How to become an Uber Driver
With taxi-hailing services reshaping the transportation industry, newer avenues have opened up for anyone with a will to make a living and a few various details of course. On the forefront of this change is Uber, leading from the front with its streamlined App that has taken the world by storm.
Uber’s rise in a world dominated by large-scale Taxi corporations who often ruled the roost and held, both the driver and the customer to ransom with exorbitant prices and poor employee policies, has been a refreshing change.
One that has been met with a phenomenal response by the general public. Rides are cheaper, faster, and the driver gets to choose their work hours. In a recent report, Uber announced that the median income for an Uber driver in New York is $90000 a year. That send the world into a tizzy.
Following this report, the demand for work as Uber drivers has skyrocketed. And why not? What other job offers the kind of flexibility and exposure as this? But a quick search on the otherwise almighty Google does not reveal much about the process to sign up as an Uber driver.
If you too have been groping in the dark and looking for information on how to become an Uber Driver, then you are at the right place. Here’s our nifty little guide to take you through the sign-up process with all the details that you need to know.
Applying to become an Uber Driver
You must be aware of the many categories of cars that are registered with Uber. There’s Uber X, XL, Select, Black, and SUVs. The application criteria for the first three are identical whereas it changes slightly for the other two. We will, of course, review each one in detail.
The requisites for UberX, XL, and Select
The requirements are pretty straightforward.
1- You must be at least 21 years of age
2- You must own or have access to any 4 door Sedan that can seat at least 4 passengers other than the driver and is not older than 10 years in most states. The exceptions to this rule are Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco where the car can be a 2001 model, New York where it must not be a model older than 5 years and Chicago where it can be as old as 15 years.
3- You must have an in-state driver license that has been valid for at least one year in the United States. If you are younger than 23, the company may demand that you have at least 3 years of experience as a driver. If you have relocated from another state where you were a driver, then please keep the out-of-state driving license with you.
4- You must have an in-state driver’s license and an in-state car insurance in your name.
5- You must have a Social Security Number
6- You will be subject to a background check which you must consent to and is usually carried out by Accurate Background (who recently acquired Hirease) or Check (Information as on Sep 16th 2016)
The Background Check
The background check is a part of Uber’s attempt to maintain a clean employee pool. As potential drivers, this is a phase that makes everyone jittery. But unless you have something to hide, you have nothing to worry about. The background check is a routine process to assess your previous driving history and criminal records if any.
1- The company will check for records in County and Federal courthouses in every country that you have resided in for the past seven years
2- The multi-state criminal database will be checked
3- A social security trace will be originated
4- Motor vehicle records will be checked
5- Last but not the least, the national sex offender registry will be checked
If all these criteria are met, then the next set of requirements are related purely to your driving history
1- A clean Motor Vehicle Report that does not show more than 3 incidents (suspensions, revocations, accidents, traffic convictions or other violations) in the last 3 years
2- No reckless driving cases or DUI
The requirements for Uber Black and SUVs
Uber Black and SUVs form the company’s luxury car service and the drivers who qualify for it take home the cherry with the pie. They earn considerably higher than their X, XL and Select counterparts.
The requirements, however, are equally stringent, the main difference between the two categories being a high-end vehicle, a commercial license, and commercial insurance. The application will also be subject to a vehicle inspection, may require an Airport permit in select cities and photos of the car will need to be submitted along with the application.
Even if you qualify for all the above criteria, you may still not be able to join as an Uber Black driver if Uber is not accepting new drivers in the category, at the moment.
The Car Inspection
Another mandatory part of the application is a mechanical inspection where you will need to take your car to any Uber-approved auto shop or an activation center in your area. The inspection is free at the activation center and will cost you approximately $20 at the auto shop. It is pretty basic, and the safety features (brakes, belts, tires) of your car will be checked in detail.
What if the application gets denied?
As grim as it sounds, there is a possibility that an application may be denied. What’s worse is that neither Uber nor one of the background check companies is very forthcoming about the details of the rejection. You will mostly receive a very generic email stating that your application cannot be considered any further. The best you can do is call Uber customer care or send them an email requesting them to provide some clarity about it. The chances you were getting any reliable information is bleak, though. In such a situation, the best course of action would be to look at alternative companies like Lyft.
Despite sounding like a tough process, the Uber application to become a driver is very easy, and the company is very supportive of new drivers. So, good luck with your application and I hope that this article helps you understand the requirements completely.