License and age requirements
To drive for Lyft, you must be at least the minimum age for the area in which you live. The minimum age to drive for Lyft varies from state to state. Some cities also have different minimum age requirements. In general, Lyft drivers in California must be a minimum of 25 years old. Several cities and counties have a lower minimum age of 21 for Lyft drivers, however. You can search your city to see the minimum age requirement on Lyft’s website.
Every state also has basic license requirements for Lyft drivers. Drivers must have current, valid California drivers’ licenses to drive for Lyft in the state. However, military members who are on active duty and their spouses can work as Lyft drivers in California with drivers’ licenses from other states.
Standards for vehicles
If you plan to use your own vehicle to drive for Lyft, it must meet certain minimum standards. Depending on your city, Lyft has different requirements for the model year of its drivers’ vehicles. In Los Angeles, your vehicle must be at least a 2006 model or newer. By contrast, Lyft drivers in San Francisco need to have vehicles that are 2005 models or newer.
Your vehicle must have seating for five to eight people and have four doors. You cannot use a stretch limousine or taxi cab to drive for Lyft. Your vehicle cannot be on Lyft’s list of ineligible subcompact cars. Your vehicle cannot have a salvage title and must be in good operating condition. If a prospective driver’s vehicle does not meet the minimum requirements, he or she can rent a vehicle through Lyft’s Express Drive program to qualify.
To drive for Lyft, you must have a valid license and have held it for one or more years. When you apply to drive for Lyft, the ride-share company will conduct a driving record check to look for criminal convictions and moving violations. Any applicant will be disqualified if he or she has any of the following:
- Conviction for a DUI within seven years
- More than three moving violations in the past three years
- One major moving violation in the past three years
- A felony conviction that is driving-related in the past seven years
Lyft continuously conducts driving records checks for its drivers. This means that a driver who passes the initial application may later be disqualified if he or she receives a traffic conviction after he or she has started driving for Lyft.
Checks of criminal backgrounds
When you apply to drive for Lyft, the company will complete a check of your criminal background based on your Social Security number. If you do not give a valid Social Security number to Lyft, your application will be denied. Drivers who have any of the following on their criminal records will be disqualified:
- Registered on the national sex offender registry
- Convictions for violent crimes
- Convictions for sex offenses
- Convictions for drug crimes or fraud in the past seven years
- Convictions for terrorism
Lyft routinely performs criminal background checks of its drivers after they are approved. If a driver later receives a disqualifying conviction, he or she will be prevented from continuing to drive for Lyft.
Changes with Proposition 22
Proposition 22 was overwhelmingly passed on Nov. 3 in California. This proposition allowed Lyft and Uber to continue treating their drivers as independent contractors. It also contains several provisions that will change some of the requirements for Lyft drivers. Under this new law, all Lyft drivers will be required to complete a driver safety course. New applicants will have to complete it before they can drive for Lyft. Current Lyft drivers will have to complete it before July 1, 2021. This safety course must include the following components:
- Defensive driving and avoidance of collisions
- Causes of accidents
- How to recognize and report sexual assault and misconduct
The law also provides a zero-tolerance policy for Lyft drivers. If the company receives a report that a Lyft driver appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a ride, the company must immediately suspend the driver until an investigation is completed. If the report is unfounded, the company may suspend the reporter’s ability to use the app for rides in the future.
Proposition 22 also includes some hours-of-service rules for Lyft drivers. Drivers for the platform may not drive for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period without logging off for at least six hours. Finally, Proposition 22 also makes it a crime for someone to impersonate a Lyft driver. If a person impersonates a Lyft driver to provide rides, he or she can be convicted of a misdemeanor with a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine of up to $10,000. If the person impersonated a Lyft driver to provide rides so that he or she could commit certain other types of crimes, he or she may face up to five additional years of prison.
Get help after a Lyft accident
While Lyft and Proposition 22 both provide standards to help to keep people safe, some dangerous drivers may still work for Lyft. If you are seriously injured because of the negligent or intentional actions of a Lyft driver, you can seek composition by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Contact the personal injury attorneys at the Steven M. Sweat Injury Lawyers today by calling us at 866.966.5240.