Just about every person who wants to become an Uber driver has questions about the background check. What does Uber look at in your background check, how far does the background check go back, and will you pass? Here’s the info! All of my sources are from Uber, and from readers who have shared their experiences.
Will you pass the background check? The only way to find out for certain is to apply to drive for Uber. Nobody else can tell you for certain.
Covid-19 Background Check Delays
Many Uber drivers and applicants have experienced major delays on their background checks during the Covid-19 pandemic. Checkr, the background check company that Uber contracts with, relies on governmental agencies to provide background records. Many government agencies are experiencing closures and reduced hours, which makes it difficult for Checkr to complete reports in a timely manner.
If you’re experiencing a major delay with your background check, visit the Check application portal to look for updates. Unfortunately there’s not much else you can do to move the process along.
What is the Uber Background Check?
The Uber background check is a background screening procedure that all applicants and drivers must undergo. A third-party background check company looks at public records and delivers a report to Uber. Uber then accepts or denies your application based on the results of the background screening. The Uber background check is free.
The Background Check Looks at These Records
- County courthouse records for every county of residence
- Federal courthouse records
- The multi-state criminal database
- Motor Vehicle Records
- Social Security Trace
- National Sex Offender Registry
How often does Uber do background checks?
In most states, Uber runs a background check once each year. There is no set date for the yearly background check, so it’s hard to predict when the background check will happen. Uber might also run a new background check if the background standards have changed recently, or to comply with a new local law.
Uber Background Check and Driving Record Check Criteria
Note: Criteria is subject to local laws. Different states may have different background standards.
Your criminal background must meet these conditions:
- No serious crimes such as murder, sexual assault, terrorism-related offenses
- No convictions for a a felony, violent crime, or sexual offenses
- Some non-violent felons are accepted
Your driving record must meet these conditions:
- A minimum of 1 year U.S. licensing history
- If under age 23, must have at least 3 years licensing history
- International driving experience doesn’t count
- A clean Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) with no more than 3 incidents in recent history
- No DUIs and no reckless driving
- California Uber drivers must not have a DUI in the last 10 years.
- No speeding violations for driving 20 mph or greater over the speed limit in recent history
- Uber does not perform a credit check
Your Uber Profile Status: What it Means
Uber doesn’t always do a very good job of letting you know where you’re at in the background check process. All they really provide are Profile statuses that you can find in your driver profile. Head to partners.uber.com and click My Profile to find out your status. Here’s what these statuses mean
- The Onboarding status typically means Uber is reviewing your documents and background check. If you’re stuck in this status for more than 7 days, you should contact Uber.
- The Waitlisted status for Uber can mean a lot of things. It can mean that there are issues with your documents, or it could mean that they’re re-running your background check if you’re already a driver.
- The Consider status next to your Uber background check status means that the background check is still underway, or that they’re taking a closer look at your background because there are issues. If your status stays ‘consider’ for several days, you will likely be rejected.
- The Active status means you’re able to log into driver mode and accept rides.
- The Rejected status means your application was rejected, or you’ve been deactivated. In that case, try to reapply
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How long does it take to complete the Uber background check?
The background check typically takes around 2 – 10 days to complete. If you haven’t received an update from Uber after 7 days, contact Uber and Checkr to get an update.
Uber may refresh your background check yearly, or more
Uber performs a background check yearly to see if you’ve collected any new driving violations or criminal violations in the last year. They might also re-run your background check if the background requirements in your area have changed. Even if you passed the first background check, you’ll have to pass it every year to continue driving.
What to do if you get deactivated after a background check
Uber may deactivate you if they find a new issue on your background check that violates their current standards. Even if you passed the background check previously and your record has stayed the same, Uber may still deactivate you because they updated their standards or the Uber employee looking at your profile simply made a different decision.
There isn’t a way to directly appeal Uber’s decision, but you can try to reapply in 3-6 months. Unfortunately your odds of getting re-hired are very low, but it’s worth trying if you still want the job.
The Uber Driving Record check – Full Details & Criteria
Uber doesn’t provide much detail on the criteria for the driving record check, so I’ve drawn from my collaboration with readers and Uber support to bring to you more complete details.
Licensing History – One full year
Uber requires one year of licensing history in the US, or 3 years if you’re under age 23. Learner’s permit experience does not count toward your one year of licensing history.
Uber does not count international driving experience when they examine your background, so even if you have extensive foreign driving experience you will still need one year of US licensing history.
Most applicants won’t have to submit any extra documents to prove licensing history. Simply consent to the background check and driving record check and Checkr will locate all available US documents to determine your licensing history. If your license was recently issued, Uber and Checkr may need additional documents to verify your license history. You’ll get an email from Checkr asking for a previous drivers license, driver’s license number, or a motor vehicle report from the DMV. Promptly provide those documents to ensure that the screening process can continue.
More information about major driving violations
Uber says they won’t accept drivers with any ‘major violations.’ They list reckless driving and DUIs as examples of major violations, but from my research there other violations that Uber considers to me major.
Major violations include:
- DUI, DWI, wet reckless, or anything related to drinking or drugs and driving
- Driving on a suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Hit and run
- Fleeing an officer
- Use of a vehicle to commit a felony
How far back does the driving record check look?
Uber used to specify a maximum timeframe for the background check, but they no longer do. For example, Uber used to say ‘no major violations within the last 7 years.” State and local laws vary quite a bit, so Uber does not say how far back the driving record check looks.
More information about minor driving violations
Minor driving violations are the more ordinary moving violations that result in small tickets or warnings. Uber will reject you if you have 3 or more of these on your record in the last several years.
Some minor violations include:
- Failure to yield
- Illegal U-turn
- Improper passing
- Disobeying a traffic light
- Driving with expired registration tags
Does Uber look at points against your license?
There’s no indication that Uber directly considers points against your license in their driving record criteria. Instead, they examine the violations on your record. Uber doesn’t have a system that accepts you if you have x or fewer license points and rejects you if you have more than x license points. States have different points systems, and others don’t have point systems at all, so Uber only looks at violations on your motor vehicle record.
Does Uber look at pending criminal or driving issues?
Yes, Uber does consider pending criminal issues. Here’s a quote from help.uber.com: “Pending charges for those categories of crimes are also disqualifying, unless and until such charges are resolved in your favor.”
That means that even if you were only accused of a crime or a driving violation and you’re still in the process of dealing with it, Uber can and will count it against you when they evaluate your record. The rule of thumb to follow is that if an issue appears on your record, Uber can count it against you.
Were Rejected by Uber Due to Your Background? How to Reapply
Uber isn’t always very clear about whether they’ve accepted you or rejected you. I’ve written an in-depth guide on finding out if you were rejected, and the steps you can take the reapply.
Uber Background Check FAQ
How long does the background check take to complete?
Uber says it can take up to 10 days, but that time frame may vary depending on the number of driver applications Uber and their background check partner are dealing with at the moment. Most drivers report that it takes around 3-5 days.
“My background check is taking forever. What should I do?”
You can check the status of your background check at the Checkr candidate portal. If Checkr has completed the background check, it’s now on Uber to make a decision. Contact Uber if there is further delay.
“My background check says ‘consider’ next to it. What does that mean?”
“Consider” typically means that there is an issue with your background check and Uber is taking their time to make a final decision. Most of the time “consider” is a strong indicator that you won’t accept you as a driver.
Who runs the background check?
Uber contracts with a company called Checkr to run the background check. Checkr runs the check and communicates the results to you and Uber.
“I have been accused of a crime, but I haven’t been convicted yet. Does Uber see pending charges?”
Pending charges do show up on your background check, so Uber 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.
“I was rejected by Uber due to my background. Can I reapply?”
According to Uber, it is possible to apply again in 3-6 months. Why such a long window? Uber 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 Uber until they give you more specific reasons why you didn’t pass and ask how to reapply to Uber.
“My background check is incorrect or incomplete. How can I dispute it?”
You can dispute your background check by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Uber will not review the details of your screening with you, so always go to Checkr first.
Will You Pass the Background Check? A Trick to Find Out
Hundreds of commenters come to me with all sorts of legal scenarios to ask me whether they can pass the background check. Nobody other than Uber is able to say whether you’ll pass or not, but generally speaking you should pass if your criminal history is clean for the past 10 years or so, and if your driving record is good.
Uber changes there background check policies regularly and background check system vary state to state, so even low-level Uber support may be unable to tell you for sure.
It’s not always clear what falls under the broad labels set out by Uber, so you might not be sure if you can pass. Here’s a trick to help you find out if you’ll pass without applying.
Apply to DoorDash or Postmates — They have similar hiring standards
Other on-demand companies like DoorDash and Postmates use the same background check company as Uber – Checkr – to run your background check, and all of the companies have similar background requirements.
If you’re not sure that you’ll be accepted by Uber and if you don’t want to risk your one chance of applying, apply to DoorDash or apply to Postmates first. If they reject you, Uber likely will reject you too, and if they accept you, Uber probably will accept you too. If you do get rejected by DoorDash or Postmates, find out exactly why and see if you can have that removed from your record before you apply to drive for Uber.
Don’t Have a Car? You Can Still Apply and do Background Screening
If you don’t have access to a qualifying vehicle and you’d like to pass the background check before figuring out how to get a car, visit the Uber application and select “I need a car.” When you select that option, you will be able to proceed with background screening without having to enter vehicle information. If you pass the background check, Uber will try to connect you to local vehicle options that they offer (read about Uber rental options), but you can say no to the rental offer and get a car however you want.
Will You Pass? The Only Way to Find Out is to Apply!
Nobody can tell you with certainty if Uber will accept you or not. There’s not much you can do to change your record (unless record expungement is an option), so the only thing you can do is apply and hope for the best.