One of the requirements, if you want to drive for a rideshare company, is that you must first pass a background check. Background checks are pretty standard anytime that you apply for a job. However, these checks can be especially strict when it comes to working for a rideshare app. They will need to check not just your criminal history but your driving record as well. You will be in a position where the safety of others is in your care.
What Do the Background Checks Look At?
There are many things that these background checks look at, and they fall under two main categories; criminal history and driving record.
When it comes to your criminal history, they are checking that you had no criminal convictions for felonies or misdemeanors in the last seven years, which includes:
- Resisting arrest
- Sexual offenses
- Drug-related crimes
- Violent crimes
- Child abuse
- Chile endangerment
- Property damage
- Driving related convictions
The check of your driving record looks at minor violations going back three years, and major violations going back seven. Minor violations include:
- Speeding tickets
- Stoplight violations
- Moving violations
- Driving without insurance
Major violations include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving with a suspended license
- Street racing
- Speeding in excess of 100mph
- Hit and run
Of course, many of these major violations will show up both on your driving record and your criminal background check. These checks will search through just about every database you could possibly be mentioned in to make sure that you meet the requirements of the company.
Lyft and Uber also each have specific requirements concerning age and how long you have been driving. These requirements are similar but do vary slightly.
For Lyft, you must be at least 21 years of age and with a driver’s license that has been valid for at least one year. Uber is slightly more strict in this regard. You must still be at least 21 years old and have a license that has been valid for at least one year. However, if you are 21 or 22 years of age, that validity period for your license must be at least three years.
How Long Will It Take to Find Out if I Have Been Approved?
Your background check will take some time to process. Uber claims that it should be processed between seven and 10 days, while Lyft makes claims of only three to 10 days processing time. Most drivers concur with these numbers, with Uber drivers saying it took them one week to get approved, while Lyft drivers say it averaged three to five days.
While this is the average length, there certainly is the possibility with background checks that they could take up to several weeks to be processed. This depends on several factors, such as a high number of applicants and needing to check extra databases if you lived in multiple states or countries during the previous seven years.
How Will I Know if I Have Been Accepted As a Driver
Applicants hoping to become part of the Lyft team will receive both an email and text from the company once they have been accepted as a driver. You can also follow the status of your application on their website.
Those who have applied to Uber, on the other hand, will find that communication is a bit more lacking. Drivers who have been accepted will receive no formal communication of their acceptance. So, applicants will need to check their status on the company’s website in their driver profile to determine whether they have been accepted or not.
Can I Reapply if Rejected?
If rejected, you may wish to reapply for one reason or another. Maybe you felt the rejection was in error, or maybe you realized that some items on your background check were due to pass out of the allotted time period soon.
Unfortunately, discovering why you were rejected is not simple with Uber and their poor communication skills, as they will not communicate the reason for rejection. If you are curious, you will have to contact the company to find out. Lyft, on the other hand, will send you a copy of your background check and why you did not pass, along with instructions for how you can dispute the results.
Rejections with either company are not likely to result in hiring when you later reapply. However, they are taken on a case by case basis, and rejections can sometimes change. Generally, you will need to wait a few months before you reapply with the company.
Your best bet is to avoid rejection in the first place. Get a copy of your driving record and if any minor offenses are nearing the three-year mark, wait to apply until the three years have passed.
Driving with one of these companies can be a great opportunity. However, you should make sure you know what you are getting into. Driving for one of these companies will make you an independent contractor, not an employee.