Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Applying, part of Starting Your Career in the On-Demand Economy.
- OK, so once you have your documentation on hand you can start the application process to become an Uber driver. You can begin at Uber.com, and then click the 'Become a Driver' button. Here you can read some basic things about being a driver. But there's nothing really deep here. They're just getting across that you can make money, set your own schedule, and be your own boss. At the top, notice that they are explicit in stating that you'll be doing so as an independent contractor. So start by filling out this information. Now I'm actually already an Uber driver, so I'm just using a temporary email address for this example, but be sure to enter the email address where you'll want to receive all driver-related communications from Uber.
If you already have an Uber rider account, you can use that email address, or you can use a separate email address for your driver account, if you like. It's totally up to you. Now I have to enter the city in which I intend to drive. This is important because Uber has to be operating in a city in order for you to drive there. Also once you've established your driver account in your area, that's the only place where you'll be authorized to pick up riders. You can take riders outside of your town or city, as far away as they or you are willing to go. But you can only pick riders up in the city in which you're registered. Once you start typing your city, if you don't see it show up, you won't be able to drive in that area.
If you have an invite code from another driver, be sure to enter it here so they can receive their bonus if you end up becoming a driver and completing the required number of trips. I'll just say I heard about them at 'other'. Now if the car you intend to drive is a licensed taxi or livery vehicle, you can check this box here, but most likely you'll be driving your own car. And I'll click 'next'. OK so currently I can see that Uber is running a promotion where you can earn $500 for inviting friends to become drivers. If you see a similar offer, you might want to take a minute to enter the email addresses of some friends whom you think might be interested in driving.
Of course, it's common courtesy to check with those friends first before sharing their info. I'm just going to skip that for now. So on the left side here we see what's basically a checklist of steps that need to be completed. The first item is vehicle information. Vehicle requirements vary from city to city, but here in Harrisburg, the car has to be a 2005 model or later, it has to have at least four doors, and it can't have been salvaged. If your vehicle meets these basic requirements, make sure this box is checked and then click 'continue'.
So we can see a check-mark appears next to 'vehicle information'. And now we're looking at the background check area. Here you have to enter your social security number, and agree to have a background check run. I do recommend that you take the time to read the disclosures down here, so you can fully understand the details. Now if you're entering your social security number, you can check this box, to acknowledge that you have agreed and understood the background check information. And you can also scroll down and check to receive a free copy of your background check report. When I applied to be a driver I received five different background check reports, showing that they'd run me through databases like federal and local criminal records, motor vehicle reports, and others.
And then you can click 'continue' when you're ready. Now I don't want to enter a fake social security number here so I can't show you the rest of these steps, but after this, you'll be asked to fill in information about your car, like its year, make and model, and that's when you'll have to upload photos of your driver's license, proof of insurance, and your inspection sticker if you're driving in a state that requires vehicle inspections. As I mentioned earlier, if your state doesn't require inspections, Uber will send you to a local authorized mechanic to get your vehicle checked out, which runs you $20 and you'll need to upload their report when you receive it. But that's pretty much it. After that, you'll receive a link where you can download a special driver application app to your smartphone, so you can check on the progress of your application.
In my experience it took nearly three weeks until all the background checks were run and my documentation was confirmed. So you'll have to be patient. You'll also be asked to click on the welcome video link here to watch a brief video outlining how to drive for Uber. Once you do get approved, you'll receive an email and you'll be able to download the Uber driver app to your smartphone, which is the app you'll use to receive rider requests and also to manage your account. That's the basic process for applying to be an Uber driver.
Garrick Chow explains the basic structures of the on-demand economy and the skills and characteristics of successful on-demanders, so you can determine if on-demand work is the right fit for you. Then learn about the time commitment and expectations around pay, what the employer provides, and what one can expect from clients. Garrick then discusses tools to keep you organized, including how to best track income and expenses.
Finally, the course offers tips and tricks and a case study based on the author's firsthand experience as an Uber driver.
- Preparing to work on demand
- Managing expectations from on-demand clients
- Tracking expenses and mileage
- Optimizing your income
- Getting support online
- Case study: Becoming an Uber driver
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 05/26/2017. What changed?
A: A new video was added that explains how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for on-demand work.