Chicago 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 city of Chicago.

To apply to drive in Chicago, 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.

If you're a driver in any other city in Illinois, visit this page instead.

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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.

Use your Lyft Driver app or Driver Dashboard to upload your documents.

Attend a Welcome Session

Visit our Chicago Driver Center for a Welcome Session with a Lyft representative where you’ll receive a vehicle inspection. Appointments are not necessary at the Chicago Driver Center and for a limited time, drivers may receive a free inspection.

Please bring the following with you:

  • Your vehicle
  • Driver's license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle insurance

You can also set up an appointment through your Lyft app with one of our partner mechanics. No Lyft representatives will be present.

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Vehicle requirements

  • 2005 or newer
  • 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.

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Driver requirements

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Driver ID

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:

  1. Log into the Dashboard.
  2. 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.

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Document requirements

Chicago vehicle inspection

Drivers are required to have a vehicle inspection before becoming approved to drive. Your vehicle will be inspected at your Welcome Session. Make sure to keep the completed inspection form in your glovebox.

At the end of your inspection, we will 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. If you need to have a new inspection performed, print out this form and bring it to your local mechanic.

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Annual re-inspection

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.

Location Price of inspection
Chicago Driver Center Free
Jiffy Lube $17.99
NTB $13.00
Pep Boys $13.50

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.

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Emblem & placard requirements

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Lyft trade dress emblem

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.

Chicago Compliance Doc Placement

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.

Lyft emblem

If you didn't get an emblem or need a new one, place an order in your Dashboard. While waiting for it to arrive, you may print a temporary emblem.

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City tax emblem

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 2019.

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311 sticker

You will receive a rectangular 311 sticker either at your Welcome Session or in the mail, to be applied to the back of your Lyft emblem, facing the inside of your car. Click here to learn how to apply your 311 sticker to your emblem. If you just moved to Chicago, visit your local Lyft Hub to get a 311 sticker.

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Airport placard

Display the blue airport placard on the passenger side of your rear windshield whenever giving rides at Chicago airports.

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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.

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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.

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Chicago debt collection

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 July 13, 2020. 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 July 13, 2020.

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How to review your debt

On December 17, 2019, 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.

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How to address your debt
  1. If eligible, enroll in an online payment planYou can save 22% by enrolling in an online payment plan.
  2. Pay in full online.
  3. Pay in-person at any Department of Finance payment facility or Chicago EZ Pay Station. View locations and hours.

Option 1: Enroll in an online payment plan

If eligible, enroll in a payment plan online. If you enroll in a payment plan online you can save 22%. 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.

Option 3: Pay in-person

Pay in-person at any Department of Finance payment facility or Chicago EZ Pay Station. See a list of EZ Pay Station locations and hours.

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Debt and Express Drive Program

If you fail to pay off your debt by March 20, 2020, 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.

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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.

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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.

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Airport and venue rules

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:

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Lyft's policies

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.

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If you receive a citation while you're driving on the Lyft platform, please contact our Critical Response Line immediately by using the 'Call Me' 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.

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DMV requirements

In Chicago, in addition to meeting Lyft's standard criteria, drivers can have no more than one moving violation in the past 12 months.

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Zero-tolerance policy

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.

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Anti-discrimination policy

We have a strict anti-discrimination policy. Drivers are encouraged to read more here.

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Background checks

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.

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Best practices

  • 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

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Know your insurance

Review Lyft's coverage here.

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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.

Locate a Hub in your area

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Moving to or from Chicago

If you're already a driver in a different city or state, and you're moving to Chicago, stop by our Chicago Driver Center for a welcome session. The session will include a free vehicle inspection, required for all applicants. Appointments are not necessary at the Chicago Driver Center.

Please bring the following with you:

  • Your vehicle
  • Driver's license
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Vehicle registration*

You can also set up an appointment through your Lyft app with one of our partner mechanics. No Lyft representatives will be present and driver will be responsible for inspection fees.

Once your region has been changed and you log into driver mode, you'll automatically be sent a tax emblem via email within 24 — 48 hours. If you don't receive a tax emblem or need to grab your 311 sticker, feel free to call or walk in to your local Lyft Hub to get them.

*If you were already required to upload your vehicle registration when you became a driver, you do not need to provide it again.

If you're moving to any other city in Illinois, follow the steps at Illinois driver information instead.

Moving from Chicago to a different city or state? Find your new market here to see what steps you’ll need to take.

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Partner mechanic locations

Jiffy Lube:


Pep Boys:

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Need something else?

Contact Support
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