Make sure to follow these rules when giving rides in Massachusetts, and to keep an eye on your email for important news and updates from Lyft.
- Apply to drive
- Setting up your vehicle
- State-required Massachusetts Background Check
- TNC Vehicle inspection
- Driver ID Certificate
- Insurance information
- Tips and best practices
- Hourly driver mode limits
- Toll payments
- Document renewals
- Moving to or from Massachusetts as an existing Lyft driver
Apply to Drive
If you're applying to become a driver in Massachusetts, check out the application steps.
Display the following front and rear Lyft trade dress emblems on the passenger side of your front and rear windshields.
Massachusetts State Law requires drivers in driver mode to always display two Lyft trade dress emblems — one on your front windshield and one on your rear windshield.
Failure to display front and rear trade dress emblems may result in citations and fines. If you haven’t received your front and rear trade dress emblems in the mail, you may order them in the Vehicles tab of the Driver Dashboard. In the meantime, you can print out temporary emblems while you wait for new ones to be shipped to you.
Pro tip: You will still need to display a rear Lyft emblem even if you have a tinted rear windshield.
Massachusetts law requires all TNC drivers to pass a background check performed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). The background check reviews driving history and the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI). If you pass the Massachusetts (MA) Background Check then you will receive the Background Check Clearance Certificate (BCCC).
Consent to a Massachusetts Background Check:
All applicants and existing drivers need to give their consent to the MA Background Check before Lyft can coordinate their background check with the DPU.
After you’ve consented to run your MA Background Check, Lyft will coordinate your MA Background Check directly with the DPU. Drivers who pass their MA Background Check will receive a Background Check Clearance Certificate from the DPU (example below). The DPU will notify you of your MA background check results by sending you an email to the email address associated with your Lyft account.
For general questions about the MA Background Check process, please email the DPU at DPUTNCQuestions@mass.mail.state.ma.us.
Background Check Clearance Certificate:
If you pass your MA Background Check, you will receive a Background Check Clearance Certificate (BCCC) via email attachment from the DPU. An example of the Background Check Clearance Certificate is below. Look for an email to the email address associated with your Lyft account. The email will include the following information:
- Sender: “Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Subject Line: “Background Check Clearance Certificate”
Please note, you must have a digital or printed version of your Background Check Clearance Certificate with you at all times while completing Lyft rides. Failure to have your Certificate when approached by an officer could result in a fine.
Failed Massachusetts Background Check results:
Any driver who does not pass their MA Background Check has the right to appeal the DPU’s determination. You have 30 calendar days from the date your Background Check Certificate denial was issued to submit a formal appeal, to begin the appeal process please review the steps below.
To access your Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and/or Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) Records, please follow these instructions:
- In your original denial email, there is a link (Access My CORI and/or RMV Records)that will prompt you to a secure screen where you must enter:
- Your email address
- Your date of birth
- The last four digits of your social security number
- A security code
- After you submit these 4 pieces of information, you will receive an email with a security code needed to download your CORI and/or RMV Records.
The DPU cannot correct any error(s) on your criminal or driving record. To review and/or correct any errors on your driving and/or criminal record, please see below.
If you think there is an error on your Massachusetts criminal history, you may contact the Office of the Commissioner of Probation (617-727-5300) or the Chief Probation Officer of the court that charged you. For assistance interpreting entries on your criminal record (CORI), contact DCJIS, Constituent Assistance and Research Unit: 617-660-4640, 8 AM — 6 PM ET, Monday - Friday or via email at iCORI.INFO@state.ma.us.
If you think that there is an error on your Massachusetts driving record, you may contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).
You can find more information on requesting and correcting your driving record here and criminal records here. For information on how to request your driving records by phone, online, in-person or mail, see this page. If you have questions for the DPU, you can email them at DPUTNCQuestions@massmail.state.ma.us.
Drivers may appeal their MA Background Check results by emailing the required identification information listed below and reason(s) for appeal to the TNC division at DPUTNCAppeal@massmail.state.ma.us. See more information here.
- Identification Information:
- Date of Birth
- Email Address
- Telephone number
- Reason(s) for appeal:
- Be specific. Failure to identify the reason(s) for your appeal may result in the denial of your appeal without a hearing.
- Tell the DPU why the decision should be reversed. For example, you may identify errors that you believe are on the records relied upon by the TNC Division in denying your BCCC.
- Please include any documentation that you believe will help the DPU understand why the decision should be reversed.
- If you are including documentation as part of your appeal (such as a driving record or criminal record), please submit it as an email attachment. If possible, send this documentation as a PDF file.
Once you submit your appeal, you should receive an automatic response from the DPU that your appeal has been received. The DPU may contact you for more information. The DPU will send all email responses, including your notice to appear for a hearing, to the email address that you used to submit your appeal. Be sure to check all of your email accounts, including spam folders for emails from the DPU.
If you successfully appeal your background check results and are issued a Background Check Clearance Certificate, the DPU will notify Lyft.
The DPU reviews all appeals, but not all appeals receive hearings. In most instances, appeals to mandatory disqualifications will not receive a hearing but appeals to presumptive or discretionary disqualifications usually receive a hearing. It is very important that you describe the reasons for your appeal, such as any errors in your records or compelling reasons for reversing the DPU’s decision.
- At the appeal hearing, you have the right to appear on your own behalf, or you may be accompanied, represented, and advised by an Authorized Representative.
- An Authorized Representative shall file a written notice with the Transportation Network Company Division that shall contain the name, address, telephone number, as well as fax number and email address (if available), and the name of the Driver or Driver Applicant represented.
- You should plan on bringing all documents and information that supports their position.
If you successfully appeal your background check and are issued a Background Check Clearance Certificate, the DPU will notify Lyft directly.
Vehicles used for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Lyft, must also complete a TNC Vehicle Inspection. The Massachusetts TNC inspection is a specific type of vehicle inspection for rideshare drivers and is different than other state safety and emissions inspections.
You can get your TNC inspection at your next annual state vehicle inspection, or within 12 months of becoming an approved Lyft driver - whichever comes first. The TNC inspection costs $15 and is valid for 1 year.
How to get your TNC vehicle inspection
- Visit any licensed Inspection Station in Massachusetts when your next state inspection is due.
- Let the inspector know you need the TNC Vehicle Inspection, which is different from the standard state inspection.
- Once you pass, take a photo of the TNC Vehicle Inspection Report and upload it to your Driver Dashboard.
- If your vehicle fails the TNC inspection, you can be re-inspected for free within 20 days of the initial inspection. After 20 days, you must pay for a re-inspection.
- Store your TNC Vehicle Inspection Report in your glove compartment for safe keeping.
Heads up: Please make sure you are uploading your TNC Vehicle Inspection Report, NOT your State Vehicle Inspection Report.
Here's what the TNC inspection looks like:
Note: We cannot accept State Inspection documents or State Inspection stickers, pictured below:
Once your vehicle is approved, you should receive an email from Lyft with your Driver ID Certificate. Print and display your Driver ID certificate in your vehicle so that it is visible to riders. Failure to do so may result in a citation.
- Review Lyft's insurance policy here.
- View your insurance in the app: Settings > Car > Lyft insurance.
- Set your vehicle up correctly every time you drive.
- Follow all airport rules.
- Do not accept street hails.
- Do not accept cash for rides.
- Do not wait in taxi lines.
- Once you’ve received your MA Background Check Clearance Certificate, keep a printed copy in your glove compartment.
- If you run into any issues on the road or receive a citation, let us know.
In addition to Lyft's mandatory break requirement, Massachusetts regulations state that drivers must not be in driver mode for more than 12 consecutive hours in a 24-hour period.
After 12 consecutive hours in driver mode in a 24-hour period, you must take a break for at least 8 consecutive hours.
Any driver found violating this policy shall be subject to a 24-hour suspension.
Massachusetts drivers will be reimbursed for applicable tolls at the commercial E-ZPass rate. Drivers will receive an adjustment from E-ZPass to the commercial toll rate on their E-ZPass statement. Drivers with commercial transponders will not see a difference in their E-ZPass statement. Learn more about this on the MassDOT website.
Massachusetts drivers are required to maintain a current driver's license. Always update your documents via the Dashboard when they expire.
If you're already a driver in a different state, and you're moving to Massachusetts, send us a message with the following info:
- The date you're moving
- Your new shipping address
- Your age:
- If younger than 23 years old, you must have held a driver license from any state for at least 3 years
- If older than 23 years old, you must have held a driver license from any state for at least 1 year.
When you move to Massachusetts, you will be required to consent to a state-run background check.
Moving from Massachusetts to a different state? Find your new market here to see what steps you'll need to take.