Rideshares like Uber and Lyft have become a go-to method of convenient transportation over the past several years. These companies have built reputations that make people feel safe about hopping into a stranger’s waiting vehicle. 

People trust rideshares because they know that companies like Uber and Lyft vet their drivers and track their vehicles using GPS. But unless you’ve applied to be a rideshare driver yourself, you probably don’t know exactly how rideshare drivers and their vehicles are regulated.

Here’s what to know about vehicle and driver requirements for Uber and Lyft — and what to do when these rules aren’t followed. 

Driver Requirements for Uber and Lyft

Uber and Lyft both require potential drivers to undergo strict background screenings. Both companies check a driver’s criminal record and driving history at the time of hire and complete annual checks each year after that. 

Both Uber and Lyft are unlikely to hire a driver whose criminal background check turns up a history of:

  • Violent offenses
  • Sexual offenses
  • Theft
  • Property damage
  • Felonies

A driver can be disqualified from the hiring process or removed from service after an annual check if a driving record shows results including:

  • DUIs less than seven years old
  • Reckless driving charges
  • Driving-related offenses
  • Suspended driver’s license
  • Three or more moving offenses in a three-year period

Both companies use third parties to run background checks at the county and national levels. Searches go back seven years. A criminal background won’t necessarily prevent a driver from being offered a contract — both companies are mostly concerned with offenses that can pose a risk to rider safety.

Vehicle Requirements for Uber and Lyft

Even if a driver meets the background check requirements to drive with Uber or Lyft, there are additional requirements for their vehicle. 

Rideshare drivers must use vehicles no older than 15 years. They’re also not allowed to drive two-door vehicles. These requirements exist to ensure that passengers are in vehicles with modern safety features and in good condition. 

Lyft has slightly more rigorous requirements, including a certain number of working seat belts and additional safety training.

Drivers for both companies must submit documentation showing that their vehicles are legally registered and insured. It’s also common to have additional vehicle rules based on location and service. 

Some cities may have additional requirements, like the ability to pass an emissions test. Lyft and Uber both offer additional service lines, like Uber Black and Lyft Lux. These specialty services set additional requirements that vehicles must meet. 

What to Do When Rideshare Requirements are Violated

In addition to these company-wide rules, rideshare companies are often obligated to comply with additional regulations at the city, county, and state levels. The Uber and Lyft application process is designed to walk drivers through the process of meeting all local requirements. 

Uber and Lyft have strict hiring practices, but that doesn’t mean a driver or their vehicle can’t slip through the cracks. The good news is that both Uber and Lyft carry generous insurance policies designed to protect both drivers and passengers in the event of an accident. 

Whether the issue is a car accident or illegal activity on the part of a driver, it’s possible to take action when a rideshare ride ends badly. Passengers who have encountered issues with a rideshare service should seek out an attorney who has experience with Lyft and Uber legal matters. 

It takes specialized knowledge to get the most out of a lawsuit against a rideshare company. Fortunately, an experienced lawyer knows how to get the most out of the generous insurance policies held by Uber and Lyft. 

For more information, please contact the car accident lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and it’s surrounding areas:

Hawk Law Group – Augusta, GA
338 Telfair St, Augusta, GA 30901, United States
(706) 722-3500

Hawk Law Group – Evans, GA
4384 River Watch Pkwy, Evans, GA 30809, United States
(706) 863-6500

Hawk Law Group – Thomson, GA
146 Railroad St A, Thomson, GA 30824, United States
(706) 361-0350

Hawk Law Group – Waynesboro, GA
827 Liberty St, Waynesboro, GA 30830, United States
(706) 437-9122

Hawk Law Group – Aiken County, SC
156 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC 29801, United States
(803) 226-9089

We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.