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Driver requirements

Thanks for your interest in joining our driver community! To be a driver, both applicants and their vehicles must meet these requirements.

See How to apply to become a driver for instructions on starting an application.

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Age requirements

To drive for Lyft, you must be at least 21 years old and comply with any state and local requirements.

New York City is the only exception to this age requirement. Drivers in NYC must be at least 18 years old.

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Driving history

In the following states, you are required to have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S.:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • Washington

If you are applying to drive in any of the states listed above, you may see an error message on your application regarding your driving history if your license was recently re-issued or if the state where your license was issued does not provide a driver license issue date.

The states that do not provide a driver license issue date include:

  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington

If your license was issued in any of the above listed states and you are receiving an error message on your application, please refer to this page for instructions on proving 1+ year of driving history.

Lyft currently does not accept identification from Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, or other U.S. territories to establish driving history.

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DMV check

Potential U.S. drivers must undergo a driving record check, which is conducted by a third-party company, Safety Holdings Inc. dba SambaSafety. The results of this check are assessed against applicable regulations and Lyft’s internal safety criteria. Lyft may disqualify any applicant whose driving record reveals:

  • More than three moving violations in the past three years (such as accidents or traffic light violations);[1]
  • A single major moving violation in the past three years (such as driving on a suspended license or reckless driving);
  • A DUI or other drug-related driving violation in the past seven years, or longer in some jurisdictions;
  • A serious driving-related conviction in the past seven years (such as a hit-and-run or a felony involving a vehicle).

Lyft reserves the right to disqualify a driver at any time, in compliance with applicable law, should their driving record reveal any disqualifying information or for any other safety-related reason.

If your DMV check reveals potentially disqualifying information, you will receive a copy of the report via email along with instructions on how to dispute the results.

Please be aware that in New York City, DMV and criminal background checks are conducted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) according to their licensing standards, not by Lyft.

Learn more about our safety requirements.

[1] Certain states may disqualify applicants with less than three moving violations.

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Background check

As part of your onboarding, Lyft will conduct a criminal background check with your consent. Potential U.S. drivers must provide a valid social security number in order to undergo the criminal background check, which is conducted by a third-party company, Checkr, Inc. The background check searches national and county-level databases, as well as local courthouse records, for convictions throughout your adult life.[2] This check also searches the United States Department of Justice Sex Offender Registry and the Federal Criminal Records database.

The results of the background check are reviewed by Lyft and assessed against applicable regulations and Lyft’s internal safety criteria. You may be ineligible to drive on the Lyft platform if, at the time of your application, your background check results reveal that you:

  • Are listed on the National Sex Offender Registry database;
  • Have been convicted at any time of a disqualifying violent crime (such as homicide, kidnapping, human trafficking, arson, burglary, carjacking, robbery, or aggravated assault);
  • Have been convicted at any time of a sexual offense (such as rape, sexual assault, or child pornography);
  • Have been convicted at any time of an act of terror;
  • Have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the past seven years, or longer in some jurisdictions;
  • Have been convicted of a disqualifying fraud-related offense in the past seven years for most jurisdictions, although this time frame may be longer, or shorter, in certain jurisdictions;
  • Have been convicted of a disqualifying drug-related offense in the past seven years for most jurisdictions, although this time frame may be longer, or shorter, in certain jurisdictions;
  • Have been convicted of a disqualifying theft or property damage offense in the past seven years for most jurisdictions, although this time frame may be longer, or shorter, in certain jurisdictions.

Please be aware that laws governing disqualifying convictions vary significantly by jurisdiction, and the above list is not inclusive of all disqualifying convictions. You may be found ineligible to drive for Lyft based on other types of records.

Lyft requires an annual background check to remain on the platform.[3] If you are returning to the platform after a period of inactivity, please contact us to ensure that your profile is up to date.

Please be aware that in New York City, DMV and criminal background checks are conducted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) according to their licensing standards, not by Lyft.

Lyft reserves the right to disqualify a driver at any time, in compliance with applicable law, should their background check reveal any disqualifying offense or for any other safety-related reason.

If your background check reveals potentially disqualifying information, you will receive a copy of the report via email along with instructions on how to dispute the results. Keep in mind that background checks may take several weeks to process.

Learn more about our safety requirements.

[2] Certain states may restrict access to criminal records older than 7 years.

[3] Certain states may require background checks to be performed more often than once a year.

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Background check FAQs

1. How long will my background check take?

Typically, background check results will be available within 2 - 4 days. However, searches at the county level are subject to the availability of records from county courthouses. Some of these courts lack electronic records access or are understaffed, which can cause background checks to take several weeks to complete. You can check the status of your background check by logging in to the Checkr applicant portal.

2. I received a copy of my background check, but it is incorrect. I was not charged with the offense listed, or there is something inaccurate or incomplete about the information in the report. What should I do?

If you believe that the contents of your background check are inaccurate or incomplete, you may contact Checkr, Inc. (the company that provided the background check to Lyft) directly by phone at 844-824-3257 or by using the applicant portal at https://applicant.checkr.com/.

Please note that there is no time limit on when you can dispute the accuracy of your report with Checkr, but we encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

3. I received a copy of my background check, and it is accurate. However, I believe there was an error. I do not believe I should be disqualified from driving for Lyft based on my criminal history. What should I do?

If the information contained in your background check is correct, but you believe that you were disqualified in error, contact Lyft support directly.

4. It seems like Lyft’s background check criteria may vary by region. Why?

State and local laws vary significantly. Some jurisdictions require Lyft to disqualify applicants with certain records, while others do not require disqualification for those same records. To comply with applicable laws, the criteria Lyft uses to evaluate an applicant’s criminal history often varies by jurisdiction.

5. I have applied to provide services on several “gig economy” platforms. My background check passed for those companies, but I was disqualified from driving for Lyft based on my criminal history. Why?

Laws governing “gig economy” companies may vary depending on the type of service being provided. Also, keep in mind that potential drivers’ background checks must comply with Lyft’s internal safety standards, which may be more strict than regulatory standards or the criteria of other platforms.

6. I have been driving for Lyft, but I was notified that I need to pass another background check to keep driving. Why? I already passed a background check when I initially applied.

Lyft conducts background checks on all active drivers on an annual basis, or more often in some regions, to ensure continued compliance with applicable laws and safety regulations. Lyft may also conduct an additional background check if you move from one driving region to another.

7. I have been driving for Lyft for several years and have passed two background checks in that time. After my recent annual background check was run, I was notified that I have been deactivated because of the criminal history contained in my background check. I do not have any recent convictions, and the only conviction I have is from many, many years ago. Why did this happen and what should I do?

This result may have occurred for several reasons. For example, some state and local laws restrict how far back a conviction can be reported to us. If you have recently moved from one of these jurisdictions to a state with no reporting restrictions, an older disqualifying offense may have surfaced in your background check. We understand how frustrating this can be. If you have been driving for Lyft and are subsequently deactivated for an offense that occurred prior to your initial application, please contact Lyft directly and provide us with more information.

8. I am unable to access the Lyft platform due to my background check. Why?

This may have occurred for several reasons. Your background check may have resulted in an error, or it may require further action. Please contact us to find out more.

9. My ID Validation failed. Why? What does this mean?

All Social Security Numbers (SSN) are validated to ensure that the SSN matches the user applying to drive with Lyft. The validation process uses multiple databases.

10. My background check is ‘suspended’. What does that mean?

Your background check may require additional action with Checkr. You should have received an email from no-reply@checkr.com with instructions, or you can log-in to https://applicant.checkr.com/ to view your status.

11. I have been driving for Lyft, but now I cannot access driver mode. I was told that I need to consent to a new background check. How do I do that?

If you are not receiving a consent pop-up when you log in to the driver app, the disclosure and consent form may be located under the notifications tab in your app.

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State and local requirements

In certain markets, drivers must meet additional city or state requirements.

Keep an eye on your email during and after the application process for instructions specific to your region.

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Vehicle standards

Drivers' vehicles must meet the list of Lyft standards as well as all local government standards. See Vehicle requirements for more info.

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Driver license, license plates, and insurance

  • Current and valid driver's license
  • Valid plates with current registration (commercial plates are also acceptable)
  • Current valid insurance with your name on the policy

Some cities and states require drivers to have in-state documents. If you're a new driver, go to our Driver application requirements for the full list. If you're already approved, see State & City Driver Information for required documents.

Your region may not require your name to be printed on your insurance policy. If your insurance policy doesn't have your name on it, upload your documents and we'll let you know if you need to acquire a "declarations page" from your insurance company with your name.

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Current device

The Lyft Driver app requires a cellular connection, so your device must be supported by Lyft to drive. We don't support wifi-only devices (like wifi-only iPads).

See Phone software recommendations and settings to see which operating systems we support. While earlier versions of operating systems may work, they may not provide the best experience and new app features.

Need help? If you’re on a mobile device, use the Lyft Driver’s ‘Help’ tab to see options for contacting us. Be sure you’ve got the most updated app version.

Visit Help tab

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