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Licensed Car Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Mar 26, 2022

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The Short of It

  • You must be 21 and have three years of driving experience to drive for Uber
  • Drivers who are 23 or older only need one year of driving experience
  • Drivers must also own vehicles with a minimum of four doors and five seatbelts

How old do you have to be to drive Uber? Can you be an Uber driver at 18?

The answer is unfortunately no. Drivers must be 21 years old and have at least three years of driving experience to work for Uber. If you’re 23 or older, you only need one year of driving experience to become an Uber driver.

Uber also sets requirements for driver vehicles, and your car will have to pass an Uber Vehicle Inspection before you can start working. You may also be required to carry additional car insurance, so check with your insurer before submitting your Uber driver application.

While Uber Technologies, Inc. regulates how old you have to be to drive for Uber, states also have their own Uber driver requirements. Local driving and taxi laws will dictate who becomes an Uber driver. Some states may also require you to take additional driving and licensure exams. The kind of vehicle you drive will also determine if you’re eligible to be an Uber driver.

The average Uber driver can make $18+ per hour working full-time, so keep reading to determine if becoming an Uber driver is the right move for your budget.

Our guide breaks down how to become an Uber driver, where to find the Uber driver application, and what kind of rideshare car insurance you need for Uber.

How to Become an Uber Driver

The minimum requirements to be an Uber driver include having an up-to-date driver’s license and being 21 years of age. You can start the Uber driver sign-up process on their website. However, the application process goes a little bit deeper than meeting the minimum age requirement and having a valid license.

When you enter your ZIP code, Uber will tell you what specific requirements you need to drive in your city.  In general, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have at least one year of driving experience (three years if under 23)
  • Drive a four-door vehicle with a minimum of five seatbelts
  • Drive a vehicle that is 15 years old or younger
  • Own a smartphone or tablet to access the app

When you apply to be an Uber driver, you will need:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Proof of residency in the city or state you intend to drive in
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of registration
  • Driver photo

Proof of residency can be a utility bill addressed to you, but Uber will also accept tax documents, toll bills, and credit card statements.

Once you apply, you must pass a criminal background check. Your car will also need to pass the Uber vehicle inspection. The Uber inspection is similar to your annual state inspection and ensures lights, seatbelts, signals, and tires are all in working order. Their vehicle requirements can be seen as fairly strict.

Drivers who apply at Uber activation centers can submit their applications and complete the vehicle inspection at the same time. Activation centers are local mechanics who have agreements with Uber to conduct inspections for free. After you apply and download the Uber app, you’ll be able to search for activation centers — or Greenlight Hubs — in your neighborhood.

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Do Uber requirements vary by state?

Before you apply to be an Uber driver, research the driver requirements in your state. Certain states and cities have unique requirements, so potential drivers will want to check what their state requires first.

For example, New York City requires Uber drivers to have a commercial driver’s license. In New Jersey, drivers must visibly display Uber driver placards in front and rear windows. Other states have limits on vehicle models and ages.

Some states treat Transportation Network Companies like Uber differently than traditional taxi companies or limousine services. They may set different regulations and requirements, while other states expect Uber drivers to be licensed and trained just like any other driving service. Research your state laws closely to ensure you have the proper license to drive for Uber.

Does Uber offer car insurance?

Yes, Uber provides car insurance to drivers. However, this coverage is limited to certain periods while working and using the app. The table below explains when rideshare car insurance applies:

Rideshare Phases

PhasesPhase MeaningCoverage
Phase 0Off duty, app is offYour personal policy covers you
Phase 1Available, app is on but you’re waiting for a customerYour personal policy and company liability do not cover you
Phase 2En route, you’ve accepted a customer and are on your wayCompany insurance covers you
Phase 3On Trip, customer is in your carCompany insurance is in full effect
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In this case, Uber will provide 50/100/25 in third-party liability coverage during Phase 1, but only if your policy doesn’t apply. Once you are on the way and pick up a customer (Phases 3-4), Uber’s coverage expands to include collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, and liability coverage of up to $1 million.

As a rule of thumb, your personal car insurance policy will never apply while you are on the clock with Uber. When driving for Uber, your car becomes a business vehicle and is no longer eligible for coverage under your personal policy.

You will need to buy additional commercial or rideshare insurance to ensure you’re covered while using the Uber app.

Fortunately, most major car insurance companies offer rideshare add-ons for less than $10 monthly. Scroll through the table below to compare rideshare car insurance rates with the top companies:

Average Monthly Insurance Rates for Rideshare Programs by Company

CompanyAverage Monthly Rideshare Insurance Rates
AllstateAs low as $20 per year
ErieBetween $9 and $15 per month
MercuryAs low as $27 per month
SafecoAs low as $10 per month
State FarmApproximately 15-20% of the original premium
USAAAs low as $6 per month
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It can cost you as little as $6 per month to be a fully-insured Uber driver, so it can pay to compare quotes from different auto insurance companies that accept rideshare to find the best rates.

How does Uber work?

Uber is a Transportation Networking Company that connects riders with drivers in their area via its free mobile app. Drivers and riders can both use the Uber app on iPhone and Android devices. Uber requires drivers to have a working smartphone or tablet to access the app.

Riders schedule rides, pay for, and tip drivers through the app. They can also rate drivers with a star system based on their experience. Drivers with higher ratings receive bonuses, while low ratings can get drivers suspended or booted from the service.

Drivers use the Uber app to pick up riders, log their mileage and time, and receive payments. Uber drivers also use their own vehicles instead of a traditional taxi or limousine service.

To use Uber:

  1. Download the app from the Apple or Google Play Stores.
  2. Type in your destination and choose the number of riders in your party.
  3. Wait for the app to connect you with a driver. You will be prompted to enter your credit card information before you’re connected with a driver.

Once the ride is complete, you will be able to tip the driver, confirm payment, and leave a review in the app. Keep in mind that there is an age requirement to be able to use Uber. The Uber age requirements for the app are 18 years old. You will not be able to find a ride if you’re under 18. To drive for Uber, you must be 21 years old.

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Driving For Uber: The Bottom Line

Driving for Uber can earn you up to $18 or more hourly, as long as you and your vehicle meet the Uber requirements.

 How old do you have to be to drive for Uber? Uber drivers must be 21 years old with at least three years of driving experience.

If you’re older than 23, you only need one year of driving experience. All Uber drivers must have vehicles with at least four doors, five seatbelts and can pass an Uber vehicle inspection. Fortunately, you can get inspections for free at Greenlight Hubs in your neighborhood. Uber background checks may seem extreme at first, but they do it for the safety of both their drivers and their customers.

To save even more money as an Uber driver, shop for rideshare insurance with at least three different companies before you settle on a policy. This will give you a chance to compare car insurance quotes and find the best rates without spending any money on the process.