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What The Lyft Background Check Looks For & How to Pass

Key Takeaways

  • Lyft conducts annual background checks on drivers for safety standards.
  • Checks include criminal history, driving records, with third-party verification.
  • Major crimes or recent DUIs can disqualify candidates from driving for Lyft.
  • Continuous monitoring and annual checks ensure ongoing compliance with Lyft’s safety standards.

Becoming a Lyft driver is one of the most flexible gigs you could get. That said, you must pass the Lyft background check, ensuring you fit the company’s safety standards.

Lyft also routinely conducts background checks for its active drivers. The company monitors the drivers’ daily activities. If a driver engages in a behavior that violates Lyft’s standards, they’re immediately disqualified.

Do you want to find out more? Keep reading our guide to learn all about Lyft background checks, what to expect, and how to prepare for them. Let’s dive in!

Does Lyft Run a Background Check on New Drivers?

Lyft does conduct a background check on all potential drivers to ensure safety standards are met, which includes a review of criminal history and driving records.

When running the background check, Lyft’s contracted third-party companies will pull from national, county-level, and local databases to ensure they get the most comprehensive look at your history.

In the U.S., they’ll run through records the Department of Motor Vehicles, the National Sex Offender Registry, the Federal Criminal Records database, and more.

The background check by Lyft is a crucial step in the hiring process and is conducted annually for all drivers. It’s designed to identify any offenses that could make a driver a liability on the road.

Understanding the specifics of what might disqualify a candidate can help you assess your eligibility before applying.

Key Areas of Scrutiny in the Background Check

Working as a Lyft driver means that you’re an independent contractor. Since you’re not an employee of the business, the background check pertains only to aspects that might affect your job.

Lyft background checks look for major misdemeanors and felonies. So, you shouldn’t worry about a littering ticket you got a couple of years ago.

The background check consists of two parts, the criminal history check and the driving records. The criminal screening focuses on crimes that might risk the safety of passengers and the business.

It is still possible to pass even if you have a few violations or convictions, as Lyft considers the type of criminal offenses on your record, how long ago they occurred, and whether or not they reoccurred.

However, in particular, driving under the influence or not having a valid driver’s license are common reasons for disqualification.

The timeframe of the offenses is also essential. Pre-employment background checks only cover seven years. Yet, this ultimately depends on the state where you reside or work.

Criminal History Assessments During Lyft Background Checks

The first part of Lyft’s background checks is the criminal background check.

Becoming a Lyft driver is simple if you don’t have any major criminal background. That’s because the standard that Lyft sets is similar to other businesses, and might even be more lenient regarding smaller misdemeanors.

Incidents that would disqualify you include any that would risk the safety of Lyft passengers.

In order to pass this part of your comprehensive background check, you cannot have convictions for any of these criminal offenses on your record:

  • Violent crimes, including aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, carjacking, arson, kidnapping, homicide, and human trafficking
  • Sexual offenses, including sexual assault, rape, and child pornography
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Fraud-related offenses in the most recent seven years
  • Drug-related offenses in the most recent seven years
  • Theft or property damage offenses in the most recent seven years

Like the driving record check, the criminal background check may also look for alcohol and drug-related driving violations from alternate databases. Anyone listed on the National Sex Offender Registry database is automatically disqualified from driving with Lyft.

Disqualifying time frames for some crimes may be higher or lower depending on your local laws.

Driving Record Criteria For Lyft Background Checks

In conjunction with the criminal record check, a driving record check is also mandatory. This is run by a third-party company, Safety Holdings Inc.

The DMV can revoke your driver’s license after multiple offenses. Yet, fewer violations might make you ineligible to drive for Lyft.

The safety criteria for rideshare drivers at Lyft are the following:

  • Drivers mustn’t have had four or more minor moving violations in the past three years, such as passing traffic lights.
  • Drivers mustn’t have any major moving violations in the past year, such as reckless driving or driving with a suspended license.
  • The driving record must be free of DUIs and other drug-related driving violations in the past seven years.
  • Drivers shouldn’t have had serious driving-related convictions in the past seven years.

As you can see, many minor misdemeanors actually won’t disqualify you from driving for Lyft, and even running a red light won’t immediately get you booted from the ridesharing gig.

Lyft is fair when considering the severity of your offenses, so it may be worth filling out an application even if you have a couple marks on your records

The Screening Process Timeline

The background check takes about three to seven business days. You can check its status on Checkr via the Candidate Portal.

Keep in mind that this reflects only the background check process and not the overall Lyft application status. There, you should find any of the following:

  • In Progress/Pending: Checkr is in the process of completing your background check.
  • Canceled: Lyft has requested a cancellation of the background check. If you’re unsure of the reason, you should contact Lyft directly.
  • Clear: The background check is finished and contains no records or records that Lyft qualifies as insignificant.
  • Complete: The background check is out of Checkr’s system and is available for Lyft.
  • Consider: The background check contains one or more records that Lyft deems problematic. This doesn’t mean you’re disqualified, though, as the final decision is up to Lyft.
  • Dispute: The background check is under investigation, as the candidate has filed a dispute.
  • Suspended: The background check has been suspended due to missing information or incomplete searches. You should check your email or log into the Candidate Portal to find out if you need to submit any missing documents or personal data.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

I have heard complaints of drivers getting stuck in limbo during the driver application, held up by the background check with little reason why. Uber seems to conduct background checks much quicker.

If you get stuck during the process, reach out to Checkr directly. From what I can tell, these delays are probably related to them doing your background check, not Lyft directly.

Check’s customer service is decent enough, and it is worth a try. While it likely won’t be super helpful, it might be able to speed things along with them knowing there’s a little pressure coming their way if you still aren’t hearing back after a while.

But it is worth noting that Checkr might not be able to speed things up. If you’re applying in a small city or town, they could be held up by your local administration officials. Or, new laws might be processing that could delay applications.

At any rate, just reach out to Checkr and ask them what the holdup is – nicely of course – and at that point that is really all you can do.

Common Reasons for Failing Lyft Background Check

Keep in mind that Checkr doesn’t make any executive decisions for Lyft. They only provide the information that Lyft then assesses.

Typically, Lyft disqualifies applicants in case they find any of the following:

  • Candidates listed on the National Sex Offender Registry database.
  • Candidates convicted of a violent crime, acts of terror, or sexual offenses.
  • Drug-related offenses in the previous seven years.
  • Theft or property damage offenses in the previous seven years.
  • Conviction of fraud-related offenses in the previous seven years.
  • Driving under the influence in the previous seven years.

What to Do If You Fail a Background Check

A background check doesn’t tell the whole story. If you have a previous misdemeanor that might limit your chances of getting the Lyft job, but you’ve turned your life around, you can contact Checkr in advance or after receiving the results.

Lyft might allow you to share more information with Checkr. In this case, you’ll find a Share More Information option in the candidate portal.

You should share some general information about yourself, inform Checkr of your growth and how the misdemeanor was in the past, and submit any supporting documents, if available.

You can also check the status of your background check on status as well as request a copy. This should be your first step if you believe Lyft unjustly disqualified you.

The next step would be to file a dispute on Checkr from the Candidate Portal. Alternatively, you can also mail Checkr at the address: Checkr Inc., 1 Montgomery St., Suite 2400, San Francisco, CA 94104.

Then, Checkr will investigate the dispute within 30 days. If the investigation proves that Checkr is at fault for providing incorrect information, they’re responsible for contacting Lyft and informing them of the inaccuracy.

Maintaining Eligibility: Ongoing Checks and Requirements

Lyft holds all their drivers to a high standard. To ensure the safety of the community and the passengers, Lyft conducts continuous background checks for all their drivers.

Active drivers must also pass other background checks every 12 months to maintain access to Lyft.

Lyft was able to achieve this through a partnership with SambaSafety, a third-party company that monitors the driving patterns and criminal records of all Lyft drivers. This party provides Lyft with daily updates on the criminal record of active drivers.

If a driver doesn’t meet Lyft’s annual and daily safety standards, deactivation is common. This is done immediately and without previous warning to the driver.

Tips for a Smooth Background Check

vector graphic showing the various elements of a Lyft background check

Lyft background checks typically go smoothly. Still, to keep your mind at ease, you should try the following before applying to the rideshare company:

  1. Double-check your details: Delayed background checks are common. This is due to missing data or inaccuracies with your personal information. For this reason, it’s crucial to double-check your details before submitting your application.
  2. Frequently scan your email:If there are any missing documents or clarifications needed on your part, Lyft will contact you via email. So, you must check your email every day and reply promptly. Otherwise, the company might discard your application.
  3. Understand your position before applying: Lyft is pretty clear on their background checks and their safety standards. Accordingly, you can simply figure out where you stand before applying to Lyft.
  4. Expunge your criminal record: You can destroy your criminal history if you have non-violent crimes, infractions, and juvenile offenses. While these won’t prevent you from landing the gig at Lyft, having your record expunged might provide peace of mind.
  5. Clean your driving record: If you have some minor driving violations, you can easily clean your record by taking defensive courses, fixing minor issues, or deferring an infraction before it makes your record.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is background monitoring in Lyft?

Lyft requires an up-to-date background check for all drivers. Accordingly, the initial background check won’t be sufficient.

Instead, Lyft will continuously monitor their drivers’ criminal and driving records, reserving the right to disqualify drivers in case of an offense. This includes annual background checks and daily monitoring.

Does Lyft do photo verification?

All Lyft users must submit a photo identification of their face as well as an image of an identifying document, such as a driver’s license.

Drivers, in particular, have to submit these two documents, and their photos must be clear, without sunglasses, hats, or face masks. This way, Lyft can confirm their information, and riders will easily identify them.

Can You Avoid Being Disqualified?

To avoid disqualification as a rideshare driver, review and confirm the accuracy of your records before applying. Dispute any inaccuracies in advance, ensuring that your background check reflects your actual history and meets the vehicle requirements.

Will I be able to drive for Lyft immediately after passing my first background check?

Passing your background check doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re officially a driver. Even if Lyft approves all your required documents, you still need to go to a local mechanic for your Lyft vehicle inspection before you’re officially a Lyft driver.

Can I get a copy of my Lyft background check?

Lyft only sends you a copy of your background check if there are any disqualifying factors, so you know exactly why you don’t pass. This copy is sent to drivers via email.

Wrapping Up

Lyft has rigorous standards when it comes to hiring rideshare drivers. It’s the only rideshare company in the world that conducts annual background checks for its active drivers, as well as daily monitoring.

Naturally, applicants must also undergo a criminal background check and a driving record check. The criminal history focuses on major offenses and driving-related arrests. As for the driving record, even minor traffic violations are taken into account.

If you’re applying to become a Lyft driver, preparation is key. After all, you know your history best. So, you must assess your driving patterns and your criminal record before applying. This way, you’ll know what to expect.

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