Becoming a Lyft Driver

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Lyft is a new type of service that connects a community of drivers with potential passengers through a smartphone app. Unlike traditional taxis, drivers use their own vehicle and can respond to requests for rides at their own convenience.

Some of the advantages of working for a service such as Lyft include:

  • Flexibility.
    • Drivers set their own schedule.
    • Can be an easy way to earn money with a second job.
    • You can work as little or as often as you like.
    • Convenient options for students or parents with busy or frequently changing schedules.
  • A reasonable income.
  • Minimal required training.

If you're considering becoming a Lyft driver, here's what you'll need to do in order to qualify.

Lyft Driver Requirements

Before you can begin operating as a Lyft driver, you'll have to meet the company's basic driver eligibility requirements. These include:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Agree to a driving history check through your state's DMV.
    • Some offenses that may disqualify you from becoming a Lyft driver:
      • DUI.
      • Driving without insurance.
      • A suspended license.
      • An accident involving a fatality.
      • Reckless driving charges.
  • Agree to a background check.
    • Any history of criminal offenses may be cause for disqualification.
  • Possess a smartphone (iPhone or Android models).
  • Provide your Social Security number.
  • Possess and show your driver's license. It must be:
    • Issued by the same state in which you plan to drive.
    • Current for at least 1 year prior.
  • Have a vehicle that is registered in the state you'll be working.
  • Hold auto insurance in your own name.
    • Lyft will offer insurance at no additional cost to drivers.
    • Coverage is valid ONLY while the vehicle is being operated for Lyft pickups, NOT for personal use.

Vehicle Requirements for Lyft

In addition to meeting the basic driver criteria, your vehicle must also qualify before you can begin driving for Lyft.

Vehicle standards as outlined by Lyft include:

  • A vehicle model year 2006 or newer with 4 doors.
  • Tires in good condition.
  • A windshield, windows, and mirrors that are in proper working order and free of cracks.
  • Properly functioning:
    • Lights.
    • Horn.
    • Seat belts.
    • Air conditioning and heating units.
  • No damage to the body of the vehicle.
  • No existing problems with the:
    • Engine.
    • Transmission.
    • Suspension.
    • Steering.
    • Brakes.

To ensure your vehicle meets each of these standards, potential drivers will be required to pass a car inspection. Inspection locations vary by city and must be completed by a Lyft-approved auto mechanic or a Lyft mentor. When you apply, you will be instructed on how to have your vehicle inspection completed.

Apply to Be a Lyft Driver

As long as you meet each of the driver and vehicle requirements, the application process to become a Lyft driver is simple.

Here's what you'll need to do:

  • Create a Lyft account.
  • Enter basic information, such as your:
    • Name.
    • Phone number.
    • Address.
    • E-mail.
  • Submit info needed for:
    • Vehicle check.
    • Background check.
    • Driving history check.
    • Proof of identity.
    • Basic driver requirements.
  • Wait for Lyft to contact you OR check the status of your application.
  • Complete a mentor and welcome ride.
    • Once the application has been approved, Lyft will set up a welcome ride with one of their experienced drivers.
    • This will include a test drive and an inspection of the vehicle IF not already performed by a certified mechanic.

Once you've been approved, you'll be able to start driving on your own.

Start Driving with Lyft

The process to begin driving for Lyft and earning your income is quite simple.

  • Open the app on your smartphone.
  • Turn on “driver mode."
  • When you see a ride request that you'd like to respond to, accept the request.
  • Pick up the passenger at the designated time.
  • Confirm your arrival.
  • Once the ride is complete, the app will automatically charge the passenger.

Drivers will receive a weekly deposit into their bank account. In general, drivers will receive a percentage of ride fees from passengers, plus any tips. How much you earn will depend on the number of rides you provide each week.

In addition, Lyft offers power driver bonuses that can increase your income if you provide a specific number of rides each week. See your driver dashboard to determine whether or not you qualify.

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