If you have an interest in driving for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, you should know it’s about more than just signing a form and getting the appropriate apps. There’s a whole application process involving you and your vehicle. Uber and Lyft have expectations when it comes to things like your age and even your car’s age. This post covers all these requirements, and more so you can walk into your Uber or Lyft application with confidence.
The General Driver Requirements For Uber And Lyft
Both Uber and Lyft accept all drivers that are of legal driving age. This can be 16 years old or whatever your state lists as the legal age to drive.
However, 16-year-old drivers may not be able to drive for Uber right away. Uber and Lyft usually require that new drivers have at least three years of fully licensed driving experience. This means that the minimum age for Uber drivers is more like 19 years old. For any other driver, no matter the age, they must have at least one year of driving experience.
Naturally, a service like Uber will look at your driving history or DMV record. They expect near-perfection with no recent accidents and especially no DUI convictions. Lyft is more specific, with its qualifications being no violations within the last three years. Of course, you’ll always have to drive with a license, registration, and insurance.
You’ll absolutely need a personal rideshare insurance policy with at least the minimum amount of basic coverage your state requires. Driving without insurance is illegal. This insurance cannot be suspended, canceled, or in another person’s name.
You’ll need your social security number in order for Lyft or Uber to run a background check. Anyone with pending charges, DUI convictions in the last seven years, sex offender status, and other felony charges will most likely not be accepted.
The General Vehicle Requirements
All rideshare vehicles, be it Uber or Lyft, must have a minimum of four doors and five seats with functioning belts. The license plate must be registered and valid with the state’s DMV. As for how old your car can be, Uber draws the line at 15 years old. Lyft is more lenient so long as they pass the vehicle inspection. As you may have seen from Uber’s app, they have different vehicle classes which allow luxury and SUV-sized cars to be registered. They, too, must be under 15 years old, have no damaged or missing components, and have you listed as the driver on its insurance policy (though you don’t have to be the owner of the car). Rental cars are typically not allowed.
The State Requirements
There are some instances of states requiring specific prerequisites and practices for driving for services like Uber or Lyft. California, for example, requires that Lyft drivers display a company decal on their car or dashboard while they are operating. Their cars have to be inspected on a yearly basis, and drivers need a special place card when picking up at an airport. Hawaii requires that Uber and Lyft drivers pay an excise tax. Nevada and D.C. put time limits on how long you can drive at 12 hours. Some states may also require that you carry a transportation network certification.
Rideshare Insurance For Uber And Lyft is Important
When drivers are on the app and waiting for a ride request, they are protected by Uber and Lyft’s liability insurance. During this time, Uber’s and Lyft’s coverage provide $50,000 of bodily injury per person, $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 of property damage coverage per accident. This is referred to as Period 1 of ridesharing.
When you accept a ride request, driving to the customer is known as Period 2. When the passenger has boarded your vehicle, and you’re transporting them to their destination, that’s Period 3. The insurance coverage of the rideshare firms will protect you. This includes $1 million in coverage. There are, however, gaps in coverage during various phases of your trip. Because you can’t be covered under your personal automobile insurance if you use your car for business, it’s essential to get rideshare insurance. This can assist in filling these coverage gaps.
The greatest approach to get a rideshare endorsement is usually through your personal insurance. The cost of a standalone policy is generally higher than their rate. However, you should compare rates because this isn’t always the case. Not every state offers rideshare insurance, so begin by asking your insurer if they provide it. In either case, compare insurance providers to determine who offers the most comprehensive coverage at the best price.
Rideshare insurance costs, on average, about $235 annually in addition to what you already pay for your personal auto policy.
Becoming a Rideshare Driver For Uber or Lyft
With all the what-ifs and definitions out of the way, we can finally talk about what you need to do in order to successfully apply for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft:
- Make sure you have rideshare insurance - If you don’t, then you can always shop around for extra auto coverage for the 2nd Period of ridesharing where neither your personal auto insurance nor the one through your rideshare company will cover. It’s good to get this settled before the application process. The peace of mind goes a long way. This would also be a good time to look over your car insurance in general.
- Complete the online application - Uber and Lyft have their forms filled out by the bulk on a daily basis. It’s an easy form to complete with all your and your vehicle’s information.
- Submit information for a background check - This includes your social security number. This is largely an automated process where not a whole lot of action on your part is required.
- After approval, download their app - You can now make your account and can begin driving soon. At this point, the rideshare company will give you a decal to put on your vehicle.
- Enter your hours and begin working - Since there likely is a limit on how many hours you can drive in a day, work out your hours in a way that satisfies the limit, and you can earn a profit. You’re now ready to start!
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