Navigating the Roadblocks: Can You Drive for Lyft with a Felony

Published: August 7, 2023

"Can you drive for Lyft with a felony?" is a question asked by many people who have experienced legal setbacks but are trying to reclaim their life's trajectory. Unfortunately, having a felony conviction can present several challenges when seeking employment, and driving for Lyft is no exception. This article will provide an in-depth examination of Lyft's policy regarding applicants with a felony and the possible ways to navigate this obstacle.

An Insight into Lyft’s Background Check Process

Safety is paramount for Lyft, a platform that brings together drivers and riders in a shared space. To ensure this safety, Lyft has in place a rigorous background check for all prospective drivers, facilitated by a professional third-party company.

The background check, extensive and thorough, examines both your driving history and your criminal record. It scrutinizes information from national and county-level databases and covers a period of seven years. This review's aim is to identify any major violations or criminal convictions that could potentially jeopardize the safety or comfort of the Lyft community.

Unpacking Lyft’s Stance on Felony Convictions

Lyft has a clear, uncompromising policy when it comes to felony convictions. This policy categorically states that any individual found to have certain types of felony convictions within the past seven years will not be permitted to drive for Lyft.

The felonies that result in disqualification encompass a range of serious crimes, including but not limited to violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, property damage, and certain drug-related offenses. Lyft's prime concern here is ensuring the safety and well-being of all those who use its platform.

However, it's important to remember that Lyft considers each application on its own merits. The final decision regarding the eligibility of an applicant with a felony conviction lies entirely with Lyft. This means that while a felony conviction is generally a major red flag, the specifics of your case and the nature of the felony could impact the final decision.

The Gray Area: Lyft's Consideration of Circumstances

Lyft's policy towards felony convictions, while stringent, allows for some wiggle room. The company recognizes that individuals can change and circumstances vary widely. Therefore, Lyft considers several factors when reviewing an application from someone with a felony conviction.

Firstly, the nature and severity of the crime play a significant role in Lyft's decision. A non-violent crime may be viewed differently compared to a violent or sexual offense. Secondly, the time elapsed since the felony occurred is considered. If considerable time has passed without any further convictions, it could work in your favor. Lastly, Lyft considers the steps an applicant has taken towards rehabilitation. Evidence of positive changes and efforts towards personal improvement can impact Lyft's final decision.

Denied? Don't Lose Hope: Possible Steps to Take

Receiving a rejection from Lyft due to a felony conviction can feel like a punch to the gut. But remember, it's not the end of the road. There are still actions you can take to potentially increase your chances of getting approved.

Taking the Reins: Appeal the Decision

If you feel that there's been an error in the background check, or if you believe that your felony conviction shouldn't disqualify you from driving for Lyft, you have the right to appeal the decision. During the appeal process, Lyft may ask for additional documentation to verify your claims or to gain more insight into your situation. Be prepared to provide these documents and cooperate fully to increase the likelihood of a successful appeal.

Erasing the Past: Check for Expungement Eligibility

Another viable option could be having your conviction expunged from your record. Expungement is a legal process that effectively "erases" a conviction from your criminal record. However, eligibility for expungement varies from state to state, and not all crimes can be expunged. It's advisable to consult with a legal professional in your area to understand your options better. If successful, expungement could pave the way for you to become eligible to drive for Lyft.

Consider Other Rideshare Platforms

Different rideshare platforms have different policies regarding felony convictions. If driving for Lyft isn't an option, you might want to explore other platforms like Uber or local rideshare companies and food delivery services

Keeping Up With The Times: Future Developments

In an ever-evolving society, attitudes towards felony convictions and their implications on employment opportunities are continually changing. Lyft, as a forward-thinking company, is an active participant in these societal changes. As a result, the company might revise its current policies concerning drivers with felony convictions in the future. Thus, keeping yourself abreast of these changes could prove crucial if you're looking to be a part of the Lyft driving community. Always check the latest guidelines on Lyft's official website or reach out to their support team for the most accurate information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drive for Lyft if my felony conviction is older than seven years?

While Lyft's background check typically reviews the past seven years, the company has the discretion to consider older felony convictions in its decision. The specifics of your case, including the nature of the felony and evidence of rehabilitation, will play a key role.

How long does Lyft's background check process take?

The duration of the background check can vary depending on several factors, including the amount of information to process and the speed of response from government agencies. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

If my application to drive for Lyft is rejected due to a felony conviction, can I apply again in the future?

Yes, you can apply again. However, it's best to check Lyft's policies or consult with their support team to understand when it would be appropriate to reapply.

Are all felony convictions treated the same by Lyft?

No, Lyft evaluates felony convictions on a case-by-case basis, considering factors like the nature and severity of the crime, the time elapsed since the conviction, and any rehabilitation steps taken by the applicant.

Can I drive for Lyft if my felony conviction has been pardoned?

A pardon may influence Lyft's decision. However, it will still depend on the nature of the felony and other factors. It's best to disclose this information during the application process and provide supporting documentation.


While a felony conviction can pose challenges when trying to drive for Lyft, it's crucial to remember that every situation is unique. Understanding Lyft's policies, the nuances of your own circumstances, and potential alternative paths can be your guiding light. While the road may seem uphill, remember that progress and change are always possible. And who knows? The question "Can you drive for Lyft with a felony?" might have a different answer in the future.

For more insights to optimize your journey, don't miss the next guide and learn how much tip you can make as a driver! Continue reading Keep Driving and elevate your on-the-road game!

Sales Development Lead Scott spearheaded a collective blog site before expanding his automotive knowledge and joining the team. Now he leads our team of experts by building ideas on our Sales Development department.
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