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Rideshare driver behind the wheel receiving phone notification of a ride request.

If you're thinking of driving for Uber and Lyft, it isn't as simple as signing up, downloading the app, turning it on and accepting passengers.

Both companies have several requirements that drivers must meet for insurance, the age of their vehicle, their driving record and more.

Here's a rundown of the requirements you'll need to meet before you can drive for Uber or Lyft.

Uber driver requirements and Lyft driver requirements

Driver requirementsUberLyft
AgeMeet the minimum driving age in your city .The minimum age requirement with Lyft is between 21 -25 and varies for your city or region.
Driving experienceHave at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (3 years of experience if you are under 25 years of age)Have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S.
Driving recordClean driving recordNo more than three violations in the past three years or a single moving violation in a year
InsuranceYou must be listed on your personal auto insurance policiesYou must be listed on your personal auto insurance policies
TechnologyMust have a smartphone to download the Uber app.Must have a smartphone to download the Lyft app

Must have an eligible four-door vehicle.

Must have four doors with a minimum of five seatbelts. Taxis and stretch limousines are not allowed.

State requirements for Uber and Lyft drivers

Requirements for rideshare driving vary by state and in some cases by individual markets. For example, Colorado requires a medical exam and drivers must display a "Driver Medical Certificate" in their vehicle at all times when they're working. That’s not necessary in most other states.

Other special state requirements include:

StateSpecial requirement examples
  • Display the Lyft emblem while in driver mode
  • Undergo annual vehicle inspection
  • Must display an airport placard in your windshield at Oakland, Los Angeles and San Francisco airports
  • Pay a General Excise Tax (GET)
  • Display the Lyft emblem in driver mode
  • Follow airport guidelines
  • Always carry a license and proof of insurance
  • Secure a Nevada business license
  • 22-point vehicle inspection, Lyft trade dress emblem and Nevada TNC permit number decal
  • Driver mode limited, so you can't exceed 12 hours of driving within a 24-hour period
  • Apart from the Lyft driver mode, Nevada regulations require that - drivers take a 12 consecutive hours of break after providing rides for 12 cumulative hours within 24 hours. Take 8 consecutive hours of break after being in driver mode for 16 cumulative hours within 24 hours.
  • If your vehicle has a lien against it, you must notify the lienholder that you’re using the vehicle for rideshare purposes
  • You must be 25 years or older.
  • Driver mode limited, so you can't exceed 12 hours of driving within 24 hours
Washington, D.C.
  • Must pass safety inspection in Virginia, D.C. or Maryland
  • Maryland drivers must have a TNO (Transportation Network Operator) license
  • Virginia state law requires drivers spend no more than 13 hours driving in a 24-hour period (Lyft's maximum limit is 12 hours)

Why Uber and Lyft drivers need rideshare insurance

Rideshare drivers must meet the minimum auto insurance requirements for their state. Drivers are also covered under Uber and Lyft's liability insurance policies when they are on the app and waiting for a ride request. That time known as Period 1. During this period, Uber's coverage and Lyft's coverage provide $50,000 of bodily injury per person, $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident and $25,000 of property damage coverage per accident.

Once you've accepted a ride request (Period 2), a passenger is in the vehicle and you're transporting them to their destination (Period 3), you’ll be covered under Uber and Lyft's contingent comprehensive and collision insurance and each company's liability policy. That includes $1 million of coverage. However, there are still coverage gaps during different phases of your trip.

Since you can't be covered under your personal auto policy if you use your car for business purposes, it's best to get rideshare insurance, which can help to fill these coverage gaps.

Rideshare insurance isn't offered in every state, so start by checking with your personal auto insurer to see if the company offers it. Either way, shop around and compare insurance companies to see who offers the most comprehensive coverage at the most affordable price for your needs.

What disqualifies a driver for Uber or Lyft?

According to rideshare websites, the following may disqualify potential drivers.

ItemUber disqualificationLyft disqualification
LicenseA driver with suspended, revoked or invalid licenseA driver with suspended, revoked or invalid license

Background check

  • Registered sex offender status.
  • Pending charges or convictions for felonies, violent crimes or sexual offenses
  • Conviction in last seven years for a DUI, fraud, reckless driving, misdemeanor or theft among other crimes
  • Violent crime
  • Felony
  • Sexual offense
  • DUI
  • Drug-related convictions
  • Theft or property damage offense
InsuranceSuspended, revoked, or invalid insurance. Insurance not in driver's nameSuspended, revoked, or invalid insurance. Insurance not in driver's name

Uber car requirements and Lyft car requirements

The most popular rideshare companies have similar vehicle requirements, with a few minor differences.

Car requirementUberLyft
License platesValid license plates required for the state in which you plan to driveValid license plates required for the state in which you plan to drive
SeatingMust have seats and working seatbelts for at least four passengersMust have seating for four passengers with a minimum of five seatbelts
Vehicle ageModel must be 15 years old or newerMust meet the vehicle age requirement in your city or state
DoorsMust have at least four doorsMust have at least four doors that can open from interior and exterior; no jump doors
InspectionMust be able to pass safety inspection. This can usually be performed at a license repair shop or partner location affiliated with the rideshare companyMust be able to pass a safety inspection. This can usually, be performed at a licensed repair shop or partner location affiliated with the rideshare company

Other conditions exist; review your rideshare company's complete requirements before signing up.

Frequently asked questions about Uber and Lyft ridesharing

How much does rideshare insurance cost?

The average increase to your policy for adding rideshare endorsement is 13%, or about $346 a year.

Has the pandemic changed Uber and Lyft car requirements?

As the CDC mandate to wear masks during transportation is no longer in effect, the ridesharing requirements for Lyft and Uber have changed for riders and drivers. Wearing masks is now optional for both drivers and riders. The driver no longer needs to keep the front passenger seat empty or keep the windows open, and health safety reasons like drivers not wearing a mask no longer appear as a cancellation option in the app.

Additional reporting by Mark Vallet, Gina Pogol and Beth Orenstein.

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