Lyft Background Check: Know Before You Apply (The 100% Rule)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | May 28, 2024

Green colored sedan car on the left with a Lyft sign above its roof while a man in a yellow shirt has his hand on his chin and one hand on his hip looking at a Lyft background check report on the right.

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In the past few years, rideshare and delivery companies such as Lyft or Uber, have seen an increase in personnel inquiries and consequently, the questions about what’s involved in a Lyft background check have increased.

Since the company is continually updating safety requirements for both drivers and users, there are a few things to know before you apply. One of those things is the 100% rule.

Unlike other jobs were a background check is good for five years or more, the 100 percent rule, as it applies to a Lyft background check, refers to the fact that the screening process NEVER STOPS for a Lyft driver.

That’s right…

But, to ensure that you’ll pass the check with flying colors, find out what is included on a background check by running your own and requesting a copy of your own MVR report.

And, before applying to become a lyft driver, you should know the following facts.

Continuous Driving Checks: What’s Lyft Background Monitoring?

Lyft has approximately two million drivers in the United States and Canada and around twenty million riders. Because ridesharing has become such an indispensable service, it is more important than ever for rideshare companies to do their job in ensuring the quality of their drivers and safety of their customers.

So what is Lyft’s 100% rule??? Aside from the extensive background checks conducted for employment purposes (discussed in depth elsewhere in this article), Lyft has also undertaken the mission of running continuous screening (a.k.a. background monitoring) of drivers on the platform.15

Continuous criminal record screening was rolled out in April 2019, and continuous driving record screening was implemented in December of that same year as part of Lyft’s commitment to increase the safety and security of their services.13,14 Now, the company can receive near-instant notifications if a driver is convicted of a disqualifying offense or a traffic violation that may pose a danger to riders.11

Hence, since the close of 2019, 100% of Lyft’s drivers are monitored 100% of the time.

Yet, while continuous background monitoring offers a look at an individual’s most current driving and criminal behavior, it does not provide the in-depth look at the individual’s past criminal and driving history that a comprehensive background check can.

Lyft Driver Background Check 101: Background Check for Lyft

This is where the Lyft background check comes in. As part of the application process to drive for Lyft, all prospective drivers must undergo thorough criminal background checks and DMV checks.15

Lyft works in concert with third-party background check company, Checkr, to conduct all prospective and current employee background checks.1,15 Lyft contracts with the third-party company Safety Holdings, Inc. for DMV checks (MVR reports).

The background check conducted by Checkr is a comprehensive, social security number (SSN) based check of:1,11

  • Personal records and identity verification
  • Local, state, and federal criminal databases
  • The National Sex Offender Registry

Anyone wondering what apears on a social security background check should know that at minimum, the last seven years of an individual’s criminal history are examined for potentially disqualifying offenses.23

Lyft Background Check Requirements

To be eligible to drive with Lyft, an individual must meet a minimum age requirement ranging from 21 to 25 years old with few exceptions (state/city/region dependent).18 Additionally, at least nine states, including California, Hawaii, and Washington require one year of licensed driving experience to be employed by Lyft.

If an individual meets these basic eligibility requirements, they are likely to reach the Lyft background check stage of the application process. For the background check to be conducted, an individual must provide authorized consent for the screening and a valid social security number.

Checkr should return background checks within ten days or so, and eligible individuals can begin driving. According to Lyft’s help site, ineligible individuals may be disqualified for any of the following reasons:1,15

  • National Sex Offender Registry listing
  • Have a conviction (lifetime lookback) of:
    • Violent crimes (e.g. assault, kidnapping, homicide, arson, etc)
    • Sexual crimes (e.g. rape, sexual assault)
    • Terrorism
  • Have a conviction (seven-year lookback) of:9
    • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
    • Fraud-related offense
    • Drug offense
    • Theft or property damage offense

Lyft Background Check Time (Lyft Background Check Taking Too Long?)

Lyft background checks typically take between three and ten days to complete, but this period may be lengthier due to several factors:11

  • Incomplete or inaccurate application information
  • Application volume
  • Number of states applicant has resided in
  • Low staffing in local courthouses; slow return on records
  • Extraneous variables (e.g. COVID-19 impact)
  • Significant or numerous investigative findings

If a background check takes longer than two to three weeks, log in to the associated Lyft account and reach out to Lyft support for guidance.16

Lyft Background Check Status Codes Explained

The third-party company, Checkr, Inc. conducts Lyft background checks.15 Checkr has an online candidate portal that allows individuals to check the status of their background checks as they wait.5 Candidates can use Checkr’s online contact system to address concerns or issues with the background check.2

Continue reading to learn about the various status conditions in the Checkr background check process.

Lyft Background Check: Pending

One of the most common status codes individuals inquire about is ‘background check pending.’ The term ‘pending’ implies that the screening is still in progress. According to Checker’s help site, the two most common reasons why a background check may be prolonged or delayed are:6

  1. More information or documentation from the candidate is required to proceed.
  2. The county criminal records check is not being processed in a time-efficient manner.

Lyft Background Check: Still Pending

After ascertaining that all necessary candidate information has been submitted, an individual may wonder why their Lyft background check is still pending. When background checks are still pending after one to two weeks and the candidate has insured that driver and vehicle requirements are satisfied, there are still a few explanations:7,22

  • Delayed county court response
  • Court backlogs for record requests
  • Special screening add-ons or more in-depth screening
  • Candidate has resided in multiple locales
  • Candidate has significant criminal findings that require investigation

Lyft Background Check: Under Review

When all relevant background information has been collected and aggregated, Checkr posts the completed report to the Checkr Dashboard where it can be reviewed by the employer or customer. If any of the domains are flagged for review by the employer, the background check is sent to the hiring team for further evaluation.3

Lyft Background Check: Consider

‘Consider’ is Checkr’s official status to denote that a background report is being reviewed by the hiring team. It indicates that the completed report has some flagged information that the employer needs to look at and evaluate before making a decision.

A background check may be flagged for inconsistent or inaccurate employment and education information, significant criminal findings, or MVR report findings. Per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),27 the hiring team should access a ‘Consider’ report and assess each finding’s relevance to the job in question before determining whether to pass a candidate or initiate adverse action.4,6

Lyft Background Check: Denied

Sometimes, an individual’s background check may be denied or declined. Some reasons why this may occur include:24

  • Inaccurate or misleading application information
  • National Sex Offender Registry status
  • Disqualifying criminal offense
  • Does not meet driving record requirements

When any of these is the case, an employer must notify the candidate that adverse action is being initiated. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)26 mandates that employers provide candidates with a copy of the background check report, including disqualifying information, thus allowing the candidate to check the accuracy of the information and decide whether to dispute or accept the determination.

Lyft Background Check Common IssueWhat It Means
Lyft Background Check RequirementsDrivers must have a minimum age from 21 to 25 years, depending on their region. To perform a background check, the candidate must provide signed authorization and their SSN.
Lyft Background Check TimeLyft background checks usually take between two and ten days but may take several weeks to complete.
Lyft Background Check StatusBackground check status is the term which indicates the progress of the background check. There are several statuses which are associated with various stages of the process (see below).
Lyft Background Check PendingA pending status can mean that information is still being collected or more documentation is needed from the candidate.
Lyft Background Check Still PendingIf a background check is still pending after several weeks, it may indicate that further documentation is required, that the courts are delayed in returning information, or that the candidate has resided in multiple residences.
Lyft Background Check Under ReviewThis status indicates that the background investigation is complete, and the report has found information that requires the employer’s review.
Lyft Background Check ConsiderThis status is the official review status and may indicate the final level of review of adverse information by a hiring manager.
Lyft Background Check DeniedAn individual’s background check may be denied (a.k.a. rejected, ineligible) if disqualifying offenses are identified during the investigation.

How Long Does Lyft Background Check Take? (How Long Do Lyft Background Checks Take?)

Most standard background checks take anywhere from two to five days to completion, but Lyft background checks reportedly require two to ten days to finalize. Some individuals report wait times of up to two months.9,11

There are several factors that can contribute to longer wait times for a Lyft background check. These include, but are not limited to:11

  • The volume of current applications being screened
  • Record turn-around time from county courts
  • Candidate with a multi-state residential history
  • Duplicate accounts
  • Erroneous or incomplete application information
  • Complicated criminal history

If a background check takes longer than two weeks to process, the candidate should contact the company for more information.

Why Is Lyft Doing Another Background Check?

Lyft has upped their security standards in recent years, seeking to keep the most updated information on their drivers. Aside from the comprehensive pre-employment background check conducted for hiring purposes, Lyft conducts follow-up background checks at least yearly and sometimes more often.12,17 Furthermore, since 2019, Lyft has partnered with various companies to run continuous background monitoring on its drivers.9

Lyft conducts repeat background checks to ensure the safety of their customer base, their reputation, and the driving community.11

Can You Appeal Lyft Background Check?

It is possible to appeal a Lyft background check. Per FCRA26 mandates, applicants must receive copies of any background reports resulting in adverse action. They can address any perceived errors in their reports by contacting Checkr directly through the candidate portal.5,15

If the report appears accurate, but the individual wishes to dispute the final decision, they can follow Lyft’s instructions for initiating an appeal.11 Log in to the user account and contact Lyft support for guidance.16

Is There a Lyft Annual Background Check?

Driver’s for Lyft are required to pass a pre-employment background check before hire. Repeat background checks occur periodically after hiring. The timeline is not exact, but individuals can expect to undergo a thorough background check at least once annually.12 Individuals will be notified of the need for an updated background check through their Lyft app. Driving may be suspended temporarily until the background check is completed.10

Lyft Background Check Vs Uber?

A Lyft background check is actually very similar to an Uber background check, as both companies have contracts with the third-party background check service Checkr, Inc., and both companies now conduct continuous monitoring of criminal and driving records.15 Since Uber and Lyft are both ridesharing companies with similar expectations for employee integrity, they also have similar disqualifying offenses (e.g. violent crimes, sex crimes, poor driving record, etc.).11

Some sources indicate that, compared to Uber, Lyft provides more regular communications and updates to drivers during the application and screening processes.12

Driving for rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber has become a way for people to make money on the side of their usual ventures. It’s more important than ever that companies such as Lyft take proper measures to ensure the quality and integrity of their drivers. This is why Lyft’s 100% rule and the Lyft background check are crucial tools in this expanding industry.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lyft Background Check

What’s The Lyft Background Check Company?

Lyft uses a third-party background check company, Checkr, Inc. to conduct all pre-employment background checks for the company. Checkr is a secure, trusted and verified service used by many well-known companies.

Per local mandates, all Lyft background checks for drivers in New York City must be conducted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC)25

How Long Does a Lyft Background Check Take on Average?

A Lyft background check typically takes between two and ten days to complete, though it may occasionally take longer depending on the records (and states) that need to be searched.

How Long Did Your Lyft Background Check Take To Complete?

Some individuals have reported waiting over a month for Checkr to return results for their background checks. If a background check takes longer than two weeks, contact Lyft and Checkr for more information. Remember that background check status can be checked through the Checkr Candidate Portal, as well.

Why Would Lyft Deny My Application To Be a Driver?

There are various reasons why Lyft may deny an individual’s application, and these are the most common:

  • Individual does not meet the minimum required age or driving experience to drive for Lyft
  • Individual does not have a valid SSN or driver’s license
  • Individual did not pass the background check

If a candidate was denied employment because of a background check, it may be because of inaccurate or unverifiable information in the application, disqualifying criminal offenses, or a poor driving record.

What Does Background Monitoring Required Mean for Lyft Drivers?

Aside from the regular comprehensive background checks conducted by Lyft, the company also conducts continuous background monitoring of criminal and driving records. Individuals are sometimes notified of this via the Lyft app with a notification ‘Background Monitoring Required.’ Sometimes, some quick action is required on the driver’s part to initialize the monitoring process.

How Do I Turn On Background Monitoring for Lyft?

Lyft automatically conducts automatic and continuous criminal and driving background monitoring on all its drivers. This monitoring cannot be deactivated and is necessary to drive with Lyft. Drivers receive a notice in the app to activate background monitoring.8

Lyft also has a function for riders called ’Background location sharing’ which allows Lyft to monitor your location when the Lyft app is open. This function can be disabled by following these steps.

  1. Open the Lyft app
  2. Go to the Main Menu and select Settings
  3. Click on Privacy

Toggle ‘Background location sharing’ to OFF.

Why Is My Lyft Background Check Taking So Long?

Many aspiring Lyft drivers have reported waiting multiple months for the background check to clear.19 Even with the most comprehensive background check, this length of time is unusual and should be addressed directly. Contact Lyft’s support team to ensure that all necessary information has been submitted or log in to Checkr’s Candidate Portal for status updates.

What Happens If I Move To a Different City?

Many states, cities, or regions have their own requirements for rideshare drivers, and background check requirements may also differ. Drivers might undergo another background check after relocating to ensure they are in compliance with local laws.

Why Did Lyft Approve My Application But Uber Did Not?

Although Lyft and Uber use the same third-party background screening service, Checkr, Inc. to conduct their background checks, each company has its own team of individuals who review the completed reports and make the final determination on hiring. So while the reports will be the same for both companies, the persons reviewing said reports are not. The reason why an individual can be hired for one company and not the other may be as simple as the hiring manager’s discretion.

How Far Back Does Lyft Background Check Go?

Most background checks go back seven years, depending on the state, and the same is true for Lyft background checks for drivers.


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