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Lyft or Uber Vehicle and Driver Requirements

One of the knocks against traditional taxis, besides the cost of a ride, was that they were often dirty and badly maintained. Uber and Lyft helped to turn the image of the dirty cab and surly taxi driver completely on its ear, at a fraction of the cost.

But of course, along with the good, there have been some significant growing pains for both rideshare companies. Concerns about safety, corporate culture and the treatment of drivers have made headlines in recent years. The Dominguez Firm wants to keep you informed and up to date regarding Lyft and Uber. The legal landscape regarding them is ever-evolving, but one thing is always true: if you’ve been injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, call The Dominguez Firm immediately for a free consultation at 800-818-1818. Whether you were a pedestrian, driver, cyclist or passenger, you have rights and The Dominguez Firm can help.

Below you’ll find information on the vehicle and driver requirements for Lyft and Uber.

Lyft and Uber Vehicle Requirements

When you request a ride from Lyft and Uber, you won’t be picked up in a small, two-door car. That’s because neither rideshare company allows drivers to use two-door subcompact vehicles. Anyone who wants to drive for Lyft and/or Uber must meet certain requirements and pass a vehicle inspection before they’ll be approved. Here in California, basic vehicle requirements for Lyft and Uber are:

  • Uber requires all vehicles to be 15 years old or newer. Lyft does allow 2004 and 2003 vehicles in the Bay Area and some smaller cities.
  • The vehicle must have four doors.
  • It must be in good condition with no visible damage.
  • The vehicle must display a California license plate.
  • No salvage vehicles, vehicles with advertising on them or dark tinted windows.
  • Many subcompacts aren’t permitted either, even with four doors. Lyft provides a current list of ineligible subcompacts.

Both companies also require that all vehicles pass an inspection. They mandate one every year or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Lyft and Uber Vehicle Insurance Requirements

Along with requiring every driver to carry their own insurance, both Lyft and Uber provide additional insurance for drivers when they are on the app. If a driver gets into an accident while not driving for Uber or Lyft, then they would be covered under their personal insurance.

When drivers are on the app and awaiting a ride (no passenger yet), Uber and Lyft have the same policy limits:

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

When a driver is on their way to pick up a passenger or is on a trip, both Uber and Lyft offer:

  • $1,000,000 third-party liability
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision

Where they differ is in the amount of the comprehensive and collision deductible. Uber offers drivers a $1,000 deductible. Lyft’s deductible is $2,500.

Lyft and Uber Driver Requirements

Both Uber and Lyft conduct initial and annual background checks. Until recently, only Uber screened drivers on a continuous basis. But after several serious criminal incidents involving Lyft drivers, including the murder of a passenger in South Carolina, the rideshare company announced improved driver screenings. Lyft will now join Uber in also requiring continuous criminal background checks. This will be in addition to the current annual background check of its drivers. Under their new system, arrests or convictions will come up immediately, allowing Lyft to fire the driver on the spot.

Lyft also announced another new safety feature: identity verification of all drivers. Lyft plans to identify potentially fraudulent drivers—although it didn’t say how and request a real-time photo as well as a photo ID to compare the two.

 Offenses that will get a driver kicked off the Lyft platform for life include serious violent crimes and three minor driving offenses.

Uber and Lyft have the following driver requirements in California:

  • Lyft requires at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. If the driver is under the age of 23, Uber requires three years of driving experience in the U.S. Neither Lyft nor Uber count any foreign driving experience.
  • A copy of the potential driver’s Motor Vehicle Report.
  • The potential driver must undergo a criminal background check.

Lyft and Uber don’t conduct their own criminal background checks, they use outside companies to do that for them. They both look at a person’s driving and criminal record over a 7-year time span. However, serious driving violations, like a DUI or felony conviction older than that can still get someone rejected.

Three moving violations within three years will also get someone rejected. These include:

  • Speeding
  • Illegal turns
  • Traffic light violations
  • Expired registration tags

Although Uber and Lyft have been trying to improve passenger safety over the last few years, accidents still happen. If you were injured in an accident with an Uber or Lyft vehicle, call the rideshare lawyers at The Dominguez Firm for a free consultation at 800-818-1818. Rideshare accidents are very difficult to handle by yourself. Our attorneys have the experience and results to help you receive the fair and just compensation you’re entitled to. And if you’re concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney, know that at The Dominguez Firm, you don’t pay unless we win. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain, so call us today!


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