Cities with Extra Requirements for Rideshare Drivers

Not so long ago, it seemed all you needed to start driving for Uber or Lyft was a vehicle and a smartphone, but those days are over. Now, some cities have very strict requirements for rideshare drivers, and not being aware of these regulations could cost you. Today, senior RSG contributor Jon Knope covers which cities have extra requirements for rideshare drivers. Noticed something we missed? Please share in the comments!

I used to joke that all you need in order to drive with Uber is a smart phone and a pulse.  But the “wild west” days of rideshare are drawing to a close. Increasingly, drivers and their cars must meet additional requirements in order to drive for Uber and Lyft.

In the early days, there were few rules and no regulations (or, rather, there were rules and regulations – but Uber ignored them all!) Now, local legislatures all over the country are starting to impose additional requirements – from more extensive background checks to special insurance and license requirements. Here’s a comprehensive list of states and cities that will require you to go the extra mile before you even hit the road.

Haven’t signed up yet with Uber or Lyft? You can sign up and get a bonus or guarantee in your city with our referral links!

👉Related article: Essential gear every rideshare driver should have

Does your city have extra requirements for rideshare drivers? A list of cities with extra requirements for rideshare drivers here -

Uber’s basic driver requirements are pretty simple:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have at least one year of driving experience in the U.S. (3 years if you are under 23 years old)
  • Have a valid U.S. driver’s license
  • Use an eligible 4-door vehicle

What counts as an “eligible 4-door vehicle” varies depending on where you live, but most big cities require a 2002 or newer vehicle – learn more about Uber car requirements here. Lyft is typically a little more stringent, requiring vehicles as recent as 2009 in some areas.

You’ll also need some documents:

  • A valid U.S. driver’s license
  • Proof of vehicle registration
  • Proof of vehicle insurance

You’ll also need to pass the TNCs background check, which reviews your driving record and criminal history. In most places, you’ll also need to get your vehicle inspected. Sometimes, an Uber or Lyft rep will do the inspection themselves during your onboarding process. In other areas, you may need to take the car to an independent mechanic and have them fill out a form.

But that’s just the beginning. If you live in one of the areas listed below, you’ll need to jump through some additional hoops. For each region, you’ll find a link to Lyft’s local requirements page at the bottom (you can find the whole list here). You can also find your local Uber requirements by visiting – click the pin in the top right to set your location, then click “For Partners” on the left, then click “Requirements” under the “Signing Up” category.

Don’t forget – the requirements listed here are the bare minimum to legally drive for Uber and Lyft. What the rideshare companies won’t tell you is that in order to avoid gaps in your insurance coverage, you’ll also need a rideshare-friendly insurance policy. Having a dashcam in your vehicle can also help protect you (and your job, and your earnings) in the event of an incident.

And when you’re ready to take the plunge, check out the best gig jobs to take advantage of any sign-on incentives that might be available!

If you’re having trouble meeting the requirements, don’t worry – there are other driving gigs out there! Try signing up for Postmates, Doordash, or UberEATS – these invite links can net you a nice sign-on incentive in some areas. Delivery services typically have looser vehicle and driver requirements, and they’re a great way to diversify your income.

Without further ado, here’s the list:

Birmingham, Alabama

Drivers are required to obtain a business license


An airport placard is required for many airports including LAX, SFO, SAN, SJC and OAK
San Francisco and San Jose each require a local business license

You also need Uber and Lyft trade dress


Chicago drivers should receive several stickers upon signing up: a 311 sticker, an airport placard, and a tax emblem.


Colorado drivers must pass a medical exam before picking up passengers.

In addition, Colorado also mandates random vehicle inspections. These come in the form of ride requests – upon accepting and arriving at the location, an inspector will make sure your car is roadworthy.


If your vehicle has a lien on it, you must notify the lienholder. Be warned that ridesharing may violate your contract.

Delaware’s hands-free cell phone laws dictate that you should not interact with the apps while the vehicle is in motion.

A Delaware business license may be required.


If you live near the border with South Carolina and anticipate picking up passengers there, you’ll need to get your vehicle inspected by a South Carolina mechanic.


Island-dwelling rideshare drivers must obtain a GET Tax License.


Massachusetts requires new drivers to pass a more comprehensive state background check called CORI.

All drivers must undergo a second background check conducted by the Department of Public Utilities to pick up passengers from Boston/Logan.
All cars must display the rideshare service(s) they are driving for.  The placards must be placed in the lower right front windshield (passengers side) and the lower right side of the rear of the vehicle.  [Thank you to reader Teddy for this information!]


In Columbia, MO, drivers are required to get their annual TNO and business license. Drivers must display the TNO sticker on the rear windshield and have their city driving credentials in plain sight of the passenger. [Thank you to reader Ken for this information!]

In Kansas City, MO you’ll need several items: a small business license and you’ll need to complete a declaration of medical fitness. [Thank you to reader Phillip for this information!]


If your vehicle has a lien on it, you must notify the lienholder. Be warned that ridesharing may violate your contract.


Nevada rideshare drivers are required to display a TNC Permit Number decal on their vehicle.

Nevada requires that all drivers hold a business license.

If driving in Vegas, a separate Clark County business license is also required.

New Orleans

New Orleans drivers must submit to random drug testing every quarter – and within 24 hours after an accident.

New York City

In rideshare’s most regulated region, there are many requirements:

Drivers must have a TLC license and plates (Taxi and Limousine Commission) – also known as Class E license.

As part of acquiring the license, drivers must submit to drug testing, fingerprinting, and a defensive driving course.

In NYC, drivers need to take and pass the test for a WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle) class. Even though the driver may not be driving a WAV, the license issued in NYC is consolidated so the driver may also drive a medallion vehicle later on in their career. [Thank you to reader Kathleen for this information!]

In addition, all rideshare drivers are required to carry commercial insurance.


To hit the road in Pennsylvania, drivers must submit a photo of their current PA PennDOT vehicle inspection sticker (Or NJ inspection sticker, or Delaware plate).


Drivers must carry a paper copy of the TNC insurance at all times.

Bellingham, and Vancouver, WA all require business licenses specific to each city.


The city of Portland requires drivers to hold a business license. Lyft requires you to present this license during your first vehicle inspection, and score at least 80% on a common-sense driving quiz.

In addition, drivers must report all accidents and crimes to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) within 24 hours.

Seattle/King County/Tacoma

Drivers must hold a City of Seattle business license, as well as a defensive driving certificate.

In addition, drivers are required to display a TNC decal.


A current inspection sticker from Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or New York is required.


Pickups in Virginia Beach require a local business license.

Washington, D.C.

A Maryland TNO license and vehicle permit are required (these are typically acquired for you during the application process)

Drivers: Did we miss anything? Did you have any trouble meeting your area’s requirements? Let us know below.

-Jon @ RSG

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