A Complete Guide to the Lyft Application Process

Driving for Lyft is a great way to earn extra cash. But you already know that. That’s why you’ve decided to apply to drive for Lyft. How exactly does this process work? What do you need to know in order to successfully fill out the Lyft driver application?

In this post, we’re going to take a look at how to fill out a Lyft application. We’ll walk you through the entire process, so that when you’re ready to apply there are no mysteries. The application requires only eight simple steps, with the online portion taking only a few minutes. If you can drive a car, then filling out a Lyft application will be easy in comparison.

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Step 1: Know the Lyft Driver Requirements

This isn’t so much a step of the application process as it is an encouragement to make sure that you’re eligible to drive for Lyft before you start the application process. If you don’t meet the following requirements, then filling out a driver application is a waste of your time:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Pass Lyft’s free online DMV and background checks
  • Use an iPhone or Android smartphone that can run the Lyft app

These requirements are quite basic, which is good news for you as a prospective Lyft driver. If you’re unsure about the DMV and background checks, it’s worth applying just to see if you qualify. The worst that will happen is that Lyft will reject your application.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Documents and Materials

When you’re filling out the Lyft application, you’ll need to provide information from the following documents:

  • Valid U.S. driver’s license (that you’ve held for at least a year)
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Vehicle registration

You’ll also need a photo of yourself so that passengers can recognize you when you come to pick them up. Furthermore, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number so that Lyft can perform a background check. Therefore, you should have your Social Security card available if you don’t know the number off the top of your head.

Step 3: Enter Your Phone Number

With all your documents gathered and a reasonable surety that you meet all the Lyft driver requirements, you can now begin filling out the Lyft application. The first step is to visit the Lyft application page, which you can find here. Once you’re on this page, you’ll need to enter your phone number into the box provided:

A Complete Guide to the Lyft Application Process

You’ll also need to choose between “I have a car” and “I need a car.” For this guide, we’ll assume that you do have a car. If you don’t have one, however, Lyft can help you rent one to drive for their service. You can learn more about this in our guide to Lyft Express Drive.

After entering your phone number, just check the box that says “I agree to Lyft’s Terms of Service” and then click “Next” to proceed with the application.

Step 4: Add Your Vehicle Information

Once you enter your phone number, you’ll continue to the first screen of the main application. On this screen, you’ll need to enter your vehicle information. This includes your proof of insurance, vehicle registration, and your vehicle’s license plate number. It also includes basic info such as the color, model, and make of your vehicle.

This helps Lyft confirm that your car meets all the vehicle requirements for your city, and it also gives them info they can supply to passengers. Without knowing the color, model, and license plate number of your car, it can be difficult for passengers to find it.

Step 5: Enter Your Driver’s License Information

After you enter your vehicle info, you’ll be prompted to enter your driver’s license information. This is as straightforward as it sounds: You enter your driver’s license number, full legal name, birthdate, address, and date of issue and expiration. It’s especially important for Lyft to know when your driver’s license was issued, as this helps them determine if you have enough driving experience (they require a minimum of one year).

Step 6: Consent to a Background Check

The next step is to consent to a background check. Lyft performs this to keep their platform safe for drivers and passengers. The background check consists of two parts: a criminal background check and a DMV check.

In the criminal background check, Lyft consults national and county records to make sure you don’t have any sexual offenses, assault offenses, or disqualifying drug-related offenses.

For the DMV check, Lyft looks to see if you have an excessive number of moving violations, as well as more serious offenses such as DUIs or hit and runs. If any of these appear during the check, you won’t be eligible to drive for Lyft. While checking all of this is complicated, it doesn’t involve a lot of work on your part as a prospective driver. All you have to do is enter your Social Security number (don’t worry, it’s safe with Lyft) and agree for Lyft to conduct the check.

Step 7: Get Your Vehicle Inspected

You can’t just drive any vehicle you want for Lyft. The list of permitted vehicles is long, but any vehicle you use for the platform has to meet certain safety and usability standards. This is why Lyft requires inspections of vehicles in most cities where the company operates. During the inspection, a professional will check to see that all of your vehicle’s safety features are working properly. This includes checking the tire tread depth, brakes, seat belts, and headlights.

Beyond that, the inspection will ensure that your vehicle meets all the requirements that make it usable for transporting passengers. All vehicles for Lyft must have at least four doors and offer five to eight seats (including the driver’s seat). Your city will also have a specific maximum vehicle age requirement (which you can check by finding your city on this list).

You have a few different options for getting your vehicle inspected. The one we recommend, however, is getting a remote inspection. You can learn more about how to schedule one of those in this post.

Step 8: Await a Response from Lyft

After you’ve completed all the above steps, there’s nothing left to do but wait. It can take a while before you hear back about your Lyft application status. Usually, the delay has to do with processing your background and DMV check.

The sheer number of agencies involved means it can go slowly. If you’ve ever stood in line at the DMV, you know these agencies are not concerned about speed. To check the status of your Lyft application, you can log in to your account using the same phone number you used to sign up. Learn more about how to check your Lyft application status in this post.

Apply to Be a Lyft Driver Today

We hope this guide has helped you understand how to navigate the Lyft application process. To learn more about becoming a Lyft driver, we recommend the following posts:

Curious about becoming an Uber driver as well? Check out our guide to becoming an Uber driver in 2018. And if you’d like to get some bonus cash for signing up to drive, then use this link to sign up for Lyft today.