What Is The Uber Background Check?

Driving for Uber can be a great side gig, if not a full-time source of income, for many U.S. drivers. Some report earnings of up to $8,000 a month, saying it depends on the local market and the driver’s work ethic.

With Uber rideshare available pretty much everywhere, this gig is available to side hustlers pretty much everywhere — as long as they have a safe driving record and can meet the car requirements.

But in addition to the right car, driving ability, and work ethic, you will need to pass the Uber background check. Run by a third-party background check provider, Uber will approve or reject your driver’s application based on the results.

This article will explain the ins and outs of Uber’s background check.

What Is the Uber Background Check?

The Uber background is a screening process that all driver applicants must complete.

New drivers must consent to the Uber background check process during sign-up. The process consists of passing a motor vehicle report (MVR) for a clean driving record and a criminal background check.

The process is not meant to be burdensome, but rather to ensure a good road experience and the safety of Uber riders. While thorough, it’s not meant to be nitpicky.

Uber is looking for major things like suspended licenses, sexual assault, and other violent crimes, or serious misdemeanors like DUIs.

Uber will share the results of a background check with only the driver applicant. They are not released publicly.

Parts of the Uber Background Check

There are two (2) main components of the Uber background check:

  1. Motor Vehicle Record
  2. Criminal Record

There may be variance in some cities as to what Uber looks for based on internal standards as well as local laws and regulations for rideshare and delivery drivers.

Depending on the area, the standards could be more stringent or more lenient.

1. Motor Vehicle Record

Uber uses a third-party background screening company to pull your motor vehicle records (MVR) report, which outlines your full driving history including citations, infractions, and any DUIs. It will also verify you have at least one (1) year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. if you’re over 25 years old, or at least three (3) years if you’re under 25.

2. Criminal History

Uber also uses a third-party screening service to examine your criminal history. While many pre-employment screenings go back only seven (7) or 10 years, Uber does not have one official pre-set window of time it examines.

The rideshare app has said that how far back their screening goes depends on local ordinances or laws related to rideshare drivers. In some instances, a criminal background check could go back to age 18 and encompass the applicant’s entire adult life.

Even if you do have a criminal record, this does not mean that Uber will hold it against you. In fact, some states have passed laws that bar potential employers from holding against you any offenses that are unrelated to the job you are applying for. Uber, and most other employers, probably don’t care that you stole a street sign with your fraternity brothers at age 19.

But they do care about violent offenses that would jeopardize rider safety — violent crimes are disqualifying. This can include convictions of terrorism, homicide, or sexual assault. If there are pending charges against you for any of these offenses, Uber will reject your application. However, if the charges are dismissed or you are cleared of them, it’s worth re-applying afterward.

Who Does Uber Use for Background Checks?

To run its third-party background checks, Uber Checkr, HireRight, and SambaSafety. All three are California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant companies.

  • Checkr is an AI-powered platform that searches MVR reports, criminal records, education history, and employment history.
  • HireRight is another background screening platform used by employers. HireRight completes a criminal background check, identity check, drug testing, verifies education, verifies employment history, and vets your driver’s license.
  • SambaSafety is another candidate-screening platform, but its primary emphasis is on driving and motor vehicle safety. It runs background checks and combs motor vehicle records and offers continuous MVR and CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) monitoring.

How the Uber Background Check Works

The Uber background check consists of meeting the driver’s requirements, providing any needed documentation, and then agreeing to a background check.

Meet Driver Requirements

In order to drive for Uber, there are some general driver requirements.

  • Minimum age to drive in that state.
  • At least one (1) year of licensed driving experience in the United States; three (3) years of experience required for those under 25.
  • Drive an eligible car. Requirements may vary by city, but in many areas models as old as 2006 may qualify.
  • Provide the necessary personal information, including name, address, and Social Security number.

Provide Required Documentation

You will also need to provide the following documentation:

  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Proof of car insurance for the vehicle you will use (you must be listed as an eligible driver).
  • Proof of residency in your city (important as some states or cities have specific, additional requirements for rideshare drivers).
  • Profile photo. Can be a selfie you take with your phone. (Future selfies that match your profile will be needed to log into your Uber account.)

Consent to a Background Check

You will need to actively consent to a background check when you sign up to driver for Uber. Beyond the third-party screening companies previously listed, Uber will also run your information through the National Crime Check (NCC).

You must log into your Uber account to give permission and fill out all consent forms.

Wait for Approval

The background check typically takes five to seven business days to process. Federal holidays can delay the process. If you have waited more than 10 days, it’s worth reaching out to Uber Support. Their customer service center handles follow-up requests for the background check.

Reasons You Might Fail Uber’s Background Check

Primarily, Uber’s background check looks for felony convictions, especially violent or sexual offenses and moving violations like DUIs or reckless driving.

However, if you have several minor violations on your record within the past few years, you would most likely fail the background check.

When drivers fail the background check, it’s usually due to Uber’s motor vehicle record (MVR) review. Nearly 80% of applicants fail Uber’s screening due to their driving record.

Uber classes any driving violations into four (4) categories.

  1. Minor Violations: Up to three (3) minor violations within the past three (3) years are permitted, including traffic lights or speeding tickets.
  2. Major Violations: Record must be clear of any major violations within the past three (3) years. These violations include driving without insurance or driving with a suspended license.
  3. Severe Violations: Record must be clear of any severe violations within the past seven (7) years. This includes evading the police, fleeing the scene of a crash, or DUIs.
  4. Forbidden Violations: Bar any driver permanently from driving for Uber. These violations involve vehicular fatalities.

Steps to Take If You Fail the Uber Background Check

If you do fail the Uber background check, it’s not necessarily the end of the road. You can follow up. Many rejected applicants are able to appeal Uber’s decision and drive for the rideshare app.

After Uber notifies you that your application is denied due to the screening results, Uber should offer you a copy of your background check report. Look it over for any inaccuracies. Mistakes are not uncommon.

If there are errors, you can dispute the report’s findings.

  • Samba Safety: Fill out a dispute form on the Samba Safety website or write to the compliance department. Send mail to Safety Holdings Inc., Attention: Compliance Department, P.O. Box 92890, Albuquerque, NM 87199
  • Checkr: Reply directly to the email you receive from Checkr containing your report results. Or you can submit an online support ticket or write to Checkr 1 Montgomery St. Suite 2400, San Francisco, CA 94104.
  • HireRight: Fill out a dispute form on the HireRight website or call (866) 521-6996. Consumers may also write to the company. Send correspondence to HireRight Attention: Consumers Department, 14002 E. 21st Street, Suite 1200, Tulsa, OK 74134.

Many applicants do successfully dispute inaccurate information. Keep in mind, however, that Uber could still reject your application. Uber can reject applicants who pass the initial background check, or who successfully overturn inaccurate background check reports.

Why Your Uber Background Check Results Might Be Delayed

While it generally takes no more than seven (7) business days to get your background check results, at times there are delays.

Here are some of the most common reasons for background check delays.

  • Special state requirements: Some states require additional screening which may prolong the screening process. In New York City, for example, drivers must also pass the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) screening.
  • Court research: Uber’s background check vendors search court records when screening candidates. Many jurisdictions do not have digitized records, which means records must be manually searched on-site, delaying your results.
  • More information needed: At times, Samba Safety, HireRight, or Chekr, may need more information in order to complete your background check. You will be contacted by email. While waiting for background check results, check your email every day, spam folders included. Make sure you respond promptly to any communications.

How Often Does Uber Run Background Checks?

Uber runs a driver background check at onboarding and then at least once a year thereafter. In some locations, Uber may be required to run these checks more frequently. And Uber can choose to run a background check at any time for any reason.

Reasons that Uber may run background checks more frequently include consistent poor rider reviews, barely passing an initial background check (with Uber overlooking some questionable behavior), or getting in an accident while transporting a passenger.

How to Contact Uber About Your Background Check

You can contact Uber about your background check but you will need to be patient and go about it in a specific way.

  • Create an Uber profile if you don’t have one. This can be a rider profile.
  • Visit help.uber.com and select “Other Issues.”
  • Offer a short explanation of the issue in courteous language. Provide your email address tied to your Uber driver application, and your name, and request a follow-up.

It can take a couple of days to receive a reply, but Uber Support will follow up.

As a general rule of thumb, say less. These customer service agents go through hundreds of inquiries every week. A long, drawn-out email is more complicated for the agent to understand. Asking Chat GPT or another app to summarize your situation for an Uber Support email may be very helpful.

If you do need to submit an appeal, that cannot be done through Uber. You must appeal directly to the company that conducted the background check. Uber can neither change nor overturn any of their findings.

Driver’s Take

For the most part, Uber’s background check takes less than a week. For some, only a couple of days. It’s a screening process that all applicants must go through to ensure that the drivers can provide riders with a safe ride.

The background check is run by outside, third-party agencies looking for criminal behavior or dangerous driving. Not every crime or record blemish will show up. And you can dispute inaccurate results.

Most drivers will pass the criminal background check portion, and the majority of applicants who fail do so because of their driving record. For most offenses, luckily, Uber will forgive them after three (3) years or seven (7) years. While it’s not helpful today, at least you will not be barred forever.

The process may seem stressful, but for most candidates, it’s a straightforward process that they sail right through.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common FAQs that readers have about the Uber background check process.

Is Uber Eats Background Check More Lenient?

No, the background check for Uber Eats is identical to the background check for Uber X (rideshare). Uber is one company, and Uber Eats is the food delivery branch. It has the same safety screening requirements for all of its contract employees.

Why is My Checkr Background Check Taking So Long?

Wait times for Checkr, one of the three (3) background screening companies Uber uses, tend to take longer for current or former residents of California, Massachusetts, or Michigan.

In California and Massachusetts, the courts tend to take longer to respond to Checkr’s record requests. For California, this is because state laws limit the availability of court records for Checkr and other background check providers.

In Michigan, the state’s “clean state law” automatically expunges certain convictions. To comply with these new requirements, most courts in the state have stopped providing background checks or significantly slowed down their process.

Additionally, Checkr’s background check may associate your personal identifiable information (PIN) with California, Massachusetts, or Michigan, even if you have never lived there. This misassociation can also delay the process.

Can I Just Request a Background Check Report from the Police Department?

While you can request a police background check report, it will not help you. Uber will still conduct its own background check utilizing Samba Safety, Checkr, and/or HireRight.

In the event you appeal an Uber background check rejection, you would need to go through those companies. Checkr and other background check companies will not accept a police report as it may overlook critical information. Additionally, they cannot accept candidate-provided information about a candidate they are screening.