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Posted: November 17, 2017

6 things to know about working for Uber

A sign marks a pick-up point for the Uber car service at LaGuardia Airport in New York on March 15, 2017. Travis Kalanick, the combative and embattled CEO of ride-hailing giant Uber, resigned June 20, 2017 under pressure from investors at a pivotal time for the company.

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By Rose Kennedy

For the AJC

Uber has been making headlines in recent months for everything from a new CEO to industry regulation. But if you want to work as a driver for the service that revolutionized the taxi-transport industry, there is more important information about Uber you'll want to check out.

RELATED: 5 things to know before becoming a Lyft driver

Here are six things you need to know about Uber before working for them as a driver:

Uber has its own system for estimating earnings. When you see those tantalizing statistics about how much Uber drivers in your area are making, keep in mind that they're not referring to a profitable side hustle or long-term estimations. Uber estimates local net median hourly earnings of drivers using stats from the previous month and assumes you'd be working 40 hours per week and four weeks per month.

You need to be a fit driver to work for Uber. If you've sat in the back of an Uber vehicle on your way home from a bar and thought, "I could do this," well, maybe. But before you even start worrying about your vehicle qualifying, recognize that you yourself could be denied work for any number of reasons, according to an article written by Ridester staff and last updated in September 2017. 

To start, you must be 21 to drive for Uber and have three years of driving experience. From there, it gets trickier. You'll need an in-state drivers license, in-state insurance with your name on the policy and pass a background check successfully. 

You must not appear on any national or state sex offender registries or suspected terrorist databases.

 And just in case you think you're home free, you might also face disqualification if you've got one of these on your record:

  • DUI or drug related driving conviction
  • Fraud
  • Reckless driving
  • Hit and run
  • Violent crime (assault, battery, homicide)
  • Act of terror
  • Sexual offense
  • Crime involving property damage
  • Felony or misdemeanor for theft (burglary, stealing, robbery or anything similar)
  • Fatal accidents
  • Resisting/evading arrest
  • Any other felony
  • You'll also be disqualified if within the past three years you have driven on a suspended, revoked or invalid license.

Your vehicle's gotta be fairly roomy. Even to drive for UberX, the basic service, you'll need a four-door car, minivan or truck that sits four passengers plus a driver. And it can't be too beat up − no major cosmetic damage and it must be able to pass vehicle inspection. You can't get the gig with a taxi, police or other marked vehicle or full-size van.

Local vehicle regulation can trip you up. In addition to Uber's minimum requirements, your city will have its own regulations for vehicles. Sign up on Uber to get more information.

Uber will lease you a vehicle. If you qualify as a driver but your vehicle isn't up to snuff, renting or leasing a vehicle through Uber might be the solution to send you on your way.

You can work for Uber on scooter too. Uber has a delivery service, and some of the possible vehicles are bikes and scooters (they'll also take cars, usually).


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