You'd like to make a little extra cash, or maybe you need to make a lot more. You've heard that Doordash can pay pretty well at times, so it makes sense to find out how easy it is to get started with Doordash.
What does it take to qualify as a Doordash driver? All it really takes is to be at least 18 years of age, have a smart phone, proper transportation, and the ability to pass a background check. It does depend of course on if Doordash has an opening for couriers in your particular city or region.
In the United States, you need a social security number. If you're driving you obviously need a valid driver’s license. Some select markets allow delivery by bike or on foot, so a state issued identification may suffice.
Those are the basics. We'll look into all this a bit more in depth, and we'll dive into what exactly it means to pass a background check to qualify as a Doordash applicant. We'll discuss:
- Understanding what you are NOT signing up for
- Looking Deeper at Doordash Driver requirements
- Understanding the Doordash background check
Understanding what you are NOT signing up for with Doordash
There's one more thing that Doordash doesn't say, but that I think is really important: You MUST understand that this is not a delivery job. Doordash will NOT hire you to deliver for them.
This is because Doordash uses independent contractors. Maybe the most important thing is that you understand the difference between being self-employed as a Dasher and being employed. Doordash drivers are independent contractors, meaning they provide services as a business, not as employees.
There are a lot of implications to that, that you should make sure you understand before you agree to deliver for Doordash. It means you're on your own for taxes with Doordash, and you have no employee protections or guarantees. At the same time, it means you can choose the best times to Dash and make decisions about accepting delivery offers and the best Doordash tips for earning more.
This is part of our Doordash delivery driver series, our complete guide of everything you need to know about being a Dasher. We'll link to other articles in the series throughout this article and give you a list of other articles at the end..
Looking deeper at the Doordash Driver Requirements
Doordash puts different information in different places. Their basic requirements are different depending on where you look.
The Doordash Dasher Support page only says you need to be 18 years old, have a smart phone, and complete the sign-up process.
However, their signup page adds a few requirements:
In the above screenshot, it tells you that the Doordash driver requirements in the United States include:
- Being 18 or older
- Have any car (some cities have opportunities for delivery on a bike, scooter or on foot)
- Driver's license number
- Social Security number
- Consent to a background check.
So which is it? What are the real Doordash driver requirements? It's really a combination of the two. The part about the “complete the signup process” in the first set of requirements involves a lot of the extra parts.
That means we'll take our deep dive into the second list and look at each of those qualifications.
Most of these are pretty simple when you think about it. For the most part it's really easy to qualify. The main challenge is passing the background check, so we'll look even deeper into what that involves after talking about the other Doordash driver qualifications.
What's the minimum age to deliver for Doordash?
The Doordash age requirement is that you be 18 years or older. That's it.
I read a couple places that said you needed to be 18 AND have two years of driving experience. I cannot find anything from Doordash that backs that up. That may become an issue during the background check, however Doordash does not publish that requirement anywhere that I could find.
Doordash is a bit less stringent than the other major food delivery apps in this area. Uber Eats requires you to be 19 years old if driving, but only 18 if delivering by bike or on foot. Grubhub sets their minimum age at 19.
There is no age limit. Dashing has become a popular way for retired individuals to make extra money.
What are the car requirements for Doordash drivers?
There are no specific vehicle requirements. If it runs it qualifies. Doordash does not have any kind of inspection or restrictions on the age of one's car.
More important than what Doordash wants is, what works best for you. Your car is maybe the most important tool as a Dasher.
Obviously you need to have car insurance on whatever car you are driving. They will ask you to provide proof of insurance.
Doordash doesn't even specify whether it be your own car, though they may require that your name be on the auto insurance policy.
There's one thing you should be aware of: You may be uninsured while delivering for Doordash. Most personal insurance policies will deny your claim if you were delivering at the time of an accident. Doordash has some liability coverage but they offer no coverage for you or your car.
What that means is that there's a good chance you'll be driving uninsured. Doordash won't stop you from delivering. However, I would advise that you not take a single delivery until you've checked with your insurance provider.
A car isn't always the only possible mode of transportation for delivery. In some cities, Doordash has options for bicycle, scooter, or on foot delivery. I'm in the Denver area, and do sometimes deliver on my bike. Delivery on foot is sometimes an option in more congested downtown areas of some major cities such as New York city, Los Angeles or Chicago.
Do I have to have a Driver's license number to deliver for Doordash?
Obviously, if you are driving your car for Doordash, a valid driver's license is a necessity. The food delivery company will also need your driver's license number for background check purposes.
What if you are only going to deliver on bike or on foot? Do you need a valid drivers license then, or will a state issued ID work? Doordash doesn't really say. I would expect that a state ID should work.
Do you need a Social Security number to deliver for Doordash?
Yes. In the United States, a Social Security number is necessary. Doordash is required by law to report your income, so an SSN is required. The Social Security Number is needed so that Doordash can perform a background check.
Is it possible to sign up with Doordash as a business using my EIN instead of social security number?
You must go through the Doordash signup process as an individual with your Social Security number. Even though Doordash insists that you're providing services as a business (independent contractor) they won't let you sign up using strictly your business information.
You can still technically deliver for Doordash as a business entity. If you have created an Employer Identification Number (EIN) as a sole proprietor, or if you have an LLC or have incorporated, you can use those in your deliveries. The way it works is that you will provide your business information on your W9 that you complete later in the signup.
Understanding the Doordash background check.
To must pass a background check if you want to deliver for Doordash.
Doordash never really says what that means. What exactly are they looking for? What disqualifies you or causes you to fail the Doordash background check?
In a nutshell, Doordash wants to protect the safety of the platform, customers, restaurants, and other Dashers. If a Dasher causes an accident or property damage, commits a crime, threatens customers or restaurant staff, or just provides really horrible service, when you've got just anyone taking things to the customer's home, that's just a lot of risk for Doordash.
The problem is, because they're using gig workers or independent contractors, they can't really go through the usual job application process with interviews and references. About all they can do to try to weed out bad actors is to perform a background check.
In a nutshell, Doordash is looking for two things:
- You are a safe driver
- You don't have a criminal record.
At one time Doordash provided more detail. They've decided since to be less specific. We'll talk more about that in just a bit.
We'll look at some of the questions about Doordash background checks below
- What were the previous background check requirements?
- How does the Doordash background check work?
- How long does the Doordash background check take?
- What if there's a problem with your background check?
- What are your rights when there's an error on your background check?
- Some other frequently asked questions about background checks on Doordash.
What were the previous Doordash background check requirements?
There was a time that Doordash was more specific. I'm not sure why they decided to say less. Maybe it's because different states have different regulations, and so it's impossible to give a general list.
I don't know if they still go by these requirements or if they have changed their criteria. I also have no idea whether they look at things differently state by state. The thing about state requirements is they are usually related to employment, whereas Dashers are independent contractors.
I think it's helpful still to look at what they used to put out there. While they may have changed, the older information is a great way to get a glimpse of what they look at.
This screenshot is from the Doordash website from 2018 (with thanks to the Wayback machine archives). We see a few more details:
- Drivers cannot have ANY major violations (criminal or motor vehicle) in the last seven years.
- Drivers cannot have more than three incidents (accidents or minor moving violations) in the past three years.
At this time they said that Doordash always conducts an individualized assessment. In other words, someone would look over your report and make a hiring decision. Doordash has exploded in size since this was on their site, so I'm not sure if they do that any more.
At the time, they said they will consider an arrest or criminal charges that are pending. In other words, a person could be disqualified without a conviction. They would only consider convictions in the past seven years.
I don't know if Doordash still follows these guidelines. They may or may help you know whether you would meet today's driver requirements.
How does the Doordash background check work?
There are actually now a couple of layers involved with the Doordash screening process. Doordash will need to verify your identity using a third-party company called Persona. Then they'll run a driving and criminal background check through a background check company company called Checkr.
We are continually working to improve the DoorDash platform to make it more secure for you and others. During the sign-up process, you will now be asked to verify your identity to help us verify that you are youDoordash FAQ answer to why you have to go through identity verification.
For the identity verification you will have to upload a picture of a valid government ID. Then you'll take a selfie that allows them to match your picture to your ID.
Door Dash then uses a company called Checkr to obtain a background check. Checkr works with most gig economy companies. You provide basic information about yourself, and they use that to get a Motor Vehicle Report if you indicated you will be driving, and a Criminal History Report.
Checkr then looks up your information through state motor vehicle and county court records.
Once you have cleared the background check, you can download the Doordash app (known as the Dasher app) and get in one or more complete deliveries. Once that's done, you can receive your activation kit from Doordash.
How long does the Doordash background check take?
Doordash says that it can take a five to seven business days time period to complete the background check report. Sometimes the process takes longer.
Because they often have to rely on county records, without a national criminal records system, sometimes it can take a long time to get everything back.
My background check came back within a 24 hour time frame. However, that was a few years ago, I'm not sure how much things may have changed since then.
- Invitation Sent: They are waiting for you to complete information on your application
- Pending: Checkr is waiting to get the reports back. Your status can remain pending as well if they are waiting for you to provide any additional information.
- Complete: The report is ready for review
- Clear: There is no negative information on the report.
- Consider: There may be information that Doordash will need to evaluate.
- Dispute: You have disputed the results of the background check
- Suspended: Checkr may suspend the application because of missing information. Once information is confirmed, it can be reinitiated.
- Expired: The application was not completed in the time limit. You will need to complete a new application to proceed.
If the background check has negative information, Doordash says it may take as many as five business days to review and make a decision.
What if there's a problem with your background check?
If there is an issue, Checkr will send a “Pre-Adverse Action Notice” email. That notices will say they're unable to proceed and you have ten days from the date of the notice to dispute the results. The email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org
You have a right to a copy of your background report. If it is not sent to you by email, you can download it from the Checkr candidate portal.
You can dispute inaccurate information through the candidate portal. If the information is accurate but you have reason to believe it shouldn't disqualify you from Dashing, you can appeal directly to Doordash by emailing email@example.com
If you do not respond within ten days of the date the pre-adverse action notice was sent to you, Checkr will follow up with a Post-Adverse Action Notice. Once that has been sent, Doordash will not accept an appeal to the decision. You can still however dispute inaccurate information through Checkr.
What are your rights when there's an error on your background check?
You do have legal rights if you are denied due to an inaccurate background check.
Sometimes you can get flagged for things that weren't your fault. Sometimes the incorrect information was related to another person. There may have been charges but no conviction or perhaps previous information was expunged and no longer legally disqualifies you from employment or other opportunities.
First of all, the fair credit reporting act requires that you get a copy of the report. You have a right to see the negative information.
Your first step would be to contact Checkr and dispute the charges. If you have any documentation in your personal records that helps, you want to get copies of that to them. Checkr has 30 days to complete an investigation. According to consumer rights attorney Larry Smith of SmithMarco PC, in an interview on The Rideshare Guy, Checkr won't report results directly back to you, but instead will report them to Doordash.
If Checkr does not update their information even if it is wrong, you may have a case for legal action. According to Larry Smith, the law provides not only that you can seek damages for legal costs but also for damages such as lost earnings.
At this point, it may make the most sense to contact an attorney who specializes in consumer protections related to background checks.
Some other frequently asked questions about background checks on Doordash
How far back does Doordash check motor vehicle records database?
Doordash does not say.
At one time Doordash was more specific. They stated that drivers cannot have more than 3 incidents in the last 3 years. An incident was defined as “an incident or a moving violation other than a major violation. Minor moving violations might include a speeding ticket, missing a stop sign, failure to signal, things like that.
In that earlier definition, as captured in the screenshot posted above, major violations included DUI's, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, failure to stop or report, and driving with a license that is suspended or expired.
Doordash has decided for some reason to no longer provide specific criteria. For employment, different states have different limitations on what can be considered for employment checks. I don't know if that is the reason for Doordash backing off on their specifications, since being an independent contractor does not fall under employment law.
How far back does Doordash check criminal records?
Doordash does not say. In years past, they used to specify that they would go back 7 years for major violations including homicide, assault, or major vehicle violations. They have since changed that and do not provide specifics.
Will Doordash disqualify me for a felony?
Doordash does not say. They previously just listed major violations, and in most cases you could say a felony conviction fit that bill. There was no specific mention of felonies in the screenshot from earlier in this article. I've heard of some who were able to deliver with felonies, but I have no official word from Doordash how they evaluate felonies.
Will Doordash disqualify me for a misdemeanor
Doordash does not say. In the screenshot that I've referenced above, they only mentioned major violations in the past seven years. Some of the major violations listed may only be misdemeanors in some states. However, Doordash no longer specifies exactly what disqualifies someone for driving. My best guess is that it becomes a judgment call by whoever reviews your application as to whether or not your misdemeanor is a major violation.
Unless the accident or violation were related to a delivery, Doordash has no way of receiving immediate notification of any violations or accidents. However, does regularly run background checks on existing Doordash delivery drivers. Any new information on a background check could be grounds for deactivating your account (though some states may have restrictions).
Can Doordash deactivate me later for a violation they overlooked the first time they ran a background check?
I've heard many Dashers tell of having passed their first background check, and then several months or years later being deactivated for a violation that happened well before their first background check. How is this possible?
I think there are two possible explanations.
It's possible that an older violation did not appear on the original background check. It's very possible that information from certain states or counties did not get checked the first time but did the second time. Some cases may not have been processed or fully reported yet when that first check was run.
The other possibility is that Doordash may have overlooked it or just missed it. Doordash seems to indicate that they do some manual reviews on some background checks. It's possible that whoever reviewed the violation the first time decided that it wasn't that important, but then the next time they looked at it they may have changed their mind.
Is it possible to sign up with a different email and phone number to pass a background check?
No. The information that is used for your background check doesn't change and results won't change based on a different email address and phone number.
I've heard many Dashers say they were deactivated and were able to create a new account with a different email and phone number and go back to Dashing. This is different because it's the Doordash account that's tied to email and phone number, not the background check.
Doordash terms do not allow creating multiple accounts. In the past people could get around it more because Doordash hasn't cross referenced things like Social Security and Drivers License numbers to driver accounts. As Doordash relies more on things like identity verification, I would expect they will be more likely to catch such attempts.
Wrapping things up: What do I need to be a Doordash Driver?
Delivering for Doordash has become more and more popular. A lot of people love working with them and other food delivery services because you can do it all on your own schedule, set your own hours, and be your own boss. For some it's a great side hustle, others see Dashing as a great alternative to a full-time job.
It's not that hard to qualify. Sometimes the biggest roadblock is whether there's a waitlist for contractors in your area. If you have a clean driving record, are 18 or older and have a way to get around for deliveries, you have a pretty good chance of getting on.
If you have a criminal record, you might have a harder time. A lot of speeding tickets or accidents might get in the way. In the United States, not having a social security number or proper identification may keep you from driving.
For the average gig worker, getting signed up to deliver with Doordash is pretty easy. You don't need experience or a resume or any kind of degree. It's just a matter of signing up, waiting for the background check, and moving on to making money.
Is it worth all the hoops you have to jump through? Here's my opinion on delivering for Doordash in a nutshell: If you approach this as a job, it may not go so well. However, if you treat it as a business and there are enough opportunities in your area, Doordash can be a great opportunity for making money. In the end, it depends both on yourself and on circumstances in your area.