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Uber Driver Requirements Every Driver Must Meet to Apply

Last updated: September 2, 2021
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vector graphic showing a clipboard and a man trying to meet Uber driver requirements

Are you interested in driving for Uber but need to know each specific Uber driver requirements first?

Like many on-demand driver apps, Uber is known for being incredibly simple to get started with.

In fact, most drivers can qualify to drive for the top ridesharing brand.

Still, understanding exactly what Uber eligibility entails can help you figure out what services you qualify for and maximize your earnings when you drive.

Uber’s website reveals some of the basics, but you most likely want a more distinct and precise description of what checkpoints you need to pass so that you can drive for the rideshare app.

With that in mind, this article gives you all the essential details you must know to successfully become a driver for Uber.

What Are Uber Driver Requirements?

In the overall process of applying to become an Uber driver, there are four parts to the overall Uber requirements:

  1. Meeting the minimum Uber requirements
  2. Passing the driver requirements
  3. Having the necessary paperwork
  4. Passing an Uber vehicle inspection

As part of this process, the first thing to do before applying to become a driver is to see if you meet the Uber driver requirements that the company has put in place.

These are not super tough, but establish simple minimum criteria for drivers on the road.

The basic Uber driver requirements cover your ability to drive adequately and make sure that you are a safe driver of your car.

Why Are Uber Driver Requirements Necessary?

As a result of some low-quality drivers slipping through the cracks and causing incidents for riders, Uber has tightened the reins on who can actually drive passengers around town.

Enter the Uber driver requirements.

Uber puts their driver requirements in place because they help increase the likelihood that drivers possess positive qualities and will ensure that riders have a good ride experience.

To further demonstrate the “why”, take a look at a few hypotheticals:

  • Younger drivers typically get involved in more accidents than older drivers. That’s why you need a longer driving history if you’re under the age of 23.
  • The four-door requirement regarding your vehicle is essential because passengers need easy access when getting into and out of the car.
  • You need a relatively late model vehicle so that it doesn’t break down as often as older cars do.

In essence, Uber driver requirements are necessary to ensure you’re a safe driver and help passengers enjoy quality ride experiences.

Uber Driver Requirements Every Applicant Must Meet

There are a few Uber driver requirements that specifically apply to the driver, not your vehicle.

Let’s explore those below.

Minimum Uber Driver Requirements

Uber requirements set a baseline that every driver must meet before they can even apply.

The minimum Uber driver requirements include:

  • Proof of a personal auto insurance policy
  • Proof of residency and a social security number
  • A valid driver’s license
  • A valid auto registration card
  • A front-facing driver profile photo
  • A 4-door vehicle
  • You MUST have a smartphone.
    • Your phone should be an iPhone 4s or newer or an Android 2013 or newer.
    • This is important to being a driver as you need to have a phone that can run the Uber app flawlessly or you will miss ride requests.
    • If you are driving in the U.S., you need to a use a U.S. cell phone number so you can communicate with your passengers.

If you want to drive for higher-earning services like Uber Black, you may need to meet additional driver requirements, like minimum ratings.

We’ll dive into these further when we discuss higher-tier vehicle options.

Uber Driver Age and License Requirements

You need at least one year of driving experience in the United States unless you’re under the age of 23.

In that case, you need at least three years of driving experience.

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

You need to be at least 21 years old to drive for Uber.

Is There a Maximum Age to Drive for Uber?

No, as long as you’re older than 21, there aren’t any other age requirements.

Document Requirements

During the Uber application process, there are a few documents you should have ready.

You must share the following documents with Uber before you can become approved to drive.

These include:

  • An in-focus and well-lit profile photo.
  • Your picture should be forward-facing with no other people included in it.
  • Proof that you have car insurance.
  • A valid driver’s license.

These are pretty standard documents, and if you have a vehicle and drive it, you should already have all these in place.

Background Check Requirements

Once you’ve signed up to drive, you’ll also need to submit an application for an Uber background check.

This check reviews your driving record and criminal history, which is a vital step in keeping passengers safe.

vector graphic of a magnifying glass sitting on laptop keyboard on Uber background check post

Each Uber background check varies by state, but in general, drivers need to pass a few things in their background checks.

According to Uber.com, the requirements include:

  • At least one year U.S. licensing history (if under 23 years old, must have at least three years licensing history)
  • A valid driver’s license and Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) that shows:
    • No major moving violations, such as DUIs or reckless driving, within the last seven years.
    • No more than three minor moving violations in the past three years, such as speeding tickets or failure to obey traffic laws.
  • A criminal record that does not include a conviction for a felony, violent crime, or sexual offense within the last seven years, among other things such as a registration on the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public website.

Uber background checks are initiated by Checkr, Inc., a third-party source of background checks that is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.

The check is safe and secure, and it doesn’t cost potential drivers a dime.

Unfortunately, it is possible to not make it past the background check.

If you’ve been on the wrong side of the law, there are a few things that could disqualify you from being an Uber driver.

Uber re-runs the background check and driving record check at least once every year, so you need to maintain your good standing as long as you want to remain an Uber driver.

If you any of the following apply to you, you will be immediately disqualified from the driver application and not be able to drive.

You will face disqualification if within the past seven years you have had:

  • A DUI or drug-related driving conviction
  • Fraud
  • Reckless driving
  • Hit and runs
  • Violent crimes (assault, battery, homicide)
  • Acts of terror
  • Sexual offenses
  • Crimes involving property damage
  • A felony or misdemeanor for theft (burglary, stealing, robbery, or anything similar)
  • Fatal accidents
  • Resisting or evading arrest
  • Any other felony

You will face disqualification if within the past three years you have had:

  • Driving on a suspended, revoked, or invalid license
  • Driving with suspended, revoked, or invalid insurance

You will face disqualification if within the past three years you have had a total of three minor violations or incidents including:

  • Accidents
  • Normal speeding tickets
  • Miscellaneous driving violations (traffic violations)

You will face disqualification for Uber BLACK if within the past five years you have had a total of five minor violations or incidents including:

  • Accidents
  • Normal speeding tickets
  • Miscellaneous driving violations (traffic violations)

This list might seem long, but if you have a relatively clean driving record, with no criminal history, you should be good to go.

Insurance Requirements

You must have an auto insurance policy that covers at least the minimum financial responsibility limits required by your state.

Uber maintains liability rideshare insurance on you while you’re logged in to your Uber driver app dashboard.

It’s also a good idea to carry car rental and collision coverage with a low deductible.

Uber Driver Uniform Requirements

Uber doesn’t require a particular dress code.

You’re an independent contractor working as your own boss on your own schedule and can dress as you see fit.

Do Uber Driver Requirements Apply to All Uber Services?

Yes, the basic requirements apply to all Uber services.

vector image showing all the different uber services the company has to offer

You need to have valid auto insurance, a valid license, decent driving history, and other basic requirements whether you’re driving for Uber, Uber Eats, UberX, UberXL, or other Uber services.

Driver Requirements vs. Vehicle Requirements

Uber sets forth requirements for rideshare drivers and other separate Uber car requirements to meet.

To drive for the rideshare app, you need to meet both personal requirements and Uber vehicle inspection requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Three common questions asked about Uber driver requirements include:

Do Uber Drivers Pay for Background Checks?

No, you don’t need to pay money for the Uber background check.

It’s completely free.

Uber pays Checkr to perform each check, and nothing comes out of the driver’s pocket.

Can Felons Drive for Uber?

While Uber maintains that felons won’t make it past the background check, you should personally try.

If you have a felony in your past and want to drive for Uber, then it can’t hurt to apply and see what happens.

It’s possible that the company may show leniency depending on felony type and how many years have passed since the conviction.

Can You Drive for Uber with a DUI on Your Record?

Typically, you won’t pass the background check if you have a “Driving While Intoxicated” conviction that occurred less than seven years ago.

The time frame can change based on the state you live in.

For example, drivers in Los Angeles, California can’t drive for Uber unless a DUI occurred more than ten years ago.

Other cities like New York City or San Francisco may have different regulations.

Keep in mind that Uber continues to monitor your driving history.

If you get arrested for a DUI or significant driving violations while driving for Uber, then it’s likely that you’ll become a red flag in the Uber system.

You’ll get dropped from the app and will lose your ability to earn income with Uber.

Wrapping Up

Driving for Uber can turn into a rewarding experience if you pass the background check and meet all the Uber driver requirements.

Are you interested in driving for Uber and think you’ll pass the driving record check?

If the answer is yes, then your next step is to apply, remain patient during the background check waiting period, and then get to work as an Uber driver.

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