Does Lyft Run Background Checks?

Before you get enlisted as a Lyft driver, a background check is a must. In line with federal and state safety guidelines, the ridesharing company aims at boosting the rider’s confidence in their drivers – and overall service.

A lot of people are concerned about the nature of these background checks as they consider driving with Lyft. Many interested individuals have asked several questions bordering on these checks – while some query the intensity of their guidelines, others say they are somewhat too lax.

However, if you consider signing up to drive with Lyft, that’s a good thing. But you want to be sure of their requirements – chiefly, background check – before you apply. Thankfully, this guide will unveil all you need to know about Lyft’s background check and how to get prepared for it.

How Does Lyft’s Background Check Works?

lyft background check

To qualify as a Lyft driver, you will have to go through a background check.  After signing up with Lyft, you’d be required to provide relevant information to enable them to run a background check.

Lyft contracts their background checks to Sterling BackCheck. This third-party company usually uses the applicant’s social security number to run in-depth scrutiny on criminal records – where applicable – and driving history. This is as stipulated by state and federal standards.

This check is not only performed during the application; it is revisited routinely, to ensure you have not had any bad record within the period from your last check. So scaling through the first background check is not a permanent license – you need to maintain your good records to prevent disqualification.

These updates are necessary to ensure drivers meet up to stipulated safety guides and to guarantee the safety of riders – and drivers, too.

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 What Do They Consider?

Sterling’s background checks focuses mainly on two key aspects:

First, they critically review your driving records to ensure your life and that of riders will be safe on the road. The following on your driving records will automatically disqualify you:

If you have above 3  of these violations within the last three years:

  • Accidents
  • Stoplight violations
  • Speeding tickets
  • Reckless driving
  • Using suspended driving license
  • Driving with no active insurance

One of the under-listed breaches in the past seven years:

  • Hit and run
  • Drug possession
  • Records of any of this violation in the past three years:
  • Reckless driving
  • Using a suspended driver license
  • Drug-related offenses or DUI within the past seven years
  • Other vehicle-related felonies.

Also, Lyft drivers must not be less than 21 years and have at least a year’s validity on their driver’s license.

Next, they will run a background check on your criminal status.  All applicants will go through this screening to clear them of any driving or related criminal convictions. With the submitted social security number, Sterling will run a search on the following database to see what’s in

  • Sex Offender Registry
  • DMV motor vehicle records
  • Multistate – seven years of criminal records
  • Federal courthouse – seven years’ records
  • County courthouse – seven years’ records

Applicants get automatically disqualified If any of these databases reveal any of these crimes within the past seven years’ records:

  • Felonies
  • Sexual Offenses
  • Violent crimes
  • Drug-related offenses
  • Convictions related to theft and property damage.

While these are typical conditions for disqualification, local ridesharing guidelines often vary from one location to another. Defiance of any of these stipulated guides may lead to denial or reversal of approval.

However, Lyft reserves the right to disqualify an individual over a crime that occurred even before the 7-year stipulated duration – based on the gravity of the charge.

How Long Does Lyft Background Check Process Take

Lyft promises a 3 to 10 days’ background check duration. Some drivers say it takes an average of between 3 to 5 days to run the investigation. However, some factors could further extend this timeframe.

Where there are a high number of applicants, the process may take relatively longer to complete. Application approval is not computerized – it is carefully scrutinized and decided by humans. SO, logically, the more the applications at a specific period, the longer it takes to check records and hire.

The investigation duration may further extend based on the number of places you lived, which may require specific searches.

That said, you may follow up your application status at Lyft.com/drivers. If your status remains the same after ten days, contact their support center. However, Lyft reserves the right to extend the process for weeks – depending on the technicalities they encounter during the scrutiny.

As soon as you’ve been cleared as a Lyft driver, you get a text and email notification, and you can begin driving straight up.

What Happens If I’m rejected?

If your application as a Lyft driver is declined, here’s a thing or two to do:

In the event you failed the background checks – or disqualified for whatever reason – you will receive an email notification on how to handle the result. You may contact Lyft and appeal for reconsideration having pointed out the reason for the rejected application.

If you wish to ignore the dispute and reapply – although there are no specifics on wait time – you may resubmit your application 3 to 6 months later.

Fact is, your chances of an approval dramatically reduces after an initial rejection. However, if you wish to reapply, ensure you discover all the loopholes that worked against your first application before you submit another. Again, do well to discuss with Lyft before you reapply.

How Can I Avoid Being Disqualified?

Simple – do everything possible to pass their criminal check and driving record check. Even if you think you can’t do anything about the records, get a copy of both records before your application to be sure of your chances.

If your driving records have some minor violations, you may clear them off by undergoing a safety class. This option is usually short-spanned after you’ve been issued your ticket. SO you may want to confirm if you are still eligible for this option.

Noteworthy – Lyft may still approve applicants with felonies if the charges are violence-free. If this is your case, then contact Lyft before application and see how you may be considered regardless of your conviction.

Wrap Up

Although Lyft’s checks are a big hurdle for many applicants, it is well founded – for the safety of both driver and riders. Some cities are even under pressure to include stricter checks – fingerprinting, among others. While this is yet to happen, it only tells background checks will not get any less more stringent in the days ahead.

However, this guide contains all you need to forget prepared and reduce the possibility of a rejected application. As soon as Lyft accepts your application, you are set to become a Lyft driver and earn on every ride. Good luck!