Vehicle and Driver Requirements for Uber and Lyft

The increasing popularity of rideshare services has also come with rising concerns about who is driving these vehicles and what condition these cars are in. 

Traditional taxis and taxi drivers are held to strict requirements enforced by the state. Uber and Lyft have fewer strict requirements and little state oversight. Still, public opinion and some bad PR have forced these two companies to make some adjustments regarding what they require of drivers and vehicles.

Not All Vehicles Can Be a Lyft or Uber Vehicle

The main requirement for a Lyft or Uber vehicle is that it must be 15 years old or newer. 

A Lyft or Uber vehicle must also:

  • Have at least four doors
  • Be undamaged and well maintained
  • Have a California license plate
  • Not have any advertising on it
  • Not have dark tinted windows
  • Not be a subcompact vehicle (with few exceptions)

Uber has a complete list of vehicles that are acceptable for use in the San Diego area. If you want to know whether a vehicle is acceptable, simply compare the vehicle to the list.

Uber and Lyft Drivers Must Be Verified

Both Uber and Lyft require drivers to have U.S. driving experience. Lyft requires one year regardless of age, while Uber requires three years of experience for drivers under 25 years old.

While this driving experience doesn’t have to be spotless, three moving violations within three years will get a driver rejected (or fired if they were already hired). Both companies confirm the driver’s qualifications by requiring drivers to provide a copy of their Motor Vehicle Report.

All drivers are also required to submit to a criminal background check. This check is repeated every year the driver continues working for the company and is an extra precaution to keep rideshare users safe. 

In the past, both companies have had unfortunate incidents that could potentially have been prevented through regular background checks. Bad press from these incidents led to both companies instituting mandatory yearly background checks.

How Do Taxi Driver Requirements Differ?

Taxi drivers have a special license that Uber and Lyft drivers do not possess. 

To acquire a taxi or chauffeur license in California, the Department of Transportation requires:

  • Sponsorship by a taxi franchise
  • Completion of a Driver Permit Application
  • A complete driver’s history report
  • Fingerprints
  • A CA driver’s license
  • Proof of your right to work
  • A successfully passed controlled substance test

The stricter requirements ensure that taxi drivers are more reliable than Uber and Lyft drivers. Taxi and limo companies are also required to keep a full-service record for all vehicles, which rideshare companies don’t need to keep. Thus, taxis and limos are generally better-maintained vehicles than rideshare vehicles.

What Insurance is Required for Rideshare Vehicles?

Uber and Lyft require every driver to carry vehicle insurance, though this insurance doesn’t differ from the insurance required by the state of California. However, Uber and Lyft also carry their own insurance in case something happens during a rideshare experience. 

This applies to drivers while logged in to the app and waiting for a passenger, traveling to pick up a passenger, or while transporting a passenger. This insurance covers damage and injury in case of a car accident

The limits for this insurance are higher while traveling to pick up a passenger or transporting a passenger than while waiting for a passenger.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in San Diego Today To Get More Information

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please call Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.

Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108

(619) 777-5555