How to Become an Uber Driver (with Pictures)

How to Become an Uber Driver (with Pictures)

Some Lyft and Uber workforce figures

If you’re looking to drive for Lyft or Uber, you’ll join 1.4 million Lyft drivers and 3.9 million Uber drivers. Lyft drivers serve a global customer base of 23 million riders. Uber has even more riders, with 93 million monthly users. 

Notably, some drivers give rides for both apps, and some riders use both apps. So it’s safe to assume when you enter the market, you’ll have ample competition right in your backyard.

Did you know?Did you know? In 2018, Lyft purchased a bike-rental company and renamed it Lyft Bikes, which now has a market share of 80%.

This competition can get in the way of earning a high salary. Based on hundreds of self-reported annual earning amounts, Lyft drivers made about $24,895 in 2021. That figure is 49% lower than the American average for all drivers. The equivalent figure for Uber is available as an average hourly wage of $9 to $10. This amount doesn’t include tips, which go entirely to drivers without Uber or Lyft taking a cut.

If these figures keep driving for Lyft or Uber in the realm of possibility for you, here’s six steps for how to get started.


What Are Uber Driver Requirements?

As long as you can pass Uber’s background check, you shouldn’t find it difficult to become an Uber driver (unless your city imposes some difficult requirements of its own).

Install the Uber app on your smartphone and create an account on Uber, including the bank account into which your earnings will be paid.

When you’re ready to start picking up passengers, tell the Uber app that you’re going online. Then wait.

Before long, the app will notify you about a passenger requesting a ride and show you a map with the passenger’s GPS coordinates. You pick up the passenger and take the person to his or her destination. Aware that the passenger can rate you afterward, you do your best to make the passenger feel welcome, comfortable, and satisfied.

Make sure you understand clearly where your pick up location is to avoid late arrivals

You just keep repeating this process, being notified about passengers and taking them to their destinations, until you’re done for the day. Then you tell the Uber app that you’re going offline. You can rate your passengers on their behavior.

Uber will deposit the money that you’ve earned into your bank account.

What to Expect After Applying for Uber

Now that you’ve gone through the application process, let’s go over the details of what you can expect afterward.

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved?

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved?

The approval process will depend on a few factors, including your specific circumstances and the specific city you are trying to drive in.

Uber also requires proof of residency to drive, so you will have to apply in your region.

While drivers can sometimes get approved in as little as 1 day, you should allow up to 7 days to get fully approved.

In rare cases, it can take even longer than 7 days.

What Does the Approval Process Entail?

The approval process for becoming an Uber driver mostly involves them verifying the information that you told them.

Uber will review your documents to verify their authenticity.

They will also use your license to make sure that you have the required driving history for your age.

The longest part of the approval process is the background check.

A separate company will check your history of crimes and driving violations over the past 7 years to make sure that you meet the requirements.

This part of the process can take longer than 7 days, and Uber will alert you if such a situation applies to you.

How Will I Know if I Am Approved or Denied?

Uber will alert you with a text and an email when you are approved.

You can also see the status of your application on your profile page online or within the Uber driver app.

As soon as you are approved, Uber will let you know and you will be able to start accepting rides.

And if you are denied, Uber will tell you exactly why.

If it’s a reason that you can easily fix, like an expired document, then you can expect to wait 24-48 hours for the document to be approved.

What if I Get Waitlisted by Uber?

During the signup process, you will usually be accepted or rejected, and the reasons will be given.

But in rare cases, you can also get waitlisted by Uber.

If you are waitlisted, it means that your account was put on hold for an indefinite period.

In the application process, this waitlisting most often happens when you have an expired document or an incomplete application.

And current drivers can get waitlisted for failing to follow the rules.

Having the wrong driver, driving the wrong car, or having additional passengers in the car are common ways that drivers get waitlisted.

Don’t panic if you get waitlisted. When demand for a position gets high, waitlists are a way to manage the driver applications.

For example, the Instacart waitlist has grown by the day, with more drivers getting approved as time goes on.

What Happens if I Get Denied by Uber?

If you get denied by Uber, the most important factor is the reason that they denied you.

If a document was invalid, you can have that fixed.

And if your car is too old, you can consider buying a newer one.

But if you were denied for other more serious reasons, like having too many driving citations or a criminal conviction in your history, then getting around those is more difficult.

You either have to wait long enough for those problems to pass from your record or try applying to a different rideshare company like Lyft.

What are the vehicle requirements to drive for Uber?

To drive for Uber, your vehicle must meet the following requirements: 

  • Must have 4 doors and be able to hold at least 4 passengers (not including the driver) 
  • Cannot be older than 15 years. In some cities, vehicles must be newer than this. 
  • Rental vehicles are only allowed if they are from an approved Uber lender 
  • Must not have any cosmetic damage, missing parts, or commercial branding 
  • You must be listed as an insured driver on the vehicle’s insurance policy 

Uber Black car requirements include: 

  • They must have the model year of 2010 or newer 
  • They must be in excellent condition 
  • They must have a black exterior and interior 

How Do You Qualify to Be an Uber Driver?

There are a few basic requirements that you’ll need if you want to sign up to become an Uber driver. You must meet the minimum age to drive in your city and have at least one year of driving experience (or three years if you’re under age 23). You also must have a valid driver’s license and an eligible vehicle with four doors. Moreover, when you sign up, you’ll have to provide the company with proof of residency, proof of insurance, and registration, as well as a profile photo.

What Sill Disqualify You From Uber?

Uber runs background checks on all aspiring drivers and won’t accept just anybody. Potential candidates with certain types of criminal convictions will be barred from driving. That can include those awaiting trial for serious offenses. People with restrictions on their driving license or a history of recent driving violations also risk being excluded.

3. Obtain the required documents

Potential drivers need to upload their driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Uber also asks for additional proof of residency at your address beyond your driver’s license. To streamline the application process, obtain these documents before starting an application.

FYI:FYI: Your rideshare driving application will require you to submit your driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. Uber requires additional proof of residency.

How Profitable Is It to Be an Uber Driver?

How much you will earn as an Uber driver will depend on a few obvious factors, like where you live and how many hours you can work.

In a high-demand city like San Francisco, even par

In a high-demand city like San Francisco, even part-time driving can be profitable.

But in less popular areas (and at less popular hours), you might find yourself waiting around too much.

According to one study of New York City Uber drivers, the median gross income was $21.85 per hour.

But this gross income dropped to an actual hourly rate of $13.56 after taking expenses into account.

You have to factor in the cost of gas and other vehicle expenses if you want an accurate estimate of profits.

Some of the main factors that affect Uber profits include:

  • The location you will be driving in
  • The number of hours you work
  • Which hours you work (peak times equals more money)
  • Gas and vehicle maintenance costs
  • Car rental costs if you do not own a car
  • The cost of auto insurance in your area

Some people also work as a Lyft driver and an Uber driver at the same time to help increase their profits.

Ultimately, you will have to calculate your situation and decide whether or not it is worth it to drive for Uber.

Hopefully, these factors will help you to calculate your potential earnings.

Suggested Read: How Much do Uber Drivers Make?

FAQs About Driving for Uber

Q: Safety: How Does Uber Manage Safety Concerns for Both Drivers and Riders?

A: Due to the nature of Uber’s model, there can be some hesitation when it comes to using the platform, for both drivers and riders. Some of the safety features available for drivers include:

  • Easy access to emergency assistance through the app
  • “Follow My Ride” which allows you to share your whereabouts with your friends and family so they can track your trips in real-time.
  • GPS tracking of all your trips, making it easy to pull up information should anything happen while you’re on the road
  • Driver and rider ratings. If a rider displays unacceptable behavior that you feel you should warn fellow drivers about, you’re always able to report your experience through ratings and through Uber’s easy customer service functionalities.
  • Trusted insurance providers allow you to confidently insure your vehicle for your business uses.

Q: What are the best practices for picking up a rider?

A: Once you’ve accepted the trip, a rider’s specific location will be indicated with an arrow. If you anticipate that your rider will be difficult to find, you may want to contact your rider and request that they use the Spotlight feature, which allows you to easily see an illuminated color that is specific to your ride.

Other tips to ensure a great rider experience is to pick them up on the side of the road on which they are waiting, making it a seamless experience right from the start. Once the rider approaches your vehicle, it is best practice to greet them by name to confirm that they are the correct driver. Once inside your vehicle, allow them to get settled and buckled in before starting to drive. From there, start a friendly conversation and make the customer experience as good as possible!

Q: I can’t find my rider, what do I do?

A: The standard wait time for a rider to meet you at the indicated destination is 5 minutes (less for UberPOOL rides). If you are unable to find or communicate with your rider, you can cancel the trip. At this point, the rider will be charged a cancellation fee which is then paid out to you to accommodate for your time spent waiting.

Q: Can I bring someone else along with me while I’m online and accepting Uber trip requests?

A: As part of Uber’s commitment to rider and driver safety, drivers are not allowed to have other passengers in the vehicle besides the official Uber rider(s).

Q: I feel much safer when I have a video camera or dash camera installed. Is this allowed while driving for Uber?

A: As long as your city’s laws allow this, you are permitted to install and actively use a video recording device in your vehicle while online and driving with Uber.

Q: I’ve gotten in an accident while on a trip with a rider. What should I do?

A: There are three basic steps to follow if you’ve been in an accident while completing a trip with an Uber passenger:

  1. Check the safety and wellbeing of yourself and your passenger(s)
  2. If the situation calls for it, contact the police and ambulance.
  3. Notify Uber when an accident has occurred. You can do this through the Trip Issues tab in the Uber app.

Q: I’ve moved and want to drive in a different city. Is this possible?

A: Since your Uber driver application is approved based on the city that you indicated during your application, your new city means that you will have to make some adjustments and reapply under the new circumstances. Luckily, though, you don’t have to go through the entire process all over again. Instead, head to Uber here and request a change to your account and submit for review.

Vehicle Inspection Requirements

In order to drive for Uber, your vehicle must undergo a thorough inspection. Uber has car inspection sites across the states – called Uber Greenlight locations – but it also partners with Jiffy Lube (113 Kain Street, Ottawa, IL) and Midas (4224 Mahoney Drive, Peru, IL), so you can get your vehicle inspection nearby.  Before your vehicle qualifies for Uber service, an inspection must show that it has five seats and seatbelts, windows that are in good working order, and air conditioning. The inspection will also include checks on your lights, brakes, steering, horn, speedometer, tires, and bumpers. 

Once you meet the driver and vehicle requirements and pass the vehicle inspection, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an Uber driver.


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