Your complete guide to becoming a DoorDash Driver in Canada. DoorDash is an international food delivery business that competes with UberEats, Skip The Dishes and Foodora. If you are interested in becoming a courier, we are here to give you everything you need to know about how to sign-up and work as a DoorDash Driver in Canada.

In addition to learning about the requirements to become a DoorDash driver, we also cover how the rating system works, some essential gear you should have for work, how the pay structure is set up and how much you will make as a DoorDash driver.

As an independent contractor, we also break down the basics for running your own business like insurance, expenses and taxes. To wrap everything up, we have all the ways you can get in touch with customer support as a DoorDash driver and answer some frequently asked questions.


How Do I Become a DoorDash Driver?

In order to become a DoorDash Driver in Canada, you need to:

  • Meet the minimum requirements
  • Check to see if DoorDash is available in your city and accepting drivers
  • Sign-up Online
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete an Orientation

DoorDash Driver Requirements

Like any job, there are some basic job requirements that you must meet to be eligible to apply for work. The basic requirements to become a DoorDash Driver are:

  • 18 or older
  • Have a car, scooter, motorcycle or bicycle (in select cities)
    • Driver’s license (non-probationary) and insurance required if using a motor vehicle
  • Smartphone (with data)
  • Clear Background Check

DoorDash Canada: Cities

DoorDash operates in every province across Canada and in most major cities. Click on your province to see if you are able to sign up as a DoorDash driver in your city.

How Do I Sign Up as a DoorDash Driver?

Signing up to be a DoorDash driver is pretty easy and mostly done online. We have divided the process into five (5) steps:

  1. Fill out the online application.
  2. Wait for your background check.
  3. Complete an in-person or online orientation.Step 1: Application
  4. Activate your “red card”
  5. Set up your banking information

Step 1: Application

The first thing you need to do to sign up as a DoorDash driver is head to their website and fill out your contact information, including your name, phone number and e-mail address. You will also be asked for your postal code before moving on, as some areas are not hiring new drivers. If you do not intend on driving where you live or find out that it is full, enter a nearby postal code where you can travel to and work.

You will then be asked to select your mode of transportation (will you deliver by car, motorcycle, bike), address, and birthday. The address you enter is where you will receive your activation kit 1-4 days after your background check is completed.

Step 2: Background Check

After completing the DoorDash application you will be redirected to a third-party company website called Checkr. They will be conducting your background check. You will be asked a bit more information about yourself including all the addresses you have lived at for the past 5 years.

You must declare any criminal convictions you have except:

  • A conviction for which you have received a Record Suspension (formerly pardon) in accordance with the Criminal Records Act;
  • A conviction where you were a “young person” under the Youth Criminal Justice Act;
  • An Absolute or Conditional Discharge, pursuant to section 730 of the Criminal Code;
  • An offence for which you were not convicted;
  • Any provincial or municipal offence, and;
  • Any charges dealt with outside of Canada

Once you finish filling out the information with Checkr, you should receive a response back in 5-7 business days. If you want to check the status of your background check, you can e-mail canadasupport@checkr.com.

Step 3: Orientation

Once your background check is done, go back to the Sign-Up Page and click the “Already Started Signing Up?” button. Once you are logged in you can choose from 3 different types of orientations:

  1. In-Person Scheduled Orientation – Choose an office to schedule a date and time for your in-person orientation.
  2. In-Person Open Orientation – Choose an office and walk-in during the open hours that the orientations are available.
  3. Order an Activation Kit – This means that you do not have go in person to an orientation. Some cities only have this option available. When you receive your activation kit, it will include: a hot bag to carry food in it, a getting started manual and a “red card” which is what you use to pay for orders at the restaurants.

You can find out specific information about orientation options in your city by visiting this link on the DoorDash website.

Step 4: Red Card

The DoorDash “Red Card” is a credit card you use to pay for a customer’s order at the restaurant. You will receive it with your activation kit or at your orientation. In order to make sure it works, you need to activate it in the app by entering the card number. You can check out how to use your red card, what happens if you lose it or have trouble activating it but referring to this page on the DoorDash website.

Step 5: Direct Deposit

Now for possibly the most important step of all; setting up your bank account information so you can get paid by direct deposit. You can set this up inside the app. Make sure you have your banking information with you (void cheque is easiest to refer to) and a piece of ID. You can only set up direct deposit to a chequing account. Read more here for detailed steps on how to set up direct deposit.

How Long Does it Take To Become a DoorDash Driver?

It takes approximately 2 weeks to become a DoorDash driver. After you fill out the application, you have to wait for your background check to be processed which takes about 5-7 business days. Then, you either have to schedule an open slot for an orientation or wait for an activation kit in the mail which can take another 3-5 days.

DoorDash Contract Canada

Before you start driving, like any job, you should have a look at the contract. The big takeaway from the contract is understanding that you are not an employee, you are an independent contractor. This means a number of things like:

  • You are not reimbursed for your expenses
  • You have to submit your own income taxes
  • You have to provide your own gear like bags, vehicle, etc.
  • You do not have the same legal rights as an employee like vacation time or pay, minimum wage, holiday pay, etc.

On the plus side, being an independent contractor means you can work whenever you want, accept or decline orders at your discretion and don’t have a boss to answer directly to all the time. If you want to look at all the details, you can read the Canadian DoorDash Driver Contract here.

How Does DoorDash Work?

DoorDash is an on-demand delivery service much like UberEats or Skip The Dishes. If you are working as a DoorDash Driver, or Dasher as they are called, you are acting as a delivery agent for restaurants in the area. Here is how the DoorDash app works for drivers:

Go Online

First, you can either schedule shifts or just hit “Dash Now” on your phone to start working. This means that you are online and available to deliver. Then, you wait for orders to be sent to the DoorDash app on your SmartPhone.

The Request

When you get a request sent to your phone for an order, you can choose to accept the request or decline it. Before making your decision, you can review the location of the restaurant and customer, total distance and how much money you will make on the Dash.

Drive to the Restaurant

Once you accept the delivery, follow the GPS instructions and drive to the restaurant. When you arrive, don’t forget to bring your phone and insulated bag in with you.

Pay for Order

Identify yourself to the staff as a DoorDash driver, verify the order and pay for it using your Red Card (we’ll go over this later). Once they give you the food and it’s packed away in your bag, it is time to hit the road.

Deliver to Customer

After confirming the order has been picked up, follow the GPS instructions to the customer’s home. The rest is pretty self-explanatory: Get out, give them their food and complete the delivery on the app. Now you are ready for your next order.

It really is that simple. The DoorDash app will direct you how to get to every location and provide any additional information you need, like “Call customer upon arrival, will meet outside”, for example.

If you are looking to get out of your car a bit more, then maybe Instacart is a good fit for you. Drive to a store, shop for groceries and deliver to the customer. Learn more with our complete guide to becoming an Instacart Shopper.

Ratings

As a DoorDash driver, there are 3 different ratings you will be evaluated on:

  1. Customer Rating: Based on a scale from 1-5, this is the average rating your customers give you after completing your deliveries. If your rating falls below 4.2, you may lose your job so keep your customers happy by updating them if you are running late and follow any special instructions they provide.
  2. Completion Rate: If you accept an order, you are expected to complete it. If you unassign the order after accepting it, it goes against your completion rate. If it drops below 70%, you will get deactivated.
  3. Acceptance Rate: When an order request comes in, you can choose to accept or decline it. This counts towards your acceptance rate. Don’t worry though, you won’t get kicked off the platform for having a low acceptance rate.

Not only do these ratings affect your ability to keep delivering for DoorDash, but they can also give you extra privileges like early scheduling and earning your way to becoming a Top Dasher.

How Do I Schedule Shifts?

In order to start delivering, you need to schedule shifts in the app. You can schedule shifts up to 5 days in advance beginning at 12am each day. 

Early Access Scheduling

If you have to early access scheduling, you can book shifts up to 6 days in advance beginning at 3pm each day. In order to qualify for early accessing scheduling, you must have:

  • At least a 4.6 customer rating;
  • A Completion rate of at least 70%;
  • Completed at least 5 deliveries between 12am the previous Friday and 11:59pm the previous Thursday or 500 lifetime deliveries. 

If you become a “Top Dasher” you do not have to schedule shifts, you can just go online anytime you want. 

Essential Gear for DoorDash Drivers

Before you start delivering orders as DoorDash driver, you should get some gear that will make your job easier, faster and as a result more profitable and enjoyable. This includes things like decals for your car, bags to carry orders in, accessories for your vehicle and even some clothing to make you look more professional.

Where can I get official DoorDash merchandise, like bags, t-shirts, drink carriers?

DoorDash has an official store for drivers that you can order gear from. Here you can buy items like:

  • Branded DoorDash clothing like t-shirts & hats
  • Decal stickers that you can put on your car, letting people know that you deliver for DoorDash. Hopefully enough to have parking enforcement leave you alone while you run in for a delivery
  • Different types of bags for catering orders, pizza and drinks.

Although the prices seem pretty good when looking at the home page, let us save you the trouble of navigating all the way to the checkout. The prices are in US dollars and you are looking at around $35 US for shipping too. You can shop around at their official store here, although we have also listed some alternative options below.

Due to the cost of some of the gear on the official DoorDash web store plus the enormous shipping fee (as the product comes from the US), we have compiled an alternate list of gear we think is crucial for DoorDash Drivers to have before they get started.

Power Bank

Getting in and out of your car frequently with your phone often doesn’t allow for much charging time. Make sure you have a backup plan in case you are inside a restaurant or on your way up an elevator for a delivery. A power bank can save you time and money when you find your phone is out of juice on a delivery.

Drink Carrier

Sometimes the disposable drink carriers restaurants give you just won’t cut it. They don’t fit easily into your bag and are too shallow leading to your drinks tipping over. Getting a good drink caddy will save your car from messy spills and save your ratings from unhappy customers.

Pizza Delivery Bag

Looks just like the red DoorDash insulated pizza bag but without the branding and more important, much cheaper. When you get your activation kit in the mail, it will come with a branded DoorDash catering bag but not a pizza big. If you get a big order, you may not be able to fit it all in the catering bag so we recommend carrying both with you.

Branded DoorDash Apparel and Decals

The quality of the t-shirts and hats are definitely better on the official DoorDash website but you can find some branded apparel on Amazon. However, we can’t official direct you to any specific vendor as we are unable to verify their authenticity.

Have a look on Amazon and the DoorDash store website to decide for yourself.

DoorDash Driver Pay

Door Dash drivers are paid using 3 factors:

  • Base Pay
  • Promotions
  • Tips
doordash-pay-model

You are not entitled to an hourly wage as you are not an employee. Let’s break down exactly how the DoorDashs driver pay works.

Base Pay

Base Pay is what Door Dash pays the driver directly for the order, which is typically between $2-$10. You can consider this as the guaranteed payment amount. They use 3 factors to determine how much to pay Door Dash drivers:

  1. Time
  2. Distance
  3. Desirability

Of course, the more time the delivery takes and the further you have to travel, you earn more.

There is no set rate for time or distance and desirability isn’t defined very well by DoorDash. Desirability is really just referring to DoorDash increasing the pay if drivers aren’t accepting the Order request.

All on-demand food delivery companies are constantly testing how much they need to pay their drivers to get them to accept a delivery based on a number of factors and DoorDash is no different.

Promotions

This is extra pay on top of the guaranteed base pay offered by DoorDash. There are typically three different types of promotions:

  1. Peak Pay
  2. Challenges
  3. Drive

DoorDash Peak Pay

Peak Pay is an incentive added to a certain area to try and get more drivers to go there. It is visible on the map with a bubble showing +$2 for example. This means that in addition to whatever the amount showing that you will be paid for the order, you will receive an additional $2 extra.

It will typically show designated times and conditions for the peak pay, such as “Between 5pm – 7pm” and “Must Complete at least 2 orders and maintain an 80% acceptance rate”, for example. Just so you don’t worry, peak pay won’t show up on your earnings until the end of your shift.

DoorDash Challenges

Challenges are another way to earn extra money with Door Dash. They will show up on the map and you can tap them to see the full details of the challenge. They could be as simple as “Complete 15 orders this week and receive a bonus of $20”. You don’t have to enrol or sign up for the challenges, you just have to meet the criteria and you will automatically get paid.

DoorDash Drive

Drive is another incentive program that rewards drivers for taking additional time to set up a catering order or being on time. DoorDash Drive is a program that allows the restaurant to order a courier themselves to deliver directly to a customer, often done for a large or catered order.

Tips

Like most delivery jobs, you can accept cash tips or customers have the option to tip you through the DoorDash app. The app automatically prompts customers to tip $1, $2 (default), $3 or a custom tip for small orders. For bigger orders, it asks for a 10%, 15% (default), 20%, 25% or custom tip.

Prior to a change to their tipping policy in August 2019, DoorDash used to offer a guaranteed minimum pay to their drivers. However, things changed after public and driver outrage against DoorDash and Instacart for a controversial policy that counted tips towards the drivers guaranteed minimum pay, essentially using the customer tips to subsidize the companies payment to the driver.

If the pay for the delivery fell below the minimum guaranteed pay, DoorDash would top it up. However, if the customer tipped well, DoorDash wouldn’t add anything to the wage and would count the tip towards the minimum guaranteed wage.

doordash-tipping-policy

This is no longer the case and now all tips go straight to the driver.

Dasher Rewards

Dasher Rewards is a program that gives 2 benefits to drivers who meet the criteria:

  1. Dash Anytime – This means that you can schedule a time slot anytime you want or just click on “Dash Now” to start delivering. You can also deliver in any nearby zone. Really, it unties the location and scheduling restrictions that are typically associated with being a DoorDash driver.
  2. More Deliveries – This means that if there are 2 drivers including yourself close by for a delivery, you get priority and therefore the order is assigned to you.

How Do I Become a Top Dasher?

In order to get Dasher Rewards, you need to qualify to become a “Top Dasher”. This means you have to accomplish certain criteria in a month to be eligible for Dasher Rewards for the following month. The qualifications to become a Top Dasher are:

  • Completion rate of at least 95%
  • Acceptance rate of at least 70%
  • Customer rating of at least 4.7
  • 100 completed deliveries
  • Minimum of 200 completed lifetime deliveries

Your Dasher Rewards only last a month, so you have to keep re-qualifying. For example, if you meet the criteria by the end of April, you will be eligible for Dasher Rewards for the whole month of May.

In order to remain eligible for Dasher Rewards in June, you need to meet the same criteria again while delivering in May.

How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make?

DoorDash drivers in Canada make between approximately $20.32 per hour. DoorDash claims you can make between $15-$25, so this is estimate is actually pretty close. How much you earn as a DoorDash driver depends on the following factors:

  • Working peak days and times
  • Ability to get the best shifts or going On Demand
  • Working in high traffic areas, especially with peak pay
  • Only accepting higher paying orders
  • Using a vehicle with good gas mileage
  • Avoiding areas with a lot of congestion and construction
  • Becoming a Top Dasher
  • Qualifying for large catering orders with DoorDash Drive

This hourly wage is your gross wage, which means you need to take into account your expenses. Your biggest expense is your vehicle. You need to fill it up with gas, keep it maintained, complete repairs, plus, the value of your car depreciates as you put more kilometres on it.

DoorDash-Driver-Pay-Infographic

Is It Worth It To Work For DoorDash?

You can make good money driving for DoorDash if you are looking for a decent gig where you can be your own boss. You will end up making more than minimum wage in most larger markets. So, compared to most entry-level jobs, DoorDash is definitely worth it, especially if you pair it with another gig work like Uber / UberEats or Skip The Dishes.

DoorDash is particularly attractive to people who are not a big fan of working with a lot of people or as part of a team. You are on your own driving for the most part and get to decide when you work and how you want to work. The flexibility of the job is one of the most attractive aspects.

In short, if you have your own vehicle and are looking for some extra cash, you can make good money driving for DoorDash. Just don’t plan on buying a yacht anytime soon.

DoorDash Taxes, Expenses and Sales Tax

As a new business (that’s right, you driving for DoorDash means you are running your own courier business) there are a number of factors you need to consider before starting to drive. One of those is the taxes you need to pay, whether to charge sales tax and track the expenses you incur while working.

Expenses

Will Door Dash cover my gas or mileage? Unfortunately not, as you are not an employee. You are an independent contractor and that means you are responsible for your own vehicle maintenance and costs.

The good news is you can deduct your expenses from your earnings and save on taxes you owe. For instance, let’s say you spent $20 on gas for the day and made $120. Well, that means that you will only be taxed on $100 because you had $20 worth of expenses. Some examples of expenses for Door Dash drivers are:

  • Gas
  • Wear and Tear on your vehicle (depreciation)
  • Maintenance and repairs for your vehicle
  • Cell phone and data plan
  • Delivery bags

You can also claim other things you buy that are essential to your job, like phone accessories. Check our article on the best phone mounts for your car.

DoorDash Driver Taxes

Typically your employer keeps the taxes you owe from your pay cheque and sends it right to the government. DoorDash drivers are required to pay their own taxes, usually at the end of the year after filing their tax returns.

There are a number of resources you can use to assist you with this. One of which is the Federal government’s Payroll Deductions Calculator. You just punch in your income and it will show you the taxes you owe.

You have to pay both the employee and employer portion of the CPP plus the provincial and federal income tax. You do not have to pay the EI unless you want EI coverage.

The deductions are just an estimate and this gets a little more complicated if you work more than one job. You should consult a tax professional to get some advice about how much money to set aside each pay, whether to contribute to Employment Insurance and ask any other questions you may have.

Learn more about taxes with our rideshare tax essentials posts:

Income Tax

Expenses

Sales Tax

Sales Tax – GST / HST

You might be familiar with seeing sales tax on your receipt at the store or from a car repair, but do you have to charge sales tax if you are a DoorDash driver?

As a courier, you are actually small business owner. Normally, this means that you would have to charge sales tax if you make over $30,000 a year. Well, technically over 4 consecutive quarters. You would typically charge this to the person or business you are providing the service too, which in this case, is DoorDash.

Most tax professionals seem to agree that couriers like DoorDash drivers are providing interlining services, which are zero-rated. Basically, this means you wouldn’t charge sale tax despite how much you make.

You may wish to voluntarily register for a GST / HST number because you can claim “Input Tax Credits“. This is money you can use to offset how much tax you owe. For instance, you can claim the sales tax you pay for things like gas or car repairs.

Insurance for DoorDash Drivers

If you have a vehicle you likely already have insurance on it. We recommend you speak with your insurance company or broker before you sign-up as a DoorDash driver to see if you are permitted to use your car for commercial purposes and if there are any extra costs. Every province and most companies have their own rules when it comes to using your vehicle for work purposes.

DoorDash has an insurance policy that covers any additional damages over and above what your policy covers. However, this only applies to third parties. That means that if you hit someone causing damages more than what your own insurer will pay, DoorDash will cover the extra costs.

If you fail to maintain your own insurance coverage, DoorDash claims they won’t cover any damages at all. Also, if you don’t disclose you are driving for DoorDash to your own insurance company in advance, it is possible they won’t cover you either. Just call up your company or broker before signing up and ask some questions.

How Do I Contact DoorDash as a Driver?

Whether you are signing up or already on the road, as a DoorDash driver you might need some help once and awhile. So, how do you contact DoorDash support as a driver?

In-App

If you are currently on an order and have a problem, you need to contact DoorDash support quickly. This is why they have a built-in chat function in the app. Just follow these steps to get in touch with someone right away:

  1. Click “Help” (iPhone) or “?” (android) in the upper right corner of the app
  2. Select “Something Else”
  3. Press “Start Chat” with support agent

DoorDash Driver Support Phone Number

If you are having trouble signing up or need urgent help while working you can call the support number for DoorDash drivers at 1- 855-973-1040.

Online

If you aren’t in a huge rush, you can fill out their online form to get DoorDash driver support. You can also check out the wait time for an online chat.

In-Person

Door Dash has offices in most of the large urban areas they operate in Canada. For a complete list of the office addresses, hours of operation and more detailed information about your area, click on your province below and find the city closest to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

We compiled a list of frequently asked questions many new DoorDash drivers have. If you have a question, leave a comment below and we will try out best to get the answer for you.

Can someone ride with me while driving for DoorDash?

You can have someone ride with you while you are driving for DoorDash however you should be careful having friends and family with you while delivering for DoorDash.

First, if you are are going to bring someone, make sure they do not handle the food as the restaurant or customer may make a complaint alleging you are not the one delivering. This could get you deactivated.

Second, do not let them drive. Although you are covered under your own insurance, DoorDash’s excess liability coverage kicks in for anyone else you injure. If someone else is driving, they may not cover anything that isn’t covered by your own policy.

Do I have to buy an insulated bag?

You do not have to buy a DoorDash insulated bag as it comes with your activation kit when you sign up. If you want an extra one or a pizza bag, you can find one on Amazon for a reasonable price or the official DoorDash store which can get a little pricey after shipping to Canada and the exchange rate.

What happens if I can’t reach the customer?

If you drive to the customer’s address and they don’t answer the door, you need to try to call and text them. If they still aren’t answering, click Help in the top right corner of the app and select “Can’t Find the Customer”. This sends them a notification and start a timer. When the timer expires, complete the following steps:

  1. Returning the food is not possible, so you need to leave it somewhere safe. If they are in a building, leave it with the concierge or security guard. The other option is to leave the food in front of the door.
  2. Take a picture of where you left the food and note the location in the description in the app.
  3. Text or leave the customer a voicemail telling them where you left their food.

What do I do if I am in accident while driving for DoorDash?

If you are on an order and you get into an accident while delivering for DoorDash, you deal with it like any other accident. Make sure everyone is okay including yourself, call for help if needed, exchange information and report it to the police depending on the law in your jurisdiction. If you can’t complete the delivery, please contact DoorDash support and let the customer know.

It is important to note that if there are injuries or the damage to the cars is bad, you start by getting your own insurance company involved. As you are an independent contractor, you are required to maintain your own insurance policy and cover your own damages while working for DoorDash.

If your insurance company will not cover all of the damages to the other person or car involved in the accident, then you need to file a claim with DoorDash to get their insurer involved. You can file an insurance claim with DoorDash by filling out this online form.

Can I get fired for DoorDash?

Yes, except you are not an employee so you are technically not being fired. The common term used is “deactivated” which means you can no longer access the DoorDash driver app. Aside from the usual stuff like breaking the law and fraud, here are a couple of ways you can get deactivated by DoorDash:

  • Letting your customer rating drop below 4.2
  • Having a completion rate of less than 70%
  • Marking deliveries complete when you didn’t actually complete them
  • Sharing customers personal information online or with other people/businesses
  • Using your Red Card to buy things the customer didn’t order

What can I do if I get deactivated?

If you feel you have been unfairly deactivated, had a false claim made against you or are looking for a second chance, you can fill out this online form to launch an appeal.