How Much do Lyft Drivers Make and How to Become a Lyft Driver

Last updated: September 19, 2016 - 9:19am EDT

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's fleet?  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, what you’ll need to do to start the process, and how much you can make driving for Lyft.

How much do Lyft drivers make?

On average, Lyft drivers earn around $20 per hour, and some earn 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 all 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.

You can also use Lyft’s free online tool to determine how much money you can make driving for Lyft, depending on which city you will be driving in.

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 DMV driving record background check
  • Pass a national and county-wide background check
  • Possess a car with 4 doors and 5 functioning seatbelts
  • ****Each state also has specific rules about the maximum age of your vehicle****
  • Possess valid in-state insurance under which you are covered
  • Have in-state license plates
  • Pass a 19-point vehicle inspection

To become a Lyft driver:

1. Visit the Lyft website to begin the application

Go to in your web browser, and click the Drive with Lyft button on the purple banner. You can also simply visit

Visit Lyft's website and click the Drive with Lyft button

2. Enter your personal information and download the Lyft app

From here, click in each of the highlighted boxes here and type in:

  • your first name
  • your last name
  • your email address
  • the city in which you live
  • your phone number
  • a promotional or referral code (optional)

Make sure that you click the check box to agree to Lyft’s terms of service, and then click the purple Become a Driver button.

Fill out the application to become a driver

From this screen, you can also check on the status of your application in progress. Just click Check the Status of Your Application Here below the Become a Driver button.

(HINT: For the next step, make sure that you have the Lyft app already on your phone.)

3. Verify your mobile device

Lyft will send an SMS text message to your mobile phone in order to verify the information that you entered. When you get the message, click the box labelled "Enter Code Here" and type in the code that you were sent.  Then tap Verify. You must have a working Android or Apple smart phone for this to work.

Verify your mobile phone number

4. Enter your vehicle information

The next step requires you to fill out your vehicle information, all of which can be selected from the drop-down menus provided. Select the year, make, model, number of doors, and color of your vehicle, and click Continue.

Enter your vehicle information

5. Verify your identity

On the next page, enter your personal information so that Lyft can verify your identity. Your name, Social Security Number, and date of birth are required, as are your driver’s license number, state of issue, and expiration date. You must then click a check box to verify you have had your driver’s license for more than one year. Finally, enter your residential address, and then click Continue.

6. Pass a DMV background check and criminal record background check

The next step is to complete two background checks -- one with the DMV which Lyft will do based on the information that you have provided. This usually takes a few days, and you will be notified by Lyft whether you pass or fail.

You will likely fail the DMV background check if you have had more than three minor traffic violations (e.g. accidents or traffic light violations) or any major traffic violations (e.g. having a suspended license or reckless driving) within the past three years. You also cannot have had any DUIs, drug-related violations, or felonies within the past seven years.

You will likely fail the criminal background check if you have ever been convicted of a felony, violent crime, theft, sexual offence, drug-related offence, or property damage incident.

7. Participate in the "Mentor Session" and 19-point vehicle inspection

The final step is a “Mentor Session,” which requires you to meet with an experienced Lyft driver. During this session, you will need to pass a 19-point vehicle inspection and take a practice ride with your mentor. You will also be able to ask any questions that you may have about working for Lyft. Your mentor will report back to Lyft, and if this session goes well (and you have passed all previous requirements), you will likely be hired by Lyft.


You can check on the status of your application -- or continue working on it -- at any time by following these steps up to the point that you have currently completed. Feel free to contact Lyft support if you have questions about the process, or if your background check takes more than ten days. Go to to find FAQs, or press the Contact Support button to email a question.


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. Visit if you think that you can be a Lyft driver!

More Lyft Tutorials

See all 9 Lyft tutorials

Support TechBoomers

TechBoomers offers free articles that teach people how to use technology to make their lives easier (and more fun!). To support our work, some of our content contains links to websites that pay us affiliate commissions when our users visit them through us and make purchases. Learn more about how this works.

Did you learn what you wanted to?

Was something in this tutorial missing, confusing, or out of date? Or did it give you all the information you needed, and you just want to say "thanks"? We'd love to hear what you thought!