If you want to become an Uber Eats driver, you must know everything required of you, how long it takes, and what you must do to make money.
The onboarding process is simple and relatively quick. The bad news is there is a lot to learn about driving for Uber Eats before signing up.
But the more you know, the better decision you’ll make.
6 Reasons to Sign Up as an Uber Eats Driver
Before learning how to become an Uber Eats driver, let’s dive into the reasons to consider becoming one.
Then, you can ensure the reasons resonate with you and that it makes sense to trade your time to make money driving for Uber Eats.
- Quick and Immediate Pay: Uber Eats pays its drivers weekly. You can also request Instant Pay up to five times daily if you need the money fast. There’s a small fee for each withdrawal, so keep that in mind, but knowing you’ll get your earnings weekly helps.
- Opportunity to Earn Boost and Surge Promotions: You choose when you work, including timing your shifts during boost and surge promotions. What other job allows you to choose when you work so you maximize your earnings?
- Vast Earning Potential: You can earn as little or as much as you want since you set your schedule. While there are city and local laws regarding how much you can drive consecutively, that’s the only thing holding you back. If you deliver during the most popular times and provide excellent customer service, the sky’s the limit with your earnings.
- Limited Vehicle Restrictions: There are very few restrictions on the vehicle you drive. You don’t even have to have a car. If you can deliver food on a scooter, bike, or even walking, they allow it.
- Flexible Work Schedule: You decide when you work with Uber Eats. It can be daily, a few times a week, or once a month; there aren’t any requirements. You can decide at the last minute to turn the app on and work. Conversely, you can change your mind if you aren’t feeling it after a few minutes. Just shut the app off and move on with your day.
- No Time Off Requests: You don’t have to get approval for time off. If you can’t work, don’t turn the app on; it’s that simple.
Earning Potential: $15-$25 / hour
Taking advantage of incentives like Quest and Boost can make Uber Eats one of the best paying delivery jobs available.
4 Important Considerations When Becoming an Uber Eats Delivery Driver
Before becoming an Uber Eats driver, consider these factors that play an essential role in how much you make and how the job affects you.
1. Location Is a Key Earning Component
If your area only has a few restaurants, you aren’t going to make much driving for Uber Eats. But, the earnings potential is high if you live in a busy city with many restaurants and people ordering food.
See if you can position yourself somewhere with a high demand for Uber Eats deliveries to make the job worth it. Otherwise, you could spend more time and gas than the money warrants.
2. The Need to Be a People Person
You get to keep 100% of the tips customers provide, but you may not make many tips if you aren’t a people person.
Communication during the delivery process, a warm greeting, and going above and beyond to ensure your customers’ needs are met is the key to maximizing your earnings. If you aren’t a people person or have had a long day at your full-time job and don’t have the energy to be friendly, consider taking the night off.
3. Supplemental vs. Full Time
While driving for Uber Eats might support you, it requires many hours to be a full-time income. However, it might work if you live in an area with a high demand for Uber Eats drivers and with customers who tip well.
But don’t overdo it trying to make as much money as possible. Instead, calculate how much you make per hour based on your total earnings for a shift and the hours worked. If it’s not a high enough wage, consider Uber Eats supplemental income and find something else to do full-time that won’t require as many hours for little pay.
4. Physical and Mental Toll
It might not sound like much to deliver food, but it’s physically and mentally draining. First, driving is stressful. Then you have to deal with customers, which aren’t always pleasant.
Before doing this job, consider how much you need to make per hour to reach your goals, and decide if the work you must put in to achieve that goal is worth your physical and mental health.
It might not be as stressful if it’s a fun side gig for supplemental income. But if you’re doing it full-time, you must be strategic about where you deliver and the times you work.
Non-Negotiable Requirements of All Drivers
So, how do you become an Uber Eats driver? Here are six non-negotiable requirements you must meet.
- Age: Even though you can drive at 16 in most cities, Uber Eats won’t let you work for them until you’re at least 19 years old. The same is true if you deliver by scooter. The only exception is if you deliver by foot or bicycle, you can start working for Uber Eats one year earlier, at age 18.
- Driving Experience: In addition to meeting the age requirements, you must also have at least one year of driving experience to drive for Uber Eats. So if you got your license at 16 or even 17, you could work for Uber Eats the day you turn 19. However, if you waited to get your license, you must wait until you have that full year of driving experience to work for Uber Eats.
- Necessary and Valid Documentation: Uber Eats requires specific documentation to ensure you can drive and have proper insurance.
- License and Social Security: You must provide a copy of your driver’s license when you apply to be an Uber Eats driver. This allows them to validate that you can drive legally and how long you’ve had your license. You’ll also provide your Social Security number for them to run a background check, but your Social Security card is unnecessary.
- Registration and Proof of Insurance: You must also provide proof of vehicle registration and car insurance. Uber requires that you have personal auto insurance, but make sure to tell your agent that you’re driving for Uber Eats. You might need an additional endorsement on your insurance to cover you when using your car for business.
- A Required Checkr Background Check: All Uber Eats drivers must undergo a background check through Checkr. The background check runs your criminal and driving history. Not everything that shows up on your record will disqualify you from driving for Uber Eats, but certain things will. For example, if you were convicted of any major crimes such as murder, terrorism, or sexual assault, you wouldn’t be eligible to work for them ever. If you have less serious criminal convictions, you might be able to drive for Uber Eats if they happened at least seven years ago. Your driving record also cannot have more than three driving infractions in the last three years. So if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, reckless driving, or violent crimes with your vehicle, you won’t qualify to drive for Uber Eats.
- A Smartphone With the Uber Eats App: All Uber Eats drivers must have an Apple with iOS 11.0 or later or Android 5.0 Smartphone that can download and use the Uber Eats app.
- Transportation: Uber Eats allows several methods of transportation to deliver food, including the following:
- Car: Cars are the most common way to deliver Uber Eats. You can cover the most ground and deliver food the fastest. You can drive a two or 4-door car as long as it’s reliable and has no significant damage or obnoxious issues. This differs from regular Uber requirements, which are much stricter on the type and year of the car you drive. Because you’re driving food and not people, they can be more flexible. Keep this in mind if you are considering driving for Uber Eats and Uber at the same time. While your car may be eligible for Uber Eats, it may not be eligible to drive passengers with Uber.
- Bicycle: Delivering by bicycle is possible in some areas. When you sign up to be an Uber Eats driver, check the ‘Deliver by Bicycle or Foot.’ There aren’t any specific requirements for your bicycle; however, it’s best only to accept light orders since you don’t have a vehicle.
- Scooter: To use your scooter to drive for Uber Eats, it must be 50cc or less, and you must have a valid driver’s license. Like a bicycle, it’s best to choose smaller orders since you don’t have the same amount of space you’d have with a car.
How to Become an Uber Eats Driver: Step-by-Step
If you think driving for Uber Eats suits you, here’s how to become one.
Step 1: Gather Your Documents
When you sign up, Uber Eats will ask for some documentation to prove your identity, background, and ability to drive for them, including the following:
- Proof of Residency: A utility or tax bill usually suffices
- Valid Drivers License: Your driver’s license must be current and not have any restrictions
- Valid Insurance and Registration: You must prove your ability and legal right to drive the car and that you have proper insurance coverage
- A Professional Drivers Photo: Your profile picture helps customers know who is delivering their food, so make it look casual but professional
Professional Photo Requirements
Your profile photo helps Uber Eats ensure it’s you that works under your account name and not someone else. It also gives customers peace of mind when answering the door, as they’ll know who to expect after viewing your picture.
To provide the best profile picture, you must meet the following:
- A photo from the shoulders up
- You must be the only person in the photo, and it must be centered
- You must not wear any glasses, sunglasses, or anything else obstructing.
Step 2: Go Apply
After taking the perfect profile picture and gathering your documents, it’s time to apply for Uber Eats.
- Access The Uber Eats Sign-Up Page: Head to the Uber Eats sign-up page and click ‘Sign up to Deliver.’ You’ll enter your mobile phone number, and they’ll send you a one-time code to verify that you signed up.
- Complete Your Vehicle Information: Next, select how you’ll deliver food, either by car, scooter, bicycle/walking.
- Agree to the Checkr Background Check: Next, you must agree to a background check. Read the disclosures, and ‘sign’ your name by checking the box that you agree. You’ll also provide your Social Security number in this step, as that’s how they run the background and driving check.
- Upload Required Documents: Next, you’ll upload the required documentation, including your driver’s license, registration, and insurance card.
- Say Cheese, Add Your Photo: Finally, you’ll add your profile photo. If it doesn’t meet Uber’s requirements, they will decline it, and you’ll have to take another photo. If you haven’t taken a photo, you can choose ‘take with my phone’ and take the photo in the app. Again, make sure you follow the requirements and have a plain background to make it easy to see you.
Step 3. Wait on Approval
After uploading your documents, it’s time to wait. Uber tries to get applications through as quickly as possible, but it depends on a few factors, including the number of applicants and the background check.
Length of Waiting Period
Most people wait about a week to hear back from Uber Eats. The longest holdup is the background check which can take 3 to 5 business days. Uber Eats can’t release you to deliver until it comes back.
If everything comes back well, you can make yourself available on the Uber Eats app as soon as you’re ready.
Keep in mind Uber continually checks your background. In some areas, they have alerts for new criminal activity. But at a minimum, they’ll recheck your background annually.
Step 4. Activation Process
When you’re ready to drive for Uber Eats, follow these steps.
- Log into the app and look for available orders near you
- Accept the order you’re comfortable picking up and delivering
- Follow the in-app navigation to pick up and deliver the food
- Earn your pay
Earning Potential: $15-$25 / hour
Taking advantage of incentives like Quest and Boost can make Uber Eats one of the best paying delivery jobs available.
Current Uber Driver Applications
If you already drive for Uber, the good news is you’re automatically approved to drive for Uber Eats. You don’t have to reapply.
To toggle between services, use the status bar at the bottom of your map and click ‘Driver Preferences.’ In this section, switch on Uber Eats.
You’ll now get requests for regular Uber or any tiers you qualify for, plus Uber Eats. You can also turn off specific requests in this section. For example, if you aren’t in the mood to drive people around, you can turn off regular Uber and only drive for Uber Eats.
The nice thing is all requests for Uber and Uber Eats are in the Uber app, so you don’t have to manage multiple apps.
Know if You Were Approved or Denied by Uber Eats
It’s easy to tell if you were approved to drive for Uber Eats because they’ll send you an email. It usually takes no longer than one week to receive it. You can follow up if you didn’t receive an email, as they typically tell you either way.
Some situations might require Uber to waitlist you during the application process or even while working for them. Common issues include:
- A criminal history that doesn’t permanently disqualify you but is within the last seven years
- Driving issues that don’t permanently disqualify you but are within the last three years
- Someone else drives using your Uber Eats account
- You have expired documents
What Happens if I Am Rejected?
If you’re rejected, you might not be disqualified permanently. However, if you’re waitlisted, you must wait out the time for the infraction, such as a driving infraction that requires a three-year waiting period.
However, if Uber Eats declines you for major reasons, chances are you won’t get approved even if you try again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Uber Eats drivers can make good supplemental income if they know where to position themselves and when to work. Here are some common questions about becoming an Uber Eats driver.
Where can you find the Uber Eats app?
The Uber Eats app is free and available on iOS and the Google Play store.
How quickly can you start driving with Uber Eats?
The application and approval process usually takes about one week, but it can take more or less time, depending on the workload and the speed of the background check.
Can I have a family member or friend with me while I deliver?
You can have someone in the car with you when delivering for Uber Eats but not working as an Uber driver. However, use caution when having someone with you because they could distract you, or it could be a liability if your insurance won’t cover another person in your car while you’re using your car for business.
Can someone else drive my car in my place?
Uber Eats does not allow anyone else to use your car and deliver food for you. Each driver must operate under their own account.
Can you deliver your own food?
No, you cannot pick up your own food when delivering for Uber Eats.
How do I change or update my vehicle with Uber Eats?
To update or change your vehicle information, follow these steps:
- Go into the menu on your Uber app
- Select account
- Select vehicles
- Select add vehicle
- Enter the necessary information
- Upload documents, including your registration and insurance card
Keep in mind that any changes can take up to 24 hours to show in your account.
Do I have to be registered in the town I am delivering in?
Yes, you must be registered in the town you deliver food. While you can deliver in multiple cities, you must be approved. Each city has different requirements, so you must follow those requirements carefully.
Can you receive tips as an Uber Eats driver?
Yes, Uber Eats drivers keep 100% of the tips earned. The better customer service you provide, the more tips you’ll earn.
Is there formal training for Uber Eats drivers to take?
No, there isn’t training you must undergo, but Uber has an extensive online support system if you have questions about how it works.
Do you need previous training to be an Uber Eats driver?
The only required ‘training’ to be an Uber Eats driver is that you have at least one year of driving experience and the ability to drive safely.
How to Become an Uber Eats Driver: The Bottom Line
It’s easy to become an Uber Eats driver; just make sure you’re prepared to succeed. Plan your routes, know the busy areas and times, and use your time wisely, so you don’t burn out fast. Time is money, so being smart with your time will help you make the most of your shifts driving for Uber Eats.