Uber Application Tips: How to Apply to Drive for Uber, and 8 Things to Do Before You Do

So, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and apply to drive for Uber. Congratulations! This is the beginning of an exciting journey towards earning extra money, meeting interesting people, and setting your own schedule.

Along the way, however, there are some things you need to keep in mind to ensure that your application proceeds smoothly. In this post, we’re going to look at what you should keep in mind when applying to be an Uber driver. By doing these things, you’ll avoid common mistakes that prevent (or severely delay) your Uber application from being accepted.

Jump to:

  1. Be Sure You Meet the Driver Requirements
  2. Assemble the Necessary Documents
  3. Check That Your Vehicle Meets the Minimum Requirements
  4. Ensure Your Phone Can Run the Uber Driver App
  5. Understand What Can Cause Background Check Delays
  6. Be Aware of How State and Local Laws Can Affect Your Application
  7. Know Your Options for Renting a Vehicle
  8. Consider Delivering for Uber Eats

1. Be Sure You Meet the Driver Requirements

This is a key step. If you don’t meet the minimum driver requirements for Uber, then there’s no point in filling out an application. To be an Uber driver, you must meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have at least one year of driving experience
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Have a clean driving record

These are fairly basic requirements, and most people interested in driving for Uber will be able to meet them. There is no way around any of these, so don’t think you can fake them on the application. You’ll have to upload documents confirming your age and amount of driving experience, and the background check will be conducted by a third-party agency in cooperation with state law enforcement agencies.

2. Assemble the Necessary Documents

If you meet the requirements, then you can proceed to assemble the documents. As with the driver requirements, you need to have all of these documents available in order to fill out an application. Without them, you are not eligible to be an Uber driver.

Here are the documents you’ll need:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proof of residence in your city and state
  • Proof of insurance coverage (if using your own vehicle)
  • Valid vehicle registration (if using your own vehicle)

You’ll also need your Social Security number (in order to initiate the background check), so be sure to have your Social Security card handy if you don’t have your Social Security number memorized. Assembling all these documents before you fill out the application will save you time, so take a few minutes to get them together.

3. Check That Your Vehicle Meets the Minimum Requirements

Uber has certain vehicle requirements that all drivers are required to meet. The specific requirements can vary based on your city and state, but you must meet the local requirements in order to drive for Uber.

If you’re driving for UberX, then the requirements are usually quite basic. Your vehicle cannot be older than a certain model year (this varies by city), it must have at least four doors, and it must have room for at least four passengers.

For other services such as UberBLACK or UberSUV, the requirements can be a lot more specific and strict. These services allow only high-end vehicles with black leather interiors, and in many cities, they also require you to have commercial insurance. This extra work can be worth it for the high fares you can earn driving for these services, but you should be sure that your car meets the requirements before you sign up.

In some markets, your car will also have to pass a vehicle inspection before you can start picking up Uber passengers. This inspection checks that your car is in proper working order and is safe to transport passengers. You can learn more about this inspection here.

4. Ensure Your Phone Can Run the Uber Driver App

Uber drivers use a different app than the Uber app that passengers use. This driver app is what you use to pick up and drop off passengers, so it’s imperative that it functions correctly on your phone. If it doesn’t, then you could end up with missed ride requests and low ratings.

The Uber driver app is available for both iPhone and Android. You can install it on an iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, and 6+ running iOS 7 or later. For Android, the app will run on any device that is 2013 or newer and runs version 4.0 or higher.

5. Understand What Can Cause Background Check Delays

Before Uber can let you drive for their platform, they need to check your criminal history and driving history. Because this process involves working with local and state government and law enforcement agencies, it can often take longer than you’d like.

Don’t be concerned if your background check is taking a while to process. It doesn’t mean there’s some horrible crime in your past that you aren’t aware of committing. In all likelihood, it’s just the slow mechanisms of the government that are causing delays.

6. Be Aware of How State and Local Laws Can Affect Your Application

It’s amazing that applying to drive for Uber is such a simple process when you consider how many layers of bureaucracy the company has to navigate in order to process applications. When you’re applying, you should know that state and local laws can affect the speed of your application and the application requirements.

In New York City, for instance, all rideshare drivers are licensed through the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). This can cause delays in your application, as this agency has to process it separately before Uber can get back to you. Other cities can have their own quirks, so be sure to read the information on your city carefully before you apply (or when you’re waiting around wondering what’s causing the delay with your application).

7. Know Your Options for Renting a Vehicle

Uber Application Tips: How to Apply to Drive for Uber, and 8 Things to Do Before You Do

If you don’t have a vehicle that meets Uber’s requirements, or you simply don’t want to use your own vehicle to transport strangers, Uber has another option available to you. In the following cities, Uber has partnered with Hertz to allow you to rent a car for rideshare use for $214 per week:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New Orleans
  • Orange County
  • San Antonio
  • San Francisco Bay Area

They also have a partnership with Fair, which allows you to rent vehicles for $130 per week in these cities:

  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • Inland Empire (Calif.)
  • Los Angeles
  • Nashville
  • Orange County
  • Philadelphia
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Seattle

With these options out there, working for a ridesharing company is more accessible than ever before.

8. Consider Delivering for Uber Eats

Uber Eats is Uber’s food delivery service. As an Uber driver, it’s very easy to make Uber Eats deliveries. You can use the same app, and you can even be available accept delivery orders at the same time as trip requests. This can allow you to diversify your income, getting food orders when demand for rides is low.

Uber Eats is also something to consider if you aren’t yet old enough to drive for the regular Uber service. Uber Eats drivers only have to be 19, so delivering for Uber Eats can be a way to gain experience with the Uber platform while also earning money. To learn more about how to drive for Uber Eats, check out our complete guide.

Fill Out Your Uber Application Successfully

We hope you now know some key things to help your Uber application proceed more smoothly. For a more detailed overview of this process, check out our guide to becoming an Uber driver. Interested in driving for Lyft as well? Have a look at this guide to becoming a Lyft driver.