Every prospective Uber or Lyft driver must pass background and driving record checks in order to qualify as a rideshare driver. Both companies take these requirements seriously, as they have faced lawsuits based on their negligent hiring practices in the past. That typically means a person cannot drive for Uber/Lyft with a bad driving record. These companies also have requirements on the age of the cars their drivers operate while performing rideshare services.
While most states do not consider rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft as employers, the organizations maintain the discretion to reject driver applications based on applicants' criminal record or history of bad driving. Despite these efforts at regulating their pool of drivers, Lyft and Uber operators are frequently responsible for causing dangerous motor vehicle accidents.
Uber's Driving Requirements
Uber has a wide range of requirements for their drivers. The failure to comply with any of these requirements could prevent a person from ever driving for Uber. For starters, Uber has baseline requirements for every driver, like holding a valid driver's license, having at least one year of driving experience, and having access to a four-door vehicle.
The most in-depth step of the application process is known as driver screening. During this screening, Uber will review an applicant's driving record and criminal history. The results of the screening are responsible for many denied applications.
The driver screening begins by confirming an applicant's minimum experience. These records identify when a license was issued, which will confirm if a motorist meets the one-year experience requirement or not. The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records will also shed light on whether an applicant has any moving violations on their record or not. To clarify, a moving violation is a traffic infraction committed while a vehicle is in motion. In and of itself, minor moving violations will not prevent a motorist from driving for Uber. However, Uber will deny an application if the driver's history shows the applicant has accrued more than three minor moving violations in the previous three years.
More serious offenses can derail an application to drive for Uber—even if they only happen once. For example, convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) or reckless driving will disqualify an Uber driver. Speeding tickets are typically considered minor violations unless they involve traveling 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. Uber will not count serious offenses that occurred more than seven years prior to the application date. Uber will also never hire anyone with felony or sex offense convictions.