For people with felony convictions on their records, ridesharing seems like something that should be easy to get into.
So, if you’re a felon and you’re interested in joining Uber as a driver, we looked into what you should expect, so keep reading to learn more!
Does Uber Hire Felons?
Uber doesn’t hire felons in 2023. As per its official policy, if you apply but you’ve been convicted of a felony, you won’t get approved after a background check. Uber might have decided not to hire felons because it’s considered a safer move since the drivers interact directly with the customers. This way, many potential liability issues could be avoided.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about how Uber handles felons, including what your chances are with a criminal history, the background check process, and more!
Can You Be an Uber Driver With a Criminal Background?
You can be an Uber driver with a criminal background, but your success depends on how serious the former conviction is and what shows up in a background check.
If your criminal history is made up of misdemeanors and infractions, then you should be able to get approval for Uber.
However, if you have a felony in your criminal history, then you have little to no chance of working for Uber.
If you have a felony, you could work for Uber if it doesn’t show up in a background check for one of the following reasons:
- It happened far back enough for it not to show up on a criminal record – in most places, criminal records only go back between 7 and 10 years, so activity from earlier wouldn’t show up
- You get your records sealed – this is where your records are hidden from the general public, including anyone running a background check
- You get your record expunged – this differs from sealing your record in that it essentially means that it gets erased
Does Uber Really Perform Background Checks?
Uber really does conduct mandatory background checks, something we verified with several drivers that had to agree to one when submitting their applications.
Uber says that it’s committed to helping people with criminal backgrounds get jobs and doesn’t ask them for their history but, in practice, it’s more complicated than this.
In fact, we went through the page on Uber’s website that contains this pledge and all the wording is crafted in a way that doesn’t explicitly say that your criminal background doesn’t matter at all.
The website only says that the company doesn’t ask applicants whether they’ve had any legal issues in the past, but this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a background check.
This pledge is only intended for people with less serious entries on their records, i.e. misdemeanors and minor infractions.
However, Uber has a long list of entries on a criminal record that will result in automatic disqualification, as we’ll look at below.
What Does Uber Look for During a Background Check?
Uber looks through a driver’s criminal history and driving records when conducting background checks.
Uber uses Checkr for background checks, an automated service that uses AI to speed up the process.
This can be set up to look through different aspects of someone’s records, including their criminal and driving history.
Under criminal history, Uber can use the service to look through the following databases:
- National criminal records
- County criminal records
- Federal criminal records
- State criminal records
- Global watchlists
- Sex offender registries
As for your driving history, Uber can use Checkr’s motor vehicle records (MVR) checks to find out the following information:
- Your driver’s license status, i.e. whether it’s valid, expired, or suspended
- What sorts of vehicles you’re licensed to drive and whether it matches the one you’re signing up to use
- Points on your license for things like reckless driving, failing to yield, and texting while driving
How Long Does an Uber Background Check Take?
Uber’s background checks should take between 3 and 5 days under normal circumstances, and you have the option to track your status through your Checkr profile.
If your background check is taking too long, it might be due to the following reasons:
- One of the places contacted for your information needs someone to consult physical records
- One of the places being contacted for information is experiencing staffing issues
- You’ve moved a lot, so there are more places being contacted
- You’ve been requested to provide more information, but have not issued a response
- Your check requires more research than usual, e.g. if you have a common name
What Disqualifies You From Being an Uber Driver?
When Uber conducts a background check on your criminal history, you might get disqualified due to the following reasons:
- Any felony conviction
- Convictions for violent crimes
- Convictions for sexual crimes
- Convictions related to terrorism
- Being a registered sex offender
Moreover, even if you get charged for any of the crimes listed above, you’ll get disqualified from Uber until they’re resolved in your favor, i.e. either by acquittal or dismissal.
As for your driving records, you might get disqualified for the following:
- Having an invalid license, e.g. it’s suspended, expired, or was issued in a different country from the one you’re applying in
- Major driving violations like racing, hit and runs, and fleeing from law enforcement
- Multiple recent minor violations like speeding and running red lights
- Accidents, including no-fault incidents
Checkr allows companies to run continuous background checks, meaning that even if you get approved but receive an entry on your criminal record, Uber will be notified.
Can You Drive for Uber With a DUI?
You can’t work for Uber with a DUI, whether it was a felony or misdemeanor, unless it doesn’t show up in a background check.
If your records are sealed, expunged, or the conviction happened between 7 and 10 years prior (depending on where you live), you might get approved.
Overall, this move is likely intended to reduce liability issues down the line on Uber’s part.
Unfortunately, Uber doesn’t hire felons, but it hires people whose criminal backgrounds contain some infractions and misdemeanors. Uber runs background checks using Checkr and felony convictions will show up unless they’re old, sealed, or expunged.
Aside from felonies, you could get disqualified from Uber for major driving violations like DUIs and several recent minor ones like speeding. Uber runs continuous criminal checks and will even disqualify applicants that have only been charged with a felony until it’s resolved.