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Does Lyft Hire Felons Or Drivers With Misdemeanors?

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Key Takeaways

  • Felons may get hired by Lyft, depending on offense severity and rehabilitation steps.
  • Misdemeanors, especially recent ones, can hinder Lyft driver applications.
  • Continuous background checks by Lyft may deactivate drivers for new felonies.
  • Honest communication about legal issues with Lyft can affect employment outcome.

Does Lyft Hire Felons?

While Lyft’s strict background check means that a felon has a low chance of getting accepted as a Lyft driver, such a person may still be hired, depending on the gravity of their offense.

You’re required to provide your Social Security number as part of Lyft’s criminal background checks. Lyft’s checks are conducted by a third-party company, Checkr, whose portal you can access to see the status report.

You’ll be ineligible to drive for Lyft if the completed background checks reveal that:

  • You’re listed on the National Sex Offender Registry Database
  • You’ve been convicted of:
  • An act of terror
  • A sexual offense such as child pornography, sexual assault, or rape
  • A violent crime such as kidnapping, arson, burglary, homicide, robbery, or carjacking

You should note that these states require that the background checks be carried out quarterly:

  • Nebraska
  • Maine
  • Montana
  • Vermont
  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota

The state of Massachusetts requires annual background checks on drivers.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

There’s a notable inconsistency in how Lyft’s policies are applied to approving drivers with a felony on their record. Some I’ve talked to get approved, others don’t.

I think the type of felony plays a role in Lyft’s decision-making process. It seems like they treat non-violent and drug-related felons different than violent ones.

For example, I’ve talked with drivers who have been approved even though they have a cannabis-related felony on their record in a state that decriminalized cannabis after they received the felony.

I’ve also noticed that applicants who have taken steps toward rehabilitation – such as completing probation or having records sealed or expunges – still face challenges.

Lyft’s background checks can still uncover past convictions, which can lead to rejection or deactivation.

To me, it appears that the company’s policies have changed over time. I have a gut feeling that this is due to going public and having to report to shareholders and hit other public milestones.

My Suggestion: If you have a conviction on your record, I suggest applying anyways.

There’s really nothing you can do to change the outcome anyways, so give it a shot. The worst that can happen is you get rejected and you move on with life.

What About Misdemeanors?

Misdemeanors are deemed lesser crimes than felonies but can also hinder your application to become a Lyft driver.

Some of these misdemeanors include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the past seven years
  • A disqualifying fraud-related offense in the past seven years
  • A disqualifying property damage or theft offense in the previous seven years
  • A disqualifying drug-related offense in the past seven years

The seven-year timeframe exists because of the constantly changing landscape of U.S. law. For instance, an act convicted as a misdemeanor a decade ago may have been reclassified as a felony in the meantime.

Depending on regional jurisdictions, the time frame for disqualifying drug, arson, and fraud-related offenses may vary.

What Other Crime-Related Factors Can Affect Your Lyft Driver Application?

With regards to felony, here are some things to note about Lyft’s hiring policy:

Pending Legal Issues

Aside from any felony convictions, a Lyft background check considers pending legal issues, which may determine the outcome of your application.

So, if you have any pending legal issues, it may be wise to pause your Lyft driver application, as the company’s policies may not allow you to be hired.

Expungement Documents

It’s possible to fail a background check because of criminal charges expunged from your record that haven’t yet been updated for your background check.

In such cases, you can provide documentation to prove that those criminal charges have been expunged. The required documents must include:

  • A date later than the last flag made with Checkr
  • Evidence that all flagged Checkr charges have been addressed and expunged
  • A public judge’s or official’s signature
  • A statement of expungement, removal, or dismissal

Lyft won’t hire you if you present a separate background report or request an expungement without a legal sign-off.

Can You Get Deactivated for a Felony After Already Being Approved to Be a Lyft Driver?

Lyft continuously runs its background checks, even after you’ve been approved to work for the platform. If you’re convicted of a felony afterward and it shows up in the updated background check, your driver account can still be deactivated.

In this situation, the best thing to do is to explain the felony conviction that arose as honestly as possible. Trying to hide it will only lead to you getting deactivated from the platform, as Lyft takes its safety standards with seriousness.

Other Considerations on Lyft’s Felon-Hiring Policy

Unfortunately, many former drivers have expressed dissatisfaction with Lyft’s policy regarding fair treatment of felons. There have been reports of drivers with previously clean records being unfairly dismissed after incurring arguably minor demeanors.

In pending legal cases with a delayed final hearing, Lyft may not perform due diligence and deactivate your account without waiting for the trial result.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a Felony Record Mean You Won’t Be Accepted to Drive for Lyft?

Lyft’s background checks, though strict, don’t always mean that you won’t be allowed to drive for Lyft. For potential Lyft drivers, what matters the most is that you haven’t been convicted of any serious felonies.

What Should You Do if You’re Involved in a Crime While Working as an Active Lyft Driver?

Lyft’s record check is perpetually ongoing. Whether you incurred moving violations, property damage, or a misdemeanor assault, it’s best to inform Lyft of the incident as soon as possible.

Will Lyft Hire You if You Have One Prior DUI?

Lyft requires a clean driving record, so it’s unlikely that your driver application will be accepted if you have one prior DUI, as it’ll show up on your background check.

Does Lyft Drug Test Drivers?

Lyft does not require drug tests for drivers. However, it enforces a strict zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drivers found violating this policy or convicted of a DUI will be deactivated and barred from driving for Lyft.

Wrapping Up

While certain crimes may be overlooked, Lyft has a stricter policy than Uber regarding hiring felons. If the record check reveals it, you may be disqualified based on misdemeanors committed up to seven years ago.

If you’re looking to get accepted on the platform, major moving violations, drug-related felonies, and violent crimes severely limit your chances. Still, the only way to be totally sure is to apply and see for yourself.

If you already drive for Lyft, it’s essential to be as transparent as possible when dealing with the company if you ever become involved in a felony, as it’ll increase your chances of retaining the job.

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