Getting Started With Lyft IV: Lyft Background Check and Preparing for Your First Ride

Getting Started With Lyft I: Getting Your Lyft Sign Up Bonus

Getting Started With Lyft II: Lyft Vehicle Requirements And Driver Requirements

Getting Started With Lyft III: Passing Your Mentor Session and Lyft Welcome Ride

Getting Started With Lyft IV: Lyft Background Check and Preparing for Your First Ride

Getting Started With Lyft V: Your First Week of Lyft Driving

Lyft Background Check and Preparing for Your First Ride

Once you’ve passed the welcome ride and your vehicle has been approved, you might think you’re ready to hit the road.  Not so fast though, now you’ll need to wait for your background check to process.

Sterling BackCheck

Lyft uses a company called Sterling BackCheck to conduct their background checks. After the mentor session you can check the status of your background check through Sterling’s website or by contacting their customer service line (1-800-899-2272). Once they’ve processed your information, you can also request a copy of your background check.

It is important to note that even though Sterling may verify that your background check has been completed and sent to Lyft, Lyft may still take a few days to process everything on their end before you are activated.

In the mean time, I always recommend getting a copy of your background check to see what is being said about you. You may be surprised.

If you don’t hear back from Lyft within 3-5 days, you should contact Lyft’s support team to see what the status of your application is. This becomes especially important if there are any snags in your application.  It’s best to take a proactive approach with Lyft, especially if you need to get on the road ASAP.  If you’re not in a rush, wait a week or two before you reach out to them for an update.

Livery and Regulations

Every market has a different set of regulations to follow and Lyft is very good about informing you of what regulations you have to follow. Make sure to keep up to date with emails that you receive from them on what you need to do. Your mentor should also give you some insight on this subject too.

In California you will need to at least print the Lyft Trade Dress and display it in the lower right hand corner of your windshield. Failure to do so may result in a $1,000 CPUC fine. After a few rides Lyft will send out a welcome kit with a fancier looking decal. In the meantime make sure to print it out and tape it to your lower right hand side of your windshield.

On the more obscure side, Portland Oregon requires a fire extinguisher in your vehicle.

Ultimately it is your responsibility to follow regulations. Whether Lyft tells you how to or not.

Maximum Ride Distance and Amount

There is a maximum cost and distance of a Lyft ride. Lyft’s insurance mandates that the maximum trip distance is 100 miles, originating from the passenger’s pickup location. Furthermore, the maximum amount that can be charged to a passenger is $200. So be sure that in the unlikely event that you receive a massive ride request that you drive through Lyft markets and restart every 100 miles.

This is incredibly rare but its not impossible. My record for a Lyft ride is only about $150 so if you beat me on your first day out of the gate make sure to let me know!

Quick Note on Airports

Airports have weird and unique regulations that vary by airport, state, county, what time of the day it is, whether or not you are dropping off or picking up, etc.  But the good news is that airports are loosening up their rideshare restrictions every day.  Lyft should send out regular updates on whether you’re allowed to pick-up/drop-off at airports but if they don’t, a quick e-mail to support should help clarify things.

You can also ask your mentor about the current airport regulations. If you live in CA you can check out the complicated matrix of airport rules here.

Take a Ride as a Passenger

If you have not yet taken a ride as a Lyft passenger I recommend doing so before you give one. Here is some free credit for your first ride. While taking your first ride, try to scope out how your driver gets to you, how they have their GPS mounted, what routes they take, etc.

This may also be a good time to ask those questions that you forgot to ask your mentor during your mentor session. You may even make a new friend and get some intel on where other Lyft drivers are meeting up.  Make sure that you take extra care to see how the app works from the passenger side, what notifications you get and how to tip.  If a passenger ever has a question about the app, you want to be able to answer with confidence.


Lyft drivers get paid every Wednesday morning. The pay period begins Monday at 5AM and goes until the Monday of 4:59AM of the next week. All of your fares, bonus, fees, and tips are added up into a summary that you receive on a Tuesday evening in your email. Further, you will receive a daily summary of your rides every morning via e-mail.

You can setup direct deposit by logging in here and looking for the “banking” Tab.

Lyft typically takes 20% of fares and lets you keep 100% of tips and cancellation fees. One of the things that makes Lyft a little bit better than Uber though is the Power Driver Bonus. Basically if you driver a certain number of hours and meet 10 “Peak” hours, the commission that Lyft takes from you gets reduced from 20% to 10% to 0%. Basically, the more you drive, the less Lyft’s commission will be.

Logging Into Driver Mode

You should get an e-mail from Lyft once you’re ready to hit the road.  Then you’ll get a text.  Then they’ll email you again. And then they will then text you continuously until you give your first ride.

If you haven’t’ figured it out, they want you to get on the road!

If you haven’t started your application yet, follow this link to receive a sign-up bonus from Lyft!

Now that you are a road pirate, congratulations!  If you have any questions about the background check process or getting ready for your first ride, ask us in the comments.

PS – Next up!  Now that you’re ready to drive, our next article will cover everything you need to know about your first week of driving!  You can opt in below and you’ll get all that information and more!  Already subscribed?  Download the PDF here.