Working for Instacart as a shopper offers individuals the flexibility to make money on their own time, so in many markets, these are sought-after positions.
But obviously, Instacart isn’t hiring just anyone who applies. In fact, the company has a rigorous system for making sure that its shoppers are all on the up-and-up, via background checks.
So, what is an Instacart background check? Here’s what you need to know!
What Is an Instacart Background Check In 2023?
Every potential hire for a shopping position with Instacart is subject to a comprehensive background check, which examines your driving history and criminal history. The time frame for completing the background checks varies, but estimates average around 10 business days, with some checks taking as little as a day or two in 2023.
There is so much more that you need to know about Instacart background checks, including what you can expect, what Instacart looks for, what might disqualify you from passing, and even why it’s taking longer than 10 days. Keep going for more facts!
What Can You Expect From Instacart Background Check?
Not every applicant receives a response from Instacart, but those who meet their initial criteria may receive a conditional offer for onboarding.
They’ll receive their Instacart card in the Shopper app; once that’s activated, potentials will be redirected to a background check site to input their personal information.
This inputting of info serves as the site’s authorization to run a background check, which examines criminal and driving history, two fundamental records when working for Instacart.
Instacart outsources its background checks to two companies: Checkr., Inc. and Sterling.
Checkr., like Instacart, is a San Francisco-based start-up, and it runs background checks not only for Instacart, but Netflix and Papa John’s, too.
Sterling is based in NYC, and also names Dell among its clients.
The latter also provides an informational page on its website, specifically for Instacart shopper hopefuls.
It’s important to reiterate that potential hires must consent to the background check before it can take place.
You will have to submit your full legal name, your address, your birthdate, and your social security number.
You must also have a valid driver’s license (especially if you are applying to be a full-time shopper, who shops and delivers).
The background check company will then use this information to collect data.
Sterling’s site notes that receiving Public Records Notices is common, even receiving multiples, and it doesn’t necessarily mean something bad.
Rather, it’s just a head’s up to you that the company is looking into your public records; the notification is automatic.
Overall, the background check shouldn’t take more than 10 business days on average.
Sterling even remarks that its checks are typically done within 24 hours, and that bears out in some of the comments present on message boards.
What Does Instacart Look for in a Background Check?
Let’s look more closely at what the Instacart background checks examine when they take your information.
As mentioned above, there are four major components of the total background check that Instacart performs before bringing on someone as a shopper.
The writers over at Ridester have a terrific breakdown of these items, such as the following:
- Driving history: DUIs (driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances); moving violations (accidents), and other violations (excess of parking tickets, etc.).
This is information that is available on public driving databases.
However, DUI doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get hired, but too many of them on your record may not leave a good impression.
- Criminal records: You aren’t immediately disqualified for having a criminal record, but violent crimes, recent felonies, or a long history of crime are difficult to overcome.
Ridester says that background check companies can perform an SSN trace and search criminal databases for this information.
How Long Does an Instacart Background Check Take?
Instacart knows that potential hires are anxious to get onboarded and start earning money, but the background check process can take as many as 10 days.
In fact, there are comments where people have been waiting for months, with no word.
On the flip side, though, some people have been approved the day after authorizing the background check.
It’s recommended to wait at least 10 days. If you don’t hear from the background check company or Instacart by then, reach out to either.
Included is the contact info for all three entities, Checkr, Sterling, and Instacart, listed further below.
What Disqualifies You From Doing Instacart?
Instacart is free to hire who it pleases, but there are some items in your background check that may leave a more negative impression.
For example, a conviction of a violent or sexual crime can be very difficult to overcome on your record, especially if it was recent.
If it was 10 or 15 years or more, and you have rehabilitated your life since then, you could perhaps reach out to someone and explain the situation.
You’ll have to have a clean driving record and prove a history of gainful employment to show that you are responsible and can be trusted.
Another difficult example is if you have a history of DUIs. Obviously, one DUI when you were young is not generally a cause for concern.
However, a string of them in the last three years is going to tell Instacart that you have a difficult time staying off the road when drunk.
Why Is Your Instacart Background Check Taking So Long?
Instacart Onboarding recognizes that sometimes a background test can take longer than the expected 10 days maximum.
If 10 days have passed, and you haven’t heard back, you can contact Sterling via the form at the bottom of this page.
You can reach Checkr using the information on this page, and you can reach out to Instacart through the Shopping app.
Some reasons for a delay in the process include a backlog of applications that the companies are working through, or even unexpected office closures.
Does Instacart Drug Test?
Instacart does not drug test, according to FelonyFriendlyJobs.org, neither before employment or after.
Still, if you are applying to become a driver, you should be very careful about your drug consumption, especially around work.
For your safety and the safety of everyone else, do not deliver under the influence.
Why Is Your Instacart Background Check Suspended?
According to Checkr, if you log into your account and see that your Instacart background check is suspended, it’s because the company needs more information from you.
That could be information that you can just tell them, but it also might be some form of documentation that you’ll need to send over.
Either way, you will want to get that information to them as quickly as possible, so that your background check isn’t stalled for too long.
Can You Have a DUI and Work for Instacart?
According to some commenters on this Indeed thread, Instacart does allow them to shop and deliver, despite having a DUI on their record.
Based on the information I have seen, a DUI isn’t an automatic rejection, provided it happened some time ago, and you have a basically impeccable driving record since then.
Instacart knows we’re all human and make mistakes, and simply wants to see that it was a one-off mistake, and not a pattern of behavior.
Instacart outsources its background checks to two thorough companies, Checkr and Sterling, to gain insight into its prospective shoppers’ criminal and driving histories.
While a mar on either isn’t an automatic rejection from Instacart, serious crimes or an ongoing pattern of driving violations are tougher to overcome for this position.