temporarily suspended: Timeout
Lyft can temporarily suspend your account for several reasons, such as a high cancellation rate and other minor violations of the TOS.
While your account is temporarily suspended, you’ll see a message with a timer that counts down until you can go back online.
Lyft can increase the length of your timeout if you don’t take actions to correct the issue.
The driver below was placed not timeout for using an app to change their GPS location. Location spoofing is a TOS violation.
2. Your account is on hold for an investigation into a serious issue
You will get a message saying “your driver account is temporarily on hold while we investigate a potential violation…”
During this time, you won’t be able to go online to give rides. Lyft will email you about the issue, and you can reply to tell your side of the story or ask for more detail.
Your driver app may display a screen that shows the progress of the investigation, and any further steps you need to take.
For example, the driver below was temporarily put on hold for the alleged refusal of a mobility device. The driver received an email from Lyft Trust & Safety asking them for their side of the story.
3. You have been permanently deactivated
If you have been permanently deactivated, you will see a message that says something like,
“Your account has been permanently deactivated for alleged violations of Lfft’s terms of service and community guidelines. This decision has been reviewed and will remain final.”
If your account has been deactivated, you can try to get it reactivated, but it likely means that Lyft has reached the end of an investigation and made a permanent decision to keep you off the platform.
Why Lyft drivers get deactivated: The top reasons
Most deactivations fall into these categories.
Low ratings: You can be deactivated if your average star rating falls below ~4.6.
Lyft does not say the minimum star rating because it can vary from city to city, but you are at risk if your rating falls below 4.7.
Fail a background check: Lyft occasionally updates your background check and driving record check. You can be deactivated if they find new issues on your record, like in this story from a driver with new traffic violations.
Cancelling too many rides: You can decline ride requests without penalty, but you can be deactivated if you accept and cancel too many rides.
Unsafe driving: If enough passengers report you for unsafe driving, you may be deactivated. Keep an eye on your Driving score to check for passenger complaints about your driving.
Unwanted contact/harassment of a rider: Harassment is considered a serious violation and can lead to instant deactivation.
Discriminating against a rider: Lyft’s community guidelines state that you can’t discriminate against a rider based on race, gender, age, and many other factors.
Refuse a rider with a service animal/disability: The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that you accept all riders with service animals, and make reasonable accommodations for disabled passengers.
Driving with a companion in the car: You are the only person authorized to be in the car. You can’t drive with someone else.
Fraud: Fraudulent behavior can include abusing promotions, fraudulently trying to increase pay, using software to inappropriately manipulate the Lyft app, and any other deceitful use of the app.
Situations that will temporarily put your account on hold
Your account won’t be permanently deactivated for these reasons, but you won’t be able to go online until you fix these issues.
Expired documents: You need to occasionally update your insurance card, vehicle inspection, vehicle registration, and other documents. When those documents expire, you can’t go online until you upload the updated document.
Car accident: If you or a passenger report that you’ve been in an accident, your account will be put on hold.
If the accident was minor, send photos to Lyft and you may be able to quickly get back on the road.
If it was a major accident, you won’t be able to go back online until the car is fully repaired.
Can you be deactivated for inactivity?
Lyft does not deactivate driver accounts for inactivity. There isn’t a weekly or monthly ride minimum to stay active.
If you take a long break from Lyft, you may need to update your documents or consent to a new background check to go back online.
Can you be deactivated for having a low acceptance rate?
No. Lyft does not require drivers to maintain a minimum acceptance rate. You can decline as many ride requests as you want without the risk of being deactivated.
However, don’t be surprised if Lyft sends you messages about your low acceptance rate or nudges you in other ways to accept more ride requests.
Lyft may even send you an email about a substantial number of missed ride requests.
If you read closely, Lyft only says that skipped ride requests might lead to a poor customer experience. It isn’t saying that you can be deactivated for having a low acceptance rate.
What’s the maximum cancellation rate?
You can be deactivated for having a high cancellation rate, but it is an uncommon reason for deactivation.
Lyft does not publish the exact criteria that triggers deactivation. They only say that frequent cancellations can make you lose access to the platform.
Lyft may take the local driving culture into account and only deactivate drivers who cancel far more often than the average driver.
If your cancellation rate is higher than normal, Lyft may update your account status to let you know that you’re at risk of suspension.
When you’re at risk of suspension, Lyft asks you to take a course that educates you about cancellations.
It is a brief video series that shows you how to complete a ride without cancelling, then ends by challenging you to do 10 rides in a row without cancelling.
This driver was forced offline due to a high cancellation rate. To get back online, they have to do 10 rides in a row without cancelling. It’s not a deactivation, but it’s a punishment.
HireRight: Incidents on Uber can be reported to Lyft
Lyft and Uber partner with a consumer reporting agency called HireRight that monitors and report issues that occur on either app.
Through HireRight, Uber and Lyft can communicate with each other about serious safety incidents. It is called the Industry Sharing Safety Program.
If you are involved in a serious incident on Uber, HireRight can report the incident to Lyft. And if the incident took place on Lyft, HireRight can report it to Uber.
That means that you can be deactivated from both apps from one incident!
How to get reactivated by Lyft after a deactivation
It’s possible to get reactivated and back on the road after Lyft deactivates you—but your chances of being reactivated depend on the circumstance.
To get reactivated by Lyft, your first step is to contact Lyft to find out why you were deactivated. If they give a reason, tell your side of the story. If they don’t, send more messages asking for the reason.
If your account is on hold due to expired documents, it’s easy to upload the new documents and start driving again.
If your account is on hold due to an investigation, tell your side of the story and hope for the best. There’s a good chance that you will be reactivated if there are no other reports on your account.
If Lyft says that you were permanently deactivated and the decision is final, it’s unlikely that you will be reactivated.
Even if Lyft says a deactivation is permanent, it still may be possible to get your account back by occasionally contacting Lyft to ask them to reconsider.
Keep up the pressure, but be respectful, and don’t spam Lyft with daily messages.
If enough time has gone by, they may change their mind and allow you to drive again. It’s a long shot, but it has worked for some drivers.
Is there a formal appeals process for Lyft deactivations?
No, there is no formal appeals process. There is no special form or web page dedicated to appealing a deactivation.
You have to contact Lyft to discuss the deactivation. Respond to the emails they send regarding the deactivation, or use other methods to start a conversation with Lyft support.
Can you reapply to Lyft following a deactivation?
There is no direct way to reapply to Lyft after you’ve been deactivated. You can contact Lyft and ask to be reactivated, but you can’t start from the beginning by re-doing a driver application.
Some drivers try to sign up with new email addresses or phone numbers, but your driver account is connected to your SSN, so Lyft will eventually connect any new account to your old deactivated account.
Your ‘Driving score:’ A bigger picture of your performance
Lyft shows a ‘Driving score’ in the feedback area of the app that combines several metrics to show you a broader look at your overall performance as a driver.
The driving score looks at your star rating, acceptance rate, cancellation rate, safety flags, and service flags.
The driving score itself isn’t a factor in deactivations. The individual issues make up a driving score that could potentially lead to deactivation.
Customer complaints appear here, which can hint that a deactivation could be possible if you get more complaints in the future.
The Driving score also measures your driving ability by using GPS data and sensors in your phone. You can see if you brake harder than other drivers or drive as smoothly as other drivers.
Use the driving score as a strong hint about your service and driving. If you are far lower on a certain metric than other drivers, consider changing.
Deactivated because of a false accusation? What to do when passengers lie
Passengers can easily send in a false complaint that can get you suspended or deactivated.
Typically when a Lyft passenger makes a serious accusation, Lyft will put your account on hold as they investigate the complaint.
If you’re the victim of a false accusation, keep an eye out for emails and app messages. Quickly respond to the message and let Lyft know your side of the story.
If you have no other complaints against you, there’s a good chance that you will be reactivated if you deny the accusations.
But if you have any other issues with your account, or if the accusation is serious enough, you might be permanently deactivated.
The best way to defend against false accusations is to respond to Lyft’s messages and deny the accusation. If you have any solid proof to defend yourself—like dash cam footage—offer to show it to Lyft support.
Unfortunately, false accusations from passengers aren’t too uncommon, but many drivers report that Lyft typically reinstates drivers after blatantly false accusations.
Common false accusation stories
“I’ve been deactivated 4 times for false accusations. I’m still driving”
What are your legal options following a deactivation?
Note: We aren’t lawyers. Always contact a local lawyer when pursuing legal options.
If you’re experiencing a deactivation that doesn’t seem fair, you might consider taking a legal route to recover your account or get some other type of compensation from Lyft.
Generally, employment lawyers targeting rideshare drivers advertise services related to errors on a background report or a credit report.
You might be able to find legal help if an error on a background report resulted in your deactivation.
For all other issues, you may have to go into arbitration with Lyft if you want to dispute a permanent deactivation. Unless you take steps to opt out, all drivers agree to arbitration for all disputes with Lyft.
Read the terms of service for more info about arbitration and contact employment lawyers in your area for further steps.
Can’t drive for Lyft? Try Uber or delivery apps
If your deactivation is permanent or if you need to earn an income while you wait for the outcome of an issue, try driving for another similar service.
Driving for Uber or delivery apps is the next best thing. If you qualify for Lyft, you’ll also qualify for Uber and delivery apps.
You never know when an issue can sideline your Lyft account. Always have a backup! Sign up for other apps even if you don’t intend to drive for them immediately.