When Lyft Background Check Errors Cost You a Job, Know What To Do Next
If errors in your employment-related background check caused Lyft to deny your application or deactivate your account, salvaging your rideshare career and protecting your financial future can be tricky. We explain what these background checks are looking for and provide step-by-step guidance about what to do if your report is wrong.
How to Reactivate Your Lyft Account
Employment-related background checks can be stressful. This is true for everyone, but perhaps especially true for job seekers and drivers in the online rideshare industry whose livelihood depends on the use of a vehicle. Rideshare companies like Lyft prevent new and active drivers from having access to their platform if a background check flags the driver as a risk. But because the process of identifying drivers with potentially problematic backgrounds is prone to errors, knowing how to reactivate your Lyft account is the key to maintaining your income, protecting your reputation, and ensuring your long-term success in the industry.
I’ll help you understand the policy, the process, and the potential problems that arise, and explain how to find help when you need it. If your Lyft driver account has been disabled, keep reading to arm yourself with the knowledge and resources you’ll need to protect your career and get back on the road as soon as possible.
Does Lyft do background checks?
Yes, Lyft runs background checks on job seekers and established drivers already using the platform. Understandably, online rideshare companies like Lyft have an obligation to ensure the ongoing safety of their customers, which means making sure their drivers don’t have a driving record or criminal history that might put passengers at risk. When a background check flags a driver as having an issue that violates Lyft’s policy on eligibility, the Lyft driver account is disabled, or the candidate is denied access to the platform. Review Lyft’s driver requirements here - Driver requirements - Lyft Help.
Lyft’s Background Checks are Ongoing
It isn’t only job applicants who are subject to an initial background check. All drivers using the Lyft platform are subject to repeated background checks throughout their employment with Lyft. The company states in its posted policies that it conducts background checks annually. Whether or not annual checks are actually run on every driver, this policy still means that potential background check errors can show up at any time, even after years of safe and reliable driving, positive customer feedback, and your financial reliance on a successful rideshare career.
Lyft Buys Its Background Reports from Another Company
Lyft doesn’t run background checks itself and instead predominantly uses the services of a consumer reporting company called Checkr, Inc. Checkr pulls data from other sources to compile background reports on its drivers. This means that the web of data that goes into creating a background report for a Lyft driver can include potentially incorrect information from any one of several sources. Not surprisingly, this can make the process of correcting false information complicated and can make it difficult to reactivate a Lyft account once it’s been disabled.
Lyft Background Check Complaints
Like any company that buys background check reports on job seekers or employees, Lyft has been the subject of numerous complaints arising from this practice. Specifically, Lyft candidates who have been flagged as ineligible to use the Lyft platform and drivers who have had their Lyft driver account disabled due to false or inaccurate information in a background check report have had to pursue a Lyft deactivation lawsuit after other attempts to correct the report have failed.
For insight into common background check errors generally, see What to Do When A Background Report Gets You Denied for a Rideshare Job.
How long does a Lyft background check take?
According to Lyft, background checks require time, and it can take several weeks to return a report. Checkr identifies the most common reasons for a delayed report as incomplete candidate information, delays at the county record level (backlogs, staffing issues, etc.), and the need for more extensive research for some candidates, such as those with a common name. Name changes, particularly those not associated with marriage, may also trigger a need for a more thorough review.
While some candidates and drivers report relatively quick turnaround times for their reports, it is not unusual to wait several weeks for your background results. If you’re waiting to reactivate a Lyft account, any delays, especially continuous delays, in running background checks, can feel like forever. Most importantly, delays can also add up to very real financial and emotional consequences. Delays in getting back to work can be compounded if you end up having to sue Lyft for deactivation due to errors.
What’s the difference between a “suspended” and a “deactivated” account?
If you are researching “Lyft suspended my driver account,” you will be happy to know that being suspended and deactivated are not the same. With either a Lyft account suspended or deactivated, the net effect is that you lose access to the driver platform and can no longer accept service.
There are two key distinctions between suspension and deactivation.
- The reasons that trigger the action differ. According to Lyft, suspensions occur for relatively minor concerns, such as above-average cancellation rates or paperwork that is not timely renewed and just needs an update. Deactivations occur for more significant concerns like safety issues, repetitive policy violations, or customer accusations of inappropriate behavior. Even a single incident of certain events, such as driving with a suspended license while at Lyft (or prior), can result in a deactivation.
- The degree of permanency differs. If your Lyflt account is suspended, you are simply placed on a temporary hold, but your account can be reinstated. If your Lyft account is deactivated, it is considered a permanent bar to access work through the platform.
Your Lyft Account Has Been Suspended
Lyft will inform you of any account status updates via email. So, if you are suspended, you will receive an email stating, “Your driver account has been suspended.” Similarly, if your removal from the platform is intended to be permanent, the account status email will state, “Your driver account has been deactivated.”
What can cause Lyft driver suspensions and deactivations?
There are two background-related reasons that a Lyft driver account is disabled or denied upon application. The first is when something shows up on an employment-related background check that renders the driver ineligible under the Lyft guidelines. The second is when something shows up on a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) check that renders the driver ineligible under the Lyft guidelines.
Background Check Reports
A potential candidate is denied access to the platform, or a Lyft driver account is disabled when a background check report contains information that renders a driver ineligible under Lyft’s posted policies, including:
At any time:
- being a registered sex offender and/or being convicted of a sexual offense like rape, sexual assault, or child pornography.
- being convicted of a disqualifying violent crime, such as homicide and kidnapping. Lyft identifies a list of included crimes, and the language suggests the list is not exhaustive and may include additional violent crimes as well.
- being convicted of an act of terror. Though Lyft doesn’t give examples, the law recognizes numerous crimes as falling within this category and emphasizes the intent. The FBI, for instance, recognizes crimes committed in the name of terrorist organizations or with the intention of furthering an ideological goal as acts of terrorism.
Within the past 7 years, being convicted of a disqualifying offense such as:
- DUI/DWI offense
- fraud-related offense
- drug-related offense
- theft offense
- property damage offense
DMV Check Reports
A potential candidate is denied access to the platform, or a Lyft driver account is disabled when a DMV check report contains information that renders a driver ineligible under Lyft’s posted policies, including:
Within the past three years:
- 4+ moving violations of a certain type, such as accidents and traffic light violations.
- 1+ moving violations of a certain type, such as reckless driving or driving with a suspended license.
Within the past seven years:
- DUI/DWI or related violations
- Being convicted of serious driven offenses, such as a hit-and-run
Lyft buys its DMV check reports from a different company called Safety Holding, Inc. This company gathers data about each driver from various sources, and these reports are also known to contain errors sometimes.
Lyft explains that driver accounts are deactivated for many reasons, including passenger complaints about behavior that violates Lyft’s policies, including the posted Community Guidelines. These guidelines detail the reciprocal expectations for driver and client engagement. In the event that your account has been deactivated for something along these lines and you’ve unsuccessfully disputed the allegations with Lyft, it may still be beneficial to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable Lyft deactivation lawyer to assess whether you have grounds to reactivate your Lyft account.
What to do if your Lyft account is deactivated
If your Lyft driver account is deactivated, there are steps you can take to attempt to get your account reinstated.
- Know the reason that your account was deactivated.
This sounds easier than it sometimes is. There are reports of Lyft deactivating accounts while providing limited or vague information about the reason for doing so. If Lyft has not made the reason clear in its direct communications with you, contact Lyft to learn the reason. To reactivate your Lyft account, you have to know why it was disabled in the first place.
- Dispute the decision.
Once you understand the reason that your Lyft driver account is deactivated, follow any procedures that Lyft requires to dispute the decision. You may have to contact Lyft directly a number of times to do so. Initial contact is typically made through the Lyft website or App, which allows drivers to message support, leave a callback phone number, and request help.
- Request a copy of any relevant report.
If you discover that your background check report (or DMV check report) was flagged for having a disqualifying fact, request a copy of the report. The federal government protects a job applicant or employee’s right to know whether they’ve been turned down or let go due to information in a background report. Specifically, Lyft must tell you if the decision was due to facts revealed in a background report and provide you with contact information for Checkr or Safety Holding (name, address, phone number). Employer Background Checks and Your Rights | Consumer Advice.
- Dispute any errors in your background check report.
See below - How to dispute a Lyft background check.
How to dispute a Lyft background check
- Contact a Lyft Deactivation Attorney.
At this stage, most consumer lawyers will determine if the inaccurate reporting that caused your deactivation violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act and will help guide you on how to dispute the report.
- Review reports in detail.
Go over every line of your report in detail, making note of every instance of inaccurate or false information. Errors on background check reports happen all the time. Data relating to another person with a similar name, birth date, or social security number might be mixed into your report. Criminal records might not accurately reflect charges, convictions, expungements, or dates. Identity theft may have occurred. Even something as simple as typos can cause a problem.
Mark, explain, and document every single error. Don’t worry if you don’t know why the errors were reported. It’s not your responsibility to solve the mystery, it’s the reporting company’s responsibility.
- Dispute errors.
Provide Checkr or Safety Holding with all of the documentation and evidence necessary to verify that the information is incorrect. Follow the procedures that they tell you for filing and following up on the dispute. If they insist that they have investigated and the information is correct, contact a Lyft deactivation lawyer.
- Inform Lyft.
Once you’ve identified the errors and filed a formal dispute with the reporting company, let Lyft know and request that they reactivate your Lyft account. It likely won’t happen, but it’s best to keep all parties informed.
- Take notes.
If you’re stuck in the loop of battling consumer reporting companies and the companies who furnish them with data, it can be frustrating, stressful, and time-consuming. From the first time you contact Lyft, take detailed notes about every contact you make (phone calls, emails, letters) with all parties. Summarize conversations, including names, dates, and documents provided. Keep track of any financial and emotional impact you and your dependents experience, such as unpaid bills, missed payments, late rent, and sleepless nights.
- Contact a Lyft deactivation attorney if you haven’t done so already.
If your dispute isn’t resolved within 30 days or is never resolved, and you haven’t done so already, contact an attorney. Notably, Consumer Attorneys provides legal services for representing clients in background report disputes with Lyft and other companies with no out-of-pocket fees to our clients. Consumer Attorneys.
Can I sue Lyft for deactivating my account?
A Lyft deactivation lawsuit is absolutely one of the tools available to you if your Lyft driver account is disabled due to inaccurate or false information in an employment-related background check report. While you can sometimes sue Lyft itself for deactivating your account (for example, if they fail to provide you with an adverse action notice), normally the reason you’ve been deactivated has more to do with the actions of the background check company. It is also important to keep in mind that in some instances a failed background check or a Lyft driver account deactivation is reasonable under the law, though there are many instances in which it is not.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act and Lyft Background Checks
The federal government, through the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), regulates the gathering, reviewing, provision, and use of the data that goes into employment-related background check reports. Importantly, the law requires that companies like Checkr “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy” in the preparation of consumer reports, including employment-related background checks. 15 U.S. Code § 1681e - Compliance procedures.
Under the FCRA, if erroneous or inaccurate information is reported in your background check and the responsible parties are not acting to correct the errors, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against Lyft, Checkr, or any of the other companies furnishing inaccurate data about you.
Can a Lyft driver lawyer help me reactivate my driver account?
If your Lyft driver account was disabled due to background report errors, the answer is almost always yes- a Lyft deactivation lawyer can help. If you’ve attempted to correct the errors yourself by contacting and notifying the parties involved, and you feel like no one is being responsive, then consulting a lawyer is a wise choice.
When nothing is being done to correct the errors, your career, livelihood, family, and financial future are in jeopardy. Knowing how to sue Lyft as a driver means understanding your rights and the company’s obligations under the law, which makes an experienced lawyer a valuable resource.
Contact Consumer Attorneys for Help
At Consumer Attorneys, this is our area of expertise. We can help reactivate your Lyft account, repair your reputation, fix any financial damage you sustained, compensate you for the tangible or emotional harm you endured, and correct your background report so the errors don’t follow you for years to come.
As a highly experienced and knowledgeable consumer protection law firm, Consumer Attorneys has successfully helped thousands of clients navigate the legal landscape of false, inaccurate, and erroneous information on employment background check reports. Our skilled attorneys will listen to your story, gather the facts, and advise you about the best steps forward, which may include a Lyft deactivation lawsuit. We don’t get paid unless you win, and all of our costs are covered by the companies we sue.
As America’s largest consumer reporting law firm, we practice at the leading edge of consumer protection, and our results speak for themselves. If you’re caught in the web of consumer reporting errors and considering a lawsuit against Lyft and the reporting companies Lyft uses- call, email, or chat with us today at Consumer Attorneys.
We’ll help you reactivate your Lyft account and get back to your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I sue Lyft for deactivation?
You can’t simply sue Lyft for deactivation. It depends on why your Lyft driver account is disabled and how the situation is handled by all parties. If errors in your employment-related background check are the reason for the deactivation, then a lawsuit may be appropriate. However, the legally responsible parties are the ones gathering, reviewing, and providing the background information, such as Checkr. For your part, follow the right steps to dispute any errors and provide the necessary documentation. If the consumer reporting companies refuse to correct the errors, then you can sue for violations of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If there is a different reason for your deactivation, then the facts will determine whether a lawsuit is appropriate
How can I sue Lyft as a driver?
If an employment-related background report is the reason your Lyft driver account was disabled or your application was denied, you may be able to sue the companies that provided the report. First, confirm the reason for the deactivation. Second, request a copy of the report and the contact information of the consumer reporting company that provided it. Third, review the report in detail to identify all errors (birth date, name, debts, criminal history, etc.). Fourth, contact a consumer attorney to help review the erroneous report, evaluate possible claims, and help you dispute the inaccurate information in line with the reporting company’s procedures and in light of the applicable law.
What does Lyft's background check look for?
The Lyft background check is run through a consumer reporting company called Checkr, which runs checks for drugs, credit, employment, education, references, and criminal history (county, state, and federal). The report also includes data about driving records, sex offender status, social security number tracing, and global watchlist status. Lyft then determines whether any of the data reported in your background check makes you ineligible to be a driver on the platform according to its stated policies. How long does it take to run a Lyft background check? Anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on the complexity of the background check and whether there are any delays in gathering information.
Can a driver get banned from Lyft?
Yes. In accordance with Lyft’s stated policies, drivers whose background check report contains information that renders them ineligible to use the rideshare platform can be banned. In addition, drivers with reported incidents of behavior that violate Lyft’s community guidelines can also be banned. Typically, community guideline violations are tracked through passenger complaints and incident reports. Bans are not always permanent. If your Lyft driver account is disabled, it may still be eligible for reactivation, depending on the reason for the ban. If the reason for the ban is unclear or if you dispute the reason, contact Lyft for clarity or to request reinstatement of your account.