How to Apply to be an Uber Driver

December 15, 2015

Updated for 2017

How to become an Uber driver is relatively easy and is very similar to the requirements and the process to become a Lyft driver.

DRIVER REQUIREMENTS

  1. The driver must be at least 21 years or older with a 1 year driving record, 3 years if under 23 years old.
  2. You need a clean criminal record for the past 7 years
  3. You need a clean driving record for the past 3 years for UberX and even more stringent filters apply on your driving record for Uber Black. ( See details below)

So let’s start with your criminal record.  Uber’s objective is to keep their passengers safe.  With that said here are the criteria used to screen All Uber drivers:

Disqualification if potential driver appears on the DOJ50-State Sex Offender Registry or the National Sex Offender Registry or on a series of databases that flag suspected terrorists.

Disqualification if within the last 7 years, he/she is found to have convictions for any of the below on their record:

  • DUI or other drug-related driving convictions (California Uber drivers must not have a DUI in the last 10 years)
  • Fraud
  • Reckless driving
  • Hit and runs
  • Violent crimes (assault, battery, homicide)
  • Acts of terror
  • Sexual offenses
  • A crime involving property damage
  • Felony or misdemeanor for theft (burglary, stealing, robbery, anything alike)
  • Fatal accidents
  • Resisting/evading arrest

In terms of your driving record background check. If you have any other felony disqualification if in the state in which the potential driver is currently licensed, the potential driver is found to have any of the below on the record within the past 3 years:

  • Driving on a suspended, revoked, or invalid license
  • Driving with suspended, revoked or invalid insurance.

In addition, to the above, for UberX and UberTaxi please see the criteria below:

Disqualification if in the state in which potential driver is currently licensed, the potential driver is found to have had a total of THREE minor violations or incidents in the past THREE years:

  • Accidents
  • Normal speeding tickets
  • Miscellaneous driving violations (e.g., traffic violations)

In addition for UberBLACK:

Disqualification if in the state in which potential driver is currently licensed, the potential driver is found to have had a total of FIVE minor violations or incidents in the past FIVE years:

  • Accidents
  • Normal speeding tickets
  • Miscellaneous driving violations (e.g., traffic violations)

Note: Driving for Uber in New York City will require that you get a TLC license.  TLC stands for Taxi and Limousine Commision.  Thus you need a Taxi and limousine Commision License to be able to drive in New York City. In order to receive this license you will have to go through a series of steps including an interview.  The details can be found at this Uber Link.

For driving UberX the key points about your vehicle are that it must:

  • Seat 4 passengers not including the driver, have 4 doors but can be a manual
  • Generally the model of the vehicle must be 2002 or newer but this varies city to city.  To find out what it is in your target city, just copy the following link into the URL field of your browser and replace the city with your target city name. Copy the link in within the brackets but do not copy the brackets (https://www.uber.com/drive/city/vehicle-requirements/) Example: If you are in Chicago change https://www.uber.com/drive/city/vehicle-requirements/ to https://www.uber.com/drive/chicago/vehicle-requirements/.  This will take you to the direct page in Uber that will give you the vehicle requirements for your target city.
  • Your vehicle must be insured to you, the driver, with the minimum states requirements by your own insurance company.
  • Your vehicle must pass an Uber inspection*

Notes: *Vehicle inspections can also be processed at local authorized mechanic shops if you do not care to drive to an official Uber inspection station where inspections are free.  The auto shops typically charge $20 for the inspection.  It is best to have it done along with something else, like the installation of new tires so that you can kill two birds with one stone.  Some vendors will waive the inspection fee if you do some business with them.   Here is a list of places other than Uber Inspections stations where you can have an Uber Inspection: Selected Jiffy Lubes, Wheel Works, Meineke, Midas, Firestone and other mechanic shops.  Please check the uber site for your state.

It is best to check these requirements on Uber when you apply because these can change rapidly and Uber has been known to changes the rules year by year.

Some recommended cars for driving Uberx are: Toyota Prius, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Honda Focus, Mazda 3, Mazda 6, Toyota Tacoma, Honda Civic, Chevy Malibu, Chevy Cruze, Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus and Nissan Altima.

For driving UberXL which is the larger verson of vehicles, usually SUV’s have on key difference between UberXL in that the UberXL vehicle must accommodate a minimum of 5 passengers not including the driver.  Otherwise the vehicle requirements are exactly the same as with Uber X however the vehicle types are somewhat larger.

Some recommended vehicles for UberXL are: GMC Acadia, Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango, Jeep Cherokee, Chevrolet Suburban.

Another service available for driving is UberSelect also know as UberPlus in some markets.  These are classy cars that provide rideshare services with Uber. The additional requirements for those listed for UberxX and Uber XL are:

  • An entry-level four-door luxury sedan is required.
  • The vehicle must have a leather interior.
  • Must seat at lease four passengers, not including the driver.
  • Only vehicles 2009 or newer will be accepted into UberSelect/UberPlus.

Some recommended cars for UberPlus/UberSelect: Audi A3 and up, BMW 3 Series and up, all Lincolns, Mercedes C-Class and up, Volvo S60, Acura, Cadillac, Hyundai Genesis, all Infinitis.

It is common to see that Uber Plus and Select drivers will also drive under UberX because in some areas they will not get enough fares, so they drive both.

Uber SUV is another service that provides lart blank SUV for passengers in order to provide a minimum of 5 passenger seating not including the driver.

Some recommended vehicle models for Uber SUV are: Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban, Lincoln Navigator, GMC Yukon XL.

Uber LUX is the top of the line Uber vehicle and is actually where the company started by providing limousine rides for less with some of the world’s most luxurious brands.

  • Those who drive for this service are required to have commercial insurance.
  • Vehicle is required to be 2012 or newer.
  • This service is only available in Los Angeles.

Recommended cars for UberLUX: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Porsche Panamera, Tesla Model S, Range Rover.

The Application Process For An Uber Driver

To apply for Uber on a PC, you simply click on the link most suited to what you want from above.  Example is Apply for Uber X.  Once there you will first be asked for some basic contact information.  This also includes the Invite Code.  If you clicked on the Apply for Uber X or any other Apply button then the invite code should have self populated, however if it did not then you should cut and paste the following: 16341fybue

The invite code is vital because it will allow you to qualify for large driver bonuses and it also provides me a bonus for helping you through the process and speaking with me for your free 15 minutes of new driver consultation.

Once the contact form is filled out you are then asked to created an online account for Uber as a Driver.  You will usually use your email address as your username and come up with a unique password.  This will set up your Driver Dashboard where you will be able to track every single fare you take with detailed information about each fare.

Once the Uber account is set up you will be asked to take pictures of your license, registrations and proof of insurance with your phone and then upload them to Uber for review.

The next step is that you agree to a criminal and driver record background check.  If you don’t agree then there is no going forward.  If you know you have serious violations on your record as listed in the requirement at the beginning of this article then you may proceed however it is likely that you will be rejected. The background check can take anywhere from 3 days to a full week.  So sit tight until you get an email confirming that everything checked out (or not).

If you are rejected then Uber will likely explain in their email what caused the rejection.  If they do not explain and you feel you should have been approved then I suggest you send an email to the local Uber support organization for your city which can be found by Googling “driver support email address for uber CITY NAME”.  Each city has a separate email address for support at Uber.   You need to clearly and with proof show Uber in your email why you should have been approved.  After some back and forth you should know if some exception to your record will be considered for your approval.

You will need to download the Driver app to your phone.  The Passenger Uber app and the Driver Uber app are completely different so make sure that you are downloading the right one.

You will be required to watch the Uber Driver Tutorials online.  These are quick videos that will show you what to expect when a passenger places a fare and what the processes and procedures are from start to finish.  The links for these emails will be sent to you by Uber automatically as you go through the application process.

The notice of approval will arrive by email. Once you are approved you will be able to turn the Uber Driver app on and take fares right away.

You can have more than one vehicle on a single account.  It is good to have a backup car on the account in case your car is out of service due to unexpected repairs or an accident, that is if you have one of course.

My personal experience tells me that that best way to start is with Uber X. I started with Uber X in my wife’s Honda Civic.  After a month I got a good hang of the program and decided to get a new vehicle  In my case I leased a 2015 Honda Accord in the 2016 car year.  The point of leasing was to keep the price of the monthly car payments low, in my case $250/mo. including tax.  But the intent is to buy the car so I am putting $100 of my pay away per week in investments like the stock market, bond market and other high yield financial vehicles with the intent that I will have more than enough to pay the eventual $12,000 in three years to buy out the car.  I really need to buy it out because I put about 60.000 mi per year on the vehicle even though technically I drive it part time.  If need be I can sell the car on Craigslist right after I buy it and sell it close to its high value despite the high milage.  This tactic is only possible with Toyota’s and Honda’s which really hold up their value despite high milage.

Uber also has a car leasing program which has the flexibility of providing high milage and 30 days to return the vehicle.  To see details about qualifying for this program please click here.

Once you have the whole system of driving with Uber down then I would suggest you sign up with Lyft.  Since it is very similar you will not have any problems transitioning to taking Lyft fares.  You can have both apps running at the same time as long as you learn to manage them so that you keep one of them offline while you take a far on the other.  See my blog Driving for both Uber and Lyft at the same time.

Unfortunately the only form of communication that Uber and Lyft offer is through email.  There is no support line you can call. I have gotten used to this and will usually get an response not later than 24 hours. Just something you will have to put up with when dealing with support of either Lyft or Uber.  But of course you can always schedule a first time call with me by filling in the contact form at the end of this article.

If you are ready to sign up to become an Uber driver or Lyft driver then please click on the appropriate buttons below to get the application process started…