Want to become a Lyft driver? Lyft has requirements that all potential drivers must meet before getting behind the wheel and taking ride requests.
From age and vehicle qualifications to background checks, this article is an overview of the essential requirements for Lyft drivers.
What you need to know
- Lyft drivers must be 25 or older
- You must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record
- All drivers must pass a background check
- You can use your own qualifying vehicle or rent one through Lyft Express Drive
- You must provide proof of insurance
Apply to drive for Lyft! Click here to get started
- General Lyft Driver Requirements
- Driver Age Requirements
- Vehicle Requirements
- Insurance Requirements
- License & Registration Requirements
- Other Local Requirements
- The Background and Driving Record Check
Current Lyft Driver Requirements
Note that some requirements may vary from city to city. Follow the links below to find more detail about your area.
- Be age 25 years or older
- Vehicle requirements: 4-door vehicle with five seatbelts. Model year requirement varies city to city.
- Complete a vehicle inspection that covers mechanical and cosmetic condition
- Auto insurance with your name on the policy as a listed driver
- Have a US driver’s license
- One full year of license history in some states
- Must have current vehicle registration (no salvage title)
- Pass a background check and driving record check
- Own a smartphone: iPhone running iOS 12, Android 6.0
- Complete other local requirements, ex. business license
- Click here to apply – Our referral link
See if your car qualifies for Lyft: Lyft vehicle requirements
Age requirement for Lyft: 25 or older
You must be 25 years old or older to drive for Lyft. Lyft used to accept 21-year-olds in some cities but increased the minimum age to 25.
One exception to the age requirement is that drivers in NYC can be 19.
If you’re too young for Lyft, Uber and delivery apps like DoorDash have lower age requirements. Uber accepts drivers 21 and up, and many delivery apps accept drivers 18 and up.
Vehicle requirements: A 4-door vehicle that meets the local model year requirement
You must have access to a 4-door vehicle with five or more seatbelts. It can be a car, SUV, truck, or minivan. 2-door vehicles do not qualify.
Lyft will not accept vehicles with salvage or rebuilt titles even if the car is fully repaired. Full-sized vans (Ford Transit, GMC Savana) are not accepted.
What’s the oldest car that Lyft will accept? The model year requirements are different from state to state. Check our complete list of vehicle age requirements here.
Depending on your vehicle, you may qualify for Lyft ride types that pay more money to drivers.
For example, you may qualify to give Lyft XL rides if you drive an SUV or minivan. And if your car is only a few years old with spacious legroom, you can give Lyft Preferred rides.
Vehicles with less than five seatbelts are never accepted. For example, certain four-seater cars—like some models of the Chevy Volt—are not accepted because they don’t seat enough passengers.
- See the model year requirements for your city and state at Lyft.com
- Full details on Lyft vehicle requirements
Need a car? Lyft offers rentals through the Lyft Express Drive program
Don’t have access to a qualifying car? You can rent a vehicle through the Lyft Express Drive rental program.
Express Drive currently partners with Hertz and Flexdrive to provide rentals. Rentals cost around $300 per week, with insurance included.
Express Drive may not be a cheap option, but it can be profitable if you plan to drive full-time. It’s also a good way to try Lyft without using your own vehicle.
The Lyft vehicle inspection
In most cities, you won’t be able to start driving until your vehicle passes an inspection at a state-certified facility. Inspections typically cost $20–$30.
To get a vehicle inspection: You can schedule an inspection in the Lyft Driver app. Lyft will refer you to local auto shops that can do the inspection.
Any state-certified mechanic can do the inspection, so you can bring the Lyft inspection form to your preferred mechanic if you don’t find them listed in the Lyft app.
You also can get your inspection at a Lyft Driver Center if there is one in your area.
The inspection primarily focuses on the condition of your car’s safety features, like the tires, brakes, windows, mirrors, lights, and safety belts.
Auto insurance requirements
All drivers must maintain a personal auto insurance policy with coverage levels that match the state minimum. Lyft will only approve your insurance documents if your name is on the insurance policy as a listed driver.
If your name isn’t on the insurance card, ask your insurance provider for the policy ‘declaration.’ The declaration lists all covered rivers, and you can upload a photo or PDF copy of it to your Lyft profile.
What type of insurance does Lyft provide for drivers?
Lyft provides a commercial insurance policy that covers drivers. The policy provides $1 million liability and continent collision coverage with a $2,500 deductible.
However, the coverage depends on the driving scenario during an incident.
When the Lyft app is off, your personal auto policy covers you.
When the Lyft app is on and you aren’t matched with a passenger, Lyft’s policy offers limited liability insurance.
From the time you are matched with a passenger to when the passenger is dropped off, you receive the full benefits of the policy.
Should you get rideshare insurance for Lyft?
We recommend that you seek out a rideshare-friendly insurance policy to guarantee that you are covered in the event of an accident.
Many national auto insurers now have rideshare add-ons that guarantee that you don’t have any gaps in your coverage, and guarantee that your insurer won’t drop you if an accident happens.
Another major benefit of many rideshare insurance policies is that you only have to pay your collision deductible instead of the $2,500 Lyft deductible.
Does your insurance need to be issued in the state you’re driving in? It depends on the state. For example, Lyft drivers in California must have insurance issued in California. But in other states, Lyft doesn’t require in-state insurance.
To see if your city’s insurance requirements, head to the Lyft application requirements page and scroll to find your state.
Drivers license requirements
You must provide a photo of your driver’s license during the application process. Lyft requires at least one full year of US driver’s license history in some states.
These states require one full year of license history:
Find more detail about license and document requirements here: Driver requirements at Lyft.com
Lyft does not count international driving experience
Lyft does not factor in international driving experience or international driver’s licenses. Even if you’ve driven internationally for many years, you still must meet the license history requirements in your state.
Do you need an in-state license to qualify for Lyft? It depends on the city and state you plan to drive in.
For example, Lyft requires a California license for California drivers. Head to the Lyft application requirements page and scroll to your state to see license requirements in your area.
Your vehicle must have current registration and valid plates
You must upload a photo of your license plate and, in some cases, your vehicle registration papers.
Lyft doesn’t accept vehicles with a salvage or rebuilt title. Your registration must be current.
Does Lyft accept temporary registration or paper plates?
Lyft accepts temporary registration in most areas, but some drivers may have difficulty uploading temporary documents. Local regulations in some markets may not allow temporary documents.
If you have temporary registration papers, try to upload them to the Lyft driver app. If that doesn’t work, contact Lyft.
Do you need in-state license plates?
It depends on the city and state you want to drive in. For example, Lyft drivers in California must have California plates on their vehicle, but Lyft drivers in some other states don’t.
Head to the Lyft application requirements page and scroll to your state to see if you need in-state plates.
Does the vehicle have to be registered in your name to qualify for Lyft?
The car you use for Lyft does not have to be registered in your name, but you must be insured to drive the car.
You qualify if you’re a named driver on an insurance policy covering the vehicle. You can drive a leased car or a car with a lien (loan) still on it.
Other local requirements
Some cities require Lyft drivers to comply with special regulations to legally pick up and drop off passengers.
Special regulations could include business licenses, special placards, or a different state-required inspection or background check.
After you apply, Lyft will send you city-specific information to help you navigate all the steps needed to meet any special requirements in your area.
View the list of all city and state regulations for Lyft drivers.
The Lyft background check and driving record check
All drivers must undergo background screening, including a criminal background check and a DMV driving record check (MVR).
You must have a social security number to complete the background check.
Full details: Will you pass the Lyft background check?
The Lyft driving record check looks at the following:
- No more than three moving violations in the past three years (ex, accidents, traffic light violations)
- No major violations in the past three years (ex, 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 previous seven years (ex., hit-and-run, felonies involving a vehicle)
Lyft will also ask you to consent to a criminal background check administered by a third party. Here’s what the background check looks at.
The Lyft criminal background check screens for:
- Violent crimes, theft, property damage
- Sexual offenses
- Drug-related offenses
- Lifetime screen against individuals registered on the National Sex Offender Registry
Lyft does not publish its exact criteria for accepting or rejecting drivers. The only way to find out if Lyft will accept you is to sign up to drive.
Denied by Lyft? Why Lyft may reject your application
The #1 reason that Lyft denies applicants is the background and driving record check. After you apply, the Lyft background check typically takes around 3–10 days.
Lyft will notify you that you’ve been accepted, or they’ll let you know there are issues with your background.
If they mention any issues, it’s typically a signal that you will be denied.
Other minor application issues that can cause delays
- Document issues: Failing to send the correct insurance, registration, and licensing documents
- Vehicle issues: If your vehicle fails the inspection, you won’t be able to start driving
You won’t be permanently rejected if you have problems with minor application details, but they cause a delay.
Can you reapply if Lyft rejects you?
If Lyft rejects your application, it is difficult—but possible—to reapply. There is no specific application process to reapply, but you may be able to reapply around six months after your initial application.