You expect rideshare companies to take all the proper precautions when hiring drivers. While it's true background checks are performed on drivers, many complain that these don't go far enough to establish a person's full history or fitness. CNN explains how popular rideshare services like Uber and Lyft conduct their background checks.
Both companies use third-party services to conduct background checks on prospective drivers. While the exact processes can vary, in most cases checks use a person's social security number and public record searches to determine if there are any significant issues. For instance, Uber won't hire drivers with DUIs or serious moving violations within the last seven years. Felonies involving violent or sexual offenses also prevent drivers from being hired by the company.
Ultimately, each company uses their own discretion when reviewing the results of a background check. However, critics claim that these checks are not consistent, which can mean that a driver will be approved by one company but denied by another. Additionally, there are also discrepancies on how records are updated. While Lyft does re-rerun checks on a yearly basis, Uber does not. This could mean that drivers might have serious crimes on their records that the company is currently unaware of.
Some states have laws in place that call for thorough checks for all drivers, whether they work for a rideshare company or own a taxi. In the states that don't have these rules in place, the fear is that some individuals will fall through the cracks. That's why safety advocates call for thorough background checks for all drivers across the board. This can serve as an added safety net to rideshare companies by ensuring consumers are safe when using these popular services.