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How to Become an Uber Driver [Step-By-Step] In April 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Meet your city’s minimum age for driving, have a year’s driving experience, clear a background check, and possess a valid driver’s license and insurance.
  • Have an eligible 4-door vehicle (owned or leased), pass a vehicle inspection, and cover maintenance, fuel, and insurance costs.
  • Register online, provide necessary documents (driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance), and complete the background check.
  • The approval process takes 5-9 days. Once approved, activate your account and start driving by responding to ride requests via the Uber app.

Are you interested in ridesharing driving but don’t know how to become an Uber driver? Plenty of people don’t know where to start or what the precise requirements are. Luckily, it’s not so hard.

We’ve come up with the ultimate guide to becoming an Uber driver to save you the hassle of researching. We’ll go through an overview of the job, what you’ll need, why you should consider the gig and why not, and how much you can make.

An Overview of Uber Driving: A Primer

Being an Uber driver is typically considered one of the easiest ways to make extra cash. All you have to do is sign up, pick people up, drive them to their destination, and make money.

However, the truth is that there’s more than meets the eye. There are plenty of requirements, with regards to you, your vehicle, and your insurance.

So, what do you need for the job? And is it worth the money you’ll make?

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make?

For each hour you spend Uber driving, you can make anywhere between $5 and $20. The income earned by Uber drivers varies depending on the time of day, where, and how often they make trips. There could be some extra money that a driver receives through bonuses and tips.

It’s worth noting, however, that there are ongoing discussions about gig drivers getting a minimum wage, as plenty make less than their state’s pay guidelines.

For example, a 2022 survey by the Economic Policy Institute showed that 29% of gig drivers reported that they receive less than their state’s minimum wage. Minimum wage rules are already in place in New York City, Seattle, California, and Washington State.

What You’ll Need to Become an Uber Driver [& Associated Costs]

These are the main aspects you’ll need if you decide to become an Uber driver.

  • Ability to take care of your car: As an Uber driver, you’ll have to pay for any vehicle maintenance fees, gas, and your taxes as a gig worker since you’ll be working with non-CDL driving jobs.
  • Vehicle: Uber drivers need their personal vehicles to get around. Vehicle options can be owned or leased, and it’s up to you to make the decision. In all cases, there has to be a vehicle inspection, which would cost around $10 to make sure that vehicle requirements are met.
  • Insurance: An Uber driver typically has to have personal auto insurance that meets the country or state of operation. Uber provides both personal insurance and liability coverage as long as they’re driving passengers. The cost of insurance varies depending on your vehicle, insurance provider, and coverage needs.
  • Licensing and permits: You’ll need a commercial vehicle license to work as an Uber driver, which typically costs between $50 and $200.
  • A business plan: Ideally, you should prepare a business plan for yourself to make sure that your efforts are worth it. Besides helping you manage your income and expenses in a smarter way, it’ll also help you when you’re filing your taxes.

How Much Does It Cost to Become an Uber Driver?

There are a couple of costs associated with becoming an Uber driver, which are as follows:

Uber conducts criminal background checks to make sure that the rider is safe. These checks are typically paid by the driver and cost between $20 and $50

To work as an Uber driver, you’ll also need to make sure your car’s condition is up to par, which is how the company ensures vehicle safety and, consequently, driver safety. Maintenance costs depend on the make, age, and condition of your car.

When you drive for Uber, you’ll have to pay for your gas as well. The cost depends on current fuel prices, the distances you drive, and your current location. It also depends on how much gas your vehicle takes up on the road; that’s why plenty opt for fuel-efficient types of vehicles.

Is It Hard to Become an Uber Driver?

The difficulty of becoming an Uber driver is highly dependent on your situation. For vehicle owners with personal vehicle insurance, vehicle registration, and permits, all it takes is the time Uber needs to sign you up, run background checks, and activate your account.

If you’re starting the side hustle from scratch as a means of earning extra money, you’ll have to go through the process of preparing for your driver’s needs and meeting the minimum requirements.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Uber Driver?

The average time requirement to become an Uber driver is between five and nine days. You’ll need one or two days to complete the application and upload your documents.

Then, there are three to five days before you pass the background check. Finally, you’ll need a day or two to activate your account.

So, you can rest-assured that you can become an Uber driver in ten days—as long as you meet all the basic requirements.

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How to Become an Uber Driver in Four Simple Steps

If you’ve made up your mind on becoming an Uber driver, here’s a methodological step-by-step path that you can follow.

1. Make Sure You Meet the Requirements

Uber Driver Requirements

The Uber driver requirements include meeting the minimum age to drive in your city, having at least a year’s experience in driving, and clearing a background check.

You’ll also have to have a valid driver’s license, proof of residency in your province, state, or city, and insurance if you’re going to drive your car.

Alternatively, you can opt for a rental car with its insurance and minimum maintenance handled for $1040 per month.

Uber Car Requirements

The Uber car requirements include an eligible 4-door vehicle, which is one of the main minimum vehicle requirements. The additional vehicle requirements depend on the state that you live in and will be revealed throughout your registration process.

2. Register as a Driver

With all the requirements under your belt, you can register as a driver through the website’s “Sign up to drive” button and make sure you download the Driver app, whether on iOS or Android.

When you’re done, you can claim a sign-up bonus to get your earnings started.

3. Follow the Registration Process

You’ll have to enter your basic information, such as your name, email address, and phone number. Then, you’ll upload your driver’s license and Social Security card.

You’ll also have to provide evidence that all the driver and vehicle requirements are met.

Then, you’ll have to set up your payment information to receive your regular payments from Uber. Finally, you’ll complete the onboarding process and be ready to activate your account and begin earning.

4. Activate Your Account and Get Started

Once you receive a notification from Uber that you’re good to go, your account will be activated and you can start driving. Press the “Go Online” button and start accepting requests.

All you have to do is pick up your customers from their current location and follow the GPS directions to get to their destination. Then, you’ll receive the payment in cash or wait until you receive the direct deposit from the bank if the trip is paid through a credit or debit card.

What to Expect After Applying for Uber

Now that you’ve gone through the application process, let’s go over the details of what you can expect afterward.

vector graphic showing uber lease program driver getting a car

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved?

The approval process will depend on a few factors, including your specific circumstances and the specific city you are trying to drive in. Uber also requires proof of residency to drive, so you will have to apply in your region.

While drivers can sometimes get approved in as little as 1 day, you should allow up to 7 days to get fully approved. In rare cases, it can take even longer than 7 days.

What Does the Approval Process Entail?

The approval process for becoming an Uber driver mostly involves them verifying the information that you told them.

Uber will review your documents to verify their authenticity. They will also use your license to make sure that you have the required driving history for your age.

The longest part of the approval process is the background check. A separate company will check your history of crimes and driving violations over the past 7 years to make sure that you meet the requirements.

This part of the process can take longer than 7 days, and Uber will alert you if such a situation applies to you.

How Will I Know if I Am Approved or Denied?

Uber will alert you with a text and an email when you are approved. You can also see the status of your application on your profile page online or within the Uber driver app.

As soon as you are approved, Uber will let you know and you will be able to start accepting rides. And if you are denied, Uber will tell you exactly why.

If it’s a reason that you can easily fix, like an expired document, then you can expect to wait 24-48 hours for the document to be approved.

What if I Get Waitlisted by Uber?

During the signup process, you will usually be accepted or rejected, and the reasons will be given. But in rare cases, you can also get waitlisted by Uber.

If you are waitlisted, it means that your account was put on hold for an indefinite period. In the application process, this waitlisting most often happens when you have an expired document or an incomplete application. And current drivers can get waitlisted for failing to follow the rules.

Having the wrong driver, driving the wrong car, or having additional passengers in the car are common ways that drivers get waitlisted.

Don’t panic if you get waitlisted. When demand for a position gets high, waitlists are a way to manage the driver applications.

For example, the Instacart waitlist has grown by the day, with more drivers getting approved as time goes on.

What Happens if I Get Denied by Uber?

If you get denied by Uber, the most important factor is the reason that they denied you.

If a document was invalid, you can have that fixed. And if your car is too old, you can consider buying a newer one.

But if you were denied for other more serious reasons, like having too many driving citations or a criminal conviction in your history, then getting around those is more difficult. You either have to wait long enough for those problems to pass from your record or try applying to a different rideshare company like Lyft.

Reasons to Consider Becoming an Uber Driver

Working as an Uber driver is one of the best ways to make extra cash, but there are a couple of other reasons why it’s a great opportunity.

  • Flexibility: As an Uber driver, you’ll get flexible working hours. In fact, there are no requirements for the hours you work; it’s all on your terms and depends on how you plan your day.
  • Earning potential: Your final income potential depends on your hourly earnings, which can be huge if you analyze the market correctly and optimize the pickup locations, the number of hours you drive, and the time during which you drive.
  • Additional benefits: Uber sometimes provides additional benefits and perks to its rideshare drivers. These include discounts on fuel, vehicle maintenance, and some reward programs or promotions. Not to mention, you can make even more money if you send your referral code to other drivers whenever they make a certain number of trips.
  • Low barrier to entry: You can easily enter the rideshare driving market as long as you meet the minimum requirements. From then on, you can make money while doing your regular driving.

Frequently Asked Questions

With the details of the requirements and application process out of the way, let’s get into some of the most common questions people have when considering driving with Uber.

Can you become an Uber driver with a criminal record?

Besides a Motor Vehicle Report, the background check for Uber also checks you for a criminal record. Most offenses will at least prevent you from driving for some time, and other offenses last your entire life.

Pretty much any serious criminal conviction—felonies, violent crimes, sexual offenses, etc—will disqualify you from becoming a driver no matter how long ago they happened. Lesser offenses like speeding tickets can disqualify you for a while but will go away eventually, at which time you can reapply.

How Do Uber Drivers Get Paid?

Uber sends you a direct deposit of the earnings that you made during the week at the start of each week, on Mondays.

Alternatively, you can opt for automatic cashouts with an Uber Pro Card that allows you to withdraw the amount you need whenever you want to. The card is an excellent option for those who would like to get paid on the same day.

How Much Does Uber Take From Drivers?

According to Uber, the company takes 25% of the ride’s fare and gives the remaining 75% to the driver. Drivers can also pay 2-5% of the fare to receive instantaneous cashouts.
However, there are plenty of factors that can make those amounts change, like surge periods, which can make the drivers earn higher or lower than 75%.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, becoming an Uber driver opens up a world of possibilities. Whether you’re taking it as part-time work or a full-time job, it’s an excellent way to maximize potential earnings.

Not to mention, you’ll be working on a flexible schedule, and its barrier to entry is close to none if you have a clean driving record and driving history.

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about becoming an Uber driver, and let us know what you think in the comments. Don’t forget to share the article if you’ve enjoyed it!

Similar Gigs to Check Out

If you’re looking for some alternative top-rated driver jobs, here are a couple of options that you can check out to compare what you’ll be receiving if you work for each.

  • How to Become a DoorDash Driver: To become a DoorDash driver, you must meet the basic requirements, such as being 18 years old, having a valid driver’s license, and having access to a reliable vehicle. Sign up to the application, download the Dasher app, and start accepting delivery requests.
  • How to Become an AirBnB Host: All you have to do to become an AirBnB host is create your account, list your space, and set the pricing and availability. Host responsibly and make sure your space is clean and cozy to receive positive reviews.
  • How to Become an Uber Eats Driver: Becoming an Uber Eats driver is more or less the same steps as becoming a regular driver. The difference is that you’ll be receiving orders from restaurants instead of passengers and delivering packages to their destination.