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 state of Seattle, King County, & Tacoma.
If you're a driver anywhere else in Washington, visit this page instead.
To apply to drive in Seattle, King County, & Tacoma, submit an application online or in the Lyft Driver app –– download it from the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play store. To be approved to drive, applicants must meet these requirements.
- What you need to drive with Lyft in Seattle, King County, & Tacoma
- Seattle, King County, & Tacoma driver regulations
- Know your insurance
- In-person support (Lyft Hubs)
- Moving to or from Seattle, King County, & Tacoma
Drivers are required to maintain current documents. Failing to update a required document before the expiration date results in temporary deactivation.
Use your Lyft Driver app or Driver Dashboard to upload your documents.
Visit the Lyft Hub in Seattle for your vehicle inspection and/or help uploading your documents. The Hub is located at:
Make sure your vehicle is inspection-ready! To save time, please check that it is cleaned out, all lights work, and ensure that your car has a spare tire and jack.
If you cannot make it to an inspection, you may visit one of the mechanics listed here and have this inspection form completed. Inspections typically cost around $50, but can vary depending on the facility. We recommend calling ahead to confirm price and availability.
Already an approved rideshare driver in Seattle? Go to your Dashboard or app to upload the required documents, or bring them to The Hub.
- 2010 or newer
- 2009 or newer with a valid FHP
- 4 doors
- 5-8 seats, including the driver's
- Not on the list of ineligible subcompact vehicles
- Not a taxi or stretch limousine
- Not titled as salvage, non-repairable, rebuilt or any other equivalent classification
See if your car qualifies for Lyft Lux or Lyft Lux Black to earn more on each ride.
In select cities, you can rent a car through Express Drive with standard insurance included.
- Valid Washington driver’s license — A temporary license is also acceptable.*
- 25 or older
- Pass a driver screening, which reviews your driving history and criminal background check. Learn more about driver screenings.
- Any smartphone that can download and run the Lyft Driver app. See phone software recommendations.
*Active duty military applicants and their dependents can have an out-of-state driver's license and vehicle documents. Visit your local Lyft Hub and a Lyft representative will help set up your driver account.
Required documents before being approved
- Driver profile photo: Learn how to take the best photo
- Washington vehicle registration
- Personal vehicle insurance
- Vehicle inspection
Documents you'll need after being approved
These items are required by local ordinance for all rideshare drivers in your area.
- Seattle For-hire Permit and renewal (example)
- Seattle TNC vehicle decal (example)
- City of Seattle and Washington State Business License (example)
- Defensive Driving certificate (example)
- Seattle Quiz (in-app)
Additional documents to drive in nearby regions
- Tacoma: City of Tacoma business license (example)
- Everett: Everett Business License
- Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey, and Yelm: Thurston County Business Licenses
Keep your registration, insurance, and driver’s license in your vehicle. The City of Seattle Business License, Defensive Driving Certificate, and City of Tacoma Business License (Tacoma only) can all be kept at home.
Drivers are required to upload a copy of their vehicle registration. It must be issued in Washington, unless active duty military.
All TNC drivers are required to carry a For-Hire Permit and display a TNC Vehicle Decal in Seattle, King County and SeaTac Airport.
Lyft will submit an application on your behalf for your For-Hire Permit and TNC Vehicle Decal. Once approved, Lyft will send you an email and text message letting you know your permit and decal have been issued and will be emailed to your email address on file.
Please note that For-Hire Permit applications can take up to 3 months to process. You are able to operate as a Lyft driver in Seattle and King County while your application is processing, but picking up passengers at SeaTac Airport may result in citations for lack of For-Hire Permit and/or TNC decal.
For-Hire Permit renewal
We will renew your for-hire permit on your behalf with King County. Make sure all of the following are up-to-date in your Dashboard so we can process your application quickly:
- Driver’s license
- Vehicle insurance
- Vehicle inspection
- Vehicle registration
Once your renewal for-hire permit has been issued, we will let you know when to pick it up from the King County Records and Licensing Services Office. Please note that for-hire permit applications can take up to 3 months to process and while you may continue driving in Seattle and King County until you hear from us regarding your application status, picking up passengers at SeaTac Airport may result in citations for lack of For-Hire Permit and/or TNC decal.
When you receive your For-Hire Permit from King County, you'll also be given a green TNC decal. This should be placed in your windshield and kept there at all times while in driver mode.
All drivers in Seattle, King County, and Tacoma must obtain two unique business licenses: one for the City of Seattle and one for Washington State. You can apply online or through the mail.
All drivers in Seattle and Tacoma are required to take the NSC Defensive Driving course. If you have previously completed the NSC Defensive Driving course, no need to take it again, simply upload your completion certificate to your Dashboard.
Heads up: The course must be completed on a computer, and cannot be completed on a mobile phone.
If you have not previously completed the course, follow the instructions below:
- Visit http://www.safetyserve.com/LYFT.
- Select "New Student," and then "New Student Registration."
- Type in LYFTDDC as your access code and submit.
- Choose a login ID and password on the registration page, and submit. NOTE: Make sure to use the phone number and email address linked with your Lyft account so we are able to verify your completion of the course.
- On the “My Courses” page, select “Safety,” and then “NSC Defensive Driving 10th Edition R3.”
- Complete the course, and upload your confirmation to your Dashboard.
If you've already taken the course and need help accessing your certificate, contact the course provider, Safety Serve, at 1-800-775-1484.
All drivers are required to complete the online City of Seattle Quiz. You can access the quiz in the 'Tutorials' tab in your Driver Dashboard. We'll also email you the link after you're approved to drive. Once completed, make sure to upload your quiz score percentage to your profile. Here's how to upload your score:
- Open the Lyft Driver app and go to the side bar
- Tap 'Documents'
- Tap the document labeled 'Seattle Quiz'
- Record your quiz score percentage and press 'Save'.
Note: Make sure to upload the percent you receive and not the score out of 15.
Only drivers in Seattle or Tacoma can pick up passengers in Tacoma. After you perform your first pickup in Tacoma or Pierce County, Lyft is required to submit the following information on your behalf to the City of Tacoma:
- Your full legal name
- Your date of birth
- Your shipping address
- Your phone number
- Your email address
The City of Tacoma will then process a for-hire driver's license, vehicle license and business license and notify you if and when your licenses are approved.
If you pick up passengers using the Lyft app in Everett, WA, you are required to get a local business license. You can apply online or through the mail. Find out more on the City of Everett's Website.
If you pick up passengers using the Lyft app in Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey or Yelm you are required to get a local business license. You can apply online and learn more by following these links:
Display the following in your vehicle:
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.
Drivers are required by the City of Seattle to display the Lyft emblem (pictured below) while in driver mode. You'll receive your Lyft emblem 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.
Be sure to follow these rules when giving rides in Seattle, King County, & Tacoma, and keep an eye on your email for important updates from Lyft.
In addition to Lyft's mandatory break requirement, Seattle & King County regulations require that drivers:
- Take a 10-hour break after being in driver mode for 12 total hours within a 15-hour period
- Take a 10-hour break after being in driver mode for 12 consecutive hours within a 24-hour period
Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST)
In compliance with the City of Seattle’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, you can now access paid sick and safe time (PSST) during the COVID-19 emergency. You will accrue one day of paid sick and safe time (PSST) for every 30 days that you give a ride in the City of Seattle.
You may use PSST for any reason covered by the ordinance, including to care for yourself or a family member for:
- physical or mental health conditions
- reasons related to domestic violence
- reasons related to sexual assault or stalking
- if your family member’s school or place of care has closed
Paid sick and safe time eligibility
At this time, only drivers who give rides in Seattle are eligible for paid sick and safe time. Drivers may use PSST during a deactivation, unless they have been deactivated due to a verified allegation of sexual assault.
Accruing and using paid sick and safe time
Compensation for PSST is based on the average daily payout of your earnings on the days you worked in Seattle (during your highest earning calendar month since October 2019). This calculation includes all earnings related to your rides, including trip earnings, prime time and tips. Some earnings, like weekly ride challenges, will not show up until complete. This means earnings from the last week in each month may not be accounted for until after the first few days of the following month.
Any day in which you pick up or drop off a passenger in Seattle is counted toward accrual of PSST. You accrue one day of PSST for every 30 days you give a ride in Seattle. These days do not have to be consecutive.
All Seattle drivers began accruing PSST as of October 1, 2019, or on the date that you gave you first ride (whichever is later). You can accrue and use PSST until 180 days after the termination of any City of Seattle COVID-related civil emergency. Drivers can also carry over up to 9 days of unused time each calendar year.
Requesting paid sick and safe time
To request PSST go to the Lyft Driver app:
- Tap ‘Help’ in the main menu
- Tap ‘Earnings or bonuses’
- Select ‘Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time’
- Choose the number of sick days from the dropdown selection
- Submit your request
If approved, your PSST will begin immediately after your request and end after your requested time is applied. PSST is paid out as a bonus in your account on your next scheduled payout date, or within 14 days. PSST payout amounts are located in your recent driver earnings under the line item ‘Paid Sick and Safe Time.’
If you request more time than you have available to use, we will notify you via email within 10 days. If your request was not approved due to insufficient days, you’ll need to give more rides on more days to accrue PSST.
Eligible drivers that continue giving rides in Seattle will receive a monthly email stating your updated PSST balance. You can refer to this email to check your balance, which will accrue one PSST day for every 30 days that you give a ride in Seattle.
- Display all required emblems and placards
- Always have your driver’s license and insurance document
- Follow all airport rules
- Don't accept street hails
- Don't accept cash for rides
- Don't wait in taxi lines
Review Lyft's coverage here.
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.
If you're already a driver in a different state, and you're moving to Seattle, King County, & Tacoma, send us a message with the following info:
- A clear photo of your Washington state driver's license
- A clear photo of your Washington vehicle registration
- A clear photo of your personal vehicle insurance
- City of Seattle approved vehicle inspection (see locations here)
Active duty military applicants and their dependents can have an out-of-state driver's license and vehicle documents. Visit your local Lyft Hub and a Lyft representative will help set up your driver account.
Please note local regulations require your vehicle to be 10 years old or newer. If you want to continue earning with Lyft and don't have a vehicle that meets these standards, Lyft's Express Drive program helps you rent a car so you can start driving immediately. Find out how here.
Moving from Seattle, King County, & Tacoma to a different state? Find your new market here to see what steps you’ll need to take.