March 6, 2018

Uber Driver Requirements

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Driving for Uber can be a great side hustle. But what are the requirements? Learn everything you'll need to get started - and some rookie mistakes to avoid - in our guide.

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Late nights and weekends are often peak hours for ridesharing jobs like Uber. That means you can make extra money even if you work a 9-5.

But you'll first need to qualify to drive for Uber. Keep reading to see if you have what it takes.

1. The Basics

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Uber has an online application process. The number and type of forms you'll have to complete will depend on the state in which you're operating.

Here are the basics requirements for becoming an Uber driver.

  • Age: You must be 21 years old or older.

  • Vehicle: Only four-door cars are acceptable with Uber.

  • Driver's License: This one probably goes without saying, but you must have a valid driver's license in the state in which you'll operate.

  • Social Security Number: Have your SSN handy when applying - you'll need it.

  • Waiting Period: The background check usually takes 7 to 14 days. You need to have all documents approved and accepted before you start working.

  • Available City: Uber doesn't operate everywhere. Check the web site to make sure the service is available in your city.

  • Payment Account: Link a preferred payment method to your Uber account.

    How much will I make as an Uber drive?: The average hourly range is $12 to $15.

    Some people make as much as $20 hourly; others make as little as $10 per hour.

    Driving during times of high demand can make you more money. But if your car uses a lot of gas, you'll make less.

2. What You Won't Have to Do

Employment requirements for Uber are a bit more lax than with other jobs. You simply fill out personal information for tax purposes and provide some info about your driving record.

Here are a few things you won't have to do:

  • No Drug Test: Uber doesn't require a drug test before allowing you to begin driving.

  • No Driving Test: Your state's requirements to maintain a driver's license are good enough for Uber.

  • No Security Deposit: Since you provide your own vehicle and insurance, Uber does not require any sort of upfront security deposit for its drivers.

  • No Car Purchase Required: If you don't own a vehicle, you can still become an Uber driver. The company offers ways to rent or lease a vehicle.

  • No Set Hours: One of the best things about working for Uber is that you don't have to commit to certain hours. Work as much or as you little as you like.

  • No Maps: You'll receive turn-by-turn directions on your smartphone when you pick up a passenger. There's no need for intimate knowledge of every street or address in your city.

  • No Need to Make Change: Most riders pay through the Uber app. The transaction is monitored and handled by Uber.

    Did You Know? If a rider pays cash, the change is repaid through the Uber app NOT by the driver.

3. Internet Access

You need regular Internet access to apply (and work) for Uber. The company doesn't have physical offices in every city. They communicate through e-mail and the Uber Partner dashboard.

If you're missing any required documents required, for example, you'll receive a digital notification.

You'll also need to upload photos of your:

  • Driver's license
  • Car insurance
  • Vehicle registration

These items can be scanned. Or if you have a high-quality camera in your smartphone, you may be able to take and upload photos.

You Should Know: You DON'T need home Internet access to work for Uber. You can check e-mail through your smartphone or access the dashboard and e-mail through a public computer, such as at a library.

Check your e-mail and dashboard software often during the application process - that's when the company will communicate with you most frequently.

4. Smartphone

Once approved as a driver, you will need to have a smartphone in your vehicle. This allows you to remain connected to Uber while driving and to receive assignments.

If you don't own a smartphone, Uber can help purchase one.

5. Basic Vehicle Requirements

In most cities in the United States, you can't drive for Uber with a 2007 model car or older. But some cities have different rules, so check with the Uber site for vehicle requirements.

You need a car inspection before you can begin driving. Also, be prepared to cover any vehicle expenses. It's your car - not Uber's - so prepare for expenses like:

  • Gasoline
  • Oil changes
  • Detailing
  • Repairs

You Should Know: Uber doesn't care if multiple drivers drive the same car at different times. However, each driver needs to be properly insured.

6. Current Registration and License Plates

You'll need to provide a current registration for your vehicle, as well as up-to-date license plates for the state in which you'll drive. You can have personal or commercial license plates.

Copies of the registration will be submitted as part of your application process. The registration does NOT have to be in your name.

If you'll be driving in a city that is along a state border, meaning you will often drive in more than one state, Uber will make some exceptions to this rule.

7. Current Insurance

You need to be insured to drive the vehicle you'll use for Uber. The insurance should be valid the state in which you'll be driving.

Unlike vehicle registration, the insurance MUST be in your name. It should appear on the insurance card itself or on the declaration page of the insurance policy.

TIP: Check with your insurance company before you begin driving for Uber. You may need a certain type of policy when driving for a ridesharing company.

Some insurance companies even offer special policies aimed at ridesharing drivers.

8. Driving Experience

Uber has separate experience requirements depending on your age.

  • For those 23 years old and older: One year experience as a licensed driver in the United States.

    This experience doesn't have to be recent, either. As long as you have been a licensed driver for at least one year in the past, you can start driving for Uber once your license becomes active again.

  • For those 22 or younger: Three years of experience as a licensed driver in the United States.

You Should Know: Uber does not recognize international driving experience. But exceptions will be made for military members and foreign students.

9. Background Check

Uber uses a third-party for all applicant background checks. They will review things like:

  • Your driving record: If you've had repeated moving violations or speeding tickets, your application probably will be on shaky ground.

  • Your criminal record: If you have been convicted of a significant crime (even a non-driving offense) or if you have a driving-related arrest like a DWI, you'll likely fail the background check.

Bottom Line

Driving for Uber is a great - and flexible - way to make some extra money. Make sure you know the basic requirements before applying online.

If you're a decent driver with a relatively clean background history, it shouldn't take long to get on the road.

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