For what seems like forever, you’ve heard what a great delivery gig DoorDash is for making extra money. But for some bright-eyed drivers, after signing up for DoorDash they find themselves on the driver waitlist. How frustrating.
This review article will explain why this happens, how to navigate the application process and waiting game, and what you can do in the meantime to bring in some extra cash.
There are plenty of beginner-friendly side hustles you can do while you work through your DoorDash waitlist status, and even keep doing, if you’d like, once you’re off the dreaded list.
Let’s dive in.
What Is the DoorDash Waitlist?
The DoorDash wait list is a waiting list that the DoorDash app uses to manage the number of drivers who sign up to deliver or dash for their food delivery service.
After a driver signs up and has a good application status, where they are approved to drive, they will be waitlisted if there is not an opening in their market. Sometimes there are more Dashers than needed in a given area, and DoorDash wants to find the right level of saturation so that their existing drivers have enough work.
If you do get placed on a waitlist, this will be communicated very clearly to you. You’ll receive a message reading,
“Thank you for your interest in DoorDash! We’ve hit our capacity at the moment. Not to worry, you’ve been added to our waitlist, so please check back here to see when we’re ready to welcome new Dashers.”
While this is frustrating, it does not happen as frequently to DoorDash drivers as it does for Amazon Flex or Instacart. If it does happen, it’s generally more common in rural areas and not in large cities like San Francisco or Miami.
DoorDash is one of the best delivery apps because it pays a minimum rate per delivery (DoorDash will make up the difference if your pay per delivery is below their threshold!), and encourages generous tips that you keep fully.
Why Does DoorDash Have a Waitlist?
It comes down to supply and demand. DoorDash needs to manage the volume of driver requests per area.
This can mean there is not enough demand for food delivery apps in your area, or that there is market oversaturation. The market availability may be strong, but if there are already too many active drivers, DoorDash does not need additional delivery drivers.
Although this can be frustrating for waitlisted drivers, this waitlist does show you that DoorDash is protecting its current drivers’ best interests. They want to make sure there is enough work for its current Dashers and that they remain happy and able to work as many hours as they would like.
How Long is the DoorDash Waitlist On Average?
Time spent on the DoorDash waitlist can range from a few days to a few months, or even more. Some drivers even claim they spend more than a year waiting. There’s no one average because the waitlist is different in every market.
And while the length of time spent on a waitlist can be longer for those in rural areas, that’s not always the case. Right now there are waitlists for new Dashers in the Oakland, Berkeley, and Los Angeles areas.
It’s important for new drivers to not get discouraged. Your time on the waitlist could go very quickly. There is a lot of turnover with driving for DoorDash. And in a gig economy, there are a lot of other side hustles for gig workers.
What Drivers Are Saying About the DoorDash Waitlist
Drivers have mixed experiences with the DoorDash waitlist, and offer some unique perspectives and advice about how to wait it out and how to get off of it as quickly as possible.
- RenoDriver says it might be time to move onto another gig, like Uber or UberEats. They note, “It’s probably an oversaturated market. You might get a low-offer [sic] every hour or two.”
- Greenleto12 urges persistence. “Call them. You can get activated in the next few days. Say you want to dash in a nearby area and ask them to check which area there is no wait list… You get activated with all surrounding areas including yours.”
- arvticoast advises a waiting driver to update their application. “Change your zip code to a different location. Just keep redoing it until you get accepted [because] once you get accepted you can DoorDash anywhere.”
Multiple drivers say that if you are referred by a current Dasher you can get in right away. If you have a friend who dashes, ask for their dasher referral. Or you can check user forums like Quora or Reddit. Search terms like DoorDashDriver #DoorDashLife.
What to Do While You’re on the DoorDash Waitlist
While you’re on the DoorDash waitlist you don’t have to just sit back and wait. There are other high-demand gig jobs you can do to make money.
This includes Shipt, Instacart, Uber X (rideshare), Lyft, Roadie, Amazon Flex, TaskRabbit, and Fiverr. TaskRabbit and Fiverr are not driver-specific gigs, but they offer a solid way to earn money and improve your personal finances.
Even survey and rewards sites, like Survey Junkie and Qmee, can be a solid way to earn an extra hundred dollars or so every month.
Since you shop and deliver orders, each order will take longer – but this also means you’ll earn more per order! Plus, you may be able to take advantage of Instacart's guaranteed earnings promotions that rotates through regions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most popular FAQs that readers have about the DoorDash waitlist.
How do you bypass the DoorDash waitlist?
There are some actual legitimate, above-board ways that drivers can bypass the DoorDash waitlist. Based on the drivers we’ve talked to, and comments in driver forums, here are some ways to go about it.
- Sign up in a different market. If you signed up for Manhattan, try a different borough of New York City like Queens or Staten Island. Some drivers state you should reapply and use a different zip code. Others state you should just talk to DoorDash support and let them know of your broader geographic availability.
- Use the referral code of an existing DoorDash driver. This can usually work unless you’re in a market with extreme oversaturation.
- Just go for another food delivery service. You don’t have to wait for DoorDash; you can just go for another competitor app.
- Check out another side hustle. Other options include tutoring, childcare, boarding pets, dog walking, and online freelance work.
How long is the DoorDash onboarding process?
The onboarding process can vary from driver to driver, but for most, it takes three to five days. After you finish the signup process, you’ll receive a welcome email (check your spam!) and be sent an onboarding packet in the mail. With DoorDash’s new driver email, you may be asked to provide additional information to finalize your application.
How do I take myself off the DoorDash waitlist?
Beyond a Dasher positioning up, you can deactivate your account. For this, you’ll need to contact DoorDash support and ask them to delete your account. It will pull you off the waitlist, but keep in mind this means you’ll need to contact DoorDash in the future if you want to reapply for a delivery job.
Can you be rejected by DoorDash?
Yes, DoorDash can reject applicants who do not meet their requirements for age, vehicle, worker eligibility status, or background check. If you are rejected by DoorDash, you will receive an email that lists the reasons why. You can reply and dispute their decision.
For background information specifically, drivers can dispute the information by contacting Checkr (the verification company used) or by calling DoorDash support.
While it’s frustrating to find yourself on the DoorDash waitlist, it’s far from the end of the world. There is a lot of turnover with DoorDash drivers, and new opportunities are always opening up.
And while you wait for DoorDash to greenlight you for dashing, you can earn money through other side hustles too.