Applying to deliver for DoorDash is an incredibly simple and quick process, but some drivers find themselves on the DoorDash waitlist. It’s frustrating if you’re ready to make extra money, but the waitlist manages the pool of drivers so there are enough orders to go around.
DoorDash is the largest food delivery service in the U.S., controlling nearly 60% of the U.S. market share. It's obviously a very popular choice for consumers and gig workers. Today, we’re going to explain how the waitlist works, how long it takes, and what to do while you wait.
What Is the DoorDash Waitlist?
The DoorDash waitlist is a way to manage the pool of drivers who sign up to deliver. While the DoorDash sign-up process is very straightforward, there are times when prospective drivers get waitlisted, and this can happen for a couple of reasons:
- Driver oversaturation: If the market you sign up to drive in has too many active drivers, DoorDash will waitlist new applicants until spots open. DoorDash uses data about the number of drivers in a specific area and the number of orders to assess whether or not they can accept new drivers. The goal is to have enough orders for all of their drivers.
- Market availability: This is less likely to happen because DoorDash has seen significant growth in the past few years, but if DoorDash isn’t available in your area, you’ll be waitlisted until DoorDash moves to your area.
DoorDash doesn’t have any official statements or information about their waitlist, but there are plenty of reports about it from current drivers and those who are still waiting to hear back.
If a driver is waitlisted, it comes after they’ve applied and have been approved to drive.
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How Long is the DoorDash Waitlist?
There’s no official length of time for the DoorDash waitlist. It varies by market because it’s how DoorDash manages the pool of drivers in each market.
When there is a normal need for drivers, it typically takes 3-5 days to get approved. In large cities, the waitlist is pretty short because there’s high demand and high turnover. But in smaller cities and rural areas, the waitlist can be much longer because there’s not a high need to begin with. However, this isn’t always the case!
We checked Reddit to see what kind of waitlist times drivers are experiencing, and here’s what we found:
- One month on the waitlist in the Oakland/Berkeley area in California
- Eleven months on the waitlist in the Los Angeles area
- No waitlist in St. Louis
- No waitlist in New York City
There have even been reports of drivers waiting up to two years, but this is very uncommon.
It’s really important to understand that the waitlist is constantly in flux. Many drivers find other jobs while they’re waiting, but their name remains on the waitlist. DoorDash will still contact those people, but they may not be interested in driving, which pushes new drivers up closer to the top of the list.
How To Get off the DoorDash Waitlist?
If you want off the DoorDash waitlist because you’re no longer interested in driving, you have two options:
- Deactivate your account: You will need to contact DoorDash support and ask them to deactivate your account. It will pull you off the waitlist, but you will need to contact DoorDash support again if you ever want to reapply.
- Unsubscribe from emails: This technically won’t take you off the list, but it will prevent you from receiving more emails from DoorDash. To unsubscribe, simply open any email from DoorDash and click the “Unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the email.
- Ignore the waitlist: Maybe an unpopular opinion, but having your name sit on the waitlist does no harm. It doesn’t prevent you from taking other jobs or applying for other food delivery services.
Checking Your DoorDash Waitlist Status
Because there’s no official waitlist, DoorDash doesn’t give you a simple way to check where you’re at. You can't see your place in line. You have to wait for an email notification from DoorDash, and this can be frustrating.
However, there are a few things you can do to check on your application status:
- Confirm that you’ve completed the application: While unlikely, there’s a chance you missed a step in the application process. You can visit doordash.com/dash and click the “Already started signing up?” link to verify you’ve completed your application. If you haven’t, you’ll be taken to the next step.
- Check your background check status: The waitlist and background check are different things, but remember that your background check can take anywhere from 5-7 days. DoorDash uses a third-party consumer reporting agency called Checkr, and if they are backed up, your application may take longer than 5-7 days. U.S residents can check their status here, and Canadian applicants will need to email [email protected].
- Check your emails: Once you’ve completed the activation step and the background check, there’s a chance DoorDash will need more information from you. It’s unlikely, but check your emails to see if they need more details.
What To Do While You’re on the DoorDash Waitlist
It’s incredibly frustrating to be waitlisted, but the good news is that you have lots of other options. Sure, you can wait it out, but if you need to make extra money fast, waiting it out won’t cut it.
Here’s what you can do while you wait to hear back from DoorDash:
1. Sign up in another market
Depending on where you live, one option is to reapply using a different zip code. Because market availability is a huge factor used to assess the need for drivers, applying to drive in another market is a simple workaround. It’s not guaranteed, but if you’re set on DoorDash, it’s worth a try.
The downside is that driving in another city will require more fuel and add to your driver expenses.
2. Apply for another food delivery service
DoorDash is one of several food delivery services, and we highly recommend alternatives like Instacart and Shipt. These two specialize in grocery delivery, and pay is similar at $15-$20/hour. Shipt and Instacart drivers can choose their hours, and the sign-up process and requirements are nearly identical to DoorDash’s.
3. Explore other side hustles
DoorDash isn’t the only gig out there, and you have more choices than you probably realize, including:
- Proofreading: If you have a love for reading and can spot a misplaced comma from a mile away, proofreading is a flexible side hustle that you can do from home and make $15-$40/hour. Check out Proofreading Launchpad to learn more.
- Walk dogs and/or pet sit: This is an excellent gig for pet lovers, and you can make around $25 per walk and up to $70 a night for pet sitting. We recommend signing up for Rover, which is a platform where pet owners can find caregivers in their area. There is a one-time fee of $35 to create a profile and get started.
- Run Facebook and Instagram ads: You can make $1,000-$2,000/month running social media ads for small businesses. Surprisingly, you don’t need a background in marketing to get started. Learn more at the Facebook Side Hustle Course.
- Clean houses: Okay, not the most glamorous gig, but you can make $20-$50/hour. Care.com is an excellent place to start looking for house cleaning clients in your area. Learn more in Where to Find House Cleaning Jobs.
- Take online surveys: Not the highest-paying option, but online surveys are one of the easiest ways to make a little extra cash. We recommend Branded Surveys and Survey Junkie, where you can make $1-$3 per survey. There’s no fee to sign up, and you can cash out when you have $5 in your account.
For even more options, check out our list of Best Side Hustles for 2022.
The Final Word on the DoorDash Waitlist
Being put on the waitlist isn’t the end of the world. It may take one week, two weeks, or even months before DoorDash gives you the greenlight to start driving. Remember, the waitlist is there to ensure that there are enough orders to go around. Without it, drivers would see fewer orders and make less money.
There’s no way to bypass the waitlist. You can reapply using a different zip code, and if that zip code has availability, then you should be approved to drive sooner.
Yes, DoorDash does reject applicants, and there are two reasons: you’ve failed the background check or you don’t meet the requirements. If you’re rejected because of the background check and believe you should have been approved, you can file a dispute and submit more information.
The DoorDash application process only takes a few minutes to complete, and it involves consenting to a background check through a third-party company called Checkr. The background check typically takes 5-7 days, but if DoorDash needs drivers in your area, they may expedite the background check, and you can go from application to driving in about a week.