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Uber Background Check: How They Work & How to Pass

Last updated: August 29, 2021
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vector graphic of a magnifying glass sitting on laptop keyboard on Uber background check post

Driving for Uber can be a great, flexible way to make money.

But you can’t do that without passing an Uber background check.

What goes into it? And can you make sure you’ll pass?

Read on to learn how the background checks work and how you can increase your chances of passing.

You’ll learn what it includes, how long it takes, what is expected of you, what the company is looking for, and other essential information that will ensure you’re prepared.

You’ll also discover what could prevent you from getting hired as an Uber driver so you aren’t caught off guard.

What Is an Uber Background Check? A Primer

An Uber background check is an important step to take if you want to drive for Uber.

Consider what goes into it and who receives a background check.

What is an Uber Background Check?

You’ll need to pass a motor vehicle report (MVR) and a criminal background check.

To pass the MVR, you must have a driver’s license and at least one year of driving experience in the US.

If you’re younger than 23, you’ll need a minimum of three years of experience as a licensed driver.

You won’t be able to apply with a suspended license.

The criminal background check follows local and state laws.

If you have certain convictions on your record, you won’t pass.

These crimes include murder, terrorism, and sexual offenses, among other violent crimes.

Who Gets Background Checked?

All Uber drivers must pass a background check.

It doesn’t matter if you want to be a rideshare driver or deliver for Uber Eats.

Uber wants to make sure it only hires trustworthy drivers.

That way, Uber can provide a good service to customers.

Going through a background check can also make you feel better before you start driving.

Then, you can make sure that driving is the right way for you to make money.

Who Runs Them?

A third-party background check provider called Checkr will perform the background checks.

The company has accreditation from the Professional Background Screening Association.

The third-party system can help Uber and its drivers.

Uber doesn’t have to spend time conducting the checks, and you as a driver can know that Uber isn’t actively trying to keep you from driving.

Other on-demand services including Postmates and Instacart also use this background check company.

Is Checkr Safe?

Yes. The company takes security and privacy seriously.

Because you must provide personal, highly sensitive information in order to be considered as an Uber driver, the platform assures that it follows industry standards to protect your privacy.

These measures include firewalls, Secure Socket Layers (SSL), and data encryption.

How Often Do They Happen?

Uber will run a background check on drivers at least once per year.

It will run background checks more often on drivers in some cities.

Regular background checks allow Uber to make sure drivers maintain a good record.

If your driving history or criminal record changes, Uber can terminate your access to their driver app.

Can You Drive for Uber Without a Background Check?

You can’t drive for Uber without a background check, whether you want to drive for Uber Eats or do rideshares or any other driving.

Uber will require you to pass a background check before you start driving and each year after.

Make sure you keep a clean driving history so that you can continue to drive.

Then, you can keep making money.

What Uber Background Checks Look For

Before you go through an Uber background check, you should know what they look for.

While you may not be able to change your record, it can help you prepare for the results.

Magnifying glass sitting on laptop keyboard on Uber background check post

Driving History

Your driving history is an essential part of the Uber background check.

Consider what the check covers in regards to your driving:

  • Driving experience (one year for anyone over 23, three years for younger drivers)
  • US driver’s license (active and without any disqualifying restrictions)
  • No major violations
  • No recent history of multiple minor violations

The company Checkr will look at public records to learn about you and your driving record.

You can’t hide your records, which means you’ll need to meet all driver requirements.

But that also means you won’t be working with untrustworthy drivers.

Criminal History

Along with your driving history, an Uber background check will cover your criminal history.

Some records can disqualify you from driving, so consider the criteria:

  • Convictions of violent crimes, such as murder, sexual assault
  • Other serious criminal convictions
  • Pending charges of those crimes

Checkr will use the same databases and records to find your criminal history as your driving history.

Having a problem in any one of these areas could hold up your approval or could cause you to be denied.

How Far Back Will They Go?

Uber will look at applicant records going back seven years.

Generally, they don’t look for records more than seven years back.

However, California recently passed a law that requires them to look at a driver’s lifetime record, no matter how far back it goes.

Checkr will run the background check and send the results to Uber.

Then, Uber will decide to hire or reject you.

If you fail a subsequent background check, Uber won’t let you access the app.

How Do They Interpret What They Find?

Drivers often ask about what Uber looks at when they do background checks.

But, the real question is… how do they interpret what they find?

So, how they interpret what they find is largely controlled by local and state laws that govern the area where you are applying.

Each state and sometimes even counties and cities within states have their own laws and regulations about how companies must handle background checks.

Uber has what they call, “internal safety standards” that also govern what they look at in background checks and how they interpret the results.

Fortunately, you may qualify to drive if you currently have pending charges as long as the court case resolves with you not getting a conviction.

So, they are pretty clear in telling us exactly what can cause problems and delays for your application.

If you have anything in your background that is mentioned here or anything that is similar to what is mentioned here, you could have problems and that could cause delays in processing your application.

Completing an Uber Background Check

Once you’re ready to start driving for Uber, you need to know how to complete the background check.

Required Documents

When you sign up for Uber, you’ll need to provide a few documents along with your background check.

Uber will need to process all of these forms and receive your background check results before you can drive.

Assuming you do pass everything, you’ll become active and can start working.

Consenting to the Check

Whether you want to drive for Uber Eats or rideshare, you need to go to the Uber website and allow Uber to provide your info to National Crime Check (NCC).

You’ll need to log into your Uber account to fill out the consent forms.

How Long Does the Uber Background Check Take?

The Uber background check doesn’t always take the same amount of time.

A lot of factors go into the process.

How Long Uber Background Checks Usually Take

On average, an Uber background check takes three to five business days, so you should receive your results within a week.

However, the process can take longer.

If it takes significantly longer, you may want to contact Uber for an update.

But try to be patient because you want the background check to be accurate.

Waiting an extra few days can be worth it so that Checkr and Uber have as much information as they need to approve you.

On average, an Uber background check takes three to five business days, so you should receive your results within a week.

Different Statuses of Background Checks

Uber has a few different statuses regarding its background checks.

  1. Complete
  2. Pending
  3. Clear
  4. Consider
  5. Dispute

No matter when or how you apply, you’ll fall into one of these categories.

What Each Status Means

First, there’s the “Onboarding” status, which is when you’re onboarding as a driver.

There’s also the “Waitlisted” status and the Consider status, which both mean you need to wait to start driving.

If Uber waitlists you, you may drive in the future but not yet.

The Uber “Waitlisted” status is common for the industry, and is very similar to the Instacart Waitlist.

The “Consider” status means that they’re looking at your background check and application.

Active status means that Uber has approved you as a driver, so you can start using the app.

Finally, the “Rejected” status means that you didn’t pass the Uber background check.

Reasons an Uber Background Check is Taking So Long

There are many questions you’re probably asking yourself as each day passes since you submitted your application.

First, before you begin to stress out too much, keep in mind that new Uber driver applications generally take “1 to 5 days for review.”

And you would be correct to assume they mean ‘business days’, so that’s really 1 to 7 actual days.

So you’re looking at up to a week as being standard, which means you shouldn’t begin to worry until a week has passed.

Since everything you send to Uber is sent electronically, that means you’ll be sending image and document files of all your documents.

You would be wise to keep a copy of every file you send them in a special folder so you can reference it later if you need to.

If you’ve done that, now would be a good time to check that folder and make sure you sent them exactly what they asked for.

This is the best first step you can take if more than a week has passed and you’re beginning to get worried.

Usually, if your application is delayed, it’s not a sign that you’re going to be rejected.

It’s usually just a sign that they’re having trouble finding all your information through the maze of thousands of bureaucratic government entities that exist across the nation.

A response from you clarifying the situation is typically all they need to move ahead.

Usually, if your application is delayed, it’s not a sign that you’re going to be rejected. A response from you clarifying the situation is typically all they need to move ahead.

If your Uber application status is taking longer than you expected, verify that you’ve sent them everything they need.

You will want to verify the following:

1. Documents are updated and correct

Make sure all the documents you sent are up to date and have not already expired.

Expired documents will be rejected and that will extend your wait time since you’ll have to re-submit them.

2. Documents contain your legal name

Your name must be clearly listed on your vehicle’s proof of insurance and driver’s license documents.

Your name on these documents must match the name you use to sign up for your Uber account, which much match exactly on each document.

“Roberto Rodrigo Gonzalez” is not the same as “Roberto Gonzalez” or “Roberto R. Gonzalez”.

The way the companies that will verify all your documents will see it – is that those are three entirely different names.

So, make sure your name is exactly the same on each and every document you submit.

You must also submit your car’s registration documents.

The car you’re going to use doesn’t have to be owned by you and the registration doesn’t have to have your name on it.

But your insurance documents will need to reflect that you are being insured to drive that car.

3. Image quality is readable

Make sure uploaded images are clear and legible.

Avoid using a camera’s flash when photographing documents.

Flash creates a glare that can obscure required information.

In addition, ensure photos are uncropped.

Check that all 4 corners of your documents are visible in the uploaded photos.

If you crop the file, do not crop out the corners.

That can cause your documents to be rejected and force you to have to resubmit them.

How to Check Status of Your Background Check

You can check the status of your Uber background check with the Checkr Candidate Portal.

To access the portal, you’ll go to the portal website.

Make sure you use the same email and phone number to sign in as you did when you first applied to Uber.

Verify you don’t have any typos, and click “Get status” to view the status of your background check.

Appealing a Rejected Uber Background Check

If Uber rejects you, you can appeal the decision.

Sometimes mistakes happen, or you might disagree with the decision because you have a clean record.

Consider why and how you might appeal Uber’s decision.

Why You Should Dispute a Rejected Background Check

If Uber rejects your background check, you can dispute it if you really want to drive.

You can request a copy of your background check to make sure it’s accurate.

One of the best reasons to dispute the check is if it’s inaccurate or incomplete.

Checkr can run another check that will, hopefully, provide more information.

You might also want to dispute a background check if you have a relatively common name.

The background check may have picked up on someone else’s records.

Making sure the company checks your records can increase your chances of passing.

Uber might also reject you if you have multiple minor driving offenses.

However, the records go back seven years.

If all of your offenses happened years ago, appealing could be a good way to start driving for Uber without waiting for those offenses to fall off your record.

The Chances of Getting Uber’s Decision Reversed

The chance of Uber reversing its decision isn’t that high, though that can depend on the circumstance.

If your initial background check was incorrect, the company might approve you after getting a more accurate report.

However, if you still don’t pass, the company probably won’t change its decision.

If you want to work for Uber, consider the issues with your record.

Sometimes, waiting a few months to a year to reapply might be all you need to do.

That way, old driving offenses will no longer show up on your record.

But if you have a history of violent crimes, Uber may never approve you to drive.

The exception to this is if you’re currently in the middle of a case.

Once the case resolves and you don’t face a conviction, you may be able to reapply.

How to Dispute a Rejected Background Check

vector image of a man holding the uber app while a vector woman calls Uber customer service on her cell phone

If you think the background check contains incorrect information, you should contact Checkr.

They can run another background check to gain more information about you.

However, you will want to contact Uber if the background check is fine.

You will contact Uber because it determines if you’re eligible to drive.

When you talk to Uber, you can ask about their requirements.

Then, you can request to dispute the rejection.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may still have a few questions about Uber and Uber background checks.

Here are a few things you should know when applying to work for Uber.

Can candidates give Uber a recent background check report instead of Uber running its own?

No, you cannot.

Even if you recently applied to be a Postmates or Lyft driver and received a background check report, Uber still has to verify that you meet all requirements and its own internal safety standards.

While it’s true that there are many similarities between rideshare and on-demand delivery apps, safety standards can change from one company to another as can local rules and regulations.

Uber is very clear that it must receive all background check reports directly from Checkr.

Can a felon work for Uber?

A felon may be able to work for Uber, depending on their criminal history.

Anyone with a history of sexual assault, murder, terrorism, or similar felonies won’t qualify.

However, you may still qualify if you’ve committed other crimes.

If it’s been seven years since your conviction, you might pass the background check.

Uber has had problems with filtering out felons in the past.

So while a felon may be able to work for Uber, the app has tightened requirements to make it less common.

How do I contact Uber about my background check?

You can use the Uber website to contact them about your background.

Make sure you know your login information.

Then, you can access the different contact methods.

When you do contact Uber, have as much information ready to make the process smoother for everyone.

Do taxi drivers have more strict background checks than Uber drivers?

Uber’s background process is the same across states, while the taxi industry doesn’t have that same standardization.

Because of that, Uber may have stricter background checks than taxis in some states.

If you’re looking to ride, you can trust that Uber drivers will keep you safe.

Some taxis may provide the same safety, but your driver may not have to pass as strict of a background check.

Will You Pass an Uber Background Check?

An Uber background check may seem overwhelming, but it’s a necessary step to becoming an Uber driver.

That way, your customers and riders can trust you and the service.

Before you sign up for Uber, consider how the background check works.

You’ll then know what to expect, and you can make sure you’ll pass before you spend time applying.

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