Lyft adds new features to help address safety concerns

Ridesharing company Lyft is beefing up its driver background check process with two new features the company says are intended to improve the safety and security of its platform.

The company is expanding its background check process to include continuous criminal monitoring and enhancing their identify verification process.

Before giving a ride, all Lyft drivers must pass a criminal background check. This background check includes a Social Security number trace, a nationwide criminal search, a county court records search, a federal criminal search, as well as a U.S. Department of Justice 50-state sex offender registry search. To remain on the platform, Lyft requires all active drivers to pass another background check at least every 12 months.

Lyft said expanding the background check will provide daily monitoring of its active drivers and immediate notification of any disqualifying criminal convictions. Any driver who does not pass both the annual and continuous screenings will be barred from our platform.

Lyft's new, enhanced identity verification process will combine driver's license verification and photographic identity verification to prevent identity fraud on the platform.

Potentially, fraudulent drivers will be required to provide evidence that they are carrying the approved driver’s license as well as a real-time photo of their face, which will be used to verify that the driver’s identity is authentic.

Current security/safety features for Lyft include:

- All individuals applying to drive with Lyft must submit a valid driver's license, Social Security number, and vehicle insurance.
- Certain serious convictions, including for violent crimes and sexual offenses, will result in disqualification from the Lyft platform. Lyft does not allow drivers on the platform whose background check results include: violent crimes, sexual offenses, and other disqualifying felonies.

- Strict driving standards that prohibit drivers who have more than three minor violations in the past three years (like accidents or traffic light violations), a major violation in the past three years (such as driving on a suspended license or reckless driving), a DUI or other drug-related driving violation in the last seven years, or any driving-related convictions in the last seven years (such as hit-and-run or felonies involving a vehicle). Driving record checks are re-run at least annually, and any driver who does not pass these checks is deactivated from the platform.