Want to be a driver partner with Lyft? Checklist for new Lyft drivers

How to succeed in a Lyft driver application

While the actual process to become a Lyft driver is straightforward, there are a few pitfalls and obstructions that can cause a very good candidate to both up the whole process and be denied a contract.

In this article, we will review the application process by analyzing the three main areas that are the application process.

  • Driver Profile: personal information and documentation
  • Background Check: a seven-year historical record review
  • Vehicle Inspection: a mechanical, safety and cosmetic check

The actual application process being simple is sometimes confusing to new applicants, since the website is not exactly simple to understand, and some issues are ambiguous. Let's dive in and check out each category.

Driver Profile

  • 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

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.

Car insurance is a must; now it is important to understand that normal car insurance will not cover you for ride-share 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 ride-share 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.

Make sure you upload all documents if any document is missing or is out of date you will not pass and will need to provide the missing documents.

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

Lyft accesses this information through:

  • County courthouse records for every county of residence for the last seven years
  • Federal courthouse records going back seven years
  • The multi-state criminal database going back seven years
  • Motor Vehicle Records
  • Social Security Trace
  • National Sex Offender Registry

Checkr does Lyft background screening, so if applicants have issues, they must contact Checkr via the Checkr site contact-us page. The actual background check should not take longer than seven working days. Lyft sometimes performs yearly background checks on drivers as well as statewide re-checking of all drivers when the state changes rules and regulations that demand a background check be performed.

Vehicle Inspection

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.

  • 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.

The car requirements are 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, 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.


If you do not succeed due to anyone the many reasons (apart from a bad background) you can reapply after 3-6 months depending on the reason for your rejection.