Requirements For Lyft Drivers

January 1, 2020


By: Tommy Andrews

Lyft - Driver

Updated for 2020

The requirements for Lyft driver is very similar to the process and requirements of becoming an Uber driver.  Lyft 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 will require that your drivers’ license must be issued from 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 driver’s 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 what Lyft looks for:
  • 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)
  1. Pass a criminal background check. – Lyft will ask for your consent for a criminal background check. This is handled by a third party usually Sterling BackCheck.  Here are the details that must apply in order to drive for Lyft.

Requirements for Lyft drivers 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 Registry. If you do not pass the background check, Lyft will email you the results and tell you how to contest their decision.
  1. 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 insurance has to match at least the minimal amount required by the state to drive a car.

Apart from the driver requirements, there are also requirements for Lyft drivers vehicles that the potential driver must adhere to.  The requirement for Lyft drivers vehicles in most markets is that your car be 12 years or newer. Unless you live in Seattle, Portland, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis-St. Paul (10 years) or Pittsburgh (8 years).

  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

If you adhere to the requirements for Lyft drivers then the first thing you need to do is click here for the new Lyft Driver application.  This will preload the promo code from this page and ask 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, the 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.  Unlike Uber where you upload the pictures of the documents, your mentor will verify your documents, then take pictures and upload them on your behalf.

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 a couple of weeks.  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 as a driver for Lyft.

Once you are approved you will receive an email or text message from a Lyft mentor whom you should link up with on a scheduled basis. If you are on the outskirts of a major city the mentor may not want to drive all the way to your location as they are paid a small set fee to do the mentoring process.  It may be best if you arranged a mutually agreeable spot somewhere halfway to do the mentor session.

During the mentor session, the Lyft mentor will take your picture, take a picture of your car and your license plate.  Your mentor will also confirm you have a valid driver’s license, registration and car insurance, all of which he/she will take pictures of to upload on your behalf to Lyft.  The mentor will also inspect your vehicle and take the car for a spin with you as the driver.  This will give you and the mentor a chance to talk about anything that relates to driving passengers for Lyft.  After the mentor session, your mentor will provide you a way for you to contact them should you have any further questions or issues.  This is a great way for a new driver to be able to speak to someone once they are ready to drive.

Once the mentor approves you, download the Lyft app which is the same for the passenger as it is for the driver.  Once a steering wheel appears on the top right you are ready to drive by tapping on the steering wheel which will take you into the driver side of the app.

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

Lyft - Driver

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