It used to be hard to find ways to make some extra money in your spare time. Getting a second job severely limits your flexibility, for example. However, with the rise of the gig economy in this digital age, there are more options than ever to find extra work. One of the more popular options is ride-sharing.
Lyft is one of the top ride-sharing services, and they are always accepting drivers to transport riders around their cities. The drivers and riders use an app to connect and find routes to various pickups and destinations. On the surface, it seems pretty simple to become a Lyft driver. You sign up to the app, get in your car, and away you go, right? Well, not exactly. Specific requirements must be met, and you must do certain things to sign up. Here are the steps you need to take to become a Lyft driver.
Step 1: Meet Their Requirements
Not just anyone with a vehicle can start driving for Lyft. Before you can even think about applying, you need to meet specific standards that they have set. These are to ensure that all of the drivers representing their company are legally able to drive safely. For starters, you must be at least 21 years of age. In addition, your driving abstract should be clear of any violations for the prior three years. For at least the last seven years, they can be driving felonies, such as a hit-and-run, drunk driving, or DUI.
Along with a driving background check, you will also be subject to a criminal check. This is to make sure that you are trustworthy and safe. If you've had any felonies in recent years, such as thefts, property damage, violent crimes, and sexual assault, you will not be eligible to drive
Step 2: Ensure You Meet Licensing Requirements
Lyft will not provide education or training to help you get a driver's license. You must already have one before you apply. Not only that but your license must be issued by the state in which you want to drive. If you have recently moved to your state, you will have to get a new license before you can drive. On top of having a valid license, you will also need to have one year of experience under your belt before Lyft will take you as a driver. If you are new to the state, you may have to get your records from your old state to prove that you have that year of experience.
Step 3: Get Insurance
Your plan may be to use your personal vehicle for your ride-sharing work. That's fine, however, you need to know that you may not have insurance coverage for when you are acting as a Lyft driver. Your personal policy does not cover work-related activities. Being a Lyft driver carries more risk than regular use since you are on the road more often, carrying passengers for whom you are responsible. Make sure that you get essential business car insurance coverage so that you are fully protected under a commercial plan. Your policy must be for the specific vehicle you are using to drive with Lyft, and it must at least cover your state's minimum.
Step 4: Make Sure Your Vehicle is in Adequate Condition
Being a Lyft driver means putting a lot of extra miles on your vehicle. Not only that, but you will have paying clients in your car every day. This means that your car has to be in good condition, and it must be clean at all times. Lyft also has specific standards that a vehicle must meet before it can be driven for them.
The vehicle must be less than 15 years old and in good condition. There should be no visible damage, and the tires must be in good condition. All Lyft vehicles must have four doors with handles on the interior and exterior. All safety features, such as lights, horns, and seatbelts must be in good working order. Your car would be examined regularly by a licensed mechanic to ensure no issues with the engine, transmission, or brakes.
If you don't have a car, you may still be able to drive. You will just have to rent from an approved provider. The issue with this is that rental costs can take a big chunk of your revenue, so you will probably want to start working towards buying a car if you're going to be a Lyft driver.
Step 5: Apply Online
Once you have everything ready to go, you can apply online. This will involve filling out a survey and entering in your personal information. Next, Lyft will look over your application and determine if you qualify to move on to the next step. At this point, they will run your background check and check your driving abstract. This process can take up to a week, and if you are approved, you can move on to the next stage.
Step 6: Welcome Ride
This step might remind you of your teen years when you were just starting as a driver. First, you will meet with a Lyft representative to show them how you drive. Then, they will ride along with you as you follow instructions and routes. If you pass this part, they will send your information to Lyft, and you can then be qualified as a Lyft driver. It never hurts to ask some questions at this point to get any information that you think you might be missing.
Step 7: Download the App and Drive
Once you've passed the driving requirement, you are ready to go. The first thing you need to do is download the Lyft app onto your phone. Through this portal, you will connect with riders and answer pickup requests. Riders will also use this app to order rides, make payments, and provide reviews. At this point, all you need to do is decide when you want to work and for long, and you are good to go.
Unfortunately, you can't simply hop in your car and start being a Lyft driver. They want to ensure that only good drivers are connected to their brand. It's an excellent option for making some extra money on the side, but make sure to follow these steps, and you will be on your way to a fun and exciting new venture.