Vehicle and Driver Requirements For Uber and Lyft in Texas 

Today, Uber and Lyft are household names and synonymous with rideshare taxi services in Dallas. These and other transportation network companies (TNCs) have revolutionized the way Texans get around town. Still, as with any vehicle, traffic accidents can happen with a rideshare service. Rideshare accidents now account for many of the auto crashes each year in Texas.

To protect the public, both companies and state and local governments have instituted policies, laws, and regulations for drivers and their vehicles. Although nothing can prevent all rideshare accidents, these laws and rules can lessen the risks of such accidents and help victims get compensation for their injuries. 

Qualifying Vehicles For Uber and Lyft

As you might imagine, Uber and Lyft don’t let just any vehicle become part of their fleets. Both companies have tight requirements for driver vehicles. These requirements aim to help ensure safety and maintain a specific image. Each company requires a certain level and look of the vehicle to give a clean impression.

To be part of the Lyft Fleet, a vehicle must comply with the following requirements:

  • Is not older than 2010
  • Has five to eight seats
  • Has four doors
  • Is not a limousine or taxi
  • Is not titled under a non-repairable, rebuilt, or salvage title

Additionally, vehicles must be in proper working order. This means every essential function of the vehicle works, such as blinkers, brakes, and headlights. In select areas, would-be drivers can rent vehicles approved by Lyft.

Uber allows vehicles to be 16 years old or newer and also requires four doors, no cosmetic damage, and no commercial branding. A vehicle must pass an inspection with Uber as well, during which all systems of the vehicle are tested for functionality. 

Qualifying As an Uber or Lyft Driver

Drivers face similar requirements for qualifying as an Uber or Lyft driver. 

Both companies require:

  • Compliance with minimum age requirements according to each city
  • Possession of an in-state license
  • Driving record background check
  • Criminal background check

Regarding age requirements, Lyft requires its drivers to be at least 25 years old in Texas. Although some states have a requirement of one year of licensed experience, Texas does not. 

Criminal History

There are various automatic disqualifying results of the driver and criminal background checks, including:

  • A history of committing violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, or robbery
  • Sexual offenses, such as rape, child pornography, or sexual assault
  • A listing on the National Sex Offender Registry Database
  • Acts of terror
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) within the previous seven years 
  • Certain fraud offenses within the previous seven years
  • Certain drug offenses within the previous seven years
  • Certain theft or property offenses within the past seven years

Other offenses may be disqualifying. Both companies also firmly reserve the right to dismiss a driver at any time and according to the law. To keep an eye on their drivers’ current conduct, Lyft and Uber require drivers to maintain an up-to-date background check on the platform. 

Driving History

A thorough DMV check is conducted on all drivers. 

Automatic disqualifiers include:

  • Four or more moving violations committed within the previous three years
  • A DUI
  • One serious driving conviction within the past seven years, such as a hit-and-run
  • One major moving violation within the past three years, such as driving with a suspended license

Once new drivers are completely onboarded, their driving activities are monitored for new violations. In the event a driver commits a violation, Uber and Lyft are notified, whether the driver is working or not. 

Lyft and Uber Vehicle Insurance Requirements

Texas has higher minimum insurance coverage requirements for rideshare drivers than for private drivers. Uber, Lyft, and any TNC must carry high-dollar policies for their drivers. Drivers, on the other hand, must only carry personal insurance but may be required to purchase minimum rideshare insurance, depending on the company.  

Requiring drivers to carry all of the rideshare insurance coverage in the amounts called for by Texas law would lead to a lack of drivers, as coverage requirements run up to $1 million. So, Lyft and Uber pay for the higher coverage.

Insurance and Driver Work Status

Coverage and compensation are based on the working status of the driver when they crash. There are four work statuses: Period 0, Period 1, and Period 2 and 3. 

Period 0

Period 0 occurs when the driver is not engaging with the rideshare app in any way. The app is turned off, and the driver is involved in other business. During Period 0, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy is in effect. 

Period 1

Once the driver logs into the rideshare app, they enter into Period 1. 

When in Period 1, Texas law requires the following minimum coverage:

  • $50,000 of bodily injury for each injury victim
  • $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 of property damage coverage per accident

During Period 1, drivers do not have passengers, nor are they en route to collect riders. They are, however, actively seeking fares. 

Periods 2 and 3

Period 2 occurs when a driver is en route to pick up a fare. The request is reflected in the application, and the driver is on their way. When the driver collects the rider, Period 3 begins. 

During Periods 2 and 3, the insurance requirements skyrocket up to $1 million per accident for bodily injury and property damage. Both companies also purchase underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage for their drivers, and Uber offers contingent collision under certain circumstances. 

Keep in mind that injury victims do not receive automatic compensation for their injuries. If you are injured in a rideshare accident and the rideshare driver is at fault, you will likely face certain pushback from the insurance company handling your case, especially if high-dollar compensation totals are on the table.  

To recover the compensation your injuries require, you need an experienced Texas rideshare accident lawyer to fight for what you are owed. 

Keeping Texas Drivers and Passengers Safe

Uber and Lyft requirements are in place to keep you and the rest of the public safe. They also serve to give you a viable path toward compensation for injuries you sustain in a rideshare accident. If a crash occurs, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced Dallas car accident lawyer for help obtaining compensation.

Contact Our Uber & Lyft Accidents Law Firm in Dallas, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Dallas, Texas, and need legal help, contact our Dallas Uber & Lyft accident lawyers at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers
2512 State St,
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 855-1420