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Vehicle and Driver Requirements For Uber and Lyft

Vehicle and Driver Requirements For Uber and Lyft

Uber launched in 2009, and Lyft just three years later, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and mobile apps. Rideshare services quickly transformed the transportation industry and took over the market taxi services once held almost exclusively. By 2020, the ride-hailing market size was $35 billion in North America alone.

Legislation has typically lagged behind the rapid growth of this industry, but many states are catching up. While there are still concerns about passenger safety, Uber and Lyft have adopted fairly strict requirements for drivers and vehicles. Florida has also passed rideshare legislation to ensure drivers meet basic safety and insurance requirements.

Here are the basic requirements to be approved to drive for Lyft and Uber. 

Lyft and Uber Car Requirements

Lyft and Uber set minimum requirements for vehicles that can be used by rideshare drivers. Both companies also have specific requirements depending on the service, such as UberX versus Uber Comfort. 

Basic Uber vehicle requirements are: 

  • The vehicle is no older than 16 years
  • The vehicle is in good condition
  • Four doors
  • No cosmetic damage
  • No commercial branding
  • Valid registration

Basic Lyft requirements are similar, but Lyft does have stricter guidelines on the maximum age of the vehicle:

  • Model year 2012 or newer
  • Four doors
  • Five to eight seats (driver’s seat included)
  • At least five seat belts (driver’s seat included)
  • The title cannot be salvage, rebuild, or equivalent
  • No rental vehicles (except through Lyft’s Express Drive program)
  • Valid registration

Lyft also specifically requires the Lyft decal to be displayed while you are in driver mode. Uber states that the Uber decal must be displayed when required by city or state law. 

Both companies require valid vehicle registration, but you do not need to have it registered in your name.

Certain airports have their own rules and regulations in addition to state or city regulations and Uber or Lyft company guidelines. Generally, you must have the rideshare decal displayed on the front passenger windshield. Many airports like Orlando International Airport (MCO) have a first in, first out (FIFO) system which requires that drivers wait in a geofenced area to receive ride requests.

Lyft and Uber Driver Requirements

To be eligible to drive, you must meet basic requirements. These requirements generally go above Florida law. For example, Florida’s rideshare law does not set a minimum age for drivers, but Uber and Lyft both have a minimum age. 

Here are the basic requirements to drive for Uber: 

  • Must have a valid Florida driver’s license
  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • At least one year of driving experience (three years if under 25 years old)
  • Pass a background check and driving history check

You can learn how to become an Uber driver and see additional requirements by visiting the Uber website.

Lyft driver requirements are similar: 

  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must be at least 25 years old
  • Pass a background check and driving history check

You can visit the Lyft website to learn more about driver requirements. 

How Old To Drive: Uber and Lyft Age Requirements

Lyft has a higher minimum age than Uber, requiring drivers to be at least 25 years old to be approved. Uber has a lower minimum age of 21 years old and it also requires at least one year of driving experience. For drivers under 25, however, a minimum of three years of driving experience is required.  

Background Checks For Rideshare Drivers

Lyft and Uber both conduct background checks on drivers using Checkr, Inc., although Uber sometimes uses other third-party companies like Samba Safety or HireRight. 

Under Florida law, rideshare companies cannot accept drivers whose background check shows a conviction of any of the following in the past five years: 

  • A felony
  • A misdemeanor for reckless driving, hit-and-run, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or fleeing or attempting to elude the police
  • A misdemeanor for a violent offense, sexual battery, lewdness, or indecent exposure

Drivers cannot have a conviction within the past three years for driving with a suspended or revoked license. Florida also bars companies from accepting drivers who are on the National Sex Offender Registry. 

Lyft’s criteria are stricter than state law. Drivers can be disqualified if they are a registered sex offender or have any of the following: 

  • DUI in the past seven years
  • Driving-related convictions like hit-and-run in the past seven years
  • Drug offenses, violent offenses, sexual crimes, felony convictions, and certain property damage or theft convictions, regardless of age

Uber’s policy states that drivers will be disqualified for certain convictions within the past seven years. By comparison, Lyft will reject drivers for certain convictions like felonies, no matter how old the convictions are. However, some people report being denied by Uber for misdemeanors that are older than the seven years stated in their policy. 

Florida law requires rideshare companies to conduct background checks on drivers every three years. Uber’s policy is to rerun screenings at least once every year. It also uses technology to check for crimes committed by drivers between these screenings. 

Uber and Lyft Driving History Checks

Before you can be approved as a driver, you must pass a check of your driving record. 

Drivers can be disqualified for: 

  • Four or more moving violations (past three years)
  • One or more major moving violations (past three years)
  • One or more DUI or drug-related driving offenses (past seven years)
  • One or more serious driving-related convictions (past seven years)

Under Florida law, rideshare companies cannot accept drivers whose driving record shows more than three moving violations in the past three years.

Uber and Lyft may periodically recheck their drivers’ driving records to check for new violations. 

Uber and Lyft Insurance Requirements in Florida

Lyft and Uber provide commercial liability insurance. This coverage is active when drivers have a passenger in the vehicle or have accepted a ride request and are en route to the rider. Florida law requires drivers to carry personal car insurance in addition to this policy. 

While a driver is logged into the app, Uber and Lyft provide third-party coverage, including the following: 

  • $50,000 per person in bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage
  • $100,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $25,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage

This far exceeds the standard minimum car insurance requirements in Florida. Generally, drivers are only required to carry $10,000 in PDL coverage and $10,000 in PIP coverage. Rideshare companies must provide additional coverage due to concerns about a higher risk of Uber and Lyft accidents. Higher coverage helps protect injured passengers, motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Despite these legal requirements and company policies, violations are still all too common. If a rideshare company accepts a driver in violation of Florida law, they can be fined. Drivers who violate company policies can be kicked off the app. 

Passengers and other road users face the greatest risk when drivers violate Florida law or company policy and cause an accident. If you have been involved in a rideshare accident, the rideshare driver and sometimes even the rideshare company may be liable for negligence. 

Rideshare accidents are complex because the driver’s status in the app determines which insurance policy is in effect. Proving that a rideshare company was negligent in hiring or retaining a driver also requires careful investigation. 

Contact an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyer If You Were Injured in a Rideshare Accident

If you have been hurt in a crash and believe a rideshare driver was to blame, it’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Schedule a free consultation with a Miami personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options and how we can help.

Contact Our Uber & Lyft Accident Law Firm in Miami, FL

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Miami, FL and need legal help, contact our Miami Uber & Lyft accident lawyers at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers
20900 NE 30th Ave Suite 715
Aventura, FL 33180
(305) 937-0191