This page provides information about vehicle, driver, and document requirements, state regulations, insurance coverage, and city-specific requirements, needed to drive with Lyft in the city of Chicago.
If you're a driver in any other city in Illinois, visit this page instead.
What you need to drive with Lyft in Chicago
Drivers are required to maintain current documents. Failing to update a required document before the expiration date results in temporary deactivation.
Vehicle age requirements in this region have changed. Reach out to us for more information.
All vehicles must meet the following criteria:
5-8 seats, including the driver's
Not a taxi or stretch limousine
Not titled as salvage, non-repairable, rebuilt, or any other equivalent classification
In select cities, you can rent a car through Express Drive with standard insurance included. All Chicago drivers have a digital ID card which can be accessed in the Dashboard. If you're ever asked for proof of identification by law enforcement, present the ID from the dashboard by following these steps:
Tap your driver photo in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
This will take you to a page with your photo and legal name. Present this to the law official.
Chicago vehicle inspection
Drivers are required to have a vehicle inspection before being approved to drive. You can set up an appointment through your Lyft app at the Chicago Driver Center.
At the end of your inspection, we'll provide a completed vehicle inspection form and upload a digital copy to your profile. Keep this in your car at all times while in driver mode.
All vehicles in Chicago need to be inspected at least annually.
Visit any licensed inspection location, let the staff know you’re in need of a Lyft re-inspection, and bring the following with you:
Inspection locations and prices
Drivers aren't reimbursed for annual inspections at our partner sites. We have a partnership with Pep Boys, Jiffy Lube, and NTB. There will be no Lyft representatives present at these locations.
To find an inspection location, schedule an appointment, or upload your inspection document, see the Driver Dashboard or the ‘Vehicle’ tab in the sidebar menu of your Lyft Driver app.
Emblem & placard requirements
Drivers are required to display the Lyft emblem while in driver mode. The Lyft emblem is Lyft’s official trade dress. It helps passengers and law enforcement identify your vehicle. You will receive an airport decal and city tax emblem to display in your vehicle at an inspection event or in the mail. The Lyft emblem should be displayed in the lower corner of your windshield on the passenger side every time you enter driver mode. Make sure to remove the emblem when you are not in driver mode. Once you’re approved as a Lyft driver, the City of Chicago will email you a tax emblem. Display your City of Chicago tax emblem on your dashboard. If you don’t receive a tax emblem, visit your local Lyft Hub to get one.
Heads up: The tax emblem will be sent to the email address associated with your Lyft account, so check your spam folder if you can't find it. Display the emblem when you receive it — it expires in 2021.
Display the blue airport placard on the passenger side of your rear windshield whenever giving rides at Chicago airports.
Chicago driver regulations
Be sure to follow these rules when giving rides in Chicago, and keep an eye on your email for important updates from Lyft.
Hourly driver mode limits
In addition to Lyft's mandatory break requirement, Chicago regulations state that you cannot be in driver mode for more than 12 hours within a 24-hour period. After spending 12 consecutive hours in driver mode, you must take a break for at least 8 consecutive hours.
Per the Municipal Code of Chicago, Lyft must notify drivers of any outstanding debts owed to the City. If you receive a notice from either Lyft or the City of Chicago about an outstanding debt, you must address the debt directly with the city by April 19, 2021. If you fail to do so, Lyft is required to suspend your ability to drive in the City of Chicago.
You can continue giving rides in Chicago by addressing your debt by entering into a payment plan or paying it in full by April 19, 2021.
On January 16, 2021, the City of Chicago emailed drivers a list of outstanding tickets from the following email address: CityDebt@ticket.chicago-il.gov
In that email, the City included the notice number, ticket number, and amount due for each ticket.
If you have additional questions about your payment options or ticket(s), please visit www.chicago.gov/finance or call the Department of Finance directly at (312) 744-7275 for assistance (también disponible en Español). For the hearing impaired, please call (312) 744-7277. If eligible, enroll in an online payment plan by going to www.chicago.gov/finance and click 'Online Payment Plan'. You can save 22% by enrolling in an online payment plan.
Option 1: Enroll in an online payment plan
If eligible, enroll in an online payment plan by going to www.chicago.gov/finance and clicking 'Online Payment Plan'. If you enroll in a payment plan online you can save 22% (which is added to tickets if they are referred to a collection firm or agency). You do not need to contact a collection firm or agency to enroll in a payment plan. If you have issues enrolling online or questions about eligibility, please call (312) 744-7275.
Option 2: Pay in full online
Use the City's website to pay your tickets online, in full. You can use your driver’s license, license plate, notice number, or ticket number to look up your tickets. Most of this information can be found in the email from the city mentioned above.
Debt and Express Drive Program
If you fail to pay off your debt by April 19, 2021, Lyft is required to suspend your driver account. You will be unable to provide Lyft rides in your rental vehicle and will be responsible for the charges associated with your rental vehicle until the vehicle is returned.
What happens after you address your debt
Once you've paid your outstanding debt or entered into a payment plan, the City will notify Lyft directly. You do not need to contact Lyft to show that you have addressed your debt.
Questions about your debt?
If you have additional questions about payment options or your ticket(s), please visit www.chicago.gov/finance or call the Department of Finance directly at (312) 744-7275 (también disponible en Español). For the hearing impaired, please call (312) 744-7277.
Make sure to carefully read the rules for the following airports and venues before conducting pickups or drop-offs:
Refer to the following for additional information on giving rides in Chicago:
The City of Chicago requires that you have proof of personal insurance to be kept on hand at all times while driving on the Lyft platform. Lyft is a Transportation Network Provider (TNP) and each license is required to maintain insurance as specified in the City of Chicago Municipal Code, Chapter 9-115-090.
View your insurance in the app by tapping Settings > Car > Lyft insurance.
If you receive a citation while you're driving on the Lyft platform, please contact our Critical Response Line immediately by using the 'Contact us' button on this page. In Chicago, citations and notices can sometimes be mailed to the address on file for you with the Illinois DMV. Please notify us if you receive a warning or citation in the mail, and make sure your address is up to date with the DMV. In Chicago, in addition to meeting Lyft's standard criteria, drivers can have no more than one moving violation in the past 12 months. We have a strict zero tolerance policy for drivers (more info here). If you have any inquiries regarding the zero-tolerance policy, reach out to us or call 311.
We have a strict anti-discrimination policy. Drivers are encouraged to read more here.
Lyft's background check includes screening for individuals that have had a City of Chicago public chauffeur license revoked or denied via the City of Chicago's data portal.
Always have your driver’s license and insurance document
Don't accept street hails
Don't accept cash for rides
Don't wait in taxi lines
Review Lyft's coverage here.
In-person support (Lyft Hubs)
We're opening Lyft Hubs across the country to offer in-person support for drivers. Your local Hub is a one-stop shop for answers on everything from setting up direct deposit to discovering where you’ll get the most ride requests.
Moving to or from Chicago
Moving from Chicago to a different city or state? Find your new market here to see what steps you’ll need to take.
Partner mechanic locations