When undergoing an Instacart background check, there are a few things that they don’t always mention beforehand.
Instacart is a company that provides grocery shopping and delivery services to its clientele in the U.S., Canada, and parts of Australia.5 More than that, Instacart also provides flexible income to over 500,000 shoppers seeking to maximize and diversify their earning potential.1,16
But before applying to work with Instacart or consenting to the background check, read this article first to understand the check process and policies.
And, in order to prevent a denial, applicants can always get a free criminal background check on yourself first, that way you’ll know exactly what shows up on a background check for Instacart.
Does Instacart Do a Background Check?
As a growing company which serves a multitude of people, it is crucial for Instacart to protect both their clientele and the company’s reputation by hiring individuals who demonstrate integrity. This is where the Instacart background check comes into play.
All individuals applying to work for Instacart must consent to a background check. Instacart’s background checks are similar to a Lyft background check or an Uber background check. Instacart uses professional, credible background check services: Checkr and Sterling.5,6
These third-party companies conduct thorough background checks using individuals’ social security numbers (SSN) to search public databases at the local, state, and national level. These background checks are conducted during the initial hiring process and every year after.6,10
What Is the Instacart Shopper Background Check?
Persons hired to work with Instacart are referred to as “shoppers” and fall into one of two categories: in-store shoppers and full-service shoppers.
In-store shoppers are Instacart employees who work at a specific location on a set schedule to fulfill customers’ grocery orders. Meanwhile, full-service shoppers are contractors who set their own schedule and perform both the shopping and delivery aspects of the job.8
Both in-store and full-service shoppers are required to undergo a background check, and these individuals undergo the same background screening to determine suitability to work under the company’s name.5
What Does Instacart Background Check Look For?
To ensure the safety of customers, retailers, and shoppers, Instacart conducts thorough background checks which examine potential shoppers’ criminal records and driving records.16 These checks are conducted during the hiring process and each subsequent year.10
So what does an Instacart background check look for? Instacart provides the third-party companies conducting the background check with the criteria they are looking for.6,7 Though these criteria have not been publicly outlined by Instacart, there are a few safe assumptions which can be made.
When an Instacart background check examines an individual’s criminal records, it will most likely look for:6
- Violent crimes (lifetime consideration is likely given to those crimes of the greatest severity)
- Non-violent felony-level crimes (particularly those in the last seven years)
- Recent misdemeanors
- A pattern of criminal behavior
When an Instacart background check examines an individual’s driving records (MVR report), it will most likely look for:4
- Evidence of consistent, responsible driving
- Misdemeanor driving violations (such as DUI, reckless driving, etc.)
- Repeat traffic infractions (e.g. speeding, running red lights)
In general, the background check will ascertain whether applicants have serious, violent offenses on their records or a pattern of repeat criminal offenses indicating a lack of growth and change.
How Long Does a Background Check for Instacart Take? (How Long Does Instacart Background Check Take)
Most background checks through Checkr and Sterling are processed in fewer than seven days, but a 10-day waiting window is generally considered appropriate to allow for minor slowdowns and delays.6
For background checks extending much past the 10-day window, candidates are encouraged to check their status through Checkr’s and Sterling’s websites.3,15
What Are the Instacart Background Check Requirements?
There are some general requirements for individuals seeking to work with Instacart. To be eligible, individuals must:8
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be able to regularly lift a minimum of 30 pounds
- Be eligible to work in the U.S. or Canada (or parts of Australia)
- Have a current, operational smartphone
- Have a driver’s license and working vehicle (full-service shoppers)
To undergo an Instacart background check, candidates must have a valid SSN. The background check seeks to ascertain if an individual demonstrates responsible, ethical behavior. Serious criminal convictions are likely to disqualify candidates.5 Find out how to run a criminal background check on yourself for peace of mind.
Related Reading: Uber background check needs attention? Here’s how to fix it.
Instacart Driving Record Requirements
All Instacart shoppers must undergo a criminal record and driving record check. However, for full-service shoppers who also deliver, a safe driving record is particularly important. To request a personal driving record, check the website for the relevant state Division of Motor Vehicles (e.g. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles)19 or order a driving record from a reputable company online.
Some basic driver requirements to be able to deliver with Instacart include:8
- Access to a functional vehicle
- A valid license (not suspended or expired)
- Current registration on vehicle
- Active insurance on vehicle
- Rideshare coverage on vehicle
Some marks on a driving record can raise red flags, such as:5,6,16
- Serious moving violations (hit-and-run, reckless driving, vehicular manslaughter)
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Driving without a valid license
- An excess of minor traffic infractions (speeding, parking, etc.)
What Are Instacart Background Check Status Codes?
Instacart background checks are conducted through the third-party companies Checkr and Sterling.6 Status codes are terms frequently used to indicate which stage of the background check process a particular investigation is in.
How Do I Find My Instacart Background Check Status?
Candidates can see their background check status by logging in through Checkr’s and Sterling’s websites.3,15
Additionally, Instacart may provide status reports during the background check process.
Instacart Background Check Says in Progress
An “In Progress” status indicates that the background investigation has commenced and information collection and verification is underway.
Instacart Background Check Says Still Pending
When a background check is “Pending,” this indicates that it is still being processed.6 An extended pending status may indicate that information is required of the candidate to proceed with the investigation.
Instacart Background Check Says Suspended
A background check that is “Suspended” has been halted, typically due to missing or incomplete information on the candidate’s end.
Instacart Background Check Says Complete
Individual sections of a background report may be marked “Complete” as they are finished. Likewise, a “Complete” status on the whole background check indicates that the investigation process is at an end.
Instacart Background Check Says Clear
A “Clear” status effectively means that the candidate has “passed” the background check. No potentially disqualifying information was uncovered.
Instacart Background Check Says Consider
When a background check status says “Consider,” it means that adverse information has been turned up by the investigation. This information must be manually reviewed by Instacart’s hiring team for a decision to be made.6 With an MVR report, a “Consider” status can indicate that a driving requirement was not met.2
Instacart Background Check Says Denied
A “Denied” status code means that the background check renders the individual ineligible to work with the company. This typically results from significant findings in the candidate’s criminal or driving history.
The table below summarizes each of these status codes.
|Instacart Background Check Status Codes||What’s It Mean?|
|Instacart Background Check In Progress||Background check process is underway.|
|Instacart Background Check Pending||Can indicate that:|
- More information from the candidate is required to proceed.
- Background information is still being collected.
|Instacart Background Check Suspended||Background check has been halted, usually because information requested of the candidate has not been submitted.|
|Instacart Background Check Complete||Background report or sections of the report have been processed and are finished.|
|Instacart Background Check Clear||Background check did not reveal any disqualifying offenses, and the individual is eligible for hire.|
|Instacart Background Check Consider||Adverse information in the background check report requires manual review by the hiring team or hiring manager.|
|Instacart Background Check Denied||Disqualifying offenses revealed during the background investigation may lead to rejection of an individual’s background check.|
What Are Instacart Background Check Disqualifiers?
Although Instacart considers each candidate on a case-by-case basis, there are certain offenses which make it much more difficult to get hired. Prospective shoppers are likely to be disqualified if:5,6
- They don’t meet the basic age requirement
- They are not eligible to work in the country
- They fabricated or grossly exaggerated information on their application
- They don’t have a functional, registered, licensed, and insured vehicle (full-service shoppers)
- They don’t have a valid driver’s license
- They are a registered sex offender
- They have recent felony convictions
- They have violent misdemeanor or felony convictions
- They have been convicted of sex crimes
- They have been convicted of drug-related crimes
- They have been convicted of serious financial crimes
- They have a pattern of irresponsible or reckless driving
Federal laws enforced by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission21 make it crucial for employers to evaluate background check reports individually to ensure there is not discrimination in the hiring process.
What Is Instacart DUI Policy?
Instacart does not have a publicly outlined DUI policy. However, DUI is one of the most commonly reported reasons for application rejection.6,9 Individuals applying to work with Instacart, particularly as full-service shoppers who deliver, need to have a fairly clean driving record. A DUI in the distant past may not exclude someone, but a recent DUI or multiple DUIs likely will.16
Why Is My Instacart Background Check Taking Forever? (Instacart Background Check Taking Long)
Many aspiring Instacart shoppers have reported that their Instacart background check took longer than expected. In some instances, candidates reported waiting several months for their report to be completed. Though there is no saying with absolute certainty if a single issue is responsible for these delays, there are several factors believed to contribute to longer wait times.5,16
- More information is required from candidate to proceed
- Inaccurate or inconsistent information resulting in delays
- Local courthouses and clerk’s offices slow to respond
- Health related shutdowns and general slowdowns
- Influx or backlog of applications and background checks
- A particularly confusing or extensive residential or employment history may take longer to verify
What Should You Do If Your Background Check Has Not Cleared Instacart? (Instacart Background Check Not Cleared)
If a background check takes longer than ten days, try checking the status of the background check through the third-party service.3,15 Candidates may contact Instacart or the third-party investigative service directly for information. View the table below for contact information.6,14
The service and delivery industries are booming, and Instacart is no exception. Customers are seeking easier ways to get repetitive jobs like grocery shopping accomplished, and more people are looking for alternative income sources that fit into their busy schedules. With the information provided here, nearly any individual can navigate the Instacart background check process to achieve positive results!
Frequently Asked Questions About Instacart Background Check