Rideshare giants Uber and Lyft promote their platforms and services as an opportunity for everyday individuals to earn extra cash. This impression is inaccurate, as you and your vehicle must meet certain requirements before either platform allows you to drive for them. 

These requirements can vary from market to market. Accordingly, would-be drivers should stay abreast of what requirements they must meet in their area if they intend to drive for Uber or Lyft.

Uber and Lyft Common Requirements

Rideshare drivers in New York City are governed according to local laws that treat them slightly differently than rideshare drivers in other parts of the country. As a result, driving for Uber or Lyft in New York City requires first obtaining a license from the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). 

Both services will conduct a background check. Felony convictions and convictions for driving under the influence are just some of the criminal convictions that can keep you from driving for either company.

Similarly, the vehicle you drive for either rideshare service must meet the requirements set out by the TLC. It must also be appropriately and commercially insured by a policy you purchase. 

While Uber and Lyft have liability policies that apply if you or a passenger are hurt while using the app, such policies do not cover times when you are not actively engaged in giving a ride. In those circumstances, your own insurance company will pay damages.

Requirements That Your Vehicle Must Meet

Before you sign up to drive for either rideshare service, make sure you check each company’s vehicle requirements. Whether you decide to use your own vehicle while working for Uber or Lyft or you decide to rent a vehicle, the vehicle you use must satisfy each company’s requirements.

Uber Vehicle Requirements

Uber requires that your vehicle be no more than 16 years old, although certain models must be even newer than this. If you intend to drive for UberBlack or UberBlack SUV, your car cannot be more than six model years old. 

The vehicle must have enough seats and seat belts for five occupants, including the driver, and it must be in good condition without cosmetic damage or commercial branding. It must also be either a minivan or a four-door vehicle.

Lyft Vehicle Requirements

Lyft requires that any vehicle you use be a four-door vehicle. It must be of the 2007 model year or newer and seat at least five and no more than eight people, including the driver. All seats must have seat belts. Moreover, Lyft prohibits the use of certain subcompact cars even though they might otherwise meet all vehicle requirements.

Uber and Lyft Driver Requirements

Uber and Lyft also have different requirements for their drivers. For example, Uber requires its drivers to be at least 21 years of age and have at least three years of prior driving experience. This requirement is lowered to one year of experience if you are at least 23 years old. Your driver’s license must be from either New York or New Jersey.

Lyft requires you to be at least 21 years of age but does not require you to have any prior driving experience. Also, as long as you have a valid U.S. driver’s license, Lyft does not require your license to come from any specific state.

The Reason For These Requirements

Uber and Lyft impose these requirements to protect their customers from car accidents and give their customers a certain experience while using the app. Vehicles or drivers who do not meet these requirements can cause legal difficulties for you or other injured parties if you are involved in a New York Uber accident. 

As a passenger, you should not get into a Lyft or Uber vehicle that does not appear to meet the minimum requirements or that you do not book through the app.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in New York City

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Manhattan, NY, and need legal help, contact our New York City personal injury lawyers at Rosenbaum Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

Rosenbaum Personal Injury Lawyers
100 Wall St 15th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 514-5007