This page provides information about vehicle, driver, and document requirements, state regulations, insurance coverage, and city-specific requirements, needed to drive with Lyft in the state of Seattle, King County, & Tacoma.
If you're a driver anywhere else in Washington, visit this page instead.
What you need to drive with Lyft in Seattle, King County, & Tacoma
Drivers are required to maintain current documents. Failing to update a required document before the expiration date results in temporary deactivation.
Use your Lyft Driver app or Driver Dashboard to upload your documents. To add documents in the app, tap 'Account' in the main menu, then 'Documents.
2010 or newer with a valid FHP*
5-8 seats, including the driver's
Not a taxi, stretch limousine, or non-Express Drive rental vehicle
Not titled as salvage, non-repairable, rebuilt or any other equivalent classification
*Note: King County is suspending enforcement of vehicle age requirements until 2023.
In select cities, you can rent a car through Express Drive with standard insurance included. Rental vehicles must be rented through the Express Drive program to be approved for use on the Lyft platform.
*Active duty military applicants and their dependents can have an out-of-state driver's license and vehicle documents.
Required documents before being approved
The following insurance types are not accepted:
Documents you'll need after being approved
These items are required by local ordinance for all rideshare drivers in your area.
Additional documents to drive in nearby regions
Keep your registration, insurance, and driver’s license in your vehicle. The City of Seattle Business License, Defensive Driving Certificate, and City of Tacoma Business License (Tacoma only) can all be kept at home.
Washington vehicle registration
Drivers are required to upload a copy of their vehicle registration. It must be issued in Washington, unless active duty military.
Make sure your vehicle is inspection-ready. To save time, please check that it is cleaned out, all lights work, and ensure that your car has a spare tire and jack.
If you cannot make it to an inspection, you may visit one of the mechanics listed here and have this inspection form completed. Inspections typically cost around $50, but can vary depending on the facility. We recommend calling ahead to confirm price and availability.
Seattle For-hire Permit and renewal
All TNC drivers are required to carry a For-Hire Permit and display a TNC Vehicle Decal in Seattle, King County and SeaTac Airport.
Lyft will submit an application on your behalf for your For-Hire Permit and TNC Vehicle Decal. Once approved, Lyft will send you an email and text message letting you know your permit and decal have been issued and will be emailed to your email address on file.
Please note that For-Hire Permit applications can take up to 3 months to process. You are able to operate as a Lyft driver in Seattle and King County while your application is processing, but picking up passengers at SeaTac Airport may result in citations for lack of For-Hire Permit and/or TNC decal.
We will renew your for-hire permit on your behalf with King County. Make sure all of the following are up-to-date in your Lyft Driver app or Dashboard so we can process your application quickly:
Once your renewal for-hire permit has been issued, we will let you know when to pick it up from the King County Records and Licensing Services Office. Please note that for-hire permit applications can take up to 3 months to process and while you may continue driving in Seattle and King County until you hear from us regarding your application status, picking up passengers at SeaTac Airport may result in citations for lack of For-Hire Permit and/or TNC decal.
Seattle TNC vehicle decal
When you receive your For-Hire Permit from King County, you'll also be given a green TNC decal. This should be placed in your windshield and kept there at all times while in driver mode.
City of Seattle and Washington State Business License
All drivers in Seattle, King County, and Tacoma must obtain two unique business licenses: one for the City of Seattle and one for Washington State. You can apply online or through the mail.
City of Seattle business license
Defensive Driving Certificate
All drivers in Seattle and Tacoma are required to take the NSC Defensive Driving course. If you have previously completed the NSC Defensive Driving course, no need to take it again, simply upload your completion certificate to your Lyft Driver app or Dashboard. To add documents in the app, tap 'Account' in the main menu, then 'Documents.
Heads up: The course must be completed on a computer, and cannot be completed on a mobile phone.
If you have not previously completed the course, follow the instructions below:
Select "New Student," and then "New Student Registration."
Type in LYFTDDC as your access code and submit.
Choose a login ID and password on the registration page, and submit. NOTE: Make sure to use the phone number and email address linked with your Lyft account so we are able to verify your completion of the course.
On the “My Courses” page, select “Safety,” and then “NSC Defensive Driving 10th Edition R3.”
Complete the course, and upload your confirmation to your Lyft Driver app or Dashboard. If you've already taken the course and need help accessing your certificate, contact the course provider, Safety Serve, at 1-800-775-1484.
Defensive Driving certificate
All drivers are required to complete the online City of Seattle Quiz. You can access the quiz in the 'Tutorials' tab of your Lyft Driver app or Dashboard:
Go to your Account.
Tap 'Seattle Quiz'
We'll also email you the link after you're approved to drive.
The quiz takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and you'll need to score 80% to pass. The results will automatically be uploaded to your account upon completion. You'll receive an email with next steps shortly after passing the quiz.
TNC Driver Fitness Self-Certification
Washington drivers must self-certify they are physically and mentally fit to drive. You can self-certify in the app by opening the main menu and tapping 'Account,' then 'Documents.'
City of Tacoma Business License (Tacoma only)
City of Tacoma Business License (Tacoma only)
If you pick up passengers using the Lyft app in Everett, WA, you are required to get a local business license. You can apply online or through the mail. Find out more on the City of Everett's Website.
Thurston County Business Licenses (Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey, and Yelm)
If you pick up passengers using the Lyft app in Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey or Yelm you are required to get a local business license. You can apply online and learn more by following these links:
Display the following in your vehicle:
Drivers are required to display the Lyft emblem while in driver mode. The Lyft emblem is Lyft’s official trade dress. It helps passengers and law enforcement identify your vehicle.
Drivers are required by the City of Seattle to display the Lyft emblem (pictured below) while in driver mode. You'll receive your Lyft emblem at an inspection event or in the mail. The Lyft emblem should be displayed in the lower corner of your windshield on the passenger side every time you enter driver mode. Make sure to remove the emblem when you are not in driver mode.
If you didn't receive your emblem or need a new one, place an order in your Lyft Driver app or Dashboard. While waiting for it to arrive, you may print a temporary emblem.
Seattle, King County, & Tacoma driver regulations
Be sure to follow these rules when giving rides in Seattle, King County, & Tacoma, and keep an eye on your email for important updates from Lyft.
Hourly driver mode limits
Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST)
In compliance with the City of Seattle’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, you can now access paid sick and safe time (PSST) during the COVID-19 emergency. You will accrue one day of paid sick and safe time (PSST) for every 30 days that you give a ride in the City of Seattle.
You may use PSST for any reason covered by the ordinance, including to care for yourself or a family member for:
Physical or mental health conditions
Reasons related to domestic violence
Reasons related to sexual assault or stalking
If your family member’s school or place of care has closed
Paid sick and safe time eligibility
At this time, only drivers who give rides in Seattle are eligible for paid sick and safe time. Drivers may use PSST during a deactivation, unless they have been deactivated due to a verified allegation of sexual assault.
Accruing and using paid sick and safe time
Compensation for PSST is based on the average daily payout of your earnings on the days you worked in Seattle (during your highest earning calendar month since October 2019). This calculation includes all earnings related to your rides, including trip earnings, prime time and tips. Some earnings, like weekly ride challenges, will not show up until complete. This means earnings from the last week in each month may not be accounted for until after the first few days of the following month.
Any day in which you pick up or drop off a passenger in Seattle is counted toward accrual of PSST. You accrue one day of PSST for every 30 days you give a ride in Seattle. These days do not have to be consecutive.
All Seattle drivers began accruing PSST as of October 1, 2019, or on the date that you gave you first ride (whichever is later). You can accrue and use PSST until 180 days after the termination of any City of Seattle COVID-related civil emergency. Drivers can also carry over up to 9 days of unused time each calendar year.
Requesting paid sick and safe time
To request PSST go to the Lyft Driver app:
Tap 'Support & Safety' in the main menu.
Tap ‘Earnings or bonuses.’
Select ‘Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time.’
Choose the number of sick days from the dropdown selection.
Submit your request.
If approved, your PSST will begin immediately after your request and end after your requested time is applied. PSST is paid out as a bonus in your account on your next scheduled payout date, or within 14 days. PSST payout amounts are located in your recent driver earnings under the line item ‘Paid Sick and Safe Time.
If you request more time than you have available to use, we will notify you via email within 10 days. If your request was not approved due to insufficient days, you’ll need to give more rides on more days to accrue PSST.
Eligible drivers that continue giving rides in Seattle will receive a monthly email stating your updated PSST balance. You can refer to this email to check your balance, which will accrue one PSST day for every 30 days that you give a ride in Seattle.
COVID-19 Gig Worker Ordinance Paid Sick and Safe Time Fact Sheets are available in Amharic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Hindi, Oromo, Somali and Spanish on the OLS Languages webpage here.
Minimum Compensation Ordinance
Minimum Compensation: Lyft will be paying Seattle drivers the greater of $5.17/trip OR $0.59/min + $1.38/mi on trips that originate in the City of Seattle*
Tip Protection: Lyft will pay all tips to drivers and will not use tips to satisfy the minimum compensation requirements.
Cancellations: Drivers must receive at least $5.17 for trips cancelled by passengers or Lyft, with the exception of cancellations due to driver conduct.
Deductions: Drivers must agree in writing to any deduction from pay.
Notice: Lyft will provide drivers with pay information on a per-trip and weekly basis.
*Deductions for Flexdrive rental fees are noted on trip receipts and weekly earning statements.
Contact the Office of Labor Standards (OLS)
Address: 810 3rd Ave, Suite 375, Seattle, WA 98104
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM
The Office of Labor Standards provides translations, interpretations, and accommodations for people with disabilities.
Lyft is providing safety kits to drivers picking up or dropping off within the City of Seattle. These supplies are provided by our Health Safety Program and in accordance with Seattle’s Municipal Code.
All safety kits have personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfecting supplies. Each safety kit will include the following supplies:
10 pack of masks
50 pairs of gloves (100 individual gloves)
10 oz bottle of hand sanitizer
32 oz bottle of disinfecting spray
To receive PPE and disinfecting supplies:
Tap 'Support and Safety' in the main menu of the Lyft app.
Under 'Report a safety issue,' tap 'COVID-19 health safety issue.'
Under 'Lyft resources,' tap 'Supporting drivers.'
Scroll to the bottom and select 'Contact us.'
Submit a request for PPE and disinfecting supplies.
Check your email for a coupon code and redemption instructions.
Redeem your coupon at the Lyft Store. Supplies will be delivered to the address requested.
Drivers who meet the requirements in Section 14.33.070 of the Seattle Municipal Code can re-order more supplies by following the steps above.
Cancel policy for the city of Seattle
Our cancel policy for drivers applies in the city of Seattle. You’ll also need to follow the correct steps for pickups to receive a cancellation fee.
When you’re picking up a ride, you should always:
Tap to arrive when you’re at your passenger’s pickup location
Wait for your passenger at their pickup location
Wait until your passenger is in your car before you tap to pick them up
If there’s a driver conduct issue, you may not receive a cancellation fee.
You won’t receive a fee if you already have a passenger in your car while you’re driving to a pickup location, since you’re already paid for that time and mileage.
Seattle drivers get a no-show fee when a passenger isn’t at their pickup location. If this happens:
Tap to arrive at the pickup location.
Wait for the timer to count down to 0:00 without moving from the pickup location.
Respond if the passenger contacts you.
Cancel the ride by tapping 'Passenger is no-show,' then tap 'Confirm no-show.'
Drivers won't get a no-show fee if they're too far from the pickup location.
Always have your driver’s license and insurance document
Don't accept street hails
Don't accept cash for rides
Don't wait in taxi lines
Review Lyft's coverage here.
Moving to or from Seattle, King County, & Tacoma
If you're already a driver in a different state, and you're moving to Seattle, King County, & Tacoma, send us a message with the following info:
A clear photo of your Washington state driver's license
A clear photo of your Washington vehicle registration
A clear photo of your personal vehicle insurance
Active duty military applicants and their dependents can have an out-of-state driver's license and vehicle documents.
Please note local regulations require your vehicle to be 10 years old or newer. If you want to continue earning with Lyft and don't have a vehicle that meets these standards, Lyft's Express Drive program helps you rent a car so you can start driving immediately. Find out how here. Moving from Seattle, King County, & Tacoma to a different state? Find your new market here to see what steps you’ll need to take.