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How To Become a DoorDash Driver: Requirements & Application

Last updated: October 6, 2021
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vector graphic showing hands on laptop in the process of applying to become a doordash driver

Would you like to become a DoorDash driver?

You’re about to learn that it’s not too difficult to achieve exactly that.

It’s like anything in life where you learn the process, follow the steps to completion, and then meet your goal.

Ready to become a DoorDash driver?

Let’s get started.

Reasons to Become a Dasher

Many positive reasons exist that make becoming a DoorDash driver worth it:

  • Create extra earnings for your family
  • Set your own schedule
  • Work harder when needed, relax when you need to
  • Replace a lost job
  • Use it to help you in between primary jobs
  • Make sure your family doesn’t run out of money

If you’re looking for more reasons, check out our “How does DoorDash Work?” guide to learn more about the app at a granular level.

Things to Understand to Become a DoorDash Driver

doordash driver happy because he has a high doordash completion rate after doing a delivery

Is DoorDash Safe?

Yes, DoorDash is safe.

It’s a legitimate food delivery service just like Amazon is a legitimate product delivery service.

Delivering food is low-risk by its very nature.

You’ll simply walk into a restaurant, pick up your customer’s order, drive to the customer’s home or office, and then hand them their bag.

The company has also made liberal use of safety features such as contactless delivery to keep both drivers and customers safe.

How Much Can You Realistically Make with DoorDash?

How much you earn depends on how hard you work and how many hours you want to invest in driving for the food delivery platform.

Where you live affects your income as well.

You’ll typically earn more in larger cities simply because more demand exists there.

However, you can expect to earn somewhere in the range of $15 to $25 per hour.

You can also work to earn extra with the DoorDash bonus structure.

What Does a Dasher’s Schedule Look Like?

You’re not an employee, so you set your own schedule.

However, DoorDash Dashers do need to use the scheduled shift process set up by the app.

You have two ways to make your schedule:

  • Dash Now: During busy times, you can log into your dashboard and Dash as often as you please.
  • Schedule a Shift: Qualify for Early Access Scheduling and schedule your time five or six days in advance. Through this feature, the DoorDash app lets you schedule in your desired blocks of hours.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get your desired hours and work enough to meet your financial goals:

  • If you’re awake at midnight, check for hours at that time.
  • If you didn’t get your desired hours scheduled in, then look for the Dash Now red zones and drive immediately in those zones.
  • Claim scheduled orders (only available in select cities)

Can I Start DoorDash Immediately?

You can start driving for DoorDash the moment you get through the application process and officially become a Dasher.

This happens the moment you are approved, which can take some time to get through the approval process.

Requirements Every DoorDash Driver Must Meet

A signup process exists with DoorDash.

Let’s review the requirements you must meet to become a Dasher.

vector graphic showing hands on laptop in the process of applying to become a doordash driver

DoorDash Driver Requirements

You’ll notice that the DoorDash driving requirements look similar to those required by Uber Eats, Grubhub, or Postmates.

Of course, DoorDash wants to maximize its chances to find safe drivers.

  • You must be 18 years old or older
  • You need to possess a valid driver’s license
  • You must own an iPhone or Android smartphone to download the Dasher App with
  • You must have access to a vehicle (car, scooter, bicycle, motorcycle, or truck)
  • If your vehicle requires insurance, then you need to secure a policy that meets your state’s minimum policy requirements
  • You need to provide DoorDash with your social security number
  • You must give DoorDash permission to run a background check
  • You need to pass your background check (it includes a Motor Vehicles check)
  • Finally, you need to complete an in-person or online orientation process

DoorDash Background Check

The DoorDash background check is the biggest determinate that decides if you can drive for DoorDash or not.

doordash background check illustration - hand holding a magnifying glass and looking at doordash driver applications on a clipboard

What is the DoorDash Background Check?

The background check looks into your history pertaining to Motor Vehicle violations or criminal history.

What Does the DoorDash Background Check Look For?

DoorDash uses the background check to look at your personal records and any potential criminal convictions.

It’s similar to the check that most employers use in today’s work environment.

Uber, Postmates, and Lyft, for example, use the same type of background check before allowing drivers on their platforms.

Checkr is the background check company used by DoorDash to screen all potential Dasher applicants.

Using your social security number and address, Checkr looks into everything about your past.

When you agree to the background check, you’re agreeing that DoorDash can disqualify you for any offenses that they don’t like in your personal history.

The DoorDash background check looks at all possible criminal background issues.

If you’re signing up to use a car, truck, or motorcycle while delivering for DoorDash customers, then the background check does a full Motor Vehicles lookup.

What Can Disqualify You From DoorDash?

You might get disqualified from driving on the DoorDash platform if the background check finds that you have any of these offenses (within the past seven years):

  • Thefts
  • DUIs
  • Felonies
  • Sexual offenses
  • Violent crimes
  • Property damage crimes

Every case is different, so there’s no “one answer fits all” here.

DoorDash Vehicle Requirements

DoorDash doesn’t have vehicle requirements like Uber or Lyft do.

As long as you have a clean driving record and a vehicle with insurance on it, then you can become a Dasher and deliver for DoorDash.

Types of Vehicles Allowed

Any type of vehicle that works to transport you and your food pickup works for DoorDash purposes.

You can use:

  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Bikes
  • Scooters

You could even use a set of two feet if you live in a concentrated city area such as:

  • Chicago
  • Washington DC
  • Los Angeles
  • Denver
  • New York

Vehicle Requirements

Your vehicle needs to operate well and have insurance.

DoorDash Insurance Requirements

DoorDash insurance requirements mandate that you have minimum liability coverage on a motorcycle, truck, or car.

By the way, DoorDash also supplies coverage for Dashers.

Coverage applies only when you’re on “active delivery” status, which means you’re still in possession of the delivery items.

The DoorDash commercial insurance policy coverage goes up to $1 million for property damage and bodily injury.

How to Become a Door Dash Driver

Are you ready to start your application process to become a DoorDash driver?

Next, you’ll learn how to move through this process successfully.

vector graphic showing hands on laptop in the process of applying to become a doordash driver

Documents You’ll Need

The only two documents required to become a DoorDash driver are:

  • Valid driver’s license (if you’ll use a car, motorcycle, or truck)
  • Valid insurance on your vehicle

You don’t need your official social security card, but you will need to submit your social security number while signing up to drive as a Dasher.

How to Sign Up for DoorDash

The application process with DoorDash is one of the simplest set of steps you’ll probably ever take to gain access to a money-making gig.

The Application Process [Tutorial]

  • Step 1: Go to the DoorDash signup page & enter your email to register
  • Step 2: Submit your name, phone number, and a password on the next page
  • Step 3: Add your vehicle details
  • Step 4: Enter info required to submit a background check & then agree to the check
  • Step 5: Add your bank account information
  • Step 6: Download the DoorDash app from Google Play Store or the App Store

If you meet all DoorDash requirements and are still interested in joining the team, you can start your application process today.

To sign up for DoorDash, follow these steps:

Step 1

Head to doordash.com/dasher/signup.

Step 2

Enter your email address and tap “Next.”

Step 3

Enter your phone number and ZIP code, then tap “Continue.”

Step 4

Enter your first name, middle name, last name, and preferred password, then tap “Continue.”

Step 5

Select your vehicle type, then enter your driver’s license information and confirm that you have auto insurance.

Tap “Continue” once complete.

This step will look slightly different if your market allows DoorDash bike delivery or on-foot deliveries.

Step 6

Enter your birthday and Social Security number, then tap “Continue.”

Step 7

Read through the background check disclosures and authorization message.

If desired, you can also opt to “Receive a free copy of my background check report.”

Then, tap “Continue” to authorize the required background check.

After that, you’re done!

It is just a waiting game from there.

What to Expect After You Applying

Good job!

You successfully applied to become the next DoorDash Dasher.

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved?

In most cases, the entire approval process takes anywhere from five to 10 business days.

The part that often takes the longest is the background check.

Most DoorDash background checks are processed within 5-7 days.

Over 3,000 counties exist in the United States and there isn’t any formal criminal records database that makes it easy to search all counties easily.

If you have prior transgressions for Checkr to process, then expect your background check to take closer to 10 days.

Motor Vehicle record check processing times depend on the state you live in.

Some states report back in a few days while others take longer than one week to produce a report.

One way exists to help speed up your background check.

Make sure you don’t use any strange nicknames when signing up at the DoorDash website.

Use your full legal name that appears on your tax returns, for example.

What Does the Approval Process Entail?

The DoorDash approval process entails waiting for the background check to come back as approved.

You’ll also go through a DoorDash orientation during this time frame.

You’ll have the option to schedule an in-person orientation for a specific time, drop by your local DoorDash office during open orientation hours, or simply request a DoorDash Activation Kit instead.

After you submit your application, DoorDash asks you to go through an online orientation.

The orientation session teaches you everything you need to know about working as a Dasher:

  • How to accept a delivery request
  • How to place the order at each restaurant
  • How to pay for the order
  • How to deliver a DoorDash order to a customer

The orientation also provides tips about:

  • Getting help from the support team
  • How to obtain a consistent 5-star rating
  • Best times to schedule your Dash times
  • How to get paid

You’ll complete a quick quiz after going through the DoorDash orientation videos.

Get this orientation and quiz completed while you’re waiting for the background check process to finish.

If you get the orientation step done immediately, it will speed up the overall DoorDash approval process for you.

If you choose the latter option — which is sometimes the only option — you’ll be able to skip the traditional DoorDash orientation and simply read a manual instead.

This manual will be shipped to you, along with a complimentary hot bag and your DoorDash Red Card.

Once you’ve completed your orientation, you can download the DoorDash Driver app from the App Store or Google Play store, log on, and start receiving requests.

How Will I Know if I am Approved or Denied?

DoorDash will send you an email to notify you of approval or denial status.

If you get approved, DoorDash invites you to one of their locations to pick up a red PEX card, activation kit, and an insulated red hot bag to place your customer orders in.

You’ll use the PEZ red card for orders at each restaurant.

What if I Get on the DoorDash Driver Waitlist?

The waitlist just means that the company isn’t currently accepting DoorDash delivery drivers in your area.

They’ve probably deemed the area as saturated.

You’ll gain entry when other drivers quit, get deactivated, or demand for DoorDash goes up.

You’ll need to remain patient as you wait.

Pro Tip: Instacart waitlistIf you get waitlisted, don’t worry, it’s likely a formality. The is longer than every, so it’s common to go through this process. 

What Happens if I Get Denied to Become a DoorDash Driver?

If you get rejected by the DoorDash background check and you know that you have a clean record, then ask for a report of the background check.

It’s your legal right to ask for and see the report.

A mistake probably happened and you can show DoorDash that fact.

Or, you may have gotten rejected for something as simple as a blurry driver’s license picture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is being a DoorDash delivery driver easy?

Relatively speaking, yes, it’s easy to work as a DoorDash driver.

You’re simply picking up and delivering food.

How many breaks can you take with DoorDash?

You can take up to 35 minutes of break time during each shift.

You can take it in chunks of minutes or all at once.

If you go on break past this amount of time, then your shift will end.

Can you get reactivated with DoorDash if you’ve been disqualified?

Unlike some other hardline gig apps, DoorDash offers a more lenient appeals process.

You can file an appeal.

Sometimes Dashers do get qualified to drive after getting disqualified at first.

How long do you have to wait for the restaurant during food pickups?

DoorDash asks that you always pick up food orders for customers.

The app recommends that you call or text the customer to let them know that the restaurant is busy.

Give them an indication of when you think you’ll have their order delivered to them.

If the wait becomes far too long, then you have the option to unassign from that particular order and wait for another trip to appear in your DoorDash driver app.

Do your best to gauge when it’s appropriate to remove yourself from a trip.

Wrapping Up

Are you getting excited about the possibilities now that you know how to become a DoorDash driver?

Does this sound like the side hustle or full-time gig that you’re looking for?

When you’re ready to become a Dasher, make sure you take immediate action.

The sooner you sign up as a driver, the sooner you can get out there making money.

Don’t forget to finish your new person orientation videos and quiz while you wait for the background check process to complete.

Happy Dashing!

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