Driving for Uber? Here’s What the DMV is Now Requiring of Drivers Employed by the Ride-share Service
When you’re employed as an Uber driver, the ride-share service streamlines the process of making money while setting your own hours. It’s as simple as signing up with your vehicle and off you go, right? Not exactly!
To meet demand safely, state DMVs are making changes to ride-sharing regulations
Recently, the DMV has updated their requirements of those who wish to drive for ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft. Although the DMV specifies Uber in its updated requirements for the service, we can make an educated guess that one would have to meet similar requirements for Lyft as well.
In this article we’ll break down the DMV’s guidelines for those wishing to be employed by Uber. Being a safe, informed Uber driver that meets the service’s rules and regulations makes a safer ride for both yourself and your passengers.
First, a potential driver should keep in mind that Uber is not a traditional taxi service in any sense of the word. While a taxi service has a fleet of regulated vehicles issued to its driver’s, Uber’s “driver-partners” use their own vehicles to take their passengers from place-to-place. Using one’s own vehicle has its own set of rules and regulations that must be met. While Uber employs its drivers, it’s the driver’s responsibility to maintain their vehicle so it continuously meets the requirements set forth by the service.
Back to basics: what requirements has the ride-share giant maintained?
There are the basic requirements that have always remained the same: the age requirement 21-years-old, and a minimum of (1) one year of driving experience. These requirements have always been in place and are there to ensure the safety of both driver and passenger alike.
Uber now stipulates specifically that if you are under the age of 23 you must have at least (3) three years of driving experience. There is no exception to this rule, and again, it’s in place to protect both driver-partner and passenger from reckless or inexperienced drivers who are unfamiliar behind the wheel.
As of April 2018, Uber driver-partners are being held more accountable than ever
Due to the rise in ride-share related accidents, Uber has enforced new rules that hold every driver-partner accountable for their vehicle, their actions, and legally identifying information. As of April 2018, the following criteria must be met before a driver can be employed by Uber:
- A social security number
- Car insurance in the driver’s name; insurance must be valid in the state the driver resides and meet all requirements to hold the insurance
Uber is transparent in their requirements. Drivers are expected to maintain a clean driving record and have no prior criminal history upon seeking employment from Uber. Transparency applies to driver-partners as well. Drivers are subject to a background check upon applying to drive with the ride sharing service; background checks can now include any or all of the following:
- DUI history
- History of vehicle insurance and/or any instance where the driver may have operated a vehicle without being properly insured
- Instances of suspended license
- Criminal record
- Any charges for reckless driving or traffic violations
Commercial driver’s licensing requirements: you may not need one!
Uber has several different options riders can choose from, and dependent upon which option a driver-partner chooses, commercial driver’s licensing may not be necessary. For riders looking for a luxury vehicle experience, Uber offers: UberXL, UberSelect, UberBlack, UberLUX, UberSUV, and UberPlus. These luxury services may further the necessity for other vehicle requirements to be met prior to becoming employed as a driver.
Vehicle requirements: can your car keep up?
Uber specifies it’s guidelines in each state. For Uber’s most basic service (known as UberX) the vehicle requirements are as follows:
- A car with a model year no more than (10) ten years old
- State issued license plate(s)
- Valid vehicle registration that’s up to date as well as valid car insurance in the state the car is registered
- Seatbelt for all passengers; the car must be a sedan that’s capable of seating (4) four (this does not include the driver)
- If the vehicle has been used as a taxi service prior to becoming a driver-partner for Uber, the vehicle is not eligible
Now that you know, where do you go?
Once a driver has determined they meet the eligibility requirements to partner with Uber, they still need to go through several more steps before they can safely take passengers on trips in their vehicle.
First, the potential driver-partner must fill out an online application. The vehicle must then go through an inspection after the application is completed. The vehicle must be inspected at an Uber inspection station or at a certified third party that meets or surpasses Uber’s requirements.
The final step is submitting the documentation for the background check. Uber will be in contact with the potential partner to inform them what’s necessary they provide to finalize the employment process. When these steps have been completed successfully, the driver will then be granted access to start building a schedule that will allow them to pick up clients.