People often have a lot of questions about these background checks when getting ready to apply to drive with Lyft. Some have questioned the intensity of Lyft’s background check, and others have considered their standards to be too lax.
Either way, if you are considering driving with Lyft, you will want to know everything about their background check before applying. We’re here to help you, and this post will prepare you for Lyft’s background check and all that it entails.
What is Lyft’s Background Check?
In order to qualify to drive with Lyft, you are required to undergo a background check. Once you create an account with Lyft, you will provide them with the information necessary for a background check as part of your application process. Lyft used to include a mentor session as part of their application process but have done away with this portion.
Lyft uses a third-party company to complete their background checks, called Sterling BackCheck. This company will use your social security number to perform an extensive check on your driving history and criminal records (if applicable). This check complies with federal and state standards.
Lyft doesn’t only perform this background check when you apply. They also perform yearly checks, and re-run all of your information to make sure you haven’t had any changes in your driving record or criminal history. So, even if you are accepted as a Lyft driver, you’ll want to keep your driving record clean to avoid deactivation.
Lyft notes on their website that in New York City, “DMV and criminal background checks are conducted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) according to their licensing standards, not by Lyft.” So if you’re driving in New York City, Lyft is not doing your background check.
Lyft’s background check enables them to ensure they are meeting safety standards and protecting both their drivers and riders.
What Do They Look At?
When Sterling performs Lyft’s background check, they will examine two separate areas.
First, they look at your driving record, making sure that you are a capable and safe driver. You will not be allowed to drive for Lyft if the following are found on your driving record:
- More than 3 moving violations in the previous 3 years, such as
- Speeding tickets
- Stoplight violations
- Driving without insurance
- Any major violations in the previous 3 years, such as
- Driving with a suspended license
- Reckless driving
- A DUI or any drug related violation in the previous 7 years
- Driving related convictions in the previous 7 years, such as
- Drug possession
- Hit and run
- Other felonies that involve a vehicle
Lyft is also checking to make sure that you are at least 21, and have had a valid driver’s license for at least one year.
Second, they will perform a criminal background check. This will screen all applicants for any criminal offenses or driving related convictions. Sterling will use the provided social security number to search the following databases for matches:
- Previous seven years’ county courthouse records
- Previous seven years’ federal courthouse records
- Previous seven years’ multi-state criminal records
- Motor vehicle records from the DMV
- National sex-offender registry.
If any of the following crimes is discovered through this search (in the previous seven year period), the applicant will be automatically ineligible to drive with Lyft:
- Violent crimes
- Drug related crimes
- Sexual offenses
- In certain cases, theft and property damage convictions
These are typical reasons for being disqualified, but Lyft’s website stipulates that “more restrictive standards may apply based on local requirements specific to ridesharing. Lyft reserves the right to disqualify a driver at any time should either their driving record or background check reveal any of the above items or for any other safety-related reason at Lyft’s discretion.”
Lyft also may look farther back than seven years, if more serious crimes that warrant disqualification occurred before the seven year period.
How Long Does It Take?
According to Lyft, your background checkH should take anywhere from 3-10 days to process and complete. Most drivers report it taking 3-5 days, which is shorter than the average Uber background check. However, several things could contribute to this taking longer.
If there is a high volume of applications, it may slow down the process. Ultimately, the decision to accept a new driver is made by a person, not a computer, so if a lot of applications come in at once, it will take longer for those responsible for hiring.
Background checks also might take more time if your application runs into any snags. This could happen if you’ve lived in several places, requiring several county level searches.
Lyft also performs vehicle checks to make sure the car you drive is appropriate for ridesharing and meets all of their safety standards. This can add to application time as well.
You can check the status of your application by going to Lyft.com/drivers. If you find that nothing has changed after the 10 day period, you can contact Lyft support to find out if there is a specific hold-up. However, Lyft does say that background checks can sometimes take up to several weeks.
Unlike with Uber, whose communication is sometimes hit or miss, you should receive an email and text from Lyft once you’ve been accepted as a driver, and you are set to begin accepting rides.
What Happens If I’m Disqualified?
There are a few different things you can do if you are disqualified and not accepted as a Lyft driver.
First, if you feel you have been unfairly disqualified, Lyft’s website tells you, “If you do not pass your background check, you’ll get a copy via email and instructions on how to dispute the results.” You can then get in touch with Lyft regarding the specific reason you did not pass and why you’d like to be reconsidered.
If you do not wish to dispute, you can wait and apply with Lyft again after 3-6 months. Lyft doesn’t actually specify a time period to wait to reapply, but this is generally how long people have reported waiting.
Lyft takes these applications on a case-by-case basis, but drivers are rarely hired if they have been previously rejected. If you do decide to reapply, take the time to understand what went wrong the first time, and get in touch with Lyft before doing so. If it was a problem with your background check or DMV check, you can request copies of these for yourself.
How Can I Avoid Being Disqualified?
Before you apply to be a driver with Lyft, you’ll want to make sure you do everything you can to ensure that you pass both their driving record check and their criminal record check. In certain cases there’s not much you can do, but it’s worth getting copies of both of these for yourself before applying with Lyft if you are unsure what they will see.
If you have any minor traffic violations on your record, you might be able to remove them by taking a traffic safety class. This is usually only an option for a few months after you’ve received your ticket, and you’ll want to check and see if this is still an option for you.
Another reason to request a copy of your records is that you may only need to wait a short time to apply if your violations or charges happened close to three years ago, and you can put off your application until that time.
When it comes to criminal offenses or convictions, in some cases you can apply for expungement of certain violations or convictions if you’ve paid your fine and a certain amount of time has passed.
Dismissed charges should not appear on your background check. You’ll want to check your state laws on expungement to find out if this is an option for you before applying.
It’s worth noting that Lyft actually does accept some drivers with felonies on their records if the charges are not violent in nature. If this is the case for you, you may want to contact Lyft directly about this while applying to see if they will consider you in spite of your conviction.
Lyft’s background check takes some time and can cause problems for some people, but are put in place to protect the safety of both drivers and riders with the company. Many cities have faced pressure to require even more in-depth checks, such as fingerprinting. While this hasn’t happened yet, it does signify that the background check, if anything, will only get more extensive.
This guide should help you to feel prepared for the background check, as well as take certain measures to avoid unnecessary rejection. Once you pass your check you’ll be ready to start taking rides with Lyft and earning more as a driver!
I can tell you living in Georgia I applied for Lyft and they went all the way back to my 18th birthday 19 years they went back Georgia law states 7 years I got the excuse from sterlingbackcheck that since lift has their main headquarters in California they go by California law which states that they can go back as far as they want so be careful sterlingbackcheck likes to bend the rules
Thank you for the feedback!
The time frame and state match a similar scenario for me…. burglary felony at 18, now 41.
So what were your issues, and did you end up passing??
I had a domestic 21 years ago. Only thing on my background. Did they pass you?
Can I rent a car through an affiliate of Hyre car. com? I do own a decent vehicle however being it’s a 2002 Toyota Corolla with 115,000 highway miles on it. Thanks Dean Mainor. Also I have a “class A” Cdl license but it’s hard to find local work in Connecticut.
The vehicle would need to be listed on our platform so you could rent it through us and receive the proper insurance and other paperwork needed to upload into your Uber and Lyft accounts.
My name fenel Joseph since last month trying to reach out with lyft support cause waiting for my background check nothing never come up please let me know when start work New Jersey
Our best advice would be to continue reaching out to their support team in order to have your background check processed ASAP so you can start working ASAP.
I have a question and I’ll try to keep it to the point here.
I started driving for Lyft in July 2016. I have a 4.9 star rating and more than 1800 rides under my belt. Back in April I think of this year my license was suspended because I couldn’t afford to pay the fine for a speeding ticket I received in February and I was broke, in the middle of a nasty divorce and frankly I didn’t care about much of anything back then, including that ticket that I couldn’t afford anyway.
Eventually I was forced off the platform because my insurance policy expired which didn’t matter anymore because my vehicle was also repossessed.
So a couple months ago I didn’t have a choice but to use my mothers car for some side gig work and also transporting my kids to school and to their moms when she had them. One day I was late coming home and was ticketed for driving on a suspended license…. the officer eventually let me drive the vehicle home and I have since gone to court and did that whole bit but my question is this:
The original ticket for speeding has been paid and my license is now reinstated but I’m concerned that Lyft may not let me back online because of the driving while suspended ticket recently.
In my defense: My license was not suspended for DUI or reckless or anything more criminal than being broke and unable to pay a fine.
Ironically, the state of California had since outlawed the courts from suspending its citizens drivers licenses for inability to pay fines and instead chose failing to appear in court as valid enough for suspension. So had I received this citation in 2017 instead of 2016 this wouldn’t have happened at all.
Do you or anyone reading this think this is going to exclude me regardless of the circumstances above? Or is it possible, even if I have to appeal it with Lyft, that they might make an exception given my track record with Lyft, my suspension offense was not criminal but financial and finally, according to California, not a valid reason to suspend someone’s license and recently banned the traffic courts practice of doing so.
I’ve been waiting more than a week now to be reinstated with Lyft so I can rent a car and get back on the road but both Lyft and Uber’s support departments are just as much a joke as I remember and at the rate things are going (in total I’ve had my license back for more than two weeks and I still haven’t been able to log on with either of them) I’m figuring this may take a month or two, maybe more to resolve and be on my merry way. Maybe it’ll be a wonderful Christmas present from them for me.
I don’t know why I would choose to subject myself to either of these companies lunacy again. But I made good money driving in SF and I would like the chance to do it again if I can stomach the red tape much longer.
Hi Jon, it sounds like you still have a shot of getting approved for Lyft and Uber because your cases do not seem extreme or include major traffic violations. It is probably very frustrating not being able to contact support, but don’t give up! You can also apply for other ridesharing services like Postmates, Grubhub, Amazon Flex, etc…as you will be able to use our vehicles to drive for any/all ridesharing services.
Most companies will deny your application due to major driving accidents or for criminal background issues, but since that does not seem like the case, you still have a solid chance of getting back on the road and making money!
Best of luck!
I am in the process of moving from Colorado to Louisiana. Should i have the background check done before or after I switch my license?
You will want to have it done as soon as you move to Louisiana and switch your license.
Is there a phone number I can call for Hyrecar
Yes of course! The phone number is 888-688-6769
I applied for uber through hyrecar. I was approved by hyrecar and was ready to start with uber. I passed both background checks with hyrecar, but did not through uber (both use the same company for background check???). The issue is, i plead guilty for a DUI in 2010 yet some reason, the disposition wasn’t entered until late 2011. I am trying to figure out why and take care of that, but I just applied for LYFT a few days ago and am waiting on their background check. Would LYFT also reject me, or would i be good? Why would I pass with hyrecar but not uber and potentially lyft? What should I do at this point?
Although our background check is very similar to Uber and Lyft, their criteria may slightly differ from ours in a few sections. We have had tons of drivers get denied by Uber but approved for Lyft, so we recommend waiting to hear back from Lyft because there is still a good chance of getting approved and being able to start driving. Once you get the green light from Lyft, feel free to visit driver.www.hyrecar.com to book a vehicle and hit the road to start making money!
I live in Philadelphia and I want to apply to drive for lyft, but I was just recently arrested for possession of narcotics but I have not been convicted and i have not been to court yet either, and I know that the charges are going to get dropped, regardless i am just trying to find out if they will see that I was arrested and have a open case when they run my background check ..thank you
Hey Mike, There is no right answer to this question as the laws all differ state by state, and it all depends on whether or not they have entered your open case in the system. Your best bet is to just attempt the background check now and hope for the best, or wait until after the case is closed and try then!
Question. I want to apply to lyft. I have no moving violations. But i have had some driving while suspended violations that was caused by paying some parking tickets and my surcharge payments late and i had to restore my license with a restoration fee. Would that hinder my chances from getting approved to drive with lyft?
Hello CC! You would need to check with Lyft about their background check requirements. If you have any questions or need any assistance after creating an account with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (213) 269-5330.
So i applied to postmates and they hired me. I had a felony in 2002. Do you think i would past the lyft background check ? Does lyft use the same company for their background checks ??
Hi Joe! Please contact Lyft with those direct questions and feel free to start your background check. If you need assistance with a rental for Lyft, please email email@example.com or give us a call at (213) 269-5330.
Hi I been driving with Lyft since March 2018 and last night I got an email saying there is an issue with my background.
I did have some problems back in 2010 but I been clean since then.
So this morning I was getting ready for work and my app was frozen due to my background.
Why would you allow me to work for 3 or 4 months and now kick me out.
I quit my job just to work for Lyft and as of right now I have no job.
What do I do. I have a wife and 3 kids I need to feed.
Hi Sam! We are sorry to hear you can no longer drive for Lyft. You will need to speak to their Support Team to inquire about your background check! Thanks.
I just went out to court and they found me guilty of maltreatment of a minor child/child neglect due to my nephew whos is 3 years old stating it..i have no other record if criminal offenses or any felony or anything on my record so am i still qualifie to be a lyft driver?
Please contact Lyft’s support team to receive proper assistance. This link has great general information but we would still suggest you contact Lyft’s support. https://help.lyft.com/hc/en-ca/articles/115012925687-Driver-requirements#dmv.
I was arrested for a felony 3 years ago, but the charges were dropped. Would that disqualify me? I have no other convictions
Please refer to our eligibility requirements here: https://support.www.hyrecar.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005040028–What-are-the-eligibility-requirements-.
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I was recently deactivated by lyft after working for a year. I was stabbed by someone inside my apartment and I was charged with brandishing a weapon(misdemeanor). Should I have been deactivated. My background check said “consider” I failed the background check because of that word(consider)
I had a major violation for 100 mph on12/09/15 over three years ago. Should I be in the clear to reapply after being rejected in March of this year?
I was charged and convicted as a minor for 1st degree armed robbery and weapons charge it was left in family court I was 6teen now I’m 44 and a minister I applied and was denied employment I was 6teen why? What am I able to do about that
Hello Gerson, Lyft would typically do a criminal background check in the previous 7 years period. However, different cases would vary depending on many different factors. You can read the a more detailed information on the Lyft background check here: https://www.hyrecar.com/blog/lyft-background-checks/. The only way to check and know for sure is to go through that background check itself. You could try to contact Lyft through contact support to see how this issue could be solved. We hope that you found this helpful and good luck with your application!
Not sure if you know the answer to this or not but I have never been introuble with the law in my life. Today Lyft asked me to “consent” to a background check. Will I still be able to use the app and drive during the 3-10 days of the background check?
Hello, you will need an approved driver profile in order to use the app and drive.
can you qualify if you just had a suspended drivers license(insurance lap) at one point in the last 3 years but your license is now reinstated?
Hello Pierre, I always suggest applying either way because it is free and it is not a credit check. Download the app to get started on the application for free.
I was rejected by Lyft for something disqualify they said. They sent me a copy of my background check and it had nothing on it. It’s been a year now and I still have yet to find out why I was rejected. I was told by Lyft that legally they themself can’t tell me why I was rejected directly and everything I needed to know was on my background check. I find this to be super sketchy and want to know if anyone else has ran into this.
As of August 08 2019 3:00pm lyft is no longer using sterling as a third party background check
I just applied for Lyft and got denied and I did a 2 year treatment court program and graduated from the program please help
this is a great post with a lot of knowlage
Awesome knowledge. Really useful. I really enjoyed reading this post
Been driving for lyft for over 3 years and now on hold for background check.
On Dec 2017 I was charge on a misdemeanor that was later dismissed as a no information so my question is can that get me deactivated?
You would have to check with Lyft for that.
[…] is actually doing a little more to keep you safe. As according to HyreCar’s 2020 article Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need to Know, “Lyft uses a third-party company to complete their background checks, called Sterling […]
Pretty sure Lyft uses Checkr now and if a felony shows up at any time in your life you’re banned. There’s no more 7 year period. Any felony violent or not is an automatic disqualification if it shows up.
My driving record has recently improved to only 2 minor traffic violations, however, when I try to reapply for Lyft I receive an immediate denial from before. Is there a way I can reapply? Or at least speak/chat with someone at Lyft about reapplying? Thanks!