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How Does Uber Eats Work for Drivers? Apply for Uber Eats: Driver Tutorial

Last updated: July 19, 2021
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Just as Uber has revolutionized the on-demand transportation industry, the company is making waves in the popular and convenient food delivery space with their Uber Eats driver network.

Spoiler alert: It’s now more popular than ever and growing at an incredibly rapid pace.

Uber Eats is a food delivery service created as an offshoot of the popular Uber rideshare platform.

Recognizing that it already had a fleet of potential delivery drivers to drop off food orders, Uber launched the Uber Eats delivery service in cities across the globe.

It’s convenient, inexpensive, and giving full-on delivery services like Postmates and DoorDash a run for their money.

Making money from the comfort of your vehicle doesn’t require you to share your car with strangers.

With Uber Eats, you bypass a handful of the restrictions that come with ridesharing and get to earning faster — in some cases, even without a car.

If you’re looking for a way to make some extra money, then delivering Uber Eats orders could be an option worth considering.

If Uber isn’t for you, but you still want your car to pay for itself, you can apply for Uber Eats and turn food delivery into your next great gig.

Sound like something you might like to hop on board with?

This comprehensive tutorial will guide you through exactly what it takes to apply for Uber Eats.

Why Deliver for Uber Eats?

Why would you want to make deliveries for Uber Eats?

This is something to consider before you even worry about the requirements to become a driver.

Apply to Deliver with Uber Eats
  • Visit the Ridester Marketplace
  • Navigate to the Uber Eats listing
  • Click the application link
  • Fill out the required information
  • Once approved, start delivering!

To start, Uber Eats offers the ability to set your own schedule.

You only work when you want to, as few or as many hours as you want (though there are limits to how long you can work at a time). If you have the capacity to work full-time hours, you can do that.

On the other hand, if you only have a couple hours per day after work, Uber Eats will still be happy to have you.

Furthermore, Uber Eats offers flexible payment options, including Instant Pay. With this tool, you can instantly withdraw your earnings without waiting for the weekly payday.

This is great for times in life when your bills or other financial obligations don’t line up with when you’re scheduled to get paid.

Another perk of driving for Uber Eats is that you get to be your own boss.

Uber Eats drivers are independent contractors. This not only means that you get to choose when and where you work, but it also means you’re in control of your income in a way that an employee isn’t.

If you want to make more money, you can choose to work more hours. If you need time off, then you can work less (though keep in mind that, as an independent contractor, you don’t get any paid leave or other employee benefits).

Finally, Uber Eats is a way to learn more about the local restaurants in your city.

Sure, sometimes you’ll just be making deliveries of fast food to broke college students, but you’ll also get the chance to make deliveries from interesting restaurants you might never have heard of otherwise.

Are all the benefits of being an Uber Eats driver getting you excited about the job?

Before you apply for Uber Eats, you’ll want to make sure that you qualify for the gig in the first place.

While it’s fairly easy to be eligible for Uber Eats deliveries, going through these requirements ahead of time can spare you the effort of applying in case you don’t qualify.

Uber Eats Driver Requirements

Uber Eats Driver Requirements: What You Should Know

Becoming an Uber Eats delivery driver doesn’t take much effort at all, and odds are, you probably already qualify.

All delivery drivers must:

  1. Meet the minimum age to drive for your city. For deliveries via car or scooter, this is usually 19, though you should check when you apply to be sure. For deliveries via bike, the minimum age is 18 (bike delivery is only available in select cities).
  2. Have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. This is necessary for cars and scooters. If you’re delivering on a bike, you just need to have a valid government-issued ID.
  3. Have at least one year of driving experience. This is necessary for anyone delivering with a car.
  4. Have a valid social security number.
  5. Own a smartphone that’s compatible with the Uber Driver app (Android 5.0, iOS 11.0, or later)
  6. Have a valid checking account for direct deposits

These are the basic requirements for drivers. As you can see, they’re not that difficult. However, there are some additional requirements you need to meet beyond these.

To start, you’ll need to pass a criminal background check – regardless of what method you’re going to use for delivery.

Drivers making deliveries using a car or scooter will also have to pass a driving record check.

If your city allows you to do bike deliveries, your Uber Eats requirements are even more relaxed.

You only need to be 18 years old and do not need any years of licensed driving experience. In fact, you don’t even need a driver’s license — just having a government-issued ID will do.

All couriers still go through the same background check by Checkr, which will run automatically through your criminal history and driving record (even if you don’t have a history of driving).

As long as you haven’t been charged with any major crimes — including felonies, DUIs, reckless driving, violent offenses, and sexual offenses — and don’t have an ongoing pattern of offenses, you should be in the clear.

This background check does re-run at least once per year, so you’ll need to stay in the clear after the initial check.

Uber Eats Vehicle Requirements

The final set of requirements you must meet are a set of vehicle requirements. These vary based on the type of vehicle you want to use.

Once you know that you’re a qualified Uber Eats delivery person, you’ll want to make sure that your mode of transportation is eligible, too.

In order to start earning, you must have one of the following:

  • Cars — Must be a 2-door or 4-door vehicle made after 1998. You’ll notice that this is a much less strict requirement than the vehicle requirements for Uber drivers. Because you’re not transporting passengers, issues of comfort and safety that apply to Uber drivers aren’t relevant to Uber Eats.
  • Scooters — You can use any make or model of 2-wheel scooter. To be eligible for scooter deliveries, the scooter must have a motor of 50cc or less that travels no faster than 30 mph and is no more than 20 years old.
  • Bicycles — No specific requirements, though be sure to choose “Biking” as your transportation method when signing up. We’d recommend picking something light and fast that also has space to carry cargo, but the details are up to you.

Vehicle age requirements may vary based on your location.

Uber expects delivery drivers to have vehicles with no major damages, dents, or missing parts, though cosmetic requirements are much more lax than those set for rideshare drivers.

All drivers, including scooter drivers, must be able to provide proof of in-state vehicle registration and auto insurance. No vehicle inspection is required.

Couriers delivering on bike do not need to worry about any special requirements.

As long as your bike can reliably get you around your city, you’ll be set to start fulfilling food orders.

How Much Do Uber Eats Drivers Make?

Uber Eats drivers make an average of $10 per hour, plus 100% of customer tips. However, the exact amount that you earn will largely depend on the city you’re driving in.

This is because couriers are paid per delivery based on rates set for the following factors:

  • Flat pick-up fee: If you complete a pick-up, you’ll receive a flat fee, even if your customer cancels before drop-off. This fee is multiplied for Uber Eats orders that require pick-ups from multiple restaurants.
  • Flat drop-off fee: Each time you complete a drop-off, you’ll receive another flat fee.
  • Per-mile rate: In some cities, you’ll be paid per mile based on the estimated distance to be traveled from your pick-up location to your customer’s location.
  • Per-minute rate: In some cities, you’ll also be paid per minute based on the estimated time to be spent between your pick-up and drop-off locations.
  • Percent reduction on fares: In some cities, Uber Eats takes a set percentage-based commission from your fares.

While the overall average earnings for Uber Eats couriers, with all these factors considered, is $10 per hour, you do have opportunities to make more money on the platform.

For example, many delivery partners go online during peak hours (around lunch and dinner) to earn more with busy area fees, which function much like surge pricing on Uber.

Still, as an independent contractor who is legally self-employed, you must keep in mind that you’re responsible for your own job-related expenses and self-employment taxes on top of income taxes, so don’t go spending too much of your hard-earned money.

How to Apply for Uber Eats

If you’re confident that you’ll qualify to drive or bike Uber Eats, or just want to give it a go, you can follow the painless process below to sign up as a delivery partner from your computer.

If you’re an active rideshare driver with Uber, move on to the next section of this article for an even simpler three-step process.

Apply to Deliver with Uber Eats
  • Visit the Ridester Marketplace
  • Navigate to the Uber Eats listing
  • Click the application link
  • Fill out the required information
  • Once approved, start delivering!

1. Go to this sign-up page on Uber’s website and fill in the form with your email, first name, last name, phone number, preferred password, and location. Then, tap “Next.”

2. Select your mode of transportation and tap “Continue.”

3. Tap “Background Check” on the next page. Then, tap “Agree” to authorize a background check. You can check the box to receive a complimentary copy of your results.

4. Type in your Social Security number, read the disclosure, and check the box next to “I agree and acknowledge.” Then, tap “Submit” and move on to the next step.

5. The next step should be the “Driver’s License” section (or “Photo ID” section, if you selected bike delivery).

Here, you can select “Take Photo With My Phone” and get instructions for uploading your driver’s license sent to your phone number.

Alternatively, you can select “Upload Photo” to upload a file from your computer. Once successful, you can tap “Go to Next Step.”

6. If you selected bike delivery, move on to step 9 in this tutorial.

If you selected car or scooter delivery, your next step will be uploading your proof of vehicle insurance, which must include your name, vehicle identification number (VIN), insurance company, and the expiration date of your plan.

You can again select “Take Photo With My Phone” or choose “Upload Photo.” Once successful, tap “Go to Next Step.”

7. You’ll then be asked to take or upload a picture of your vehicle registration. This picture must include your car or scooter’s make, model, year, VIN, and license plate number, as well as the expiration date of the registration.

Select “Take Photo With My Phone” or choose “Upload Photo,” then move on to the next step once successful.

8. The final step is uploading your profile photo. This should be a well-lit headshot of you with no hat or sunglasses.

Again, select “Take Photo With My Phone” or choose to “Upload Photo” from your computer.

Once you’ve completed all of these steps, all that’s left to do is wait for your documents to be approved and for your background check to come back clean.

This usually only takes a week or less, though this may vary depending on the volume of applications at any given time.

When you are fully accepted, you’re all set to jump online on your Uber Driver app for iPhone or Android to receive Uber delivery requests.

Apply For Additional Delivery Services and Earn Even More!
Uber Eats is great, but there are more services you can apply for. Due to high demand, many are quickly onboarding drivers.
We recommend also applying for:

Uber Eats Driver Promotions

If you want to boost your earnings straight away, we recommend taking advantage of an Uber Eats driver invite code to get a real cash bonus.

Here are currently active promo codes that will get you a bonus worth up to $1,100 when you complete a designated amount of requests in your city:

  • eleonorap248ue
  • vincentc12656ue
  • eats-uber94und
  • arielg5360ue

If you want to help out an Uber driver you know, you can ask them for their invite code instead, so you can both earn some extra cash. Your selected invite code can be applied on the sign-up form (see step 2 of the “How to Apply for Uber Eats” section) before you tap “Submit.”

Promotions for Uber Eats drivers are an entire beast of their own, so I won’t go into too much detail about those here. We broke them down in detail in separate posts:

How Does Uber Eats Work for Delivery Partners?

Delivering for Uber Eats is very simple. With a little time, you’ll easily learn.

If you’re currently an Uber driver and want to add Uber Eats requests to your work days, you can do so in three simple steps. Anyone and any vehicle eligible for Uber is already more than qualified for Uber Eats.

Follow these directions to get extra cash by picking up and delivering food from local restaurants in between your typical rideshare requests:

  • On the bottom right hand corner of your map screen, tap on the status bar.
  • Tap on the settings cog icon to get to your “Driver Preferences” section.
  • Select “Deliveries” and opt into Uber Eats deliveries. You’ll need to accept the terms that come with delivery to start getting requests.

The “Driver Preferences” section is also where you can go to turn off UberX or other rideshare service requests, if you want to solely focus on food delivery.

It’s worth noting that regardless of which services you’re providing, you’ll only ever need the Uber Driver app. The Uber Eats app and the Uber app are both customer-facing and will not send you requests.

How to Get Uber Eats Requests as an Uber Driver

Once you have opted in to Uber Eats, you’ll start receiving delivery requests once your account is approved for Uber Eats deliveries. When I opted in through my driver app, it took about 3 days for my approval to go through.

Open up the app and tap “GO” to start receiving requests. You’ll soon be matched to an order from a local restaurant near you, which you’ll have about 15 seconds to accept. When you do accept, just use the app to navigate to your customer’s selected restaurant and pick up the food order. Your app should prompt you to confirm your pick-up before you head off to the drop-off location.

When you’re online, you’ll receive delivery opportunities through your Uber Driver app when local users place nearby food orders. As a note, Uber Eats drivers cannot deliver alcohol unlike some other companies. If you’d like to do that, you’ll have to check out this list of our favorite alcohol delivery apps.

When you arrive at the drop-off point, simply follow your customer’s preferences. They will have chosen for their order to be left at their door, or you may need to do an in-person drop-off curbside or at their door. Confirm your delivery when the drop-off is complete and you will soon be matched to another delivery request.

In some cases, you may be given a multi-restaurant trip. This just means that you’ll receive a second request while picking up an order, if you’re close to a restaurant that another user is requesting from. In these cases, you’ll simply pick up both orders and deliver them to the customers.

Earn Money

Since transactions and credit card payments are handled directly through the Uber Eats app, the delivery process is very simple for delivery partners. As soon as your delivery is complete, you’ll see how much you made from the order added to the “Total Earnings” section on your Earnings tab. Tips from customers may be applied later if they don’t tip immediately.

Driver pay is based on the total cost of the order, which can vary based on a few factors, similar to the cost of an Uber ride. These include the app’s pick-up fee, drop-off fee, delivery fee, and mileage fee. Surge pricing can also apply if demand for delivery in a particular location is high, and small cart fees can apply if users order less than a minimum amount.

In most cases, you should receive a direct deposit in your bank account by the following Tuesday, and the funds will be available for use by the next day. However, Uber Eats delivery partners who register their debit card with Instant Pay can cash out up to five times per day.

Uber Eats Order Types

When picking up a customer’s food for a delivery order, there are two types of delivery options that you can expect: curbside deliveries and walk-in deliveries.

Different cities have their own delivery terms that determine which type of order delivery partners can expect. To find yours, check out your city on the Uber Eats website, then find your city on the list. You’ll be able to see which of the two types below are available.

1. Curbside Deliveries

When you pull up to a customer’s location for this type of Uber Eats delivery, they’ll be notified and instructed via the Uber Eats app to meet you outside. You are able to remain in your vehicle and hand them their order without having to get out.

This type of delivery is much more convenient for you as a driver, since it doesn’t require you to exit your vehicle, search for parking, and get on foot to find the customer’s residence or office.

2. Walk-In Drop-Off Deliveries

This type of delivery falls in line with most other typical food deliveries. After arriving at a customer’s location, you’ll walk into the office, lobby, or up to the door and meet them to hand them their food.

It’s always best to let the customer know as you’re arriving, so they don’t have to endure any long waits for their food. This is a small customer service detail that can help boost your tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you apply for Uber Eats and are approved to drive, it’s easy to start making money on the road, and your work schedule is completely up to you.

To learn more about courier requirements, read these FAQs:

1. I am already an Uber driver. Do I meet Uber Eats requirements?

If you’ve already been fully approved as a rideshare driver for Uber — even if it’s just for a basic service like UberX — you do meet all Uber Eats requirements. If you want to start delivering food between your ride requests, you simply need to go to the “Driver Preferences” section of your Uber Driver app and toggle on Uber Eats requests.

2. Am I eligible to become an Uber driver if I meet Uber Eats requirements?

Unfortunately, Uber Eats drivers do not automatically qualify to drive for Uber. Uber driver requirements are more strict, so even if you and your vehicle are otherwise qualified, you’ll still minimally need to complete a vehicle inspection before you’re approved to take on rideshare requests.

3. I don’t own a vehicle or a bike. Can I deliver on foot?

Unfortunately, Uber Eats does not support walking deliveries, so you must have a car, scooter, or bike (depending on your market) to qualify as a courier. If you are still interested in on-foot deliveries, you can consider Grubhub and DoorDash, both of which accept walkers in select cities.

4. Can I drive for multiple food delivery apps at once?

Just as you can drive for Uber and Lyft at the same time, it is possible to drive (or even bike) for multiple food delivery apps — such as Uber Eats, Postmates, and Grubhub — all at once.

This can help you maximize your earnings and get back-to-back delivery requests. Just make sure to go offline your other apps once you accept a food order on one, as you don’t want constant notifications when you’re already busy with a pick-up or drop-off.

5. Do I need to pass a 19-point vehicle inspection to start delivering with Uber Eats?

Uber Eats drivers typically aren’t required to complete the annual Uber vehicle inspection, since you won’t be transporting any riders, though local regulations may differ. If you are asked to complete an inspection, you can contact Uber support to make sure the request is accurate before you waste any time.

6. Do the driver requirements vary based on my city?

The requirements can vary based on your city, but they don’t tend to vary a lot. The most common variation is in the type of delivery vehicle allowed. Somewhere like New York City or San Francisco, for instance, will allow delivery by bike. A car-dependent city like Nashville, on the other hand, won’t allow bike delivery because it simply isn’t practical or safe.

7. Are there any ways around the Uber Eats delivery driver requirements?

It’s tempting to think that you can get out of the requirements that Uber Eats has in place and fulfill Uber delivery orders anyway, but you’re unlikely to succeed with this method. Uber Eats uses identity verification technology to check the authenticity of your photo ID (which you have to upload as part of your application).

The background check will also reveal your age (since it requires your Social Security number). Attempting to deceive Uber in this way is not just against their policies, but it’s also illegal. If you’re too young to drive for the platform, then you can just wait a year or so; in the meantime, there are plenty of other delivery jobs you can do as an 18 year old.

8. Can I deliver for Uber Eats and drive for Uber?

Yes, you can. In fact, Uber encourages eligible drivers to do this. You can make both types of deliveries using the Uber driver app (though customers have to use a separate Uber Eats app to place orders).

You can even opt to receive both passenger and Uber Eats delivery requests during the same shift. This could mean that right after you drop off a passenger, you head to pick up an Uber Eats food order. You do have the option to disable this feature if you prefer just to deliver food or transport passengers, but we recommend having both enabled to maximize your potential earnings.

Of course, you won’t be able to transport passengers if you’re not old enough or if your car doesn’t meet the minimum requirements. Still, it’s very common to find UberX drivers who have the right age and vehicle to make both Uber Eats deliveries and passenger transport requests.

Uber Eats Delivery: Start Earning With Food Delivery

If you’re looking for a flexible gig outside of the ridesharing world, delivering meals to hungry customers may be the perfect opportunity for you to earn. Uber Eats is one of the leading platforms for on-demand food delivery in the United States, which means you can earn plenty of cash just by driving, biking, or riding your motorized scooter throughout your city. Whether you want to make money part-time or full-time, you can use our guide to apply for Uber Eats and get the earnings you need.

We hope this guide has shown you the Uber Eats requirements you’ll need to meet to start making deliveries. The requirements aren’t that difficult, especially compared to those for rideshare platforms like Uber and Lyft, or other jobs you could do.

View All Comments (7) Add A Comment

  1. mzperc Lisa Says:

    thanks for the messages

  2. Jon Woo Says:

    Do the drivers have to order the food for the customer or does Uber handle that?

  3. Grant Schiedel Says:

    Uber eats places the order. On the restaurants side, they have a tablet with uber eats running on it. When a order is placed it shows up and needs to be made. The person delivering it picks it up and on they go. This is at least for working for McDonald’s.

  4. Susan Combs Jackson Says:

    Do you have to supply the heat bag or does Uber Eats send it to you?

  5. Ron McMahon Says:

    They supply nothing as far as I can see (new driver here) but in my first 3 days I basically made double minimum wage less fuel. The only trouble I have is not tipping over liquid orders LOL.

  6. That’s exactly right. McDonald’s has the delivery thing down. It’s one of the better operations I’ve seen from a logistic standpoint.

    Most restaurants have designated spots for the delivery apps (Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, etc…) and will make it as easy as possible for the driver to simply walk in, pick up the food, and proceed with their delivery.

    Drivers don’t have to order the food, as it’s all handled by the Uber Eats app directly. All you have to do it pick up and deliver!

  7. From what I understand of delivering in most cities, Uber Eats should automatically send you a bag after you sign up and are approved to drive. At least that’s what’s happened with most of the food delivery drivers that I know. However, you can certainly buy some of your own though. They’re pretty cheap online, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

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