Can You Drive for Uber with A Misdemeanor? [2021 update]

if you’re worried that you can’t drive for Uber with a misdemeanor – we might have some good news for you, depending on circumstances…

misdemeanor

Yes, you can be an Uber driver with a misdemeanor. However, if your record has a conviction that is classified as serious according to federal law, your Uber application will be rejected. 

In 2016, Uber began allowing drivers with criminal records to work for them. However, Uber is subject to local regulations. Therefore, the background check performed for driver applicants may differ from one location to the next.

Read on to learn more about the details of driving for Uber with a record so you know all there is to know before applying.

What is Involved in the Mandatory Background Check?

Most jobs, especially with large companies like Uber, will require a background check. This can involve an investigation into your criminal record, a call to your former boss, or even something as personal as a credit check.

With the case of Uber, however, there are two checks:

  • A Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)
  • A criminal background check

These checks are conducted by a third party called Checkr. Checkr will go through local data from the past 7 years to make sure your application ticks the right boxes. Let’s explore these checks further so you are prepared for your background scan when it comes time.

Motor Vehicle Report

This one is quite straightforward. In terms of checking for misdemeanors, Uber will look for any disqualifying restrictions associated with your license. 

Your MVR should not have any severe driving violations, nor should it have multiple or recent minor ones. If it does, it could lead to a rejection of your application.  

The Criminal Background Check

Next, your application will go through a check for any convictions. 

The parameters of the criminal record check are entirely dependent on your local background check requirements. So be sure to check what is involved on your local police department’s website. 

Subject to your local law, the following convictions will eliminate your application:

  • Murder
  • Sexual assault
  • Terrorism-related offenses
  • Felonies
  • Violent crimes
  • Sexual offenses
  • Registered sex offender status

These are the main ones, though other offenses will disqualify your application depending on your location. 

Please note, if any of the above have been settled proving you innocent, your application will not be rejected.

What is a Misdemeanor?

Now that you know the obvious convictions that will lose you the job, let’s further explore what defines a misdemeanor and if your record will pass. 

Again, what classifies a misdemeanor will vary with local laws. However, you can generally expect misdemeanors to be categorized as either A, B, or unclassified. 

All you need to know, however, is whether or not your convictions are considered misdemeanors. If they are, your application will pass its criminal background check. 

If this isn’t the case for you, you may wish to attempt to have your non-violent crimes switched to be called misdemeanors. If you do so successfully, Uber will consider them as such, and you will pass your check. 

Changing Your Record

You will be able to change your record so that your offense is classified as a misdemeanor for the following crimes: theft, writing a bad check, receipt, and possession of stolen property, forgery, and shoplifting. Bear in mind that this is only possible if the crime involves less than $950. Finally, simple drug possession may also be switched.  

You can apply to switch your offense to a misdemeanor under prop 47 in CA. Remember, however, this switching law has only been passed in California. 

If you live outside of California, you may wish to further research organizations attempting to help people switch their convictions to misdemeanors. As this is not an issue exclusive to Uber, there are non-profits on a mission to help people so the barriers to employment are not so high.

So How Do I Apply?

Click this link to get your application started. 

Do not be alarmed if you don’t receive a “thank you for your application email” as Uber doesn’t tend to communicate with applicants. The application portal is where you will find all the necessary information.

There are 3 stages to pass. The status titles can be rather cryptic. So we will explore them in more detail so you know what they mean when they appear on your profile. 

Onboarding

This is the first step to get through and will likely stay present on your application for around a week. During this time, Uber is checking your background and all the documents it has asked you to submit. 

Please note: If this is still your status after a week, you should contact Uber as something has likely gone awry.

Waitlisted

This status will appear if you have uploaded incorrect documents or something of the like. In this case, contact Uber to understand the issue.

Consider

This status is the green light. It indicates that your background check has returned with a pass. Within the week, Uber should accept you as one of its drivers and activate your driving profile so you can get started.

How Much Does the Check Cost?

The good news is that Uber’s background check is free for you. The company pays for a third party to conduct your application’s analysis.

Is This the Case for All Uber Cars?

No, this information is only applicable to Uber, not Uber Premium which will not accept any criminal record, misdemeanor or not. 

Final Thoughts

A minor conviction should not implicate a person’s employment forever. The importance of equal opportunity when it comes to hiring is gaining momentum, especially when it comes to corporate giants like Uber.

If you’re thinking of applying to Uber, be sure to check your local laws and regulations to understand what will be involved in your criminal background check. 

Remember, the checks are conducted quickly so you will only have to wait about 7 to 10 days before receiving the yes or no. 

Now that you know what is required to pass an Uber driver background check, you can get your application started and will hopefully be behind the wheel in no time.

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