Becoming a Lyft driver takes more than having a vehicle and insurance policy. Those who wish to work as a Lyft driver must also consent to and pass a criminal background check. This mandatory process helps maintain safety standards and ensure no lawsuits arise.
It goes without saying that no one would want to be in the car with a driver who failed a background check. But the details of what goes on during this process may not be crystal clear even to applicants.
From start to finish, this process seems pretty straightforward. Even so, there are a lot of hidden elements that are not usually discussed. We’ve broken down this essential step in the Lyft application process so you know exactly what to expect.
Let’s review what is in store for drivers undergoing Lyft’s background check.
- Overview of the Lyft Background Check Process
- What Exactly Does Lyft Look For on Driving and Criminal Records?
- How Long Does Lyft’s Background Check Take?
- Lyft Driver Disqualification
Overview of the Lyft Background Check Process
After an applicant consents to the check, their driving and criminal records are scanned across county-level databases. The requested data dates back from as recent as seven years ago up to ten years ago. In some states, this time frame may be extended. The only exception is California; they stick to the minimum time requirement.
During the review, specific instances will disqualify an applicant on the spot. These auto-rejection instances include anything related to drugs violent crime, sexual offense, and other related convictions. These issues are unacceptable behaviors in the rideshare industry.
Potential candidates that have previous criminal offenses may be disqualified as well. However, applicants that fall into this category may be hired despite this fact. How Lyft determines whether to hire someone with a felony depends on what the felony charge is for.
Conducting a fair check takes time, effort, and a third-party company. To start the process, Lyft contacts a trusted partner that specializes in background checks. This third-party company may vary by city due to regulations.
Related: Don’t forget to sign up with one of Lyft driver referral links to maximize your driver earnings guarantee.
Lyft’s go-to company is Sterling BackCheck, also known as Sterling Talent Solutions. This trusted company handles sensitive information from over 50,000 businesses.
Once consent is granted, Lyft sends the applicant’s Social Security Number to Sterling BackCheck, who then reviews the applicant’s driving record and criminal history.
Each set of data is scanned for specific issues. If an applicant has a criminal record, Lyft will check the results to see if the driver meets the following criteria:
If any safety issues come to light, Lyft reserves the right to disqualify the applicant. After these issues are reviewed for clarity, Lyft checks city and state regulations.
For example, in New York City, background and DMV checks are run through the Taxi and Limousine Commission rather than Lyft. This may not seem like a big deal at first. Third-party companies have a different set of regulations to abide by when it comes to the review.
Due to this issue, it is wise to review your local city and state requirements before applying. To check out your local requirements for working in the rideshare industry, go here.
If your location has city and state rideshare requirements, stay up-to-date through email. Your local government will not go through the rideshare service to update you. Instead, they will contact you via email or your other preferred method.
Keep in mind, not adhering to local rideshare rules can lead to a rejected application. Unfortunately, there are a lot of instances where an application warrants disqualification. It’s helpful to know of possible reasons why the rejection occurred.
One of the most common reasons for a delay in an applicant’s review is their past addresses. If an applicant believes they should pass and do not, applicants are able to dispute the results. Disqualified drivers will receive a copy of their check via email.
Besides this, Lyft provides detailed instructions on how to dispute your results. Applicants can follow this advice to improve the odds of passing the check during the next attempt.
It is worth noting that the process for redoing a background review may take a few weeks to finish.
What Exactly Does Lyft Look For on Driving and Criminal Records?
Upon reviewing a driver’s background check, Lyft looks for any sign of unsafe driving and behavior. This criterion can include any recorded issue that signals safety noncompliance. Lyft reserves the right to disqualify applicants accordingly.
When it comes to reviewing an applicant’s driving history, the rideshare company breaks down their search into two categories:
- Minor moving violations
- Major moving violations
With minor moving violations, Lyft only looks at the last three years of a driver’s history.
Drivers with more than three moving violations during this time span may be auto-rejected. Applicants with four of the following incidents on their record may not pass Lyft’s background inspection:
Those that pass the above criteria are not in the clear just yet. The next category includes major violations. Drivers with either of the following issues on their record attained in the last three years are unable to work for the rideshare company:
The last category covers a much larger time span – seven years to be exact. During this part of the process, drivers must not have one or more of the following in their results:
The information above is gathered from various places. In general, the following sources are used to conduct the background check process:
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How Long Does Lyft’s Background Check Take?
According to Lyft, the average background check takes between three to ten days to review. This duration of time fluctuates based on how many people are applying.
There is a physical team of people in place who decide whether an application passes. Because of this, the timing can vary depending on the volume of applications.
A common factor that slows down this process is the number of states an applicant has lived in. Your application may take longer to process if you’ve lived in many states over the years.
Applicants that have been victims of identity theft may experience longer periods of wait time.
Even so, if your application takes longer than 10 days to process, contact Lyft. They may be able to provide you with insightful information on why there is a delay. If you would like to check the status of your application, go here.
Also see: learn how Uber’s background check varies from Lyft
Lyft Driver Disqualification
What Happens If You Are Disqualified from driving with Lyft?
If you feel as though your application was denied unfairly, contact Lyft to dispute the results as soon as possible. This makes it easier identify what happened during the process and prevent a similar issue from happening again in the future.
Applicants that do not wish to dispute the results are not required to do so. If you think you know why you were disqualified and want to try again you welcome to do so.
But, applicants denied in the past typically are not approved after another attempt. To avoid rejection twice, it may be worth the time to find out what triggered the initial disqualification.
Can You Avoid Being Disqualified?
Before you even apply to become a rideshare driver, take the time to check your documents. Get copies of your records and identify possible red flags.
Review each item listed and confirm whether the information is accurate. If it is not, you can dispute it before disqualification.
Knowing exactly what Lyft is going to see after you consent to a background check can save you time and effort. You’ll want to know what your record says, especially if something is inaccurate. That way you can figure out if you meet the vehicle requirements beforehand.
Plus, it is a great way to see if you think it is worth the time to apply. In some cases, drivers may be able to see why they will not pass the review ahead of time. Other drivers may be able avoid having their application rejected.
For example, if a minor offenses shows up in your results, chances are you can have them removed. Another category worth reviewing is felonies.
If you have felonies that are not violent in nature Lyft may accept your application. For drivers that find themselves in this type of situation, be sure to contact Lyft after applying.
Letting them know what to expect ahead of time can work in your favor. Plus, it never hurts to ask!
Lyft passengers don’t want to be in a car with an unsafe driver. Fortunately, Lyft takes great strides in reducing the odds of this from happening by setting strict driver requirements. This process filters out dangerous drivers, keeps everyone safe, and reduces the likelihood of a lawsuit.
Understanding the details of this vital safety measure is important. Applicants that know how the process works can take extensive measures to assure that they pass with flying colors.
This part of the process determines whether you are able to work as a rideshare driver, so it’s wise to prepare for it.
To ensure you are prepared, get a copy of your driving history and criminal records ahead of time. Take note of any minor convictions – you may be able to get have them removed from your record.
Knowing beforehand what Lyft will see on your application may help you improve the odds of becoming a driver! Once you’re approved, you’ll be on your way to making money in no time.