Can a Felon Drive for Lyft? -
Finding Employment

Can a Felon Drive for Lyft?

Can a felon drive for lyft

Completing a prison sentence puts felons in an extremely challenging position.

Not only do they face the general issue of returning to their families and society, but there is the typically overwhelming obstacle of getting a job.

That can seem insurmountable.  Where do they turn?  How do they succeed?

According to the free Guide to Becoming Employed, there are success stories.

Those who have a goal and the persistence it takes, can get that job.  There are employers who will hire felons.

Is Lyft one of those employers who will hire them?

A previous blog post covered the issue of being employed by Uber.

This blog post will address the question of whether felons can drive for Lyft.

  • Restrictions on Felons
  • Driving for Lyft
  • A More Recent Conviction
  • Supporting Felons Driving for Lyft

Restrictions on Felons

A prison term poses major restrictions on felons.  They lose their freedom and the ability to move about as they want.

For many, this was very important to them prior to being incarcerated.  Just being able to leave their house or apartment, get in their car and drive was important to them.

How about now that they are out of prison?

Many will once again hit the road.

For those felons who enjoy driving, there are opportunities for employment in this area.

There are truck driving schools that offer the chance to become certified as a truck driver.  That is good for some, but others may prefer a different type of driving job.

When they went into prison, working as a paid driver was typically only available as a truck driver or taxi driver.

Driving for Lyft

Recently, ride-sharing companies similar to taxi companies have sprung up.  One of these is Lyft.

The first thought might be that this is an impossibility.

After all, with the restrictions on felons leaving prison and getting a job, why would a ride-sharing company that offers services to the public for transportation want felons?

Aren’t they dishonest and untrustworthy?  Isn’t that why they went to prison in the first place?

Wait a minute!  Don’t be so quick to assume this is impossible.

A check with Lyft regarding their requirements to become a driver for them shows the qualifications they set forth.

In order to drive for Lyft, applicants must meet certain standards.

First, they must have a valid driver’s license.

Depending on how long their sentence was, and often it was quite lengthy, many felons come out of prison without a valid driver’s license.

Since most felons report to a halfway house for a period of time upon release, one of the stipulations they must meet in getting a job is to obtain a valid driver’s license.

Lyft also states that all applicants must be subjected to a background check.

There’s that dreaded background check again.  A certainty to stop a job application.

Another look at Lyft’s requirements state that the background check will cover national and local databases, often including courthouse records.

Applicants will be denied employment with Lyft if a criminal record is discovered which has a conviction in the past seven years for a felony, a violent crime, a drug offense, a sexual offense, or particular theft or property damage offenses.

The stipulation here is that those convictions do not have to be felony convictions, just convictions.

That can seem intimidating, but the key to remember is that any of these offenses must have been within the past seven years.

Again for many felons, their long prison sentence often places their crimes longer ago than seven years.

Maybe there is a break for them here, at least if their conviction is older than seven years.

A More Recent Conviction

How about for those whose conviction was less than seven years ago?

When confronted with having a more recent felony record, it can be extremely beneficial to consider having their record expunged or sealed.

This will remove it from their record and allow felon applicants to be able to state that they have not been convicted of a felony.

Being able to honestly answer this question ‘no’ can give felons that opportunity they need.

Of course, it will also be helpful to pursue a re-entry program if necessary in order to show the efforts they have made toward rehabilitation in returning to society.

Supporting Felons Driving for Lyft

For families of felons in this case, it is important to let your loved one know you are there to support them.  Encourage them in setting and reaching that goal essential in their return.

Let them know you care about them and want them to succeed.

It can be the difference between living an honest life or giving up, going back to their criminal friends and ways, and returning to prison again.  Don’t let them become another ugly statistic.

What do you think about this blog post?  Have you or someone you know tried to get a job with Lyft with a felony?  What was that like for them, and what happened?  Please tell us in the comments below.


10 responses to “Can a Felon Drive for Lyft?”

  1. Willie k Reed says:

    Well my conviction was well over 15 years ago plus expunged record was doing lyft for about 2 in half years they do a back ground check and drop me don’t get worked for towing company first 9yeasrs quit to get something better and now no one wants to hire me I don’t under stand need help

  2. Rich Stone says:

    I had a drug related felony charge in 2009, but wasn’t convicted for three years as my lawyer’s wife had brain cancer and the hearings went on and on.
    I applied in 2016 and was refused because off my “criminal record”.
    Therefore, I am assuming it is seven years after your sentencing and not your arrest. Does anybody know for sure?

  3. Myra Norton says:

    I have a pending felony. Haven’t been convicted still going to court to fight it.Will that stop me from driving Lyft?

  4. Admin says:

    Hey @Myra,

    Just apply and see. It probably won’t show up, but they may re-run eventually and that could void any work with them. Just apply and see what happens.

  5. Jill says:

    Rich Stone…Hi, yes it’ll always go from your sentencing date. NOT your arrest date. So therefore it doesn’t matter if one committed & was arrested for the crime say in 2010. IF you don’t get convicted/sentenced until 2017? IThe year’s 2018, then your felony gets credit as being only a year old. Hope that helps everyone?!!

  6. Jill V. says:

    Hi @Myra…if your FIRST felony is still pending & you apply for your job, you may honestly say you have no felonies! And no it will NOT show up. But if you’re convicted after you’ve been hired? You could possibly work for as long as you can, but don’t be shocked if they find out, either by another routine check, they find it & you’re let go. OR maybe you could’ve proven yourself to them by then & they keep you. If you’d like to keep your job…NEVER tell ANYONE like a fellow employee your business on this subject. One bad day & they may spill the beans. Just FYI. Hope that helped?!

  7. DeeDee says:

    my conviction nd disposition occurred July of 2007, with probation completed in 2011, and I was STILL turned down..

  8. Niecee says:

    I have never had a conviction of any kind and was denied by Lyft because I was accused of a misdemeanor by another citizen. The judge found the complaint had no merit and simply a creditor being salty and seeking revenge. But of course Lyft will not answer questions, refer you to a 3rd party who does not respond. How do you get around this.

  9. Robert says:

    I applied for Lyft, after seeing that convictions of more than 7 years ago would not be counted; however, my conviction from 1996 still got me DENIED in 2019– twenty three years ago. This is for your information.

  10. Ted Rosner says:

    I just applied to drive for Uber, I have a felony conviction for growing marijuana in 1995 and was convicted in 96. I’ve submitted everything to lift and now I am waiting to see if I pass their background check. I will follow up with you shortly and let you know what happens.

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