Updated 2019 – Ottawa is the second Canadian city Lyft began to operate in after launching in Toronto in late 2017. The Nations Capital is a great place for drivers to hit the road and get to work but before you can you need to know what the driver requirements are.
- Service Types and Rates
- Vehicle Requirements
- Driver Requirements
- HST and Taxes
- Insurance Requirements
- Sign Up Process
- Contact Information
Service Types and Rates
Tips, Fees, and Payment Methods
Commission and Service Fees
Commission (Lyft Fee)
Lyft Plus: $3.00
*Service Fee collected by lyft, not paid to driver.
The basic vehicle requirements to driver as a Lyft driver in Ottawa are:
- Vehicle model year must be 10 years old or newer
- 4-door vehicle with independently opening doors
- Seat at least 4 passengers
- Ontario license plate
Before you can hit the road and start your new side hustle you will need to bring your vehicle in for an inspection at a licensed garage.
The garage will look at the condition of you tires, windows, brakes, mirrors, lights, and seatbelts. The main focus of the inspection is to ensure that your vehicle is safe for you and your passengers. Once you have passed the inspection the mechanic will give you a Safety Standard Certificate which you will need to upload with your application. The Ontario government sets out the requirements for the Safety Standard Certificate which you learn more about here.
Lyft also likes their drivers to drive clean good looking vehicles so the inspection will also look at the cosmetic condition of your vehicle. Your vehicle should pass as long as there is no major damage, fading paint or severe wear.
Want to see if your car qualifies for all of the Lyft service types? Check out our Accepted Vehicles Car List for Lyft, Lyft Lux, Lyft XL, and Lyft Black
- At least 21 years old
- Have an Android or Iphone with data
- Ontario G Driver’s License or equivalent (temporary documents will be accepted). You must have had your G license for at least one year.
- Proof of personal vehicle insurance (commercial insurance not required)
- Vehicle registration in Ontario
- Work eligibility: Birth certificate, Citizenship card, Passport, Residency card, or Work permit
- Background check, which is completed by a third party (Sterling Talent Solutions) after you upload your documents. They will send you an e-mail with instructions and you may need to go to a Canada Post office to confirm your identity.
- Vulnerable Sector Check, which you can obtain from the Ottawa Police online or your local Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment. If you want to learn more about what is involved in this sort of check you can visit the RCMP FAQ.
HST & Taxes
The taxes you will have to pay include CPP (Canadian Pension Plan contributions), Employment Insurance (optional), Federal and Provincial Income tax. You can figure the taxes out yourself however, you should consult with an accountant who can tell you how much to save from your earnings, especially if you have another job.
HST will also be charged to the customer and passed on to you. That means that you will need keep it to pay the government. You will need to get an HST number from the CRA in order to remit the 13%. Read more about how HST works by checking out one of our tax articles!
If you drive for Uber in Ottawa too, there are couple things that are different than driving for Lyft. To find out more about pay, surge and primetime pricing, as well as how HST and taxes work, check out our Uber vs Lyft article.
Lyft drivers in Ontario are automatically insured through Aviva Insurance. There are two forms of coverage which vary depending if you are in Driver mode (once you go online in the app) and Passenger Mode (once you receive a trip match). Passenger Mode is when you are driving to the passenger and the whole time you have them in the car travelling to their destination. When you go offline, your personal insurance policy is in effect.
Sign Up Process
1. Sign up online or download the Lyft Driver App (see badges below)
2. Get your Safety Standards Certificate & Vulnerable Screening Sector check done.
3. Upload your documents.
4. Wait for an e-mail to complete your background check.
5. After you have completed your background check requirements, wait for it to be submitted to Lyft and for them to review your entire application. This would be a good time to get your HST number.
6. Once you get the e-mail notification you are approved, you can print temporary emblems while you wait for your official sticker ones to arrive in the mail. They must be placed on the passenger side of your front and back windshield in the bottom corner.
7. Get out there and start driving!
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Toronto Lyft Hub
42 Hayden St.
There is no Lyft office location in Ottawa yet but that will likely change once the service takes off. You can do most things online or by phone but if you absolutely have to go in person, you will need to head to Toronto.
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