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Everyone is looking for a side hustle these days. Putting a little extra money in your account can open up many possibilities for improving your finances. There are many ways to make that extra money, and people are increasingly turning to rideshare opportunities. Lyft is one of the best; known and most respected ridesharing companies. If ridesharing to make some extra money is what you want to do, here is how to become a Lyft driver.
Before you can drive for Lyft, there are a few things that you need to have in place first. Lyft, like other rideshare companies, has fixed requirements that it cannot budge on. Once you can fill these requirements, then you can apply to be a Lyft driver.
You must have a driver’s license to be a Lyft driver. Your license must be a full driver’s license, not a permit or temporary license of any kind. These licenses have restrictions that stop you from using your license for commercial purposes. For example, a student license in some states comes with a curfew and limits on who can ride in your car. Lyft also requires a full driver’s license.
Your license must be in good standing to successfully apply to Lyft. If you have penalties against your license, you may be disqualified, depending on the severity. In some cases, you may be accepted if the infractions are minor, but this is entirely up to Lyft.
To drive for Lyft, you must have access to a car, and the vehicle must have at least four doors so that riders have easy access to the backseat. The car you drive cannot be owned by another person unless you are both on the title to the vehicle. In short, you cannot borrow someone’s car to drive for Lyft. However, you can rent a car from Express Drive.
Depending on where you drive, you may have additional restrictions on what vehicle you can use. These restrictions are usually regional and dependent on either laws or weather conditions. For example, driving for Lyft in a place where it snows regularly, you may need to have a vehicle with approved safety equipment. Before you acquire a car, check the Lyft vehicle requirements for your location.
You must have car insurance to drive for Lyft. Fortunately, most locations require you to have insurance, and that insurance can work for Lyft. Make sure that your insurance is valid in all of the places that you will drive. If there is a chance that you will cross state lines regularly, it is a good idea to make sure that your insurance works in both states.
Along with insurance, your car needs a valid registration and plates, and your plates must be in-date as well throughout your time driving for Lyft. Failing to comply with these policies could see you terminated from the program.
Lyft will perform a background check on you before letting you into the program, and you must consent to that background check. To do this, you need to provide appropriate information, such as a Social Security Number (U.S. only).
The background check reveals any criminal activity that could disqualify you from the program. For example, being listed as a sex offender or a felon with a record of violent crimes will disqualify you. The background check is mandatory, and refusal to participate will immediately remove you from consideration.
The initial background check is not the only time it happens, and Lyft monitors information sources to see if you acquire more conditions that Lyft will not tolerate. For example, further criminal activity and driving violations can get you into trouble with Lyft.
Lyft also performs a DMV check to examine your driving history. Four or more driving violations are enough to ban you from driving for Lyft. However, the check only goes back three years. While driving for Lyft, you must maintain a clean record.
Finally, make sure that you meet any state or regional requirements to drive for a ridesharing company. States control their own driving laws, and you must meet them before applying to Lyft. For example, some states require at least one year of driving experience before you can drive for a rideshare company. Check with your local DMV to make sure that you have everything in order.
The next phase in how to become a Lyft driver is to start your application. There are two ways to apply: through the Lyft app or on the company’s website. Both options follow the same steps.
Start by creating a Lyft account. Make sure you write down the information somewhere since you will need it in case something ever goes wrong. Double-check your information to make sure that it is accurate. This prevents your application from being thrown out for being incomplete or providing unknowingly false information.
After completing your application, it is sent for review. This is when Lyft completes the DMV check and the background check. If both are going well, Lyft may require you to take your vehicle to a facility to have it examined. That way, Lyft can be sure that it meets the requirements based on that region.
Lyft will notify you when everything is finished. It could take weeks, depending on where you are and the current conditions. Because of issues such as COVID-19 and DMV closures, the process can take longer than expected. Lyft does have a platform where you can check the status of your application.
When you pass, and your application is approved, you are added to the waitlist. Lyft tries to balance the demand for rides with the number of drivers in an area. As a result, not all new drivers start right away.
Instead, you are placed on a waitlist until a driver leaves the program or demand is high enough to justify adding more drivers.
The waitlist is organized by the order that applications are approved. In some places, demand grows steadily, and drivers are not on the waitlist for long. However, there is no guarantee on how long you may have to wait.
Joining Lyft is easy once you know how to become a Lyft driver. The demand for ridesharing continues to increase, especially as people become more concerned about the environment. Go ahead and sign up so that you can be first on the waiting list and make a little extra money in your free time.