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Massachusetts Driver Requirements

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Apply to Drive in Massachusetts

Applicant Requirement Checklist

Driver Requirements
  • Age:
    • If younger than 23 years old, must have held a driver license from any state for at least 3 years
    • If older than 23 years old, must have held a driver license from any state for at least 1 year.
  • Pass DMV check
  • Pass Lyft's background check
  • Pass CORI Background Check run by the Department of Public Utilities
Vehicle Requirements
  • 2004
  • Pass vehicle inspection
Document Requirements
  • Driver's license
  • Vehicle insurance

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Application Step-by-Step

1. Start an Application

Apply to drive with Lyft.

2. Meet a Lyft Mentor

In select cities, you'll choose the time and place to have your Mentor Session in your application. Make sure to bring the following with you:

  • Your vehicle
  • Driver's license
  • Vehicle insurance

In all other cities, applicants will not meet with a Mentor — instead they will follow the procedure in step 3 to upload their documents.

3. Upload Your Documents

Take photos of each of the documents below and upload them in the Dashboard. If you've been directed to meet with a Mentor, they will upload these documents for you.

Document photo tips

  • Get good light. Move near a window, turn on a light, or go outside.
  • Avoid using the flash. Your camera's flash can cause a glare.
  • Find a dark background. Place your document on a solid, dark-colored background. The contrast will help your camera focus.

Required Documents

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  1. Driver's license
  2. Personal vehicle insurance
  3. Driver photo
  1. Driver's license

    Drivers are required to have a valid driver's license. A temporary license is acceptable, but be sure to upload your permanent copy when you receive it.

    To prevent delays in the approval process, make sure your license meets the following criteria:

    • Current (not expired)
    • Images and text clearly legible in the photo
    • All four corners visible in the photo
  2. Personal vehicle insurance
    Insurance

    Drivers are required to have personal vehicle insurance.

    To prevent delays in the approval process, make sure your personal vehicle insurance meets the following criteria:

    • Current (not expired)
    • Your name listed
    • Match the vehicle on file with Lyft
    • Include the vehicle year, make, and model
    • Images and text clearly legible in the photo
    • All four corners visible in the photo

    See further instructions on taking an insurance photo.

  3. Driver photo
    Driver photo

    Lyft requires a photo of all drivers. Your driver photo is a passenger’s first impression of you when they request a ride.

    To prevent delays in the approval process, make sure your driver photo meets the following criteria:

    • Take your photo in a location with good light and a solid background
    • Frame your head and top of your shoulders
    • Make it look like you — no sunglasses, hats, masks, or bluetooth headsets

    See further instructions on taking a driver photo or watch the video.

4. 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 uploaded all of the documents listed above.
  2. You have certified through the app that your vehicle qualifies for Lyft.
  3. You have passed your DMV and background checks (they can take anywhere from days to weeks to complete).
  4. Lyft has processed all of your documents and photos.

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Get Set to Drive

Set Your Vehicle up Correctly

Display the following front and rear Lyft trade dress emblems on the passenger side of your front and rear windshields.

Emblems

Lyft emblem

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, let us know. 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.

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State-Required Massachusetts CORI Background Check

New regulations now require drivers in Massachusetts to pass a CORI Background Check performed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).

Consent to a Massachusetts CORI Background Check

All applicants and existing drivers need to give their consent to the CORI Background Check before Lyft can coordinate your background check with the DPU.

If you haven’t given your CORI consent, update to the newest version of the Lyft app in the app store, and follow the instructions on the in-app pop up card (see images below).

     

After you’ve consented to run your CORI background check, Lyft will submit your name to the DPU and they will conduct a background check on you. The DPU will notify you of your CORI background check results by sending you an email to your email address associated with your Lyft account.

If you haven’t yet heard back from the DPU, hang tight. The DPU is processing a large volume of drivers and releasing CORI background check results on a rolling basis.

While waiting for your CORI Background Check results, you many continue picking up passengers from all locations except Logan airport.

CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate

If you pass your CORI background check, you will receive a CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate via email attachment from the DPU. Look for an email to your email address associated with your Lyft account. The email will include the following information:

  • Sender: “Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities" (donotreply@massdpu.com)
  • Subject Line: “Background Check Clearance Certificate”

CORI Sample
Upload Your CORI Background Check Certificate To The Dashboard

Log into the email address associated with your Lyft account and search for an email from: “Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities" (donotreply@massdpu.com). Open the email titled “Background Check Clearance Certificate” and open the attached certificate PDF file.

Take a screenshot of your CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate (see sample image above) and upload it to the Vehicles tab in your Dashboard.

In order to do pickups and dropoffs at Logan airport, you must be able to show either a digital or paper copy of your CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate. Failure to show your CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate when approached by an officer could result in a fine.

Certificate upload instructions for iPhone:

  1. Open up the CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate PDF email attachment.
  2. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on the right side of your iPhone.
  3. Immediately press and release the round Home button in the bottom center of your iPhone.
  4. A photo of your CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate will now exist in your photo library.
  5. Go to your Dashboard and upload your Certificate photo from your photo library to the Massachusetts CORI Background Check field.

Certificate upload instructions for Android

There are two main ways that you can take a screenshot on devices running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above.

Option 1:

  1. Open up the CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate PDF email attachment.
  2. Press and hold your phone's Power and Volume Down button at the same time for 1-2 seconds. On some phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and S5, you will instead need to combine the Power Button with the Home button.
  3. The screen will flash, and you'll hear a shutter noise (if the sound is on)
  4. Once a screenshot is captured, it will be saved to your phone (each Android device is a little different, so the exact folder to which photos are saved can differ. Check for 'Photos,' 'Gallery,' or a separate 'Screen Shots' folder).
  5. Go to your Dashboard and upload your Certificate photo from your photo library to the Massachusetts CORI Background Check field.

Option 2:

On some phones the 'Take a screenshot' option is available from the Power off menu.

  1. Open up the CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate PDF email attachment.
  2. Press and hold the Power button for 1-2 seconds until the power options screen appears.
  3. If the option is available, select 'Take a Screenshot'. Don't worry, it will take a screenshot of whatever is behind this menu.
  4. The screen shot will be saved to your phone (each Android device is a little different, so the exact folder to which photos are saved can differ. Check for 'Photos,' 'Gallery,' or a separate 'Screen Shots' folder).
  5. Go to your Dashboard and upload your Certificate photo from your photo library to the Massachusetts CORI Background Check field.

Failed CORI Background Check Results

If you do not pass the Massachusetts CORI background check, your driver account will be deactivated.

You have 20 calendar days from when you received your CORI background check results email from the DPU to appeal your CORI background check results. To begin the appeal process contact:

Office of the Commissioner of Probation
(617) 727-5300
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM ET, Monday - Friday
OR
The Transportation Network Company Division of the Department of Public Utilities
(617) 305-3500
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM ET, Monday - Friday

If you successfully appeal your CORI background check results and are issued a CORI Background Check Clearance Certificate, follow the steps above to upload your Certificate to your Dashboard to reactivate your account.

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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.

Best Practices to Avoid Citations

  • Set your vehicle up correctly every time you drive.
  • Follow all airport rules.
  • Once you’ve received your CORI Background Check clearance certificate, keep a printed copy in your glove compartment.
  • Do not accept street hails.
  • Do not accept cash for rides.
  • Do not wait in taxi lines.

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Know Your Insurance Coverage

  • View your insurance in the app: Settings > Car > Lyft insurance.

Citations

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

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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Need something else?

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