How To Apply To Be A Lyft Driver

January 1, 2020

Special Note

Lyft no longer provides this informative website referral fees which supported the ongoing maintenance of this website. Please continue to support this website by taking a moment and clicking on an ad which interests you. Thank you!

Summary of Lyft Driver Requirements 2020:

  • Aged 21 or older with 1+ years U.S license
  • 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 2020

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. Applicants must be 21 years of age or older. – There are no exceptions here. If you have not reached the age of 21 at the time of application with Lyft they will not approve you.
  2. Applicants must have had a valid driver’s license for at least 1 year. – 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:
    • Aged 21 or older, with an active US driver’s license for 1+ years
    • 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
    • No extreme infractions in the last seven years (e.g. hit-and-run, felonies involving a vehicle)
  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 Sterling BackCheck.  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
    • No property damage
    • No felonies
    • No drug-related offenses

    Lifetime screen against:

    • Individuals registered on the National Sex Offender Registry and DOJ50-State Sex Offender RegistryIf you do not pass the background check, Lyft will email you the results and tell you how to contest their decision.
  5. 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 2019 vehicle requirements are different for each state and in some cases the cities in the state.  Please use the next select box to pick your location to find out what your Lyft vehicle requirements are (Please disable pop-up blockers for this website):

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

The first thing you need to do is go to the website.  Once on the main page go to the bottom and find the heading “DRIVER” and then click on the sub heading “Become a Driver”  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 to drive the current app requirements are for an iPhone 4 or newer running iOS 9.0+, and Android devices running 6.0+.

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.  

Special Note: As of March 1, 2020 Lyft no longer provides me with referral fees for drivers who sign up through my weblink.  For this reason I no longer provide weblinks to Lyft that take you directly to a preloaded sign up page.  The referral fees covered part of my expenses of hosting this website along with compensating me for my time to speak directly with drivers who signed up to get free 15 minutes of mentoring.  So at this point I no longe offer the mentoring for folks that are considering driving for Lyft.  I only provide my services for folks that are considering driving for Uber.

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