Lyft Vehicle Requirements for 2018

What is Lyft?

Driving for Lyft can be a great way to make extra money on the side, but the list of driver requirements can feel overwhelming. We want to help you get over this barrier and finally take the plunge into ridesharing. So whether you’re looking to make money ridesharing for the first time, or want to diversify the ridesharing income you already get from Uber, this guide is for you.

We’ll cover the types of Lyft rides out there, the requirements you and your vehicle need to meet, and give a brief overview of how to get started driving for Lyft (including the opportunity to earn cash bonuses as a new driver).

Classifications of Lyft Driver

Lyft is a more streamlined service than Uber. It offers only 3 levels of service: Lyft Line, Lyft, and Lyft Plus. They do not offer a premium service like Uber Black. Let’s examine each of the classifications in more detail:

1. Lyft

Lyft is the standard service, equivalent to UberX. This is the right Lyft service for rides of up to 4 passengers.

2. Lyft Line

Lyft Line is Lyft’s carpool service for up to 2 people per each pickup. Passengers pay a guaranteed fare which is usually significantly less than a regular Lyft fare. However, the driver has to take the preapproved route to the destination and may pick up additional passengers along the way (this is why you can only pick up 2 passengers is to have room for 2 more).

The driver may have to drop off the additional Lyft Line passengers first, which can be a drawback to passengers who are on a tight schedule.

3. Lyft Plus

Lyft Plus is the service for up to 6 passengers. This is the service you would request if you had 5 or 6 passengers in your party or if you had a lot of cargo and need an extra-large vehicle.

Essential Lyft Driver Requirements

The qualifications to become a driver for Lyft are similar to those for other ridesharing services.

  • You must be 21 years of age or older
  • You must have a valid US driver’s license which has been active for at least 1 year
  • You must have a 4 door vehicle with valid plates and your name on the vehicle’s insurance
    • Your vehicle must be in good condition with no mechanical or cosmetic issues
    • Must have 5 seat belts or more
    • Your vehicle must be model year 2006, unless otherwise specified
    • 2008 or newer in Alabama, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington (state), and Washington D.C
    • 2002 or newer in Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson), Hawaii (all cities), Nebraska (Omaha), Nevada (Reno), North Carolina (Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham), Ohio (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo), and Virginia (Virginia Beach),
  • You must pass a driving record check
    • You must not have more than three moving violations within the past 3 years. (Example: accidents. traffic light violation, speeding ticket
    • You must not have had a major moving violation in the past 3 years. (Example: driving on a suspended license, reckless driving.)
    • A DUI or other drug-related violation within the past 7 years.
    • Any driving-related convictions within the past 7 years. (Example: hit and run, a felony involving a vehicle.)
  • You must pass a criminal background check. You must not have had a conviction for any of the following within the past 7 years.
    • A violent crime
    • A felony
    • A drug-related offense
    • A sexual offense
    • Theft or property damage offenses
    • More restrictive standards may be required by certain cities and local governments.
  • You must have a current smartphone to run the Lyft app
    • iPhone 4 or newer running iOS 7.0+
    • Android devices running Android 4.0+

Lyft Car Requirements

In addition to meeting the driver requirements outlined above, you’ll also need to have a vehicle that meets Lyft’s requirements. Don’t worry, most of these are easy to meet as long as your car is in good working condition and relatively new.

The requirements are as follows:

  • You must have a 4 door vehicle with valid plates and a valid insurance policy that includes your name
  • Your Lyft vehicle must be in good condition with no mechanical problems (such as broken brake lights or a horn that doesn’t work) or cosmetic issues (such as minor body damage)
  • The vehicle must have 5 seat belts or more
  • Your vehicle must be model year 2006, excluding the following state/city-specific exceptions:
    • 2008 or newer in Alabama, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington (state), and Washington D.C
    • 2002 or newer in Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson), Hawaii (all cities), Nebraska (Omaha), Nevada (Reno), North Carolina (Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham), Ohio (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo), and Virginia (Virginia Beach)

Additional requirements for Lyft Plus: Lyft Plus requirements are essentially the same as for Lyft except that your vehicle must have 7 or more seatbelts. Lyft Plus drivers are expected to pick up 6 passengers plus themselves.

How to Get Approved to Drive for Lyft

Before you are approved to drive for Lyft you will be paired with a mentor. The mentor will meet with you to perform a vehicle inspection, have you perform a quick ride, and give you some basic tips and guidance before getting started.

The mentor session is a review process; treat it like you would any job interview. If you are late, don’t show, have an accident, commit a traffic violation, or your car doesn’t pass inspection, the mentor may not approve you.

Take Ridesharing To New Heights

We hope you now have a better understanding of what’s required to become a Lyft driver. To unlock exclusive tips, tricks, resources, and promotions, subscribe to our newsletter located at the top right corner of this post.

Note: Lyft offers generous bonuses to recruit new drivers. To receive your bonus, complete the following steps:

  1. Sign up to drive for Lyft
  2. Pass your mentor session and background check
  3. Complete 20, 50, or 100 rides within your first 30 days
  4. Maintain a good driving rating
  5. Collect your bonus!

*Bonuses vary based on the city. Bonuses range from $50 to $200!

**Accurate as of March 2018.