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Lyft Driver Requirements: Will You Make the Cut?

Last updated: August 30, 2021
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vector graphic showing a hand holding a clipboard and a man standing against a lyft vehicle in the background getting evaluated for lyft driver requirements

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.

The Lyft driver requirements are the first step you must complete when applying for Lyft. If you pass those, you must then also meet additional Lyft car requirements.

What are Lyft Driver Requirements?

Lyft driver requirements are a set of standards that every driver must meet before their are approved to drive for the rideshare platform.

Many of these things are items most civilian drivers will have, but Lyft still requires that you submit proof of these items to drive with them.

Why are Lyft Driver Requirements Necessary?

The requirements to become a Lyft driver can seem a little strange at first.

Since most drivers on the road already have the paperwork and licenses, why does Lyft specifically state that you need to have them?

The answer comes down to reliability and legality.

When Lyft asks that you submit licenses and registrations, they’re making sure that you are a legal driver for your state.

Lyft can’t hire someone to drive for them that isn’t allowed to drive on local roads due to a suspended license or an outdated license plate.

They need their drivers to be verified and legal.

That’s also why Lyft checks out your background and driving record as part of the screening process.

Even if you have all the required documents, if your driving history is sketchy, that puts Lyft at risk of lawsuits if something bad happens.

To avoid those issues as much as possible, Lyft prefers drivers that have a clean record.

Things to Know About Lyft Driver Requirements

There are some particulars you should know about applying to drive with Lyft:

1. Lyft’s Driver Requirements Can Vary By State

Different states will have different requirements to apply.

One of the big differences is the age of the driver.

Cities in different states are requiring that ridesharing drivers are 25 or older, rather than the previous 21 years old.

Lyft does its best to keep up with state and local laws when hiring drivers.

If you’re not sure if you meet all the requirements for your state, you can check out Lyft’s website for a list of requirements broken down by state and city.

2. Come Prepared When Applying

Prepare ahead of time for your application by going down the list of documents you need to have.

That way, there aren’t any surprises or hold-ups when you go through the application process.

Also, Lyft does all of its applications electronically.

That fact means you’ll need to create scans of your documents to submit to their application team.

So, make sure you have some way to get electronic copies of all your documents and licenses ahead of time.

3. Are Lyft Drivers Required to Wear Masks?

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 panic has forced changes to everyone’s lives to keep things moving.

As of July 2021, that means wearing a mask while you are driving for the company.

A mask requirement was part of Lyft’s plan to help reduce the spread of the virus while also allowing their drivers to continue to work.

Mask requirements and passenger limitations were measures Lyft put in place to help reduce contact and virus spread.

Lyft Driver Requirements Every Driver Must Meet

vector graphic showing a hand holding a clipboard and a man standing against a lyft vehicle in the background getting evaluated for lyft driver requirements

For those of you that want to go into the specifics of what you will need as a Lyft driver, here are some things to know:

Documents You’ll Need

When filling out your Lyft application, you’ll need to provide several documents.

The precise documents required vary from state to state, but Lyft requires all applicants to have the following documents:

  • Current valid driver’s license
  • Social Security number (in order to conduct the background check)
  • 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.

Since you must complete a Lyft application online, having digital copies of these papers will make the process much easier for you.

Minimum Lyft Driver Requirements

In addition to your valid documents, you’ll also need to meet the minimum age to drive in your state.

You’ll also need to pass a Lyft background check and a driving record check, and complete the Community Safety Education Program through Lyft.

Also, the vehicle you use cannot be a taxi or rental car not provided by Lyft.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drive for Lyft?

Depending on the state, Lyft’s minimum age requirement for their drivers is at least 21 to 25 years old.

Whether you’re in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or any other city, you’ll need to check what your age requirements for your area are.

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.

Is There a Maximum Age to Drive With Lyft?

There is no max age to drive with Lyft.

As long as you meet the other requirements to become a driver, you are good to go!

Lyft Driving Record Check Requirements

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

Also, keep in mind that any changes in your driving record while you’re a Lyft driver can also affect your eligibility to drive for the service.

You aren’t free to get as many tickets as you want just because you passed the Lyft DMV check when you first applied.

The point of the check is to ensure that you’re a safe, responsible driver.

If Lyft finds out that’s no longer the case, they can deactivate you.

Lyft Background Check Requirements

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.

To get a full background check requires coordinating the resources of county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Background checks are (understandably) not the highest priority for these agencies, so delays are common.

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).

As with the driving record check, Lyft can still deactivate you if they discover you’ve committed a crime after you passed your initial background check.

Safety is always the priority for Lyft, and they will do whatever it takes to protect it.

And whatever you do, don’t commit a crime while driving with Lyft. That’s a guaranteed way to get deactivated permanently.

Lyft Phone Requirements

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 iPhones and 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.

Lyft Insurance Requirements

It’s worth going into a bit more detail about the insurance requirements for Lyft, as it’s a topic that many potential drivers don’t understand.

To begin, the only Lyft insurance that the company requires you to have is the minimum coverage that state law mandates.

For all states, this means a certain level of liability coverage.

Lyft does have their own insurance policy in place that protects drivers while they’re transporting passengers.

They offer up to $1 million in liability coverage, so you can rest assured that they’ll keep you safe.

However, you should know about the “coverage gap” that can occur when you’re going to pick up a passenger.

In this moment, your personal insurance won’t cover you since you’re driving for business purposes.

And Lyft won’t cover you because you’re not yet transporting a passenger.

To protect yourself in these situations, we recommend getting rideshare coverage. It’s an affordable add-on for many insurance policies.

Lyft Driver Uniform Requirements

Lyft doesn’t enforce a dress code or provide a uniform to its drivers.

The point of the Lyft service is to allow regular folks to share rides and get paid for them.

A uniform implies that this is a fanciful service.

While Lyft does offer luxury services, the dress code is still up to the driver.

Also Required: Complete Lyft Community Safety Education Program

Part of applying for Lyft is taking part in their Community Safety Education Program.

This program is designed to help drivers understand the safety features that are in place on the app so that both the driver and passenger stay safe during the ride.

Here are some of the features you’ll go over during the education program:

  • Criminal monitoring features and 911 access from the app
  • License and photo verification features for passengers to enter the correct vehicle
  • Route sharing for passengers so others can see their ETA
  • Driver and passenger ratings that give Lyft data to act against poor drivers and passengers
  • Anti-fraud measures for drivers

These features all combine to make Lyft a safe platform for work and rides.

Lyft has also partnered with RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization, to help Lyft and its driver recognized threats of that kind and how to handle those circumstances.

Lyft Driver Requirements vs Lyft Vehicle Requirements

It might seem confusing that there are separate requirements for both drivers and vehicles.

After all, if a driver and vehicle are street legal, shouldn’t that be the end of the matter?

The answer is a little more complicated.

Driver requirements relate to the person that is applying to be the driver.

It involves checking things like your driver’s license and running a driver history check.

This part of the process is to make sure that the person applying to be a driver is a real person with a clean record.

However, vehicle requirements are for the car that the driver will be using.

These reviews are there to ensure the vehicle itself is legal and registered with the local authorities.

Also, Lyft’s different services, such as Lyft Lux or Lyft Lux Black XL, have different safety and feature requirements than the standard Lyft service.

By having these separate but important sets of requirements, Lyft can ensure that safe drivers and safe vehicles are on the streets with their service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the common questions we’ve found about driving for Lyft:

What Disqualifies You from Driving for Lyft?

In addition to not having the correct paperwork, a disqualifying criminal offense such as homicide, theft, or drug possession can prevent you from driving for Lyft.

Failure to complete certain tasks in your application process, like the Community Safety Education Program, also keep you from driving with Lyft.

Can Lyft Drivers Deny Rides?

As an independent contractor with Lyft, you can deny a ride at any time for any reason.

However, rides that you accept and then deny count in your acceptance rate metric.

This metric is valuable for getting recommended to other passengers on the service.

Can You Drive Lyft with a G2 License?

To drive with Lyft, you need a full G license in addition to the other state requirements.

Make sure you check Lyft’s website for other requirements you need to meet to drive with them.

Can My Husband or Wife Ride With Me While I Drive with Lyft?

When you have passengers in your car, you aren’t allowed to have anyone else other than paying passengers from Lyft in the vehicle.

This rule is there to make sure that the passengers continue to be safe for the duration of their ride.

Wrapping Up

The Lyft platform has a lot of requirements to make sure it provides a satisfying passenger and driving experience for everyone.

So long as you meet the Lyft car requirements, have your documents ready, and can access the platform on your iPhone or other Android devices, you’re good to go!

Check out the Lyft driver requirements for your area and see if you can make some money with Lyft today!

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