How to Become a DoorDash Driver: Complete Dasher Guide

Like Uber and Lyft, driving for DoorDash is an easy and lucrative way to earn extra money on the side while you set your own schedule. DoorDash is a food delivery app that lets customers place orders online or from a mobile device. The company serves a growing number of markets throughout the United States.

If you meet the following requirements, you can apply for a position as a dasher — the DoorDash name for their couriers. Note that even if you check all of them, DoorDash reserves the right to make their own assessment.

DoorDash requirements specify that dashers:

  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and auto insurance policy (if you’re using a vehicle)
  • Haven’t had any major traffic violations in the past seven years
  • Haven’t had more than three accidents in the past three years
  • Submit to a background check (very similar to Uber’s background check)
  • Are eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Have a Social Security number
  • Are at least 18 years old (must be 21 to deliver alcohol)
  • Own an iPhone or Android smartphone that can support the DoorDash app and future updates

Applying for the position is very simple. All you have to do is fill out a small form on the DoorDash website. Step-by-step instructions are provided at each stage of the vetting process. For people looking for a side hustle in the gig economy, becoming a dasher can be a great way to make extra cash.

Become a DoorDash Driver and Get Up to $750 Sign Up Bonus
DoorDash is a food delivery app that can help you earn money by driving, biking or even walking food orders from restaurants to local customers.
Highlights
  • Sign up bonuses can go as high as $750
  • Pay for food using the company red card — not your own money
  • Make money on your own schedule and get paid weekly

Let’s take a more detailed look at each component of working for DoorDash.

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Working for DoorDash

Working for DoorDash is not for everyone. It’s not a physically demanding job, but you need an outgoing personality and the ability to stick to a schedule. This is because you will deal with customers in person and represent the brand. Since there are thousands of drivers across the country, it is possible that someone else’s bad reputation can affect your work, too.

DoorDash doesn’t promote dashing as a full-time opportunity. They understand that their uneven payment format (some days will pay better than others) is not for everyone, so they try to attract people looking for a part-time job. That’s not to say that there aren’t drivers that have managed to make dashing their full-time job.

The job itself is not hard to learn, and there’s no real need for orientation. Once your application is approved, you can begin setting your work schedule on a daily basis or set the dates weeks in advance. There is a lot of freedom of choice, because there is no minimum number of deliveries to make or hours to log.

On the negative side, DoorDash often has a lot of drivers working in popular markets. While this means DoorDash has great coverage for their partnered restaurants, drivers have high competition for deliveries. Because of this, you can sometimes feel compelled to work during particular times of day when it’s likely to be busy.

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How Does DoorDash Pay?

Hundred-dollar bills fanned out

DoorDash pays all drivers on a weekly basis via direct deposit. Although they transfer earnings made between Monday and Sunday, it can take up to three days for the money to show in the driver’s account. This means that earnings from the last week should be available by Wednesday the following week.

A financial advantage to being a DoorDash dasher is that while these independent contractors don’t earn an annual salary, they receive the full amount of their earnings. DoorDash doesn’t withhold money for tax purposes, so drivers are responsible for declaring their earnings and paying taxes on them.

Another advantage to working for DoorDash is the opportunity to earn “Busy Pay.” This is extra pay for when delivery demand is especially high (the amount you’ll receive depends on how busy it is). You can learn more about Busy Pay on the DoorDash website.

DoorDash Driver Tips

It’s important to remember that a big part of a dasher’s income comes from tips. Customers have the choice to tip through the app or cash. Since 100 percent of the tips go to the dashers, this can sometimes help them double their hourly pay.

DoorDash’s tipping policy is such that when customers’ tips are made via the DoorDash app, the drivers cannot see them individually. Rather, they will only see the entire amount of earnings at the end of their shift. The tips received via the Dasher app will be transferred with all other earnings for that week.


DoorDash DriverSupport

How to Become a DoorDash Driver (Dasher) - Support

A DoorDash dasher usually receives all the information he or she needs via the app. But additional support may be required for situations that involve an order payment issue or an insurance claim.

For instance, if the company red card — a prepaid credit card given to dashers — doesn’t work at a restaurant and you have to pay for the order yourself, you can contact driver support for a reimbursement. You can do that through the app and follow the provided steps.

DoorDash also has a $1 million commercial auto insurance policy to help drivers when necessary. However, because of so much over-hiring, they have strict requirements for insurance support eligibility.

Although it seems like DoorDash driver support is always available, you might find it difficult to get assistance when it comes to dealing with clients. Because there’s a direct line of contact between you and the customer, you are encouraged to ask the customer directly for additional information. This may not always be speedy, but it does free up the DoorDash driver support to deal with more urgent situations.


DoorDash Requirements

The most important requirement to drive for DoorDash is that you are at least 18 years of age, though some states specify you should be 21 to make deliveries involving alcohol. You will be notified of the exact age requirement for your location once you apply.

You should also be eligible to work in the U.S. You don’t have to be a citizen, but a work permit or visa is required. DoorDash doesn’t hire off the books.

You don’t have to own a vehicle to apply. DoorDash allows their dashers to take deliveries via any kind of transportation. You can deliver orders on scooters, bikes, or even on foot in some areas. Note that this may change for some future cases, as DoorDash has mentioned they may later tap into the grocery delivery market.

If you own a vehicle and want to use it for deliveries, you need a valid U.S. driver’s license but not a special license or multiple qualifications.

DoorDash has a stricter policy than other companies in the on-demand delivery services when it comes to a driver’s driving record. To be considered for a position with DoorDash, you cannot have had any major traffic violations in the past seven years, and no more than three accidents in the past three years.

After the initial application submission, any transgressions will be uncovered by a background check. It is unclear whether DoorDash pays for the background check or if drivers are required to pay the fee themselves.

Owning a smartphone is a must. All your deliveries and conversations with clients are conducted via the DoorDash app, and there’s no way around it. You don’t have to own the newest phone, but more recent models are recommended. Also, as the app is constantly changing, you must meet the software requirements to update the app.

There are no physical requirements to work at DoorDash. Since orders rarely require heavy lifting, the only tiresome activity is actually working long shifts.


DoorDash Driver Reviews

Sometimes drivers will complain about the new model of payment for deliveries (DoorDash used to pay an hourly wage on top of delivery fees and tips). These grievances usually come from people who have been dashing since the beginning. Newcomers have no other experience to compare it to, so most of them are generally pleased.

Although most people choose to become a DoorDash dasher as a part-time gig, some will try to make it into a living. These career-bound dashers will often complain about the excessive competition created by over-hiring.

While they do have a point, it’s important to understand that to satisfy all customers, the company needs to have as many dashers as possible at their disposal. Some also take competition as an incentive to provide the highest quality of service.

DoorDash, like any other company that provides on-demand deliveries, will not be able to compensate all drivers equally.


DoorDash Driver FAQ

We’ve covered requirements for working for DoorDash, DoorDash dasher pay, and more. Let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

1. Does DoorDash pay for gas?

Because working as a driver or dasher for DoorDash makes you an independent contractor, you will be responsible for your own vehicle. All the money for fuel and maintenance will come out of your pocket.

This is one of the reasons why it’s hard to establish an average income for DoorDash drivers. Fuel consumption and maintenance differs from driver to driver, not to mention not all drivers own their own vehicles. In some areas of operation, deliveries may be longer and use even more fuel. In these situations, DoorDash usually increases the delivery fee to compensate for the extra fuel.

2. Where is DoorDash available?

DoorDash serves a large number of major cities throughout the United States. Here are just a few of them:

  1. Denver
  2. Los Angeles
  3. New York City
  4. Atlanta
  5. Dallas
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Phoenix
  8. San Antonio
  9. San Diego
  10. San Francisco
  11. Seattle
  12. Columbus
  13. Miami
  14. Orange County
  15. Fort Worth
  16. Chicago
  17. Sacramento
  18. Palo Alto
  19. Nashville
  20. Minneapolis
  21. Boston
  22. Houston

3. Do driver reviews matter?

Your reviews and ratings are extremely important and can come from both customers and restaurants. Accumulating too many bad reviews can affect your ability to earn tips and significantly reduce your earnings. Too many customer complaints can also cause DoorDash to remove you from their network without notice.

Although you may try hard to impress, it’s possible that some people will give you a bad review without reason. It’s also possible that a minor mistake on your part can result in a very harsh review that is not necessarily accurate.


DoorDash Delivery: A Good Way to Earn Extra Money

Working as a DoorDash delivery driver is a legitimate way to earn extra cash. The requirements for the food delivery service are common sense and not that different from what other companies require. In addition, you have the freedom to choose your work hours.

It’s nice to have no cap or minimum on the amount of hours you can put in. You get to keep all your customer tips, and you can deliver orders on your vehicle of choice. You can even use a bike or walk as long as it doesn’t take too long. If you’re interested in an active lifestyle and meeting new people, give DoorDash a try.

If you’re looking for other ways to make money to pick up food, we recommend checking out Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Instacart.

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