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Does Uber Hire Felons? Second Chance Policy Explained 

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Key Takeaways

  • Uber conducts background checks but may hire felons under certain conditions.
  • Serious offenses like violent crimes or DUIs disqualify candidates.
  • Uber’s Second Chance Policy promotes opportunities for individuals with criminal records.
  • Alternatives and resources exist for those not qualifying for Uber.

Does Uber Hire Felons?

To qualify as an Uber driver, you must first pass a background check. This check includes your criminal record and your driving record.

While Uber conducts a thorough background check, some felons might still become drivers. That’s because the company is committed to giving people new chances and breaking the cycle of recidivism.

Any felony that compromises the safety of Uber passengers or harms the ridesharing platform’s reputation will immediately disqualify you. Still, you can become an Uber driver if you have minor offenses, or if the felony is unrelated to your driving skills.

Uber carefully examines each case, helping people with a non-violent criminal record get hired. Accordingly, the decision varies based on your application and the type of offense.

In addition to the driver requirements, Uber mandates a standard vehicle inspection. This ensures your car is safe enough to drive and that it meets Uber’s standards.

Disqualifying Factors for Uber Applicants

Uber has strict driver requirements. While the ridesharing platform hires a third-party company, Checkr, to conduct criminal background checks, Uber has the final decision.

The background check isn’t only a one-time occurrence. Uber regularly monitors the behavior of all drivers on the platform. There’s also an annual check that drivers must pass to continue accessing the application.

If any of the following appears on the criminal history record, you won’t be eligible to become an Uber driver:

  • Violent crimes, such as murder, assault, and sexual offenses.
  • Drug-related offenses, especially involving dealing in illegal substances.
  • Property damage and theft-related crimes
  • Dangerous driving history, including a DUI in your record or reckless driving.

Fortunately, these third-party platforms allow you to access your information. This way, you can dispute the background check if it shows inaccurate or incomplete results.

Keep in mind that Uber considers each case individually. The platform also has a look-back period of seven years. This means that Uber overlooks a lot of felonies that occurred over seven years ago, even if they appeared on your background check.

Uber’s Second Chance Policy Explained

Uber’s Second Chance Policy reflects their belief in providing opportunities to individuals with criminal records, aiming to reduce employment barriers.

Uber believes in fresh starts and that a criminal record shouldn’t prevent you from getting a respectable job.

In 2016, Uber signed the White House Fair Chance Business Pledge, eliminating barriers for those with a criminal record. This makes the ridesharing company one of the best places for felons to work.

Anyone with a criminal record is eligible to apply for a job at Uber. There’s no need for a lengthy evaluation process or extra documents.

Instead, Uber will evaluate the results of the background check of all candidates. If the screening proves you can operate a vehicle and maintain the safety of passengers, you can immediately start working for Uber!

Fortunately, many drivers were able to turn their lives around through Uber’s job opportunities. This job can be a stepping-stone for career growth and countless possibilities.

Exceptions to the Hiring Process

It’s crucial to understand that Uber’s background check requirements are different from one state to another.

What’s more, the process is determined by federal laws first, then by Uber’s policy. For example, the FCRA has determined that the look-back period is seven years. However, some states have passed clean-slate acts, significantly shortening this period.

Uber is more inclusive than a lot of states’ laws. While the “ban-the-box” law is only available in certain states, Uber has adopted this policy, regardless of the state.

Does a Background Check Mean You Shouldn’t Apply for Uber?

The fact that Uber runs a background check doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t apply for Uber. Uber offers opportunities even to those who might not pass the background check initially.

Under Proposition 47, certain felonies can be reduced to misdemeanors, potentially qualifying individuals for driving with Uber.

This includes felonies like shoplifting, possession of controlled substances, or grand theft involving amounts less than $950.

Individuals concerned about their background can petition for a reduction in their felony charges. However, bypassing the background check isn’t an option, as it is a mandatory part of Uber’s application process.

Steps for Applicants With Felonies

Applying to become an Uber driver is incredibly simple, even if you have felonies. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Apply to Become an Uber Driver

Applicants with felonies go through the same application process as other Uber drivers. Sign up on the application and add the necessary information, including:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proof of residency in your state
  • Your car’s make and model
  • Vehicle insurance proof
  • A valid profile picture

Step 2: Submit All Necessary Documentation

After signing up and providing the right details, Uber will prompt you to submit extra information for their background screening. This varies from one applicant to another, as the background check can go smoothly, or Checkr might require more details.

If you’re unsure how the criminal history screening will go, you can conduct one on yourself to see what will turn out. Yet, Uber will still need to carry out their screening process and provide a final verdict.

Step 3: Be Candid

Even if you believe your criminal record isn’t cause for disqualification, or that your previous felonies won’t show up in the screening, full transparency is crucial.

Not only will addressing your past prove you’re a trustworthy individual, but it’ll also help Uber make a final decision based on your specific case.

If you have specific inquiries regarding your application status, or you want to submit extra documents, simply contact Uber for help with questions.

Step 4: Include Additional Information and Documents

If you’ve finished rehabilitation treatments or have a letter of recommendation, this is the time to include them.

It’s completely okay to contact the hiring team throughout your application process. Ask if there are any documents to improve your application status. A personal statement detailing your criminal record and your need for the job can also go a long way.

Step 5: Have Your Charges Expunged

Instead of jumping through hoops to land the Uber job, you should consider expunging your previous convictions. This will remove all charges from your criminal history.

Typically, you’ll be able to get an expungement if you only have minor convictions. Numerous courts also expunge juvenile offenses, giving adult felons another chance.

Alternatives for Those Who Don’t Qualify

If you’ve been disqualified from Uber, you can still find various job opportunities as someone with a criminal history. These include:

  • Try Other Ridesharing Platforms: Most ridesharing and gig-based platforms accept felons, especially with minor misdemeanors. You’ll find plenty of gigs similar to Uber, offering the same flexibility, but with more lenient requirements.
  • Work in the Service and Hospitality Industry: The hospitality and service industry is one of the best industries for reformed felons. Even if you have a serious crime on your record, these industries often have non-hazardous job opportunities ideal for those with a criminal history.
  • Start an Independent Gig: The gig economy is full of independent contractors, making it perfect for individuals with a criminal record. If you’re a skilled handyman, you can start a profitable business quickly. Alternatively, you might train with other professionals to gain experience, before taking on projects alone.

Resources for People With Felonies

Reentering the workforce as someone with a criminal record is difficult. If you get through the shame and stigma, some companies will still disqualify you based on the background check, without giving it a second thought.

Luckily, numerous organizations are dedicated to changing the workforce environment, making it more inclusive. These include:

  • Second Chance job fairs: Not only does Uber participate in these national job fairs, but they’re also a great place to connect with local and national businesses willing to help people with a criminal record get back on their feet.
  • National H.I.R.E. Network: This organization can help you with paperwork, fight against unfair disqualification for ex-convicts, and equip you with the necessary skills to reenter the workforce.
  • Jobs for the Future: This non-profit organization offers training programs, helping ex-felons get the necessary skills and credentials for employment. It also collaborates with institutions to expand fair-chance hiring programs.
  • The Last Mile: The Last Mile is another exceptional program focused on technical training and motivating ex-convicts. It helps ex-felons find suitable jobs as well as get appropriate help, thus significantly lowering recidivism.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Uber Hire Misdemeanors?

Yes, Uber may hire individuals with misdemeanors, as long as they haven’t committed more than three minor driving violations or any major motor violations in the past three years.

However, any criminal misdemeanors in the past seven years, including serious traffic offenses, violent crimes, or drug-related crimes, disqualify applicants.

Is Uber or Lyft safer?

Both Uber and Lyft offer safe rides. Both ridesharing platforms disqualify drivers with serious criminal records and routinely perform rigorous background checks. A lot of drivers work on both platforms. So, there’s virtually no difference when it comes to the rides’ safety.

Is Uber or a taxi safer?

Uber is significantly safer than a taxi. Not only does the application track your location during your ride, but you’ll also ensure that the driver has passed the company’s thorough background screening. What’s more, the driver ratings are a great way to ensure your safety.

Does Uber Drug Test Drivers?

Uber does not require drug testing for drivers upon hiring. However, drivers must undergo a drug test within 24 hours of any accident, regardless of fault. Failure to pass this test can result in job loss.

Some states have additional drug testing requirements for employees, but Uber’s policy is universal for all drivers post-accident.

Final Thoughts: Empowerment Through Information

Does Uber hire felons?

Uber conducts extensive background checks for both current and potential drivers. Any conviction or driving misdemeanor that might put Uber’s passengers at risk immediately disqualifies the drivers.

Still, Uber is one of the few companies offering second chances to ex-convicts. The ridesharing platform evaluates each driver’s application and background check.

If there are minor misdemeanors or convictions that occurred over seven years ago, Uber will probably hire you.

Keep in mind that you need to be completely transparent throughout the application process. You can also directly contact Uber, providing a personal statement or other certifications proving your reform.

All in all, Uber is one of the best companies helping ex-felons get back on their feet.

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