So you want to learn how to become a DoorDash driver? That’s awesome — DoorDash is a flexible way to make extra money if you want a side hustle, need to replace lost income, or want a part-time job. And it's one of the fastest growing delivery apps.
In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about how to become a DoorDash driver, including:
- 5 important thing every new DoorDash driver needs to know
- How the sign-up process works
- Driver requirements
- What to expect after signing up to become a DoorDash driver
Become a DoorDash Driver
DoorDash is the largest food delivery service in the U.S., and they are always looking for new drivers who want a flexible side hustle.
It takes 5 minutes to apply for DoorDash!
Why You Should Become a DoorDash Driver
There are many benefits to becoming a DoorDash driver if you're looking for a flexible side hustle, such as:
- Work flexible hours that you choose for yourself
- Make extra money to work toward your financial goals
- Bring in extra income to build up your emergency savings
- Replace income if you've lost a job
- Minimal requirements making it a solid side hustle for all sort of people
5 Things to Know About Becoming a DoorDash Driver
1. How Much DoorDash Drivers Make
Doordash drivers are paid per delivery, not a flat hourly rate, and keep 100% of your tips.
You are paid a different amount for every order you accept and deliver. DoorDash uses a formula to determine how much each driver makes, which is base pay + promotions + tips.
Base pay ranges anywhere from $2-$10 per order. Smaller, easier orders fall lower on that range, while more expensive orders and ones with a higher difficulty level have a higher base pay. You can see base pay, promotions, and your tip before choosing to accept any orders.
2. Is DoorDash Safe for Drivers?
Yes, DoorDash is a legitimate company that takes safety seriously. The company has features like SafeDash that includes a safety reassurance call and an emergency assistance button. Drivers are also encouraged not to accept any deliveries that make them feel unsafe, and there are health safety features in place like contactless delivery that keep both drivers and customers safe.
3. When DoorDash Drivers Work
There are no minimum or maximum hours that you must work to become a Dasher, and DoorDash has two options for making your schedule:
- Schedule a shift: You can schedule blocks of hours up to five or six days in advance if you know your availability.
- Dash Now: You can log into the DoorDash driver app and see if it's busy in your area. If it is, you, you can hop on and start driving immediately. The map in the DoorDash driver app lights up and says "Dash Now" if this option is available.
Theoretically, if a restaurant is serving food at 1 a.m., then you can deliver food for one of their customers. This kind of flexibility is what we look for in a side hustle!
4. How Long It Takes to Become a DoorDash Driver
It takes approximately five minutes to fill out the DoorDash application. You'll then need to consent to a background check, which takes two days on average, and you can start driving as soon as you're approved in most markets.
If there's an oversaturation of drivers in your area, it can take longer, and DoorDash will waitlist you until there's an opening for drivers. You'll be notified in the app as soon as you can start delivering
5. How To Make the Most Money With DoorDash
Here are the tips you'll hear from veteran DoorDash drivers:
- Focus on larger orders: Because you get to see how much every order is worth before you accept it, you can be picky. Many drivers focus on high-dollar orders to maximize their earnings. Larger orders generally have a higher base pay and tip.
- Be willing to drive during meal times: This is when the app is busiest, so you're more likely to see high base pay amounts and PeakPay bonuses.
- Avoid traffic: Sitting in traffic will quickly burn through your hourly average. DoorDash gives you a directions for pick-up and delivery, but using an app like Waze can help you find the best route.
- Fit DoorDash into your weekly routine: You can pick-up an order on your way home from work. Squeeze in a delivery while you're running errands on Saturday. Grab your partner and go for a date-night delivery — yes, you can deliver for DoorDash with other people in the car!
Requirements to Become a DoorDash driver
DoorDash driver requirements:
- Must be 18 or older and meet the minimum driving age in your city
- Have access to a car, scooter, or bicycle in some cities
- Have a driver’s license number
- Have auto insurance
- Clean driving record
- Social security number if delivering in the U.S.
- Complete a background check
DoorDash Background Check
Everyone who wants to become a DoorDash driver will have to agree to and complete a criminal background check. The point is to ensure the safety and security of customers and other drivers. DoorDash uses a third-party company called Checkr to review your personal records for any potential criminal convictions.
Learn more in DoorDash Background Check FAQs.
You will have to consent to the background check when you sign up to become a DoorDash driver, and Checkr uses your Social Security number, name, and address to run the check. They’re looking for offenses that have happened within at least the past seven years.
Consenting to the background check also means that DoorDash can disqualify you during the sign-up process.
Here’s a list of offenses that may disqualify you from DoorDash:
- Sexual offenses
- Personal property damage
- Violent crimes
Vehicle Requirements to Become a DoorDash Driver
There are no vehicle requirements to become a DoorDash driver other than having a clean driving record and vehicle insurance. You can even deliver via bicycle in some busy urban areas.
No vehicle requirements mean you can drive a sedan, 2-door, truck, van, SUV, etc. Your vehicle can be any make, model, or year. And it can be in any condition, although having a reliable vehicle will obviously be helpful.
Having no vehicle requirements makes DoorDash incredibly accessible, much more so than Uber or Lyft that do have specific vehicle standards for drivers.
DoorDash Insurance Requirements
While DoorDash has a commercial auto insurance policy for drivers, you are required to carry and maintain your own insurance while driving for DoorDash. The amount and type of insurance you need varies by state law, but the minimum is an auto insurance policy.
DoorDash’s commercial policy covers up to $1,000,000 in bodily injury and/or property damage to third parties, but the accident must meet these two conditions for coverage to apply:
- You’re on ACTIVE delivery for DoorDash
- Your personal auto policy has denied your claim
Active delivery starts when you’ve accepted a delivery request and ends once your customer receives their order. You’re not covered under DoorDash’s policy if you’re just online and waiting for deliveries.
Many drivers opt into additional rideshare insurance to cover any potential gaps in coverage, and that can cost around $15/month.
How to Become a DoorDash Driver in 6 Steps
To become a Dasher (what DoorDash calls drivers), there’s a 6-step sign-up process. The process is simple, and it generally takes around 5-10 days to be fully approved and start driving.
Step 1: Open the DoorDash sign-up page here to complete your Dasher profile
Just click on that link, and you’ll enter your zip code, email address, and phone number to get your profile started.
Step 2: Submit your profile
DoorDash asks for your full legal name and a password to submit your profile. Remember your password so you can log into your profile and check the status of your account.
Step 3: Enter information about your vehicle
If you plan on driving (you can deliver via bicycle or scooter in some markets), you need to enter your vehicle’s make, model, and color. You will also need to click a box agreeing that you have vehicle insurance.
Step 4: Submit a background check
DoorDash asks you to consent to a third-party background check, and you’ll need to enter your driver’s license number and Social Security number to get the process started. If you’re driving, DoorDash also does a motor vehicle check.
Waiting on the background check is the longest part of the process. DoorDash says it takes 5-7 days, but many DoorDash drivers say it takes 5-10. This depends on the demand for drivers and how many people are going through the background check process at a time.
Step 5: Link your bank account information
After your background check is complete, you will link your bank account using your routing and account number. DoorDash asks for this information so they can pay you, and DoorDash pays every week.
If you want to get paid quickly, you can use DoorDash's Fast Pay feature that lets you cash out whenever you want for $1.99 each time.
Step 6: Start driving
You’ll need to complete your first delivery before DoorDash will send you a Welcome Kit, which includes a Red Card (how you pay for certain orders) and an insulated hot bag. DoorDash asks you to fill out a W-9 for tax purposes and for your address so they can send the kit.
DoorDash says you can continue accepting and making deliveries even before you receive your Welcome Kit.
What to Expect After Applying for DoorDash
Applying to become a DoorDash driver means you’re almost there, and now it’s just a waiting game. Below are a few things to know about what comes next.
How long it takes to be approved by DoorDash
DoorDash says it takes 5-7 business days to fully complete the process and be approved to start driving, but most drivers are reporting that the process can take up to 10 business days. It’s the background check that takes the longest, and you can log into your DoorDash profile and see where you’re at in the process.
How you’ll know if you’ve been approved or denied
DoorDash will send you an email either way, so you’ll know for sure if you’ve been approved to become a Dasher or not. They’ll also send you information that will help you get started, and you can start accepting orders and making deliveries right away.
What if you’re waitlisted?
When DoorDash is experiencing an influx of drivers, they may waitlist you, but this is less common these day. DoorDash does it to prevent the market from getting oversaturated. While being waitlisted can feel like a bummer, it’s really a good thing. You don’t want an oversaturated driver market because there are fewer orders, and fewer orders = less money. It’s just that simple.
What if you’re denied?
Unfortunately, some people who sign up to become DoorDash drivers will be denied. If you’re denied and have a clean record, you can ask for a free copy of the background check. It’s your legal right to access the report, and you can dispute it through Checkr (the company DoorDash uses to run background checks).
It’s possible there was a mistake, and sometimes it’s even as simple as a blurry photo of your driver’s license.
About the DoorDash Activation Kit
DoorDash used to do in-person orientations, but now drivers can request an Activation Kit once they’ve completed their first delivery. Here’s what the DoorDash Activation Kit includes:
- Insulated bag for hot deliveries
- Red Card, which is how you pay for orders that can’t be paid for through the DoorDash app
- Getting started manual
DoorDash says it takes 1-4 days to receive your kit in the mail, and you can start accepting orders in the app and making deliveries while you wait.
The DoorDash app has all of the information you need to learn how to become a DoorDash driver, including driver onboarding. Most drivers find the process really intuitive overall, so there’s a good chance you’ll do fine without the Activation Kit.
Pros and Cons of Becoming a DoorDash Driver
The Final Word on How to Become a DoorDash Driver
Delivering for Doordash is a great side hustle if you want to make extra money, but it's also a solid option if you need to replace lost income. Overall, DoorDash is extremely flexible and many drivers genuinely enjoy the fast pace and ability to work on their own time.
Because of the flexibility, DoorDash is a great option for:
- Working parents
- College students
- Anyone who wants a low commitment way to make extra money.
Once you’ve sign-up to become a DoorDash driver, my top tip is to be patient. I know you’re looking forward to making money, but it will take a few days to hear back from DoorDash.
In the meantime, check out this detailed list of 20 best ways to make extra money if you want even more ideas.
Customers place orders in the DoorDash app, and DoorDash drivers accept them. The app tells you exactly where to go to pick up the order, any special order instructions, and where to deliver the order. Most of the time orders are already paid for, but DoorDash will provide you with a prepaid card in case the order isn’t paid for in advance.
How much you make is based on the Dasher pay model, which is base pay + promotions + tips = total earnings. The base pay for drivers is $2-$10 per order and factors in time, distance, and desirability of every order that comes through the app.
Driving for DoorDash is a decent way to make extra money. Unlike most part-time jobs, you have the flexibility to pick your own hours, which definitely adds to the appeal.
It takes around 5-10 days on average to become a DoorDash driver. The sign-up process is the easiest part and takes less than 15 minutes, but most of the waiting is spent waiting for the background check to clear.
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