Uber Driver Requirements 101

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Uber Driver Requirements 101

So, you want to become an Uber driver.

It’s a good move. Your ride has great earning potential. Why waste it by letting it sit there?

While driving for Uber won’t get you rich quickly, it’s a great alternative or additional source of income. Plus, it has some great additional perks: Martin over at Studenomics drove for Uber and loved learning more about his city and hearing great stories from his passengers. Besides, Uber offers more flexible hours than any desk job you might find.

Driving for Uber is different from a desk job in another regard, too: no traditional interview to qualify you for the job.

This is a great thing — no daunting, awkward, blind-date-like encounter to show up to.

But do you qualify, then? What steps do you need to take to make your ambition a reality?

It can be hard to find out the exact requirements from Uber’s landing page, which lists only three vague qualifications:

uber driver requirements


Plus, some of Uber’s requirements vary by market and location. Luckily, we’ve broken down Uber’s driver requirements for you step by step, so you can get on the road and start earning.

Let’s start with what Uber requires of you, personally:

Driver Requirements

Age 21 or over

First things first: if you’re not 21 yet, you’re not qualified to drive for Uber. Sorry

  • Clean background check

You’ll also need to be able to pass a background check.

Going back 7 years, the background check looks at the following to ascertain your eligibility:

  • County courthouse records for every county of residence
  • Federal courthouse records
  • The multi-state criminal database
  • Motor Vehicle Records
  • Social Security Trace
  • National Sex Offender Registry  

In order to pass, your background check will need to be clear of:

  • DUIs or drug-related offenses (this extends back for ten years if you’re in California)
  • Fatal vehicular accidents
  • Reckless driving
  • Incidents of driving without a license or insurance
  • Other criminal history – felonies or misdemeanors involving theft or violence
  • Speeding violations of 20 mph or greater over the speed limit in the last three years
  • Any other motor vehicle incidents in excess of the three allowed over the last three years (these include speeding tickets)

Uber does not perform a credit check.

In short, in order to drive for Uber, you need to not have a criminal record and have minimal traffic incidents. You need to be a good, safe, sober driver — the kind of person you’d want to pick you up.

  • In-State U.S. Driver’s License, Registration, and Insurance

Uber makes sure you’re not a brand new driver by requiring that you’ve had your U.S. driver’s license for a minimum of one year. If you’re under 23, that bumps up to three required years of licensing history.

Sorry, out-of-state college students: your license must be in the state you want to work in. If you meet the minimum drive-time requirement but haven’t had your license in the same state the whole time, you may need to verify your licensing history. Keep your old out-of-state licenses – you may need them for proof!

Although Uber offers extended insurance coverage while you’re on the job, you need personal auto insurance in your name in order to qualify.

Your car also needs to be registered with the state, although it doesn’t have to be in your name.

Sound good so far? Good! What else do you need to get started driving for Uber?

Well, you need a car. We’ll go over this in more depth in another post, but you should know a few things to make sure your ride fits the bill.

Car Requirements

For the purposes of this post, we’ll be discussing the requirements to drive for UberX, the most accessible of Uber’s rideshare programs. If you have a large or luxury car, you could look into driving for UberXL or UberPlus/Select, a luxury rideshare opportunity available in some cities. (If you don’t have a car you can rent one from us)

First of all, if your car is older than a 2000 model, it will not meet Uber’s qualifications. In some markets, that year moves up to 2005 — and in some, all the way up to 2011.

Your car must also have in-state plates and four doors. It needs to be able to seat four potential passengers, not including you, the driver.

Of course, it also needs to be safe — it can’t be salvaged, and it can’t be marked or a taxi. Uber will require photos of your car to ensure that it is presentable, and you will also have to get a safety inspection at an approved vendor.

It’s easy: you print out Uber’s inspection form and take it to an approved local vendor. The inspection is in-depth, though, covering 19 different parts of your vehicle from the brake lights to the bumpers. Make sure your car is ready to go!

You’ll be paying for this inspection out-of-pocket, so it’s worthwhile to shop around. Some auto shops may offer a discounted or free inspection with the purchase of another service, like an oil change.

Once you register with Uber, you’ll be able to see the requirements for your specific market. Some markets require that you use a decal or tag to identify your car as an Uber car, but it depends on your location.

One more thing – and maybe this goes without saying, but: you need an internet-capacitative mobile device (i.e., a SmartPhone). Uber might try to rent you one, but click here to find out why you should use your own.

Okay, ready to get started?

According to Cincinnati driver Brian Cole, the process is pretty painless and doesn’t take too long — most drivers are up and running within a week!

To start your own Uber earning journey, head on over to Uber’s website, and fill out the easy form on their landing page:

Once you do, you’ll be able to start the background check process and upload necessary forms, as well as get the app and watch a welcome video.

The amount of time it takes for your background check to go through depends on the amount of new driver traffic Uber is experiencing.

If your background check is taking longer than expected (more than seven to ten days), or if your uploaded documents are not being processed, you are able to e-mail Uber support through the portal. Brian mentions that partner support is attentive even over the weekends, often responding within the hour.

Then, upload your license, registration, car and inspection photos. Congratulations! You just started earning money with your own car (and on your own terms!) with Uber.

What was it like for you to become an Uber driver? What tips do you have on going through the process? Let us know in the comments!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 2:47 am June 22, 2016
Tad Vogl

Uber just told me that they will only allow one moving violation in the past year.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 7:00 am July 4, 2016
    James R

    Hi Tad, thanks for the info, what Uber says, goes (on their platform)

Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:06 pm July 26, 2016
Nycole Jackson

Uber goes back more than 7 years on background checks.. Fact!

Harvey Specter
Posted at 9:48 pm October 13, 2016
Cody Jacob Broderick

Hi I want to apply, but I’m worried, the only thing on my record is a attempt to race ticket I got last year. Should I even bother?

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