Chicago Driver Information

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Apply to Drive in Chicago

If you're applying to be a driver in a different Illinois city, click here.

Applicant Requirement Checklist

Driver Requirements
  • Age 21+
  • Pass DMV check
  • Pass background check
Vehicle Requirements
  • 2004 or newer
  • Minimum of 5 seatbelts
  • Pass City of Chicago-approved vehicle inspection
Document Requirements
  • Driver's license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle insurance

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Application Step-by-Step

1. Start an Application

Apply to drive with Lyft.

2. Visit us for a Welcome Session

Visit one of the locations below, and bring the following with you:

  • Your vehicle
  • Driver's license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle insurance
Pep Boys
2501 S Cicero Ave
Cicero, IL 60804
11 am - 5 pm, Tue - Sat
Closed from 1 pm - 2 pm
Pep Boys
2604 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
11 am - 5 pm, Tue - Sat
Closed from 1 pm to 2 pm
Pep Boys
4143 W 95th St
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
9 am - 6 pm, Tue - Sat
Closed from 1 pm - 2 pm
Pep Boys
851 E Roosevelt Rd
Lombard, IL 60148
10 am - 5 pm, Tue - Sat
Closed from 1 pm - 2 pm
Pep Boys
9643.5 N Milwaukee Ave
Niles, IL 60714
11 am - 5 pm, Tue - Sat
Closed from 1 pm - 2 pm
Irish American Heritage Center
4626 N Knox Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
11 am - 5 pm, Mon - Fri

During your Welcome Session, you will receive:

  • A free 25-point vehicle inspection & verified inspection form
  • Lyft trade dress emblem
  • Chicago TNC airport decal

You'll need to keep all three documents with you when giving Lyft rides, so keep them in your vehicle.

3. Become Approved

Lyft will notify you when you've been approved as a driver. Until then, you can check your application status for updates.

You'll be approved after each of the following are complete:

  1. You have completed your Welcome Session and passed your vehicle inspection.
  2. You have passed your DMV and background checks (they can take anywhere from days to weeks to complete).
  3. Lyft has processed all of your documents and photos.

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Get Set to Drive

Set Your Vehicle up Correctly

Chicago Compliance Doc Placement
Driver Document Checklist

Make sure you have all the following with you when you enter driver mode:

  1. Lyft trade dress emblem

    Lyft emblem

    Drivers are required by the City of Chicago to display the Lyft emblem (pictured above) while in driver mode. The Lyft emblem is Lyft’s official trade dress. It helps passengers and law enforcement identify your vehicle.

    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.

    If you haven't received yours yet, or have a damaged one, let us know and we'll get a new one out to you. In the meantime, print a temporary emblem (please print in color — not black and white).

  2. 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.
  3. Airport placard
    Display the blue airport placard on the passenger side of your rear windshield whenever giving rides at Chicago airports.
  4. 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.
    Heads up: If you were issued an emblem in the last year, it expires June 30, 2017. The City of Chicago should've sent you an email from cserv@cityofchicago.org with a new emblem to print. It 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 new emblem when you receive it, it expires in 2018.
  5. Proof of inspection
    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.
  6. 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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Hit the Road

You are an approved driver, your ride is decked out with all the right things in all the right places, and you’re no stranger to the ins and outs of driving with Lyft.

Review Airport & Venue Rules

Make sure to carefully read the rules for the following airports and venues before conducting pickups or drop-offs:

Best Practices to Avoid Citations

Document Renewals

Drivers on the Lyft platform are required to maintain current documents. Always update your documents (driver's license, insurance, registration, etc.) via the dashboard when they expire.

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Know Your Insurance Coverage

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: Settings > Car > Lyft insurance.

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Read up on Lyft's Policies


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

DMV Requirements

In Chicago, drivers can have no more than 2 minor violations in a 3 year period on their DMV record.

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 contact the City of Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) at (312) 743-0579.

Anti-Discrimination Policy

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

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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Chicago Debt Collection

Under Chicago law, Lyft is required to notify drivers of any outstanding debts to the City of Chicago, and the process to pay the outstanding fine. If you receive a notice from Lyft of an outstanding debt owed to the City of Chicago, you must resolve the issue with the City directly within 90 days or the City requires Lyft to remove you from the Lyft platform.

If you feel you received a notice in error or to resolve the debt, please contact the City directly. Unfortunately, Lyft is unable to assist you. You can contact the City's customer service team at one of the numbers below:

For Administrative Hearing fines: 312-747-4747

For Parking Tickets: 312-744-7275

CHI Debt Collection

Missed the Deadline?

If you missed the deadline and your driver account has been deactivated, follow these steps to get back on the road:

You will need to contact the city of Chicago’s Law Firm to pay your debt, enter into a payment plan, or correct any errors in your city records:

  • If you are a driver with a last name starting with A-I, please call 866-391-3975
  • If you are a driver with a last name starting with J-Z, please call 312-604-7100

We cannot reactivate your account until the city indicates to Lyft that you have addressed your debt, so it is essential that you complete this step before reaching out to us.

You can also pay your debt online at www.cityofchicago.org/finance. Parking debt can be paid via the “Pay Tickets” button and administrative hearings debt can be paid via the “Pay Administrative Hearing Fines” button. Once you pay online, you must still contact the law firm above, using the numbers to confirm payment.

Let us know you are ready to be reactivated by sending us a photo of your payment receipt, payment plan, or updated records so that Lyft can work to expedite the process of getting you approved by the city.

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Annual and Semi-Annual Inspections

All vehicles in Chicago need to be inspected at least annually. If your vehicle is 6 model years old or older, you will need to have a re-inspection done every 6 months.

Visit any licensed inspection location, let the staff know you’re in need of a Lyft re-inspection, and bring the following with you:

Drivers are not reimbursed for annual/semi-annual inspections. We have a partnership with Pep Boys, where you can get a re-inspection for $17.

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Need something else?

Contact Support