How can I drive for Uber or Lyft?

March 14, 2019

Both Lyft and Uber are great options for anyone who is looking for a flexible way to earn money, or wanting to get to know their community. Many drivers value their ability to stay flexible with work hours throughout their work week. This is what makes Uber and Lyft a great option. You can keep up with your fast-paced life and make money in your spare time. Many community-focussed individuals also get inspired by talking to other members of their community about their lives and experiences. The constantly changing scenery and exciting opportunities for drivers are just a few things that keep independent drivers on board. But how do you get started? What do you need to do to get certified to drive for a company like Lyft or Uber?

While the requirements for both companies are similar, there are a few differences between the Lyft and Uber requirements. As a prospective driver, the first step is to decide which company would work better for you. (Many drivers manage to juggle both at the same time! This is a great option for drivers who meet both sets of guidelines, and are looking for more flexibility!)



To drive for Uber, you need to have a legal driver’s license, and at least one year of driving experience. (If you are under 23, you must have three years of experience.) You will also need to provide Uber with your proof of residency, a driver profile photo of you, and proof that your car is insured.

In addition, you need to have a vehicle that has four doors and at least five seats. Uber requires your vehicle to be less than 15 years old. In some areas, you are required to have an even newer car. Cosmetically, your car may not have any body-wraps or large advertisements. There cannot be any holes in the car’s exterior, paint oxidation, differently colored panels, aftermarket modifications, or significant damage to the car’s interior.

Once you have double-checked your vehicle for these characteristics, you are ready for the next step. Uber requires your vehicle to pass a maintenance inspection. The inspection will check your car’s lights, brakes, steering system, windows, seat belts, lockable doors, horn, speedometer, bumpers, exhaust system, tires, and mirrors. (Double-check the vehicle yourself with this inspection sheet.  If your vehicle doesn’t measure up in any of these categories, your vehicle will not pass the inspection, and repairs will need to be completed before you can use your vehicle to drive for Uber. When the inspection is complete, you will be given a form with your vehicle information on it. When the form has been approved by Uber, and your background check is complete, you need only to log onto the app, put up your Uber decals, and begin driving!

Uber also has a few high end options that may be worth looking into if your vehicle is somewhat new and in great condition, and if you live in an area with a high urban population. These options include UberX, UberXL, Black, and Black SUV. Uber also offers other options like Uber Eats or Uber for Business that can help you expand the ways you can make money in your free time.



The qualifications for Lyft are very similar. You need to have a US Driver’s license, and you need to be a licensed driver for at least a year. Unlike Uber, Lyft has no age minimums, and you can drive regardless of your age if you have one year of experience. In most areas, you will also need to provide proof of insurance and a photo of yourself for your Lyft driver profile.

The vehicle age requirements are different in different areas of the United States. In most of California, your vehicle must be 16 years old or newer. In the larger cities, your vehicle must be 14 years old or newer. Your vehicle also needs to have four doors, and five to eight seats to qualify. (In California, your vehicle cannot be titled as salvaged, rebuilt, non-repairable, or any similar classification.) Your vehicle needs to be in fair condition: both inside and outside. The safety features need to be functioning, and the interior needs to be clean, stain-free, and odor-free. Small dings and scratches are acceptable, but major exterior or interior damage is not permitted. Like Uber, large advertisements or decals on your vehicle are not permitted.

If your vehicle meets all the appearance-related characteristics above, you must also get your car inspected by a Lyft inspector (available at various vehicle service shops). The inspection will check on your vehicle’s brakes, steering system, windows, windshield wipers, lights, lockable doors, horn, speedometer, bumpers, exhaust system, tires, mirrors, and seat belts. (Check out this inspection form for more information on Lyft inspections!  If any of these systems are not functioning, your vehicle will fail the inspection test, and will require repair before you may qualify to drive it for Lyft. Once this is complete, Lyft will check on your driving record, and perform a criminal background check. Once you are cleared for those, you will be ready to begin driving. Place the Lyft placards in the front and rear of your vehicle, download the app, and begin driving for Lyft!


Both Lyft and Uber are great options for safe drivers who want a simple, flexible way to earn money. If you’re still wondering if you would qualify, make an appointment to get your vehicle inspected today!