Lyft Driver Requirements: What You Need To Know To Get Approved

There are lots of people who want to sign up with Lyft in order to become drivers. However, it is important to know the Lyft driver requirements before signing up.

We’ll take you through everything from driver and vehicle requirements and right through the sign up process.

Ready? Set? Let’s go!

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A list of the Lyft driver requirements

What Are The Lyft Driver Requirements?

Interested in driving for a living using your own car? Lyft is a great choice as either a side gig or a full time job. To get started you’ll have to meet at least the basic requirements.

Lets check them out

Lyft Driver Requirements

  1. You Must Be 21+ years old
  2. Hold a Valid driver’s license
  3. Proof of vehicle registration
  4. Insurance must be in your name
  5. Proof of Work Eligibility
  6. Complete a background check
  7. Pass a vehicle inspection

While this seems like a simple list, lets go over each requirement in-depth.

What is the age requirement to become a Lyft driver?

In order to become a Lyft driver, you need to be at least 21 years old. This helps ensure that Lyft is bringing on mature experienced drivers.

Most drivers get their license at either 16 or 17 years old in North America. A minimum age of 21 ensures that the driver has at least a couple of years of experience.

Also, most insurance policies will require you to be 21 to drive commercially, we’re pretty sure Lyft’s insurance policy is the same.

What kind of license do you need to drive with Lyft?

In order to drive with Lyft, you need to hold a valid drivers license in the state you’ll be driving in. If you want to drive in New York, you need to have a New York drivers license.

Lyft also requires you to have had your drivers license for at least 12 months. This helps guarantee that Lyft is working with experienced and safe drivers.

In some locations you may need to get a special livery or rideshare license if you want to drive for Lyft. You can find city specific information at Lyft’s website.

Does the vehicle registration need to be in your name?

The Lyft driver requirements does not require your vehicle to be registered in your name, you could drive with your brothers car if he lets you. There are some cities that do require vehicle registration in your name. These are usually the cities that also require livery permits or special licensing.

You should also ensure that the car has been registered within the state/province you’re living in and tags are updated.

In some locations you can use a service like HyreCar to “rent” a vehicle specifically for rideshare from someone with a car. This adds a little bit to your cost of business but it may enable you to drive for a top tier service and make more money per trip.

What type of insurance meets the Lyft driver requirements?

Insurance regulations tend to vary with every state and province. Your insurance coverage should be in your name and held in the state or province that you are driving in. Some cities also require special rideshare insurance, these plans are built to meet the guidelines decided by the city.

Does Lyft provide any form of insurance for its drivers?

Lyft does provide an additional insurance coverage for drivers. The best part is, this coverage comes free of charge to the drivers. The Lyft insurance package covers between $1-2 million when you are on a trip as well as personal injury or property damage coverage. The coverage depends on which state or province you drive in.

Why do I need a proof of work document?

Lyft can be either your full source of income or just a side gig. Since rideshare can be a legit source of income, you need to be able to legally work in the country you drive in. This means that you are a resident of the country or you have a valid work visa or permit.

If you start working with Lyft while on a work permit, it’s up to you to make sure you renew the permit if it expires.

You can use any of the following for Proof of Work Eligibility: birth certificate, citizenship card, passport, residency card, or work permit.

All drivers must complete a Lyft background check

Lyft needs to know they are working with professional and responsible drivers. The background check looks into things like your driving record or any criminal history.

As long as you have no major moving violations or a few minor violations, your background check should go smoothly. These background screenings are usually mandatory for Lyft’s insurance policy, to ensure their drivers are up to par on the roads.

Lyft will also check your criminal record to look for any major crimes or convictions. Anything major and Lyft will bring down the axe on your application.

Your vehicle must pass a vehicle inspection

Part of the Lyft driver requirements is completing a vehicle inspection. Your vehicle needs to be in tip top shape in order to be a successful rideshare driver. This means that your care is safe and looks presentable enough to keep passengers happy.

You’ll have to bring your car in to a Lyft qualified mechanic and have them fill the inspection form out. Check with Lyft to see if they have any recommendations in your area. Sometimes after the vehicle inspection you will need to go in to the Lyft hub for an in person inspection.

The inspection costs are usually between $30-$80 dollars, Lyft may even have some partners in your area who do it for free!

As long as your car runs smoothly and looks clean and professional, you should be ok on the vehicle inspection.

One of the Lyft driver requirements is the vehicle inspection form

Download the Lyft vehicle inspection form

Meet local specific requirements

Many cities have their own rideshare bylaws and regulations. It is important to check with Lyft to see if there are any extra driver requirements in your city.

You may need to apply for a new type of drivers license and complete a test. As mentioned above, some cities may also require you to have a livery, rideshare or TNC license.

A quick way to see if you need any extra documentation is to check out Lyft’s city specific requirements page.

All in all, the Lyft driver requirements are pretty straightforward. You must be legally able to drive in your province or state. You must pass a driver background screening check. Last but not least, you must have a registered vehicle with valid insurance and safety certificate.

Does Lyft Have Vehicle Requirements?

Of course! In general, your vehicle should have 4 doors, 5 seatbelts, with no markings on the outside. Lyft’s higher tier services like Lyft XL have a few more requirements like more seating capacity and luxury interiors.

These are the basic vehicle requirements for Lyft:

  • 7 years old or newer
  • 4 independently operating doors
  • 5-8 seats driver included
  • Not a taxi or stretch limousine
  • Not titled as salvage, non-repairable, or rebuilt

Lyft will let you know if your vehicle is acceptable when you are entering your vehicle info. If they have any questions they may call you in to a Lyft hub for a visual inspection.

To see which service your car might qualify for, check out our Lyft XL, Premier, Lux, and Black SUV car list.

4 Easy Steps to Sign Up With Lyft

  1. Get Signed Up
  2. Complete your background check
  3. Pass a vehicle inspection
  4. Start Driving!

1. Get Signed Up

Getting signed up with Lyft is super easy! Head to Lyft’s sign up page and follow the instructions.

You’ll start with registering for an account, then choose the city you would like to drive in. After agreeing to Lyft’s terms of service you will be asked to input your vehicle information.

There is also the option to choose Lyft Express Drive and rent a car to drive with.

From there you will enter all of your personal information such as your residence, drivers license, and Identification numbers.

How to get signed up with Lyft for drivers

2. Complete your background check

When signing up you were asked to consent to a background check. Lyft uses these background checks to take a look at both driving and criminal history.

Your driving history will let Lyft know what level of driver you are. They are not looking for drivers who have multiple insurance claims, or major traffic violations. Lyft wants to work with safe and responsible drivers, remember?

Criminal history tells Lyft that maybe you may not be a good fit for a rideshare driver. If you have any major convictions or crimes on your record you can pretty much rule out becoming a rideshare driver. If you are in this situation and that isn’t you anymore contact Lyft to explain your situation 🙂

3. Pass a vehicle inspection

Woo vehicle inspections! Everyone loves a good grade and coming out of an inspection with a pass means the fast track to approval.

Assuming you have successfully completed the background check, your vehicle inspection is the last part of the sign up process.

Your mechanic will check the mechanics of your vehicle for safety and any major wear and tear. Tread depth, body condition, and brakes are all important factors in determining whether or not your ride is safe for passengers.

As long as you take good care in maintaining your vehicle you should pass with flying colours.

Lyft drivers are required to bring their car in for a vehicle inspection

4. Start Driving!

Lyft used to do ride-alongs with new drivers and in some locations the still do. For most drivers, those days are gone so now that you know your vehicle is safe, its time to wait for approval. As long as you meet the Lyft driver requirements you should get an approval email.

Lyft approval usually takes 1-5 days depending on the situation, once approved you’ll get a welcome package and you can start earning!

Did Lyft Reject Your Application?

This might be why…

There are 2 main reasons that prospective Lyft drivers don’t get the nod of approval. Usually there is a problem with your driving history or your criminal record check.

Problems with your driving history: You may have moving violations that you didn’t know about. Maybe a one to many parking or speeding tickets. It’s a good idea to look into your driving record prior to signing up. Ideally, you should have a good clean driving record for the past 7 years.

Failed criminal record check: Most of the time if you do not get approved because of a past conviction you are unlikely to ever get approved. Contact Lyft if you are in this situation to see what can be done if anything. Even better, do your best to keep your criminal record clean!

You may never find out the true reason for not being approved. It’s a good idea to look into both driving history and your criminal record to see if there is anything new or incorrect.

Here are some other reasons you may not have been approved

  • Your car may not meet the minimum requirements
  • Vehicle inspection fail
  • Your insurance may be expired or invalid
  • There may have been an issue with your documents
  • Your driver’s license must be from the state you will be driving in
  • The vehicle must be registered in your state
  • You require in-state/province car insurance in your name

What to do if your application was denied by Lyft

If are denied when applying with Lyft, it’s still possible for you to re-apply as a driver. You will, however, have to wait between 4 and 6 months before you can re-apply. Once your wait time is up you can try the application again. Either by signing up with a different email address or contacting Lyft and ask to re-apply.

Contacting Lyft directly after your wait time is up is the best route to take. They will have most of your information already and will likely only ask for some updated documents.

Not approved because your vehicle did not pass the inspection? You will have to bring your car up to standards before applying again.

How to re-apply to Lyft after a rejected application

As mentioned above, if you were not approved, you must wait about 4 or 6 months before you can reapply. You can either try the process through the app again or you can contact Lyft to reopen the process.

Here is the best way to re-apply with Lyft:

  1. Head to the help section on Lyft’s website
  2. Click on the “Contact Support” button
  3. Enter your email, subject and phone number
  4. Select “I’m an applicant” and then “Check application status”
  5. Tell Lyft that you would like to speak with someone about reapplying
  6. Add any attachments if you have them
  7. Click “Submit”
How to reapply to Lyft after not meeting the driver requirements

New Lyft Drivers: Frequently Asked Questions

How much do Lyft drivers make?

Lyft drivers can make anywhere from $15-$30 an hour. The tough thing about rideshare driving is that you get what you put in. If you want to make really good money with Lyft you need to put in the right amount of hours at the right time.

This means driving at peaks times and driving in the right locations as well.

Chase the demand and Lyft will be more than worth your while.

How long until I’m approved as a Lyft driver?

Usually it takes 1-5 days after applying to get your approval and start driving. If you don’t hear back within a week you should contact Lyft the same was as above to get a status update.

There may be some issues with your documents or background checks they are looking into.

What service types will I be able to offer with my car?

Lyft offers drivers many different service types to offer to passengers. These range from the basic get me there Lyft to the luxury Lyft Lux trip. To find out what service types your car qualifies for, check the Lyft XL, Premier, Lux, and Black SUV car list.

Is it safe to drive with Lyft?

Lyft trips come with many safety features such as, around the clock emergency support and insurance coverage that covers you and passengers while on a trip.

Another way to keep yourself and passengers safe is with a dash cam for rideshare drivers. These dashcams have cameras that face both in front of the car and inside of the car.

About The Author: Commercial Driver HQ

Commercial Driver HQ strives to provide you with quality information about driving for a living. Whether you’re an Uber driver or a long-haul trucker, we are here to help you succeed!

For everything rideshare and commercial driving, follow us at CDHQ!


“Make sure you gas up before you start driving. You will get a bad customer rating if you have to stop for fuel during a trip.”
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