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Before you can begin earning income as a rideshare driver with Lyft, you must go through a background check process. In accordance with state and federal safety standards, Lyft seeks to ensure that every driver in their company provides safe journeys for riders.

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.

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

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.

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know

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
  • Accidents
  • 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
  • Felonies
  • 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.

Lyft Background Checks: Everything You Need To Know