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Does Instacart Hire Felons In 2023?

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Are you looking for work as an Instacart shopper, or are you generally interested in food delivery jobs?

You may be concerned about the criminal background check.

Does Instacart hire felons?

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about Instacart driver requirements and whether the company hires people with a criminal conviction or a misdemeanor.

What Is Instacart?

Instacart is a platform where people can order their groceries through the Instacart app or the company website.

Essentially, customers can make a virtual shopping cart filled with the groceries they need for the week.

Then, a personal shopper completes the actual work of buying and packaging the products.

The personal shopper is also the driver who delivers all the food products straight to the customer’s home.

Instacart provides same-day delivery services and ensures that drivers deliver all food products within five hours at maximum.

Customers can also request a grocery shopping order days in advance and expect the delivery on the specified day.

In case something is out of stock, the Instacart shopper messages the customer within the app and asks what could be a good replacement.

How Does Instacart Work?

Instacart works by partnering with grocery stores in the area.

In your local neighborhood, numerous stores partner with Instacart, including liquor stores and local butchers.

Some of the biggest grocery stores that Instacart works with include:

  • Kroger
  • Safeway
  • Food Lion
  • Wegmans
  • Aldi
  • Giant supermarkets
  • Publix
  • Harris Teeter

Instacart allows anyone to order groceries with its platform.

However, it also includes memberships such as Instacart Express.

This membership costs $99.00 per year or $9.99 per month.

Membership means you won’t have to spend as much on delivery and service fees, as the membership lowers the fees.

Who Can Be an Instacart Shopper?

There are numerous requirements you’ll need to meet before you can become an Instacart shopper.

The requirements, however, are rather simple.

For instance, you’ll need to either own an automobile or have access to a car.

You’ll also need to be at least 18 years of age.

In addition, you’ll need to have a smartphone like an iPhone where you can download the Instacart app and work through this mobile device to message customers and deliver groceries.

You’ll also need to pass a criminal background check, which we’ll discuss more below.

Shopper Requirements

As a delivery driver for Instacart, you will work as an independent contractor.

You will have to pay for your car fuel and all vehicle maintenance requirements.

However, you do get reimbursed for the number of miles you drive.

In-store shoppers, however, are W-2 employees who technically work for the supermarkets, warehouses, and grocery stores that partner with Instacart.

You will also need to have authorization to work in the United States, which means you must either have a work visa or be a United States resident.

Other top requirements for a personal Instacart shopper and delivery driver are outlined below.    

18 Years Old

You need to reach the age of 18 before you can become an Instacart shopper and delivery driver.

Essentially, only adults are allowed to enter this market.

Your age can range from 18 to 98 as long as you have the strength to lift groceries and the ability to drive a car and utilize the smartphone app.

Able to Work in the US

Were you born in the United States?

If so, you shouldn’t have much trouble with authorization to work in the U.S.

However, if you were born elsewhere, then you’ll either need permanent residency in the United States or a work visa to gain employment as an Instacart shopper and delivery driver.

Access to a Vehicle

Do you have a minivan, a Jeep, or a Honda?

You should meet the requirements to be an Instacart delivery driver as long as you have access to an automobile.

You’ll also want to make sure your car drives well and doesn’t have any major problems.

You’re required to handle all car maintenance costs, but Instacart can reimburse you for the miles you drive as a delivery driver.

Access to a Smartphone

You will need to own a relatively new version of the typical smartphone like an iPhone or an Android phone.

The newer versions are better able to run the Instacart app.

When working for Instacart, you’ll need to download the company app to your smartphone.

Then, you’ll utilize the app to take orders, deliver groceries, and message customers when necessary.

Able to Lift 50 Pounds

Finally, you need to be able to lift up to 50 pounds of groceries and other products.

If you’re not sure you can lift that much, then you might want to hit the gym!

Use some dumbbells and add more weight during every workout until you can lift and carry as much as 50 pounds.

Does Instacart Hire Felons?

You also need to pass a criminal background check and have a clean driving record before you can become an Instacart personal shopper and delivery driver.

Essentially, Instacart does look at your criminal history, professional licenses, certifications, work history, and education.

Instacart will run a background check on you to find out your past criminal records.

Luckily, Instacart does hire those with past felony convictions.

Instacart Criminal Record Policy

The type of information that Instacart gathers from background checks includes:

  • Name and postal address
  • Driver’s license number and age
  • Address history
  • Arrest history
  • Misdemeanors and felony convictions
  • Warrant history
  • Marriage and divorce history
  • State and federal bankruptcies

After running the background check, the Instacart criminal record policy states that it does hire applicants with a previous felony conviction history within the last five to ten years.

Usually, this involves hiring people who are closer to ten years past their last felony conviction.

How to Pass the Instacart Background Check

Even if you have a felony conviction or a misdemeanor, you can pass the Instacart background check if you are at least five years out from your last criminal conviction.

Other companies, like UberEats and DoorDash, have similar policies on criminal background checks and hiring those with a criminal history.

To pass the Instacart background check, you will also need to be honest in your application and state all your past criminal convictions.

Felonies 5-10 Years Old

To be hired, you should try to have at least nine or ten years between your last conviction and the day you apply to work for Instacart.

Furthermore, Instacart prefers applicants who have undergone rehabilitation for their past indiscretions.

Clean Driving Record

Finally, you need to have a clean driving record.

You should not have any major car accidents for which you were determined to be at-fault.

You shouldn’t have any recent speeding tickets.

You should also avoid having anything in your background check listing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge.

You will need a valid driver’s license.

How Often Does Instacart Conduct Background Checks?

Instacart will conduct a background check, including a criminal records background check, after you apply for the job.

In addition, Instacart conducts similar background checks on all of its workers, including independent contractors or gig workers, once per year.

You could potentially lose your job as an Instacart shopper if you obtained a criminal conviction within the past year.

Once a Year

While Instacart does make exceptions for people with felony convictions that are more than five years old, if you were found guilty of criminal activity in the last year, then you will likely lose your Instacart delivery driver job.

How to Apply to Instacart

Before you apply, you need to figure out whether you want to become a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper.

The only difference is that an in-store shopper works for the grocery store, while a full-service shopper is an independent contractor who delivers groceries straight to the customers’ homes.

When you have met all the requirements, you can apply to Instacart by following a few simple steps.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Have your driver’s license on hand
  2. Click the referral link to get to the driver sign-up page
  3. Download the Instacart shopper app
  4. Fill out the information about your name, age, email, cell phone number, and ZIP code
  5. Now click “Create Account”
  6. Look on your phone for a verification code and enter the code through the app where it says “Enter SMS Code”
  7. Confirm that you have met all requirements to work for Instacart
  8. Confirm you own a car
  9. Choose the type of role/gig
  10. Fill out a questionnaire
  11. Take a photo
  12. Fill out the rest of the prompts


Now that you’ve read through this guide, you know the requirements for working as an Instacart shopper.

Even if you have a felony conviction from nine or ten years ago, Instacart should still hire you as a delivery driver.

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