With the advent of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, many people have found a source of income by driving for these services as a “side gig.” The overall requirements for drivers using these platforms are not particularly strict. However, if you have a criminal record, you may want to read the fine print before you get behind the wheel.
As is to be expected, having safe and trustworthy drivers is the paramount concern for these companies. Therefore, both Uber and Lyft require potential drivers to consent to a background check, to be conducted by a third party such as Checkr., Inc. This search will include national databases such as the Department of Justice Sex Offender Registry and the Federal Criminal Records database. Local databases, such as courthouse records, will also be searched to determine if you have any adult offenses or convictions. Be aware that juvenile offenses are NOT considered “criminal” and records regarding juvenile delinquency are sealed. Therefore, they should not appear on a background check for Uber of Lyft.
You will be automatically denied as a driver for Lyft and Uber if you are listed on the National Sex Offender Registry, or have been convicted one one of the following disqualifying violent crimes:
- Human trafficking
- Aggravated assault
- Sexual offenses such as rape, sexual assault, or child pornography
- Acts of terror
- Driving under the influence or drugs or alcohol (in the past seven years, or longer in some jurisdictions)
- Drug-related offenses (in the past seven years, or longer in some jurisdictions)
- Property damage offenses (in the past seven years, or longer in some jurisdictions)
In addition to passing a criminal background check, you must also possess a driving record that meets the standards of these companies. You will be denied employment if you have the following types of offenses:
- More than three (3) moving violations in the past (3) years (such as accidents or traffic light violations);
- A single major moving violation in the past three (3) years (such as driving with a suspended license or reckless driving);
- A DWI/DUI or other drug-related driving violation in the past seven (7) years (or longer in some jurisdictions); or
- A serious driving-related conviction in the past seven (7) years (such as a hit-and-run, eluding, or other felony involving a vehicle).
These are not exhaustive lists. You may be found ineligible to drive based other types of records, offenses, or convictions. You should also be aware that Lyft and Uber conduct annual background checks to ensure that their drivers have not subsequently incurred any of the above types of convictions. Further, due to variations in state laws and potential inaccuracies on the background checks, it may be possible to be accepted as a driver for one company, but not another. However, both companies reserve the right to disqualify a driver at any time for new or previously-unknown offenses or any other safety-related reason they deem appropriate.
If you are considering becoming driver for a ride-sharing service but you have a criminal record, you may wish to obtain an expungement.This is a process whereby your criminal record is legally removed from official records and databases. Katherine O’Brien is an experienced New Jersey expungement attorney who can assess your eligibility for expungement and assist you in going through the process. Get in the driver’s seat – and call Katherine O’Brien Law today for a free expungement consultation.