So you probably want to sign up for Lyft, But you may be a little nervous about applying. You’re wondering if your application will get rejected or if you will pass all of Lyft’s requirements.
Is your vehicle up to par?
How many speeding tickets have you had in the last year?
What about your criminal history?
These are all questions that you should be trying to answer right now, and for good reason.
Driving for Lyft can be a great way to earn some extra cash, but it’s all about the safety first.
Passengers need to know the person driving behind the wheel isn’t some reckless homicidal maniac with road rage.
So Today, I’m going to break down for you what Lyft’s driver and vehicle requirements are to be approved to drive for Lyft.
Lyft Driver Requirements
Before you even worry about whether or not your vehicle will qualify, you’re gonna want to make sure you would be able to drive for Lyft first.
The requirements really aren’t too difficult, and most people without a criminal record that apply do get approved.
If you’re trying to get approved ASAP, then the fastest way to finding out if you qualify is just by signing up right this minute. Click here to get a sign-up bonus for trying out Lyft.
Here’s a quick list of Lyft’s driver requirements:
- Driver Applicants Must Be 21 years or older
- Driver Applicant must have had a valid Driver’s License for minimum 1 year
- Must have a clean driving record (1 speeding ticket shouldn’t affect your chances)
- Pass a Criminal Background Check
- You must have Insurance on the vehicle you plan on driving
- Must Have a Smart Phone to work
If you haven’t signed up for Uber yet, Uber’s driver requirements are similar to Lyft.
No Exceptions To Anyone Under 21
If your 21st birthday is tomorrow, then wait until tomorrow or your application will get rejected. Age isn’t a number that Lyft is allowed to make exceptions for.
I would’ve started driving for Lyft and Uber a year earlier if they made an exception. I had to wait until I turned 21, and you will have to wait until you turn 21 as well.
Must Have a Valid Driver’s License for 1 Year Minimum
When you’re driving for a living, it’s good to have some experience behind the wheel first. Before you can drive for Lyft, you have to have had a valid driver’s license for at least one year.
I got my License when I turned 16. I know most people that already drive shouldn’t have an issue with this.
If you moved from another state and just changed your Driver’s License, but have had the license for overall more than a year, then that should be fine.
You might have to upload a picture of your old and new license next to each other, but it shouldn’t be a problem.
If you’re new to this country, then you’ll have to get a driver’s license and then wait 1 year before you can apply for Lyft.
Must Be Insured on the Vehicle You Plan on Driving
Not only does your name need to be on the insurance, you also need to make sure the coverage is in the state you plan on driving in. Each state has different requirements for insurance.
In order to drive for Lyft, your insurance must meet the state minimum. You still have to check with your insurance company to make sure they have rideshare coverage for you.
If they don’t have a policy, then I’d recommend calling other Insurance companies. Each state varies on this.
Harry Campbell, “The RideShare Guy”, has a great blog post that explains your options for insurance in your state.
DMV Driver Record Check
When applying for Lyft, one of the forms you agree to is authorizing Lyft to check your driving history. This is necessary for the safety of the passengers. Lyft uses a third party company that performs the driver check.
You would be disqualified to drive for Lyft if anything below was found on your driving record.
- More than 3 moving violations in the last three years (e.g. accidents, traffic violations)
- A major moving violation in the last three years (e.g. driving on a suspended license, reckless driving)
- A DUI or other drug-related driving violation in the last seven years
- Any driving-related convictions in the last seven years (e.g. hit-and-run, felonies involving a vehicle)
In reality, these are the same basic requirements that are required to deliver for a pizza place like Domino’s Pizza.
The requirements aren’t too strict, and a simple speeding ticket won’t prevent you from being able to drive.
Just make sure from this point on you are more cautious with driving if you are a little on the wild side.
If you feel you’re on the edge on whether or not you qualify, then just apply anyways. The worst that can happen is you are told no.
You won’t have to worry about the Kool-aid man busting through your wall for not getting approved.
Lyft’s Background Check
Just like just about any other job you will ever apply to, Lyft does a thorough background check before they let you drive. It’s performed by a third party and checks your background history at the national and local level.
The background check typically only looks at your last seven years of history. Though local laws may extend the check a little farther.
Here’s what Lyft looks for:
- No violent crimes
- No sexual offenses
- No theft
- No property damage
- No felonies
- No drug-related offenses
There’s a lifetime ban on Individuals registered on the National Sex Offender Registry and DOJ50-State Sex Offender Registry.
The background check isn’t actually conducted until you have already uploaded all of your documents and went through your Mentor/on-boarding session where your vehicle gets inspected and you get a run down on the app and how Lyft works.
If you do not pass the background, but feel you should have, Lyft will send you an email and explain how to contest the results.
It usually only takes 3-5 days to pass the background check, but could even take a few weeks.
Once approved, Lyft will run an annual background check on you. As long as you don’t become a criminal you should have nothing to worry about.
Because the background check is the last thing Lyft does, that means once you pass the background check you can start driving and earning some extra cash.
You can check your application status here.
Lyft Vehicle Requirements
One difference I did notice with Lyft compared to Uber is the vehicle requirements are a little higher. In most states your vehicle model year needs to be a 2005 or newer. Every year that passes, the year requirement year goes up also.
For example, your 2005 vehicle will qualify for this year. But next year your vehicle must be a 2006
Depending on your market, your vehicle may require higher standards on vehicle year. Below is the vehicle year requirements for each market.
Specific Requirements for your Vehicle to qualify for Lyft
- Must Have 4 doors.
- Each door must be able to open from the outside and inside.
- Passengers need to be able to unlock and lock their own door
- Turn signals, high beams, headlights, brake lights, and any other kind of light must work
- A/C and Heat must work
- Must have at least 5 seat belts (This includes driver’s seat)
- Engine, steering, brakes must be fully functional and safe
- Car is free of dents and body damage( a few scratches and tiny dent should be fine)
- Working horn
- Tire tread depth must pass the penny test: put a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head facing down.If you can see Lincoln’s whole head, you need new tires.
- Windshield free of large cracks in driver’s vision
- Windows fully functional and free of cracks
- Mirrors free of cracks
- Windshield Wipers functional and in good condition
- Front seats can move backwards and forward
- Tailpipes and Mufflers in good condition and legal
2 Door Cars Cannot Drive For Lyft
This seems to be a pretty common question for the 2 door community at least. Lyft does not allow 2 door cars on the platform.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d be cool if some 2 door BMW picked me up, but it does become harder for groups to enter and exit your vehicle.
There’s also concern for safety, as someone with a 2 door car could more easily keep someone trapped in the back once they get in.
Small Cosmetic Damage is Okay
Nobody has a perfect vehicle. Every car will get a scratch or dent eventually. Even if it’s mother nature instead of you that did the damage.
If you have minor dents or scratches, then you should still be able to drive. As long as your car doesn’t look like it played chicken with a Bus, you should be fine.
Salvage and Rebuilt Cars
I know on the Uber platform, you are not allowed to use a rebuilt or salvaged car. However, I don’t actually see any info on Lyft’s website about this.
Because Uber and Lyft’s vehicle requirements are similar, There is a good chance that you won’t get approved.
If anyone signs up with this type of car, let me know what happened in the comments below.
Taxi and Black Town Car
While it’s OK to drive for Lyft as a Taxi driver, it’s not OK to use a vehicle that shows any signs that it is a Taxi.
So anything considered Taxi material must be removed as well as meeting all of the other car requirements above.
If you do choose to drive on the Lyft platform, acknowledge that streets hails and cash transactions are not allowed on the rideshare platform.
Lyft Plus Vehicle Requirements
If you drive a vehicle that can seat 6 passengers plus you (Seat belts for everyone), you can drive for Lyft plus. Model year and other vehicle requirements, such as needing 4 doors, are the same as regular Lyft.
Lyft Plus allows you to carry larger groups of passengers allowing you to earn more money per fare.
Vehicles that qualify will automatically be opted in to receiving Lyft Plus ride requests. If for some reason you aren’t receiving Lyft Plus requests, then contact Lyft support to rectify the problem.
You are not allowed to do Lyft Plus rides only.
Comply With Your Local Laws and Regulation
Some cities require Lyft drivers to comply with extra requirements in order to pick up and drop off in that city.
For example, to drive In San Francisco you are required to have a business license. It’s $91 a year and you can get instructions on how to get the business license here.
However if you drive outside of San Francisco you are not required to have a business license. I personally like to drive in the East Bay. Less Traffic than SF.
If there are any special requirements in the city you’ll be driving Lyft will notify and explain what you need to do during the sign-up process.
Must Have A Smart Phone
One last thing I wanted to add, You must have a smartphone in order to drive for Lyft.
You drive and receive ride request by using Lyft’s phone app. So without a smartphone, there’s no way you would be able receive requests.
I’ve never used a tablet with data, but if you have let me know how it works in the comments section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Drive For Lyft With Someone Else’s Car?
As long as your name is on the insurance policy it doesn’t matter whose name is on the vehicle registration. Friend, spouse, Mom, Dad, as long as they’re aware of what you’re doing and are okay with it, then sign up and drive for Lyft. Grab a referral bonus signing up here.
Is There A Limit to the Miles You Can Have On Your Car?
As Long as you meet all of Lyft’s Vehicle requirements, and your car is in good running condition, it doesn’t matter how many miles you have on your car.
Does My Car Qualify For Lyft?
If you have read through the requirements and you are still not sure if you or your vehicle would get approved for Lyft, then the best thing to do is to just apply.
There is nothing online that will guarantee you will pass your vehicle inspection. The only sure way of finding out if your vehicle qualifies is by applying and getting your car inspected.
Do You Have any questions about your vehicle or driver requirements for Lyft? Ask your questions in the comments below.