How To Apply To Be A Lyft Driver

January 1, 2021

Summary of Lyft Driver Requirements 2021:

  • Aged 21 to 25 depending on state
  • Valid state driver’s license (1+ years U.S license in certain states)
  • Valid personal auto insurance that meets or exceeds state requirements
  • No more than 3 moving violations in the past 3 years
  • No major violations in the past 3 years
  • No DUIs or drug-related driving offenses in the last 7 years
  • No extreme infractions in the last 7 years

See more detail below…

Detailed Lyft Driver Requirements 2021

Lyft driver requirements are very similar to the process and requirements of becoming an Uber driver.  According to Lyft requirements, the rideshare company is looking for safe stable drivers whose first priority is the safety of their passengers.


  1. The minimum age to drive for Lyft varies from state to state between 21 and 25 years of age or older depending on the state you want to drive in. – There are no exceptions here. If you have not reached the minimum age requirement at the time of application with Lyft they will not approve you. (see table below for further details on state requirements for age)
  2. Some states require that the new applicant be licensed for a minimum of 1 year.  The state that requires a minimum of 1 year licensed driving experience are: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington – It is important to note that Lyft requirements dictate that your drivers’ license must be issued by the state that the city you will be driving in is located. Thus if you recently entered say California and you have a Nevada License, you’d better go to the DMV and get your California Driver’s License ASAP. You will be able to prove that you had a previous drivers license from another state in order to prove that you have been driving for at least 1 year by taking a picture of your old license and your new one when you apply with Lyft.
  3. Clean Driving Record. – This does not mean exceptionally clean, Lyft realizes that some drivers may have a simple infraction now and again. Here is a list of Lyft qualifications:
    • Valid personal auto insurance that meets or exceeds state requirements
    • No more than three moving violations in the past three years (e.g. accidents, traffic light violations)
    • No major violations in the past three years (e.g. driving on a suspended license, reckless driving)
    • No DUIs or other drug-related driving violations in the last seven years (period may vary based on State)
    • No extreme infractions in the last seven years (e.g. hit-and-run, felonies involving a vehicle)
    • Active drivers have their driving record continuously monitored for ongoing infractions and my be deactivated if over the threshold of qualifications.
  4. Pass a criminal background check. – As per Lyft driver qualifications, you will ask for your consent for a criminal background check. This is handled by a third party usually Checkr, Inc..  Here are the details for Lyft driver qualifications in order to drive for Lyft.
    Within the past seven years:
    • No violent crimes
    • No sexual offenses
    • No theft (duration may vary by regional jurisdictions)
    • No DUI whether alcohol or drugs
    • No property damage (duration may vary by regional jurisdictions)
    • No fraud (duration may vary by regional jurisdictions)
    • No felonies
    • No drug-related offenses (duration may vary by regional jurisdictions)
    • No act of terror
    • Your background will be continually monitored for changes and you may be deactivated should you have any infractions.
    • If you have a dispute over the information in your background check you can contact Checkr on their Candidate Portal
  5. Lifetime screen against:
    • No Individuals registered on the National Sex Offender Registry and DOJ50-State Sex Offender Registry. If you do not pass the background check, Lyft will email you the results and tell you how to contest their decision.
  6. Be insured on the vehicle you intend to drive. – It is critical that the name on the policy reflects the exact vehicle which you will be driving. The amount of the insurance has to match at least the minimal amount required by the state to drive a car.

Apart from the Lyft driver requirements, Lyft also has vehicle requirements that the potential driver must adhere to.  Lyft’s 2021 vehicle requirements are different for each state and in some cases the cities and regions in the state.  Please refer to the the table below for basic information for you state.

Note: We are currently updating the Lyft Driver and Car Requirements Table, most of the information in the table is up to date but we continue to constantly apply updates as Lyft and the states that Lyft operates in change their rules and policies constantly.

Minimum YearDoorsSeats inc driverDrivers LicenseTemporary Drivers LicenseOut of State Drivers LicenseMinimum Driver AgeCriminal Background CheckDMV Driving History CheckVehicle RegistrationPersonal Vehicle InsuranceState Vehicle InspectionSmartphoneDriver Mode Time Limit HoursProfile PhotoCity QuizBusiness LicenceTransport Network Operator Licence
New Jersey?45-8RequiredAcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequired?Required12
New Mexico........45-8RequiredAcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired12
New Orleans?45-8RequiredAcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequired?Required12
New York City19
New York State200545-8.....AcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequired?Required12
North Carolina?45-8RequiredAccepted AcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired12
North Dakota200445-8RequiredAcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequired?Required12
Rhode Island200645-8RequiredAcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequired?Required12
Seattle King Countyb & Tacoma..45-8.............Accepted?25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredYesYes
South Carolina200445-8RequiredAcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequired?RequiredRequiredRequired12Yes
South Dakota201145-8RequiredAcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequired?Required12YesYes
Washington DC201145-8RequiredAcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired12YesYes
Washington DC?45-8.........AccceptedAccepted25RequiredRequired?RequiredRequiredRequired12YesYes
West Virginia...45-8RequiredAcceptedAccepted25RequiredRequiredRequiredRequired?Required12Yes

If your vehicle does not qualify, you have lots of other options to drive for Lyft.  Please read “7 Options for Drivers Who Don’t Meet Lyft’s Car Requirements“.

In addition, the vehicle must have…

  1. Must have 4 (four) doors. Each door must have a handle accessible from the exterior of the vehicle. No, those halfsie doors aren’t eligible.
  2. Must have a minimum of 5 seat belts to a maximum of 8 (of these one seat belt is assigned to the driver)
  3. All signals, lights, high beams, hazards, turn signals, brakes, fog lamps, and other lights must work.
  4. A/C and Heat must work.
  5. All of your windows must roll up and down fully.
  6. No cracks in windshield, windows, or mirrors. (leeway on minor damage as long as it does not obstruct drivers field of vision.
  7. Body must be in good condition.
  8. Tire tread depth must fit Abraham Lincoln’s head on a penny within all parts of the tread. Tread depth less than 3/32″ is considered bald and unacceptable.
  9. Tailpipe and mufflers must work properly.
  10. Seat-belts all need to work.
  11. Seat Adjustments must be in working order

Document Must Haves In All Cases:

  • Current and valid driver’s license
  • Valid plates with current registration (commercial plates are acceptable)
  • Current and valid insurance with your name on the policy

Subcompact vehicles NOT accepted 2021

The following list of vehicles is not accepted by Lyft in order to provide the rider a comfortable experience:

  • Chevrolet: Aveo, Aveo5, Metro, Sonic, Spark, Volt
  • Daewoo: Lanos
  • Ford: Fiesta
  • Hyundai: Accent
  • Kia: Rio, Rio 5-Door, Rio Cinco, Rio5
  • Mazda: Mazda 2
  • MINI: Cooper, Cooper Clubman, Cooper Countryman, Cooper Countryman Hybrid, Cooper Hardtop, Cooper S, Cooper S Clubman, Cooper S Countryman, Cooper S Countryman All4, Cooper S Countryman All4 Hybrid, Cooper S Countryman Hybrid, Cooper S Hardtop
  • Pontiac: G3
  • Scion: xD

The Lyft Application Process

The first thing you need to do is click on the banner or sidebar ad that says “APPLY TO DRIVE WITH LYFT”.  This will take you to the driver application page.  This will load the Lyft driver sign up page where you have options on driving your own car or going through Lyft to rent a car.  Once on the appropriate page you will be asked for some basic information to be filled out including your name, email address, major city you will be driving in and phone number.  So if you live on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area, say in Danville, then you would enter San Francisco for the city and not Danville.

Once you agree to the Terms and Conditions you will receive a 4 digit code in text on your phone.  This is done to make sure that the phone number you registered is working. You must enter the code in as instructed and by so doing you have completed the phone verification test.

As far as the phone you will require in order to drive, the current app requirements are for an iPhone running iOS 11+, and Android devices running 5.0 (Lollipop)+.

Next, you will be asked to enter your vehicle information, this includes the Make, Model and color of the vehicle you intend to drive.  This is followed by driver detail information which includes entering in your driver’s license number, your vehicle registration number, and your insurance company information.  These will be entered by taking pictures with you mobile phone and uploading them to Lyft.

Then you must approve a state disclosures page after which you need to approve for a background check to be conducted on behalf of Lyft.  In many cases, this aspect of the process can take the longest as the background check may actually take about one week. You will know that you passed the background check or not by an email from Lyft.  There is a procedure that Lyft will tell you about in their email if you need to contest something they found that was derogatory and caused Lyft not to approve you under Lyft qualifications as a driver for Lyft.

Once you are approved you will receive an email and text message from Lyft. Now you are ready to download the Lyft Driver app which is specifically designed for the driver (not the passenger which is a separate app).  Just go to the Play Store if you have an Android phone and search for Lyft Driver or go to the App Store if you have an iPhone and search for the same term, then download and run and follow the instructions.

Remember that Lyft requirements vary by region, mostly by state.  So Lyft requirements California will not be exactly the same as Nevada, but they will be close.  

Lyft - Driver

Share the Article

Leave Reply

Please enter the captcha code below in order to prove you are not a machine