How to Become a DoorDash Driver (Dasher)

Like Uber and Lyft, driving for DoorDash is an easy and lucrative way to earn extra money on the side, working when and where you want.

If you meet the following requirements, you can apply for a position as a dasher. Note that even if you check all of them, DoorDash reserves the right to make their own assessment. This means that if your personality or character doesn’t fit, they can choose to reject your application.

DoorDash requirements include…

  • Couriers must possess a valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance policy (if you’re using a vehicle)
  • Don’t have any major traffic violations in the past 7 years
  • Don’t have more than 3 accidents in the past 3 years
  • Submit to a background check (very similar to Uber’s background check)
  • Are eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Are 18 years or older (must be 21 to deliver alcohol)
  • Own a 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 will be provided at each stage of the vetting process.

Let’s take a look at each in greater detail.


Working for DoorDash

Working for DoorDash is not for everyone. It’s not a physically demanding job, but you need to have an outgoing personality and the ability to stick to a schedule. You will be dealing with customers in person and you will be representing 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 really promote dashing as a full-time opportunity. They understand that the uneven payment format is not for everyone, so they try to attract the interest of 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. You can do this 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 required or number of hours to log.

A less-known fact is that although there is a lot of freedom there is also plenty of competition. Like most companies in this field, DoorDash over-hires drivers. This is a good strategy for the company but it’s not amazing for drivers.

While DoorDash gets to have great coverage for their partnered restaurants, drivers are competing for deliveries more than they would like. Because of this, you can sometimes feel compelled to work during particular times of day when it’s likely to be busy. However, if you’re not looking to make a fortune this shouldn’t be an issue.

Once you choose a delivery from the list of available ones you will be given instructions and directions. Sometimes customers may customize their orders or change their delivery address, so it’s important that you pay attention to the information on the app. Keep in mind that customers can track the order’s status and see if you’re not doing what you are supposed to.

After your delivery is done, a smile goes a long way. Remember that not all customers tip in cash so just because they don’t hand you anything it doesn’t mean they haven’t tipped via the app.

Of course, it’s not always as glamorous as it seems. As with any other job that involves dealing with people, you may not always run into someone nice or grateful. Sometimes customers can be impatient or simply don’t care that you’ve encountered problems at the restaurant or in traffic.

Some restaurants may also give you a hard time occasionally. In a way, it’s really not that different from being a cabbie, a mover and shaker, or a receptionist. People will be people so it’s best if you don’t get into dashing with an overly optimistic mindset.


How Much Does DoorDash Pay?

How Much Does DoorDash Pay

DoorDash initially started out by offering drivers a $10 hourly rate. The pay was still dependent on making successful deliveries. In the event that drivers couldn’t get enough jobs that added up to the $10 amount, DoorDash would compensate them with the missing funds so that the minimum hourly pay was met.

DoorDash Driver Pay

Things changed after a few years and as of 2017, DoorDash no longer has a minimum hourly payment plan except in certain peak hours. Drivers are now paid per delivery 90% of the time. When working at peak hours or holidays, DoorDash offers an hourly wage similar to the one they used in the beginning.

Once again, they supplement their drivers for any missed earnings if a certain number of requirements are met, such miles traveled or number of deliveries. Sometimes instead of offering a safety net in the form of minimum hourly pay DoorDash might offer a fixed bonus per delivery to help increase their driver’s earnings.

Considering that few companies are willing to compensate drivers when they don’t make enough from deliveries, this is one perk that makes DoorDash an appealing choice for part-time or even full-time drivers.

Related:

How Much do DoorDash Drivers Make?

The hourly pay differs from state to state and city to city. In some cities, the delivery fee might be smaller but the extra charges for mileage are higher. Some locations also have more frequent bonuses for dashers who deliver during certain time windows.

These differences don’t just occur based on locations. The partnership with restaurants also plays a big role in determining how much drivers make because it is what sets the delivery fees.


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 in person using cash. Since 100% of the tips go to the dashers, this can sometimes help them double their hourly pay.

When tips are made via the DoorDash app, the drivers cannot see them individually. They will only be able to see the entire amount of earnings at the end of their shift. The tips received via the app will be transferred with all other earnings for that week.


DoorDash Salary

DoorDash doesn’t offer a salary to independent contractors. Only DoorDash corporate employees receive fixed pay and benefits. However, these sums are usually confidential.


How Does DoorDash Pay?

DoorDash pays all drivers on a weekly basis. They transfer the funds via direct deposit into the driver’s bank account. Although they transfer all earnings made between Monday and Sunday it can take up to three days for the money to show in the driver’s account.

In other words, all earnings from the previous week should be available by Wednesday the following week.

A big financial advantage that DoorDash dashers have is that as independent contractors they receive the full amount of their earnings. DoorDash doesn’t withhold money for tax purposes which means drivers are responsible for declaring their winnings.


DoorDash Driver Support

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

Explore Doordash

If the company red card 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 one-million-dollar 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 any additional information you need. This may not always be speedy, but it does free up the DoorDash driver support to deal with more urgent situations.


DoorDash F.A.Q

Just because dashers are independent contractors doesn’t mean DoorDash associates with just anyone. The company wants all employees and freelancers they work with to uphold high standards. This is especially important for drivers as they are basically the face of the brand and those that deal face to face with customers on a daily basis.

DoorDash Requirements

The most important requirement is that you are at least 18 years of age. In some states, you may need to be 21 to make deliveries involving alcohol. You will be notified of the exact age requirement once you apply for a driver position. DoorDash is well aware of the legislation for each area of operation.

You should also be eligible to work in the U.S. You don’t have to be a citizen, but a work permit/visa is required. DoorDash doesn’t do off-the-books hiring even for their independent contractors.

What is interesting about DoorDash is that they allow their dashers to take deliveries in any kind of transportation. This means that you don’t have to own a vehicle to apply. You can deliver orders on scooters, bikes or even on foot in some areas. Note that this may change in the future as DoorDash made their intentions clear about expanding the business model and tapping into the grocery delivery market.

In the event that you do own a vehicle and want to use it for deliveries, you need a valid U.S. driver’s license. This shouldn’t surprise anyone as it is a requirement for any job involving driving. You don’t need a special license or multiple qualifications. You just need the one that applies to your vehicle of choice.

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 any major traffic violation in the past 7 years and no more than 3 accidents in the past 3 years.

After the initial application submission, DoorDash will conduct a background check so any transgressions will be uncovered. It is unclear if 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 just no other way around it. You don’t have to own the newest phones, but more recent models are recommended. As the app is constantly changing, it’s important the software requirements are met.

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

Does DoorDash Pay for Gas

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 have to come out of your pocket.

This is one of the reasons why it’s hard to establish an average income for DoorDash drivers. Not everyone drives a vehicle, so consumption differs from driver to driver. In some areas of operation, deliveries may be longer than average so even more fuel is used. In these situations, DoorDash usually increases the delivery fee to compensate for the extra fuel drivers will use.

Does DoorDash Pay Hourly?

DoorDash pays drivers per delivery. During certain peak hours or holidays DoorDash occasionally offers a minimum hourly wage to drivers who meet certain criteria. This doesn’t happen in all areas of operation.

In the event that the criteria are met but the deliveries fail to add up to the minimum rate, DoorDash supplements the missing funds. However, this rarely happens as the requirements usually involve making a number of deliveries that ensures a decent pay.

What DoorDash does on occasion is adding a fixed bonus for each delivery during busy schedules. This can be as low as $2 in some states, but it still helps as it is like a guaranteed tip. If you end up making five deliveries in one hour you already have a minimum wage bonus added to your delivery fees.


DoorDash Jobs

Although DoorDash dashers are not employees, dashing is still a job whether it’s performed by independent contractors or not. Because DoorDash is an actual company that does more than just manage deliveries, they have plenty of office jobs to offer as well.


DoorDash Careers

Being a freelance driver, although it’s for a corporation, is not the same as having a career. There is no opportunity for advancement, so the job is quite one dimensional. Besides, most people who become dashers for DoorDash are doing it as a part-time gig.

Of course, DoorDash is more than just a network of independent contractors roaming the streets. There is an entire team of code developers, marketing strategists, tech support members and more working behind the scenes. Skilled coders and experts in logistics with a background in the food industry are always in high demand.

Applying for a desk job with DoorDash could be the beginning of a nice career. Although they have more openings for drivers, they are on the lookout for talented individuals who can contribute to the software, marketing, and support departments.

Applying for an office position at DoorDash can be done via their website or through job listings on popular websites. Some of the requirements may be different than the ones listed for drivers. While it may not be as easy to land a desk job with DoorDash as it is to work as a driver, there are far more benefits offered that make it worth a try.


DoorDash Driver Reviews

Your reviews and ratings are extremely important. Accumulating too many bad reviews can affect your ability to earn tips and significantly reduce your earnings. At the same time, DoorDash may remove you from their network without notice if too many customers complain about your work.

Both customers and restaurants can rate you. Although you may try hard to impress, it’s not unthinkable that some people will just torch you without reason. It’s also always a possibility that a minor mistake on your part can result in a very harsh review that is not necessarily accurate.


DoorDash Reviews by Drivers

Sometimes drivers will complain about the new model of payment for deliveries. These grievances usually come from people that 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 a living from this. Those who want to make a career of this will often complain about the excessive competition created by over-hiring.

While they do have a point, it’s important to understand that in order to satisfy all customers in time, the company needs to have as many dashers as possible at their disposal. Some 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. There are just too many factors involved like traffic, state legislation, restaurant business models and so on that impact delivery fees. In other words, DoorDash might not be as lucrative in all their areas of operation.


Conclusion

Working as a DoorDash Dasher is a legitimate way of earning extra cash. The requirements for the job are common sense and not all that different from what other companies require. In addition, you have the freedom to choose your work hours.

It’s nice to have no limits to how many hours you can put in, or how few for that matter. You get to keep all your 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!