Disclosure: Ridester.com is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Please refer to our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.
Applying to be a Lyft driver is exciting. You’ve gathered all the necessary documentation, filled out your application, and now you’re waiting to hear back. And waiting. And waiting some more. Why is it taking so long for Lyft to get back to you? Did you do something wrong? How can you check the status of your application?
These are the questions we’re going to address in this post, which will take a look at what could be delaying your Lyft application. We’ll also examine how to check your Lyft application status, as well as the options you have for learning about why your application is delayed (and how to dispute common causes of delays).
- How to Check Your Lyft Application Status Online
- 5 Things That Can Delay Your Lyft Application
- How to Contact Lyft Support About Driver Application Issues
Assuming Lyft received your application to drive, checking the status of your application is straightforward. Visit the Lyft application site and sign in to your Lyft account with your phone number:
From there, you’ll be able to examine the status of your application, including where Lyft currently is with processing your background check. Be sure to sign in with the same phone number you used for your application.
Also, if you signed up using Facebook, use that method to log in. If you try to sign in with a different method than the one you used for your original application, you could delay the process significantly. This is because there’s a possibility of you creating a duplicate application using a different contact method.
If you sign into your account and see that your application is still processing, you may be wondering why. There are five main reasons that your application could be delayed. Let’s look at each of them in more detail.
1. Background Check
The Lyft background check process is something we’ve written about before on Ridester, and it’s the most common reason that your application can be delayed. As Lyft explains on their website, “Background checks can take several weeks to process because of the number of agencies involved.”
What agencies are they talking about, and why can they cause delays? Lyft wants to make sure that all drivers are going to transport passengers safely. To do this, they conduct two types of background checks.
Criminal Background Check
The first is a criminal background check. Lyft checks to see if you have a criminal record in your state, looking specifically for the following:
- Violent crimes
- Sexual offenses
- Disqualifying felonies
- Disqualifying drug-related offenses
- Disqualifying theft or property damage offenses
The second is a DMV check that examines your driving record. This driving record check looks to see if you have any of the following:
- More than three moving violations in the past three years (like accidents or traffic light violations)
- A major moving violation in the past three years (like driving on a suspended license or reckless driving)
- A DUI or other drug-related driving violation in the last seven years
- Driving-related convictions in the last seven years (like hit-and-run or felonies involving a vehicle)
To conduct the above checks, Lyft has to work with a variety of state and local agencies. In fact, they don’t do the check themselves. They work with a third-party company that specializes in conducting background checks. This company has to get records from both law enforcement and state DMV agencies.
As you probably know if you’ve ever stood in line at the DMV, these organizations are not known for being tech-savvy, efficient, or fast. Therefore, delays are common. Whatever you do, don’t freak out and think that you have some past felony you didn’t know you committed. In reality, the process is just slow.
2. Vehicle Requirements
Another possible reason for a delay in your application is that you don’t meet the vehicle requirements for your region. The Lyft vehicle requirements vary based on where you live and which Lyft service you want to drive for, but in general, they have to do with your car being newer than a certain model year and being in safe, working condition.
If your car doesn’t meet the vehicle requirements, this can hold up your application. To ensure this doesn’t happen, we recommend carefully reviewing the vehicle requirements for your city before you begin your Lyft application. Consult our guide to Lyft vehicle requirements to learn more.
3. City- and State-Specific Requirements
Running a rideshare company means navigating a complex web of overlapping (or even conflicting) city and state laws. Sometimes, this can mean a delay in your application.
For instance, in New York City, the TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) handles background checks and licensing for rideshare drivers. This is a yet another agency involved, one that can delay the approval process even further.
Furthermore, if your city or state requires a vehicle inspection before you can start driving with Lyft, that can also cause delays. Check out our guide to Lyft vehicle inspections to ensure that your car passes on the first try.
4. Insurance Requirements
To drive with Lyft, you need to meet the insurance requirements for your state. This means having a valid in-state insurance policy on the vehicle you plan to drive with Lyft.
The main reason for delays here is if your insurance policy isn’t valid (which is not only a problem for Lyft but also against the law) or if you’ve recently moved from another state and haven’t updated your auto insurance policy. Learn more about rideshare insurance requirements here.
5. Driver Requirements
The final reason your application might be delayed is a failure to meet the driver requirements (or difficulty verifying that you meet them). A common driver requirements issue is that you’ve held a driver’s license in your state for less than a year. If this happens, then it may appear to Lyft as if you’re a still a new driver.
One of the driver requirements is that you’ve been a licensed driver for a minimum of one year, so having a driver’s license that’s less than a year old can be a red flag. If you can prove that you were previously licensed to drive in another state before moving, however, you should be fine.
If you’re having a problem with your application and want to speak to a support team member about it, follow these steps to get help:
1. Visit the “How to Become a Driver” page and hit “Contact Support”:
2. From there, fill out the form that appears:
3. Be sure to choose “I’m an applicant” under the “What do you need help with?” field:
4. Then, select your specific application issue:
5. When inquiring about your application, be sure to include the following information as relevant:
- The region in which you’re applying to be a driver.
- Screenshot of any error message you see (learn how to take screenshots of the app)
- Any promo code or referral code you’re trying to apply to your account
- Details of the issue you’re experiencing
Get Past the Lyft Application Process and Start Driving
We hope this guide has shown you how to deal with issues that can arise during your Lyft application, as well as how to check your Lyft application status. Curious to learn how you can do the same for Uber? Check out our guide to the Uber background check, as well as this guide to checking your Uber application status.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.