Does Uber do Background Checks | Screening Process & Consent

Becoming an Uber driver is relatively easy compared to applying for a license to drive a taxi. All it takes is your commercial license, insurance, a qualified car, and for you to pass the Uber background check.

It’s a nerve-wracking thing, waiting to know if you passed. It reminds me of other interviews that I’ve been a part of but I just really wanted this one the most.

The Quick Steps to Be an Uber Driver

  1. Apply online and give your information.
  2. Submit your application requirements.
  3. Give consent to the background check, and sign consent form
  4. Wait for 5 to 7 days
  5. An email will be sent to notify you if you passed or failed.

Of course it’s not exactly that simple, but I’ll try and do my best to give you a full brief what to expect from the Uber Background Check Process.

Uber’s Pre-Screening Process

After uploading the required documents (license, insurance, and vehicle registration), you will be prompted to sign an Uber background check consent form. Then they will forward your application to a third-party background checking company (Accurate, or Checkr), to ascertain, with a look-back limit of 7 years, if you will be cleared in the following requirements:

  • Records from the county courthouses
  • Inter-state criminal databases
  • Department of Justice’s (DOJ) National Sex Offender Website
  • The PACER database (Public Access to Court Electronic Records)
  • Social Security Records
  • Motor Vehicle Records
  • The FBI’s Terrorist Watch List

What Will Disqualify You?

Don't worry, there aren't any physicals - but while the process of how Uber does background checks is consistent company-wide, the reasons for disqualification vary.

Mostly, it’s when applicants do not qualify because of age (below 21 years), or their license has been valid for less than 1 year.

Other reasons include a potential Uber driver having a record in any of the security databases, if they have in the last three years either incurred 3 or more driving violations (speeding, DUI, driving without a license, driving without insurance, etc), or if they have been convicted of a crime, any kind of felony, resisting arrest, sexual offenses, DUI incidents, etc. You get the picture.

Does Uber Do Lengthy Background Checks?

As per the Uber website, it will usually take five to seven business days to do a background check. My check took about 9 days, and I just emailed Uber to gently follow-up the email on the 8th day. Duration will largely depend on the accessibility of your records. If you’ve moved multiple times in the last 7 years, it will take longer.

How Do You Provide Consent and the Consent Form?

When you get prompted to give your consent, Uber will ask for your social security number. Then they’ll ask you to read and check off a few boxes to agree to terms of the search. It’s assumed that you’ve read the legal documents which will mostly have details on the background check including several Federal Fair Credit Act sections and Uber Disclosure Agreements Finally, you’ll click to acknowledge and authorize Uber to move forward with the background check.

Uber Background Check Consent Form

How do You Pass the Screening Process?

If you’re not sure if you’re going to pass the Uber background test and you want to know before you apply, there are some things that you can do.

  • Make sure all your documents are in order
  • Check off all the required boxes in the consent form
  • Apply to other jobs (Postmates, DoorDash) that use the same background checking company (Accurate/Checkr)

If you’ve been disqualified, you can re-apply after 3 to 6 months. If you do have an offense or a record in the last 7 years, re-apply after 7 years to that date. Some people have found a workaround by swapping their information with a past non-active Uber driver. While it will get you driving, it’s against Uber’s rules, illegal, and in the long-run will just get you into trouble. So I wouldn’t do that.

It’s All About Safety

The safety of the passenger is the utmost concern of Uber, hence the really stringent requirements for its driver. Uber security features include GPS to know where your car and phone are at any time and cashless transactions. Although Uber is experimenting with Cash transactions in pilot countries, the company is still widely cashless. Which in turn means the passenger’s information is stored with Uber during cashless drives.

Additional security features for the driver include the system not allowing pick-up of anonymous riders, and alerts that the app sends drivers for emergency situations or things that they need to look out for.

I think it’s worth mentioning that when you go and pick up any Uber customer, make sure to ask them for their name. Don’t mention it first and ask them to verify. Make sure that what they say matches your records Uber is providing you.

Is Uber Following The Rules?

If you’ve read the news, you might be apprehensive about the accuracy of Uber’s background checks in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where 25 drivers with criminal records passed the background checks.

Together with its competitor, Lyft, Uber has been criticized for not using LiveScan, a service that runs fingerprints through federal databases. While Taxi drivers use LiveScan in their pre-screening, Uber reasons that using fingerprint scanning may not be the best option.

But does Uber do background checks that follow federal law?

Although I do agree that higher background check standards is always good. FBI databases only cover federal cases and not county cases. Some databases are also not up to date with some being updated until 2013. Arrests that are made without fingerprinting are not included in the system and would not be checked. And here’s a weird fact, about 2% of Americans don’t have readable thumbprints, and instead of thumbprints, they would have to give information instead. Interesting right? Anyways, checking the information is already similar to what Uber uses for its background checks.

While no background check is fool proof, Uber says that its background check is comprehensive enough to cover all bases, and intends to continue improving its security measures as the company serves more locations.

How Does Uber Intend to Keep Passengers Safer?

Just recently, Uber introduced a recent ‘report notice’ at the end of each ride. The driver will get a rundown of what happened during his trip---whether he was speeding, or if he was driving erratically. At the end of the day, drivers will get a report comparing their scores to fellow Uber drivers.

The app has given me reminders to take rest breaks if I’ve been working nonstop. This new add-on will also collect driving data so Uber will not only be limited in only using Passenger ratings to evaluate driver behavior. Which in my eyes is better for everyone.

Next Steps And The Future of Uber

I remember sweating for days waiting for my email to arrive. There wasn't any income coming in for me and I was ancy to see how much I could make with Uber. It doesn’t have to be that stressful though, check if you qualify before you apply, and if you get disqualified, wait 3 to 6 months and apply again.

From changing Uber background check requirements, advances in technology, to maintaining safety-focused ridesharing regulations - Uber has been nothing but a company dedicated to keeping both its riders and drivers safe.

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