Becoming an Uber Driver

If you're looking for a way to make money driving, starting a career as an Uber driver could be the option you've been looking for.

Unlike more traditional taxi services, drivers who work for Uber:

  • Are paid weekly.
  • Use their own car.
  • Are allowed to set their schedule with flexible shifts.

Here are some basic requirements, tips, and guidelines on how to be an Uber driver.

Uber Driver Requirements

To be an Uber driver—or what Uber calls a “driver partner"—, you'll be required to meet certain criteria before you're hired. This includes:

  • A minimum age requirement of 21 years old.
  • Minimum of 1 year of driving experience. 
    • If you are less than 23 years old you must have a minimum 3 years driving experience.
  • Car insurance under your name.
    • Insurance must also be in the same state you'll be driving in and meet that state's minimum requirements.
  • A Social Security number.
  • Submission to a background check, which will look for:
    • DUIs.
    • History of operating a vehicle without insurance.
    • Suspended licenses.
    • Accidents.
    • Reckless driving charges.
    • Criminal history.

If you have a clean driving history and no criminal record, you may meet the general requirements to be an Uber driver.

Do I Need a Commercial Driver's License?

For most U.S. cities that Uber operates in, you do not need to possess a commercial driver license (CDL) in order to be an UberX driver (their basic level of service). However, when you begin the application process, you'll be instructed as to whether your chosen level of driver partner requires a higher class of license.

Uber Vehicle Requirements

Along with the driver requirements, your vehicle will also need to meet certain criteria to be accepted under Uber's minimum standards.

The vehicle requirements for Uber's basic services (UberX) include:

  • Model year no more than 15 years old or newer. 
    • Requirements may vary from city to city. 
  • A sedan that can seat at least 4 passengers, excluding you (the driver).
  • State-issued license plates.
  • Valid registration. 
  • A working seatbelt for all passengers. 
  • A prohibition against vehicles which have been previously salvaged OR used for taxi-related services.

Keep in mind that Uber has several different options for customers looking luxury vehicles, such as:

  • UberXL
  • UberBlack
  • UberSelect
  • UberPlus
  • UberSUV
  • UberLUX

These high-end services necessitate additional vehicle requirements to meet Uber's luxury vehicle standards and professional chauffeur services.

Applying to Be an Uber Driver

Once you and your vehicle have met Uber's eligibility requirements, you can begin the Uber application process.

Here are the steps you'll need to take:

  • Fill out an application online.
  • Have your vehicle inspected.
    • Uber requires potential candidates to have his or her vehicle inspected at an Uber inspection station or by a certified third party.
  • Submit the paperwork for your background check.
    • Uber will indicate what they need from you for this.

Once you've passed each of the first three steps, you'll be allowed to set your schedule and begin picking up clients.

Start Driving—How Uber Works

After you've been approved to begin driving as an Uber partner, here's how your experience will typically go:

  • You'll open the Uber driver app when you're ready to start accepting rides. Your username is typically your e-mail address.
    • Uber provides a phone with the Uber driver app set up on the device.
    • If you would rather use your own smartphone, Uber will provide you with the setup details.
  • When a rider requests an Uber, the driver closest to them automatically receives the trip request—so if that's you, the notification will pop up on your app.
  • You'll accept the trip, and use the navigation to drive to the client's pick-up location.
  • The app will charge the rider, so you won't need to collect any fees during your drive.
  • When the ride is over, you AND your rider will have the opportunity to rate one another.
  • Uber will pay you through direct deposit.

Uber drivers are paid based upon the number of rides they provide to customers. In order to maintain your Uber partner account, you'll need to accept 1 trip or more every 30 days or less. If you don't, you may have to reapply.

For more on Uber, please visit the company's official website.

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