Today there are more opportunities than ever to work as a rideshare driver. Whether it’s for Uber or Lyft, being a rideshare drive is a great way to set your own hours while meeting interesting people.
However, there are certain requirements you’ll need to meet before you can sign up to drive for these services. In this article, we’ll examine the Lyft driver requirements, covering everything from the minimum age to the device you’ll need to run the Lyft driver app. This way, you don’t go through the Lyft application process only to find your application rejected because you didn’t meet one of the requirements.
To make this article easier to navigate, here’s a table of contents:
Lyft Driver Requirements
- Age Requirements
- Driving Record Check
- Background Check
- Document Requirements
- Device Requirements
- State and Local Requirements
To apply to drive, Lyft requires you to be at least 21 years old, though you only have to be 18 to use Lyft as a passenger. You’ll also need to have held an active U.S. driver’s license for at least one year. This ensures that you’re not only old enough, but also have sufficient driving experience. After all, would you want a Lyft driver who’s only had their license for a month?
Note: It is possible to run into issues with your application if your driver’s license was recently reissued or if you live in a state that doesn’t provide a driver’s license issue date. See this Lyft support article for more info.
Driving Record Check
To meet the Lyft driver requirements, you’ll need to have your driving record checked. Lyft uses a third party to check this information (except in the case of New York City, which has different laws that we discuss below).
A driving record check can sound intimidating, but don’t worry — having a couple parking tickets or even a minor accident shouldn’t disqualify you. However, you will generally be disqualified from driving for the Lyft platform if a report from your state’s DMV reveals 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, such as 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
In addition to having a clean driving record, one of the Lyft driver requirements is passing a criminal background check. As with the driving record check, Lyft uses a third party service to conduct this check. Certain minor offenses will not necessarily disqualify you, though Lyft will most likely reject your application if your background check reveals any of the following offenses:
- Violent crime
- Sexual offense
- Disqualifying felony
- Disqualifying drug-related offense
- Disqualifying theft or property damage offense
Note that background checks can take several weeks to process, so don’t worry if you haven’t heard anything right away. If your background check reveals something that could disqualify your application, Lyft will send you a copy of it via email (as well as information on how to dispute the results if you believe they are inaccurate).
When filling out your Lyft application, you’ll need to provide several documents. The precise documents required vary from state to state (see the “State and Local Requirements” section below for more info). But Lyft requires all applicants to have the following documents:
- Current valid driver’s license
- Valid license plates with current registration
- Current valid insurance policy in your name
The last requirement is one to pay special attention to. If you’re still in college and on your parents’ insurance policy, for example, then you won’t meet the insurance requirement, as the policy must be in your name.
Mobile device are crucial to making the Lyft service work at all. They’re what allow drivers and passengers to connect across cities and in a variety of weather conditions, all at the touch of a button. It’s crucial that you have a mobile device that works and meets the following requirements:
- A cellular connection: You need a cellular connection in order to run the Lyft driver app. You can’t use a device that only works on WiFi, such as an MP3 player, tablet or phone without an active cellular data plan.
- Operating system requirements for Apple devices: iOS 11.
- Operating system requirements for Android devices: Android 7 or higher.
If you don’t meet the operating system requirements, it is still possible that the Lyft app will work; it just may not perform at the optimal level. This could interfere with your ability to successfully and safely give rides.
State and Local Requirements
In addition to all the requirements outlined above, you may have to meet additional specific requirements for your state, city or locality.
For example, in New York City the DMV and criminal background checks are not conducted by Lyft. Instead, the Taxi and Limousine Commission conducts them according to their licensing standards.
To view a list of specific requirements for your region, visit Lyft’s driver application requirements page and select the area in which you want to drive.
You’ll also receive further information on additional requirements once you’ve completed your online application.
Final Requirements to Start Driving
Meeting the Lyft driver requirements is an essential part of beginning your gig as a Lyft driver. While they can feel frustratingly detailed and specific, the requirements are ultimately there to make sure that you and your passengers have a safe, enjoyable experience using Lyft.
Before we go, we should mention that, in addition to driver requirements, there are also Lyft vehicle requirements that your car will have to meet before you begin driving. To learn more about these, check out our comprehensive guide to Lyft Vehicle Requirements. We also suggest having a look at our Lyft Vehicle Inspection guide, as most states will require your vehicle to pass an inspection before you can begin giving rides.