How to Become a Lyft Driver + How Much You Can Make

If you’ve considered driving for Lyft, we’ve got everything you need to know about the steps you need to go through, whether you qualify, and how much you can make doing it.

Lyft app on smartphone in car

If you have some free time on your hands, are looking to supplement your income at a job where you make your own hours, and like driving and meeting new people, then why not join Lyft.com as a driver? If you have a car, proper vehicle licensing and insurance, and an Android or Apple smart phone, then it’s likely that you can become a Lyft driver.

Our article below will describe the requirements to become a Lyft driver, and give you all the information you need, including:

Thanks to the recent #deleteuber movement, driving for Lyft is more profitable than ever. If you think you want to drive for Lyft, read on! You can become a driver in as little as 2 days!

 

How much do Lyft drivers make per hour?

On average, Lyft drivers earn between minimum wage, and up to $35 per hour. Lyft drivers are paid based on each ride that they fulfill, pocketing about 75-80% of each fare (Lyft gets the other 20-25%, depending on when the driver joined Lyft). Lyft drivers also keep 100% of any tips they make.

There are some additional components of the Lyft pay scale, including Lyft “Prime Time” pricing. As we explained in our article on how much Lyft costs, “Prime Time” pricing is a temporary percentage-based price increase for Lyft fares when there is high demand for Lyft rides in an area, but not many Lyft drivers available there. Since the amount of money that Lyft drivers earn is largely based on the cost of fares, “Prime Time” pricing encourages them to get out on the road and fulfill ride requests while fares are costlier, which in turn earns them more money.

Lyft also offers a “Power Driver Bonus” for frequent drivers with an acceptance rate of 90% or greater, which increases their earnings by up to 20%. In New York, Lyft collects an additional 11.4% administrative charge off of each fare, so Lyft drivers there pocket about 64-69% of their fares.

There was a study done by MIT that suggested that Uber and Lyft drivers, on average, had a pre-tax median profit of only $3.37 per hour. However, there was also suggestion from Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi that the research methodology was flawed, and this was acknowledged by MIT representatives. If you want to know how much you can make driving for Lyft in your specific city, use their free online tool.

 

What are the requirements for becoming a Lyft driver?

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Valid social security number
  • Own an Android or Apple smart phone
  • Have had an in-state driver’s license for at least one year
  • Pass a driving record background check
  • Pass a national and county-wide background check
  • Possess a car with 4 doors and 5 functioning seatbelts
  • Age of car: each state has unique rules about the maximum allowed age of your vehicle
  • Possess valid in-state insurance under which you are covered
  • Have in-state license plates
  • Pass a 13-point vehicle requirement check

Once you have verified you meet these requirements, you can start your application.

Pro Tip: Check out Lyft’s list of available cities to make sure driving for Lyft will be profitable for you before you go through the work of filling out an application.

 

3 steps to becoming a Lyft driver: application, background checks, uploading documents

Step 1: Apply to be a driver on the Lyft website by starting the application.

This step mainly involves filling out basic information about yourself, but it’s important to help Lyft verify you as a potential employee. Make sure to be honest, thorough, and to double-check everything you enter – otherwise your application will be delayed.

Download the app and sign up

  1. Download the Lyft app on your smartphone: Android | iOS
  2. Go to com and click Become a Driver. You can also go to Lyft.com/drive-with-lyft.
    Lyft URL in web browser
  3. Enter your mobile phone number in the available field, and click the check box to agree to Lyft’s terms. Click Next.
    Enter mobile phone number
  4. Fill out each box, entering your “First Name,” “Last Name,” “Email Address,” City You’ll Drive In,” and if you have one, your “Referral Code.” When you’re done, click Become a Driver.
    Enter basic driver information into Lyft form

Verify mobile phone number

Lyft will send you a text message with a verification code. Enter it on this screen and click Next.

Lyft mobile number verification

Enter vehicle information

On this screen, click Add Vehicle.

Add Vehicle button

From each of the drop-down menus, select the following information about your vehicle:

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Number of doors
  • Color
  • Number of seatbelts

When you’re finished, click Continue. Remember it is very important to enter accurate information.

Enter vehicle information with drop-down menus

Enter driver information

On this screen, fill out each field with accurate information about yourself. For this, you will need your Social Security number, and driver’s license handy. Fill in the following information:

  • Legal First Name
  • Legal Last Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Driver’s License Number
  • State of Issue
  • License Expiry Date
  • Whether You’ve Had the License for One Year Minimum (check box)
  • Your Residential Address

When you’re all set (and have checked to make sure everything is correct), click Continue.

Lyft driver information form

 

Step 2: Complete the Lyft background checks.

Once you have started the application, and gotten the hard part out of the way, it’s time for the criminal record and driving background check. The checks are completed by a third party, and aim to find possible convictions for the following crimes, which Lyft does not tolerate from their drivers:

  • Violent crime
  • Theft or property damage
  • Sexual offence
  • Drug-related offence

Or find the following infractions on your driving record in the past 5 years:

  • Eight or more demerit points
  • A conviction for impaired or dangerous driving
  • Failure to stop at the scene of a collision
  • Careless driving infraction
  • Driving with a suspended license

If you have never committed one of those crimes, and have a (relatively) clean driving record, you can proceed with the background check.

Your application will automatically move to the section labelled “4 Background Check” once you are ready. At this point, fill in any information as prompted (this stage may differ depending on your local laws and regulations). When you’re finished, click Continue at the bottom of the screen.

Keep in mind that the background check can take a few weeks, so be patient, and wait to see if your application is updated; just because it’s taking a while – that doesn’t mean you won’t pass the check. If you do not pass the background check, you will be notified by email. You will also receive instructions on how to dispute the result, if you believe there is an inaccuracy.

 

Step 3: Upload your necessary documents.

This is the final step to completing your application, and once your documents have been verified, you will be able to begin driving for Lyft. When your background check has been passed, your application will automatically move to the “Upload Documents” section.

This stage requires you to upload the following documents, using either your web application, or in the Lyft app:

  • Profile photo
  • Driver license
  • License plate
  • Insurance
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

How to upload good documents and get approved within 24 hours

  1. Take your profile picture horizontally – Turn your phone sideways to get a good snapshot, like this one:
    Lyft driver photo example
  2. Keep your license unobstructed – Sometimes driver’s licenses can be colorful, so lay it on a flat surface, preferably something that is plain black or white so it is clearly visible.
  3. Insurance and vehicle registration photos can’t be blurry – This is the main reason drivers do not immediately pass this stage of their application. Make sure you can clearly see your name, car make, and car model on these documents, and that not a single letter is out of focus.

Here is an example of a good photo and a blurry one.

Good photo/blurry photo

  1. Finding your VIN number – If you’re having trouble locating this for your photo, it is a 17-digit number, typically located on your Driver’s Insurance Card, the inside panel of the driver’s door on your car, or on the dashboard under the driver’s-side windshield.

This process usually only takes Lyft 24-48 hours to verify, but sit tight. You’re almost there! They will reach out when your application has been accepted.

You can check on the status of your application – or continue to work on it – at any time by following these steps up to the point that you have currently completed. Lyft will automatically save your application for the future, for any length of time.

Feel free to contact Lyft support if you have questions about the process, or if your background check takes more than three weeks. Go to Help.Lyft.com to find FAQs, or press the Contact Support button in the app to email a question to a representative.

 

How to make more money with each ride for Lyft

Lyft drivers keep 100% of the tips they make, so it’s a great way to make a little extra money. Here are some of the best ways Lyft drivers earn more tips while driving.

  • Improve your conversation – Riders are more like to tip if they have a good time in your car – they can’t really do that if you sit in silence for 10 minutes. Try asking them about their day, or anything specific that comes up.
  • Go the extra mile – Lyft may not require you to drive exactly to the rider (if they put their location in wrong) or to get out and help someone carry their groceries, but if you make that effort to help your rider, you are much more likely to receive something in return.
  • Make your vehicle more comfortable – If you want the rider to feel at ease and happy, try adding some nicer features to your car like padded seats or extra cushioning.
  • Stock your car with goodies – Keeping refreshments like water bottles, candy, or small snacks can really make a difference in terms of your return on tips. It will set you apart from all the other drivers.

 

When driving for Lyft, you get to be your own boss, make your own hours, and drive as much as you want. You also get to keep any tips that you make, so if you have a good attitude and love meeting new people, you could earn a lot of money driving for Lyft. If you’re interested in learning more about what Lyft is and how it works, be sure to check out our free Lyft course.

If you’re interested, be sure to check out Lyft.com’s information for drivers:

Lyft button

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