It’s easy to drive for Uber, but first, you must pass the Uber driver requirements. You’ll need to have a clean background check, a valid license, and enough driving experience to keep your riders safe.
Applying to drive for Uber is like applying for any other job. Even though you are an independent contractor and not an employee, Uber’s reputation and the safety of its clients are on the line.
Overview of Uber Driver Requirements
Even though you aren’t an employee when you drive for Uber, they have strict requirements Uber drivers must meet.
Fortunately, the requirements aren’t too hard to meet, and millions of people drive for Uber, so that’s promising. But understanding the requirements and why Uber sets them is important. This is for a few reasons.
First, they want to ensure everyone’s safety. They do this by requiring anyone who drives for them to have a clean background check and safe driving history. This provides riders with a feeling of safety when they get into an Uber driver’s car.
As far as driving records, Uber takes driving safety seriously. They consider your age, driving experience, and your driving history. For example, if you’re too young or have a history of reckless driving, they may not approve you to drive for Uber. They only want to pay drivers that will take their job seriously and can keep all riders safe.
Uber Driver Requirements All Applicants Must Meet to Drive
The minimum Uber driver requirements may seem lengthy but are very straightforward for a rideshare company. Here is what you need to do to meet Uber’s driver requirements.
1. Vehicle vs. Driver Requirements
Not only does Uber care about the driver’s qualifications, but they care about the car too. The combination of a safe driver and a reliable car sets riders up for the best outcome. Like people, cars have to go through an inspection process. Drivers must have their cars inspected at either an Uber Greenlight Hub or an authorized mechanic. This is to ensure the car is safe enough to drive Uber passengers.
Also, like drivers, Uber cares about the age of the car. Uber wants cars 15 years or newer to ensure they have the latest safety features and are less likely to break down.
Your Uber car inspection will determine if your car is eligible, but you can also check the make, model, and year of your car on this list to see if it’s eligible.
2. Age Requirements
Wondering how old you have to be to become an Uber driver? You aren’t the only one! Uber has specific requirements for drivers.
For example, even though the law is 16 to get your license in most places, Uber won’t let you drive for them until you’re at least 19, but you must meet the driving experience requirements.
Under 25 Years Old
Even though you only need to be 16 to drive a car, that isn’t enough to be an Uber driver. Uber drivers must be at least 19 years old with three years of driving experience. So if you’re over 19 but don’t have three years of driving experience yet, you won’t qualify until you have the required time under your belt or turn 25 years old.
Over 25 Years Old
If you’re over 25 years old, the three years of driving experience rule doesn’t apply. However, you need at least one year of driving experience, whether you’re 25 or 55 years old. This ensures the safety of you and your riders.
To qualify as an Uber driver, you must provide specific paperwork for approval. You’ll upload the paperwork to your portal when you download the app. All Uber drivers must submit the following documents:
- Valid driver’s license
- Current car insurance
- A current profile picture from the shoulders up in a well-lit area with no one else in it
- Proof of car registration
4. Background Checks and Clearances
To qualify as an Uber driver, you must pass a background check. This is to ensure you are not a threat to passengers and are a safe driver.
The background check must prove that you have not committed any felonies, violent crimes, or sexual offenses. Your driving record must also prove you don’t have any major moving violations, including DUIs or reckless driving charges. The background check goes back seven years for your criminal and driving records.
5. Vehicle Inspection
While Uber drivers must pass rigorous background and driving checks, your vehicle must also go through an inspection. This is because Uber ensures all aspects of the drive are safe for drivers and passengers.
The vehicle inspection process is simple and can be done at an Uber Greenlight Hub or an approved mechanic. Uber has a specific vehicle inspection form the mechanic must complete proving the car meets Uber requirements. Once approved, you must upload the form to your account.
Most cities require Uber drivers to have their vehicles inspected annually.
6. Insurance Requirements
Uber provides drivers with insurance, but it’s often not enough to cover drivers in the case of an accident, so it’s best to get with your insurance agent to ensure you have all your bases covered. Uber requires drivers to have personal auto insurance, too, with a rideshare endorsement, or drivers can have commercial car insurance.
Uber’s insurance only covers you if you are active on the app and driving to or transporting a passenger. Uber also provides a small amount of liability insurance for active drivers on the app but waiting for a rider.
7. Uniform Requirements
One area Uber doesn’t have specific requirements for is attire. Since the Uber business is your business and you operate as an independent contractor, you can dress how you want. However, If you want to leave a good impression on your riders and get good tips and ratings, you may want to dress business casual.
Factors That Will Disqualify an Applicant
The Uber background check ensures Uber drivers are safe, and certain factors will disqualify you from driving for Uber.
Uber goes back seven years on your background check, but if you were convicted of certain felonies or sexual offenses, you wouldn’t be able to drive for Uber, no matter how long ago it was.
If your offense was less serious, you might have to wait until it’s been seven years in your past for things like:
- Reckless driving
- Violent crimes
- Hit and run
Requirements That Must Be Maintained While Driving
Meeting the initial requirements is important to get hired by Uber, but it doesn’t stop there. While driving for Uber, you will need to continually meet specific driver ratings, keep your driving record clean, pass regular background checks, and keep your paperwork updated.
1. Driver Rating
When you start driving for Uber, your riders can rate you anonymously. While five-star ratings aren’t required to keep driving for Uber, it’s highly recommended that you provide stellar service, so riders give you five stars.
Your Uber driver rating is an average of the last 500 ratings you’ve received, but when you’re a new driver, it’s an average of the few ratings you have. Initially, your ratings may go up and down because one low rating can skew your average. However, Uber doesn’t worry about that too much unless you have a pattern of receiving bad ratings.
Uber drivers have an average 4.7 to 4.8-star rating, but to drive for any of Uber’s higher tiers, you’ll need to maintain a 4.85+ star rating.
2. Clean Driving Record
Before you get approved to drive for Uber, they check your driving record. This is to ensure you aren’t a hazard on the road and won’t put riders’ safety at risk. But that isn’t the end of it.
If you have any issues while driving for Uber, you could lose your driver status. For example, if you are committed on reckless driving, Uber will pull your approval to drive for them.
3. Clean Background Check
Uber sporadically runs background checks using a third party throughout your time driving with them using either Checkr, HireRight, or Samba Safety. What they look for in the background check varies by city, but overall, they’re looking for someone without any felonies, violent crimes, or sexual offenses.
Most felonies or any other criminal-related charges will remove your driver eligibility for your lifetime unless the charges are pending and the result is in your favor.
4. Current Documents
To get approved as an Uber driver and remain one long-term, you must keep the following documentation updated:
- Current driver’s license – Your license must remain up-to-date and must not have any restrictions. Update this information as needed when your license expires.
- Proof of residency – You must prove you live in the city you applied to work as an Uber driver. If you have moved, this will need to be updated.
- Proof of car insurance – You must prove you have adequate personal car insurance to drive for Uber. If you are dropped from your insurance or get a new policy, be sure to provide this information to Uber.
- Profile picture – You must provide a profile picture that is of only you from the shoulders up, in a well-lit area. If you have drastically changed your appearance, update this to keep it current, so passengers recognize you.
You must update your documents whenever they expire or if you change cities to prove your residency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Passing the Uber driver requirements isn’t hard, but it can take 10 to 14 days to get set up because of the background check. Here’s what else you must know about Uber driver requirements.
What type of insurance does an Uber driver require?
Uber drivers must have valid auto insurance. While Uber provides coverage when you’re active on the app, it’s often not enough to protect you financially if something happens. You must also prove you have valid auto insurance, and it’s in your best interest to have a rideshare endorsement.
How much money will you make driving for Uber?
The average Uber driver makes around $18 an hour. You’ll earn between $1,000 to $2,000 a month if you work part-time.
What are Uber driver requirements for taxes?
Uber drivers are responsible for their own taxes. This is because you aren’t an employee of Uber. Instead, you operate as an independent contractor. This means you’re responsible for paying self-employment taxes to make up for the employer not withholding taxes for you. It’s best to pay estimated taxes quarterly based on your earnings, but your tax advisor can help you determine the best course of action for you.
Does Uber cover any costs for their drivers?
Uber doesn’t cover any costs for drivers. Because you’re an independent contractor, you are responsible for all costs related to maintaining your car, paying your cellphone bill, and covering your taxes. While Uber does provide some coverage if you are involved in an accident or incident while on the clock, you must also have personal auto insurance.
How do you provide the required documents to Uber for employment?
When you have the proper documentation, upload it to your account for Uber’s review.
What are the best hours for Uber drivers?
Each city has different hours that work best for Uber drivers, but typically 5 PM to 5 AM is the busiest time, especially on the weekends. During the week, the busiest times are early in the morning during the morning rush.
Who pays for the Uber background check and clearance requirements?
Uber covers the cost of the background check and clearance requirements, so you don’t have to worry about those costs.
Do minimum requirements apply to all Uber services?
The minimum requirements stated above are for UberX, the standard Uber service. However, some Uber services, such as Uber Black and Uber Lux, require stricter driver requirements. Typically, you must have a certain number of drives under your belt (around 100) and have at least a 4.85-star rating out of five stars.
The Bottom Line
Uber has strict requirements to ensure all riders and drivers are safe. Uber maintains a good reputation and wants to keep it that way. So while it might feel like a hassle to go through the background check and driving record verification annually, it’s how Uber ensures quality service for all riders.