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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 Lyft Hub for a Welcome Session with a Lyft representative where you’ll receive a vehicle inspection. Appointments are not necessary at the Chicago Hub.

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. 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
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 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 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 calendar day. After spending 12 consecutive hours in driver mode, you must take a break for a minimum of 8 consecutive hours.

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Chicago debt collection

Under Chicago law, Lyft must notify drivers of any outstanding debts owed to the City, and provide the steps needed to pay the outstanding debt.

If you receive a notice from either Lyft or the City of Chicago about an outstanding debt, you must resolve the issue directly with the City by April 2, 2019. If you do not the city will require Lyft to deactivate your driver account.

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How to review your debt

On December 20th, 2018 the City of Chicago emailed drivers a list of outstanding tickets from the following email address: citydebt@ticket.chicago-il.gov.

In that email you will find the notice number, ticket number and amount due for each ticket. The City should have emailed you at the same email address you currently use for Lyft.

If you have any questions about your tickets, or experience issues enrolling into a payment plan online, call 312-744-7275 for assistance (también disponible en Español), or 312-744-7277 for the hearing impaired.

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How to pay your debt

Lyft drivers have 3 options to settle their debts with the City:

  1. Pay in full, online
  2. Enter into a payment plan (online or by phone)
  3. Pay in-person

Option 1: Pay in full, online

Use the City’s website to pay your tickets online, in full. You can use either your driver's license, license plate, notice number or ticket number to lookup your tickets. Most of this information can be found on the email from the City mentioned above.

Pay in full here.

Option 2: Enter into a payment plan (online or by phone)

Online: If eligible, enroll in a payment plan on the City’s website. If you enroll in a payment plan online (and not by phone) this will save you from paying a 22% collection fee, which may have been added to your tickets if they were referred to a collection firm or agency. If you have issues enrolling online or questions about eligibility, call 312-744-7275 for assistance.

Phone: To enroll in a payment plan by phone, call the number listed below that matches the first letter of your last name. If your last name is Smith, for example, call 312-604-7100. Please note that a 22% collection fee will be added if you enroll in a payment plan by phone.

First Letter of Last Name Contact #
A – H 866-391-3975
I – K 888-272-1170
L – T 312-604-7100
U – Z 773-265-2600
 
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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Rental vehicles through Express Drive

To stay on the road, you must resolve your debt with the City of Chicago by April 2, 2019. If you fail to pay off your debt or enter into a payment plan by this deadline, Lyft is required to pause your driver account.

If your account is paused after April 2, 2019 due to outstanding debt, you will be unable to provide Lyft rides with your rental vehicle. You will be responsible for the charges associated with your rental vehicle until the vehicle is returned.

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I’ve paid my debt, now what?

Once you've paid your outstanding debt online, by phone, or in-person, the City will notify Lyft. You don't need to contact Lyft to show that you have paid off your debt.

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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 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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Citations

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 Lyft Hub for a welcome session. The session will include a free vehicle inspection, required for all applicants. Appointments are not necessary at the Chicago Hub.

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.

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 Hub to get either.

*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:

NTB:

Pep Boys:

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Need something else?

Contact Support
115013081088 en-us