If you are considering an additional source of income or want a fulltime source of income than Lyft is a great option for you, so long as you are prepared for the expenses of owning, leasing or renting and driving a car. While all the online adverts suggest lucrative income and get rich quick opportunities, the reality of rideshare driving is different. We will look at the application process as well as discuss some of the negatives in applying for this job so that an applicant will have the necessary tools to make a knowledgeable decision based on their capabilities.
Lyft Driver Requirements
- The applicant must be at least 21 years of age
- Provide a photo
- Own a valid US driving license with at least one years' experience
- Valid in-State insurance with the applicant's name on the insurance card
- DMV license plates can be commercial too
- Have or own a smartphone; iPhone or Android
- Pass a background check
- Complies with specific State or City-based requirements beyond Lyft's
- Present a car for inspection which meets the following requirements:
- A 4-door car
- Must be no older than 2005 (Each city will have different age limit requirements for cars)
- Have between five to eight seat capacities including the drivers
- Must be free of scratches and dents
- The inside must be clean and fully upholstered with no rips or tears visible.
Review of the Requirements
The age and driving experience is mandatory, if you do not meet these basic requirements don't apply. The 21 years age limit is great, it offers young people a chance to start earning income and be self-employed. This gives them the first chance to find out what expenses and taxes mean as well as preparing them for life social skills required for driving many passengers any hours of the day.
The car requirements are also strict if your car is a two-door coupe or has mini rear doors or it's a vintage car, it won't pass the requirements. There are many financing options for acquiring a car, and you don't need a new one, but the car must meet Lyft's standards. You don't need to own the car; it's enough that you have car insurance coverage in your name and a signed letter or contract (leasing, renting) allowing you to drive the car. The car must be in good condition, both mechanically and physically as well as have a good interior, which means; no scratches, odors, paint peel's missing parts, ripped upholstery, etc.
Car insurance is a must; now it is important to understand that normal car insurance will not cover you for rideshare driving. The insurance coverage must be in the state you are going to drive in. Your name must appear on the insurance card, and you will need to get an insurance declaration to upload to Lyft. Make sure our insurance is rideshare friendly and take into account that Lyft's coverage only covers a $1 million liability case and a $2,500 deductible for collisions. So, you will want a further policy to cover all those cases. Another factor to understand is Lyft's driving periods (similar to Ubers) Period 1 covers all moments when the driver is not driving or is between rides and without a request. Period 2 is when a driver accepts a request and driving to pick up, and Period 3 is from the moment the ride is official until the passenger is dropped off. Uber's insurance covers Periods 2 and 3 and has limited coverage for period 1. Make sure you get a rideshare friendly policy that covers all of them and includes a deductible waiver clause.
You will need to pass a vehicle inspection which focuses on car safety features and car condition outside and inside. Lyft.com provides a list of acceptable services that perform these inspections.
Car Registration and Plates
Vehicles must have in-State registration, which means going to the DMV and getting a license if your car is from out of state. Also, make sure your plates are changed to in-State plates.
Lyft requires a full year of US driving experience, so if you drove for thirty years in Mexico, it won't count, and you will have to wait until you finish your one year driving in the US.
The Background Check
All applicants go through a seven-year background check, Checkr performs this, and they look at the following details:
- The applicant is 21 years or older
- Has a valid US drivers license
- Has one year US driving experience
- Owns a personal insurance policy that meets State requirements
- Has no more than three moving violations in the past three years
- Have no major violations during the last three years
- Has no DUI's in the last seven years
- No criminal records in the last seven years, especially involving vehicles
- No violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, property damage and felonies in the last seven years.
- No lifetime registration in the National Sex Offenders registry and DOJ50 State Sex Offenders Registry
City Specific Requirements
Certain cities demand special compliance to drive as a rideshare driver in their borders, such as NYC. You will need to check in the Lyft state and city list for drivers to see what else you must provide before applying to Lyft. There is no point in applying and going through the whole process if you cannot meet the State or City specific requirements.
Presenting a Car
If you don't own a car, or cannot present one, then don't apply. First, find out where you can get a car for Lyft purposes. Maven Gig, Hertz, Enterprise and other rental services all offer Lyft cars. You might also consider leasing if you want to make ridesharing a major source of income.