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    California Driver Information

    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 California.
    To apply to drive in California, submit an application online or in the Lyft Driver app –– download it from the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play store.
    Drivers in California may be eligible for a healthcare subsidy. Drivers in California aren't required to accept any specific request for services as a condition of maintaining access to the Lyft app or Lyft platform.
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    What you need to drive with Lyft in California

    To be approved to drive, applicants must meet the below requirements, as well as maintain valid and current documents to prove eligibility. Failing to update a required document before the expiration date results in temporary deactivation. You can upload your documents in your Dashboard.

    Vehicle requirements

    All vehicles must meet the following criteria:
    • 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
    • California license plate
      • Drivers may upload a temporary license plate while waiting for a permanent plate number. Once you add a vehicle to your profile, you have 60 days to upload a permanent plate number.
      • Active duty military applicants and their dependents can have an out-of-state license plate. Visit your local Lyft Hub and a Lyft representative will help set up your driver account.
    • Vehicle age
    Have a Luxury car? 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. Learn more about Express Drive.

    Driver requirements

    Document requirements

    California vehicle inspection

    Drivers are required to have a vehicle inspection completed by a licensed mechanic before being approved to drive. Once completed, upload your inspection form to your Dashboard.
    You can easily find an inspection location and schedule an appointment in your driver app. Don't forget to bring a copy of this form to your appointment.
    You can have your vehicle inspected for free at any Lyft Hub and Driver Center location in California. You can also complete your inspection at a third-party site. Inspections normally cost around $20-$30, depending on the facility.
    Lyft does not cover the cost of inspections done by third-party sites. The only exceptions are the following Pep Boys locations in South California:
    No appointment is necessary during operating hours at these locations, but please allow 30 minutes once you arrive.
    Inspections must be completed every 12 months or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first. The 50,000-mile requirement includes miles driven when not logged onto Lyft's Platform. If you log over 50,000 miles before your annual renewal date, you must get a new inspection.

    Business license

    If you drove with Lyft for more than 30 days in the last fiscal year, the city or county where you live may require you to obtain a business license.
    Keep your business license in your vehicle in case the authorities ask to see it.
    If the city or county where you live doesn't require a business license, you don’t need to get a business license anywhere else to drive with Lyft but there may be additional requirements. Refer to your local city or county's website for these requirements.
    Select your city for details:
    Fresno
    Fresno residents can obtain a Business Tax Certificate by applying online here.
    Grover Beach
    Grover Beach residents can obtain a Business Tax Certificate by visiting the Community Development Department. Application instructions can be found here.
    Los Angeles
    Los Angeles County residents may need to register their business with the Office of Finance of the City of Los Angeles and obtain and hold a Tax Registration Certificate. View rules for registration.
    If you’re unsure whether the business tax rule applies to you, contact the City of Los Angeles Office of Finance.
    Orange County
    Orange County residents can find information about local business license requirements by selecting their city on Orange County's permit page.
    Sacramento County
    Unincorporated Sacramento County residents can obtain a general business license on Sacramento County's official page.
    San Diego
    Residents of incorporated cities within San Diego County are required to obtain a business license (Business Tax Certificate).
    Business licenses aren't required for residents of unincorporated cities within San Diego County. To apply for a Business Tax Certificate, follow these instructions from San Diego County.
    San Francisco
    San Francisco residents who drove more than 30 days in the last fiscal year are required to have a business license, officially named a Business Registration Certificate.
    Visit this page to register as a business in San Francisco. Select ‘Continue’ to start your application.
    You’ll be asked to provide the following information:
    1. Your business: Most drivers choose Sole Proprietorship as their Organization Type and use their legal name as their Business Name. You’ll also need to add your Business Tax ID and Start Date of Business in San Francisco.
    2. Ownership information: You’ll be asked to fill out your personal information
    3. Contact information: Your contact information may be the same as your ownership information from step 2. All tax information will be sent to the person and address you enter here.
    4. Location information:
    5. Registration:
      • Estimated SF Payroll Expense: The approximate amount of San Francisco payroll costs you expect during the current calendar year
      • Estimated SF Gross Receipts: Doesn’t need to be an exact amount. If you drive in multiple counties, do your best to estimate San Francisco fares based on how often you’re in the city. See more information about gross receipts.
    Once you've entered this information, you’ll receive an email to complete the business license application process.
    Important notes:
    • Once you register for a Business Registration Certificate, the City adds the business name, address, and certain other details to the SF OpenData website. This means that other than your SSN, any data you share, including your address, will be public. This information may also be shared with San Francisco City and County tax-collecting entities.
    • After registering, the City may say you owe extra fees and late charges for driving in previous years. Don’t pay the registration fee until you get a specific email from the Treasurer and Tax Collector removing the penalties and interest from your account balance.
    Keep in mind the information above isn’t business or tax advice. For specific questions about applying for a business license or associated fees, see San Francisco's New Business Registration Instructions or contact the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector.
    Santa Barbara
    Santa Barbara residents can obtain a Business Tax Certificate by applying online here.
    San Jose
    San Jose residents can obtain a business tax certificate by submitting an application form by mail or in-person.

    Emblem & placard requirements

    The Lyft emblem is Lyft’s official trade dress. It helps passengers and law enforcement identify your vehicle.
    The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requires drivers in California to always display two Lyft emblems when in driver mode — one on the front windshield and the other on the rear windshield.
    If you’ve just been approved to drive, you should receive your Lyft emblem within 1-2 weeks. If you didn't get one or need a new one, order one in your Dashboard. While waiting for it to arrive, you may print a temporary emblem.
    The Lyft emblem should be displayed in the lower corner of your windshields on the passenger side every time you enter driver mode. Make sure to remove the emblem when you are not in driver mode.

    Airport placards

    When giving rides at OAK, LAX, or SFO, you’re required to display an additional airport placard in your front windshield.

    California driver regulations

    Be sure to follow these rules when giving rides in California, and look for important updates from Lyft in your email.

    Hourly driver mode limits

    Best practices

    Know your insurance

    Effective July 1, 2015, California enacted State Bill AB 2293. Under this law, Transportation Network Companies, including Lyft, are required to provide primary third-party liability insurance and maintain $200,000 of excess liability coverage during Period 1.
    Lyft’s third-party automobile liability coverage will be your primary coverage during Period 1. Lyft will also maintain $200,000 of excess liability coverage during Period 1.

    Period 1

    Period 1 begins when you log in to driver mode and ends when you accept a ride request.
    Once you accept a ride, Period 2 begins. Once you pick up a passenger, Period 3 starts. Period 3 ends as soon as you end the ride. Then, you’re back in Period 1 until you accept another ride request or log out of driver mode.
    Under AB 2293, your personal automobile insurance policy, including any optional coverages you’ve purchased such as comprehensive and collision, won’t cover your rideshare driving in California unless you’ve also purchased rideshare coverage.
    Some insurers offer insurance products designed specifically for rideshare drivers. These policies can cover both your personal and rideshare driving, and offer additional coverages.
    We try to keep drivers informed as new insurance products become available for rideshare drivers. We encourage you to reach out to your insurance agent for the insurance that best fits your needs.

    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 California

    If you're already a driver in a different state, and you're moving to California, send us a message with the following info:
    • The date you're moving
    • Your new shipping address
    • Clear photos of your:
      • California driver’s license
      • California license plate for your vehicle
      • Personal vehicle insurance issued in California with your name listed on the policy
      • California vehicle inspection from a licensed facility
    If you already have the California documents listed above on file with Lyft, you don't need to send them in again.
    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.
    Moving from California to a different state? Select your new location here to see what steps you’ll need to take.

    Still need help?