Last Updated on June 23, 2022 by Mike Dean
Become a DoorDash Driver-If you’re looking for a job in the gig economy as an additional source of income, signing up for a delivery service such as DoorDash is a great place to start. You can control your hours and work when you want in exchange for decent pay. Whether you’ve been seriously considering working for DoorDash or haven’t even heard of the service, we’ve got you covered. Check out our ultimate guide on making some extra money as a DoorDash driver.
Table of Contents
What Is DoorDash?
DoorDash is a technology company focused on connecting local consumers and local restaurants with delivery made possible by independent contractors (the local drivers known as Dashers).
DoorDash aims to help transform businesses by expanding their potential customer base and providing more delivery options. DoorDash is currently available in more than 4,000 cities in the U.S, Canada, and Australia.
DoorDash not only provides services for local restaurants. They also make it a point to provide opportunities in the form of jobs. By working with DoorDash as a Dasher, the amount you earn depends on how many hours you wish to work. As for when and where you want to work, that’s entirely up to you. You don’t need much to get started. All you need is a way of getting around a smartphone. Be your boss, and start making money.
If all this sounds good to you, let’s take a deeper dive into the other aspects of becoming a DoorDash driver.
How to Become a Doordash Driver-The Signup Process
Before you become a DoorDash driver or Dasher there are several steps outlined below that will help guide you through the process. Let’s jump right into the process of becoming a Doordash driver.
1. Signup to Become a DoorDash Driver or Dasher
- Start with your Zip / Postal Code
- Enter a valid e-mail address and click “Next.”
- Enter your cellphone number and the zip code of your permanent residence. Hit “Next.”
- Enter your first name, middle name, last name, and a strong and secure password. If you do not have a middle name, there is a box you can tick to signify that as well.
- Select the type of vehicle you will be using from the dropdown menu. If you choose a car, you will need to enter your driver’s license information and confirm that you currently have auto insurance. If your area allows bike, scooter, or on-foot deliveries, your options may vary. Tap “Continue” to move on to the next step.
- Enter your birthday and social security number. This will be used for DoorDash’s background check, as mentioned earlier.
2. Consent to a Background
Status: Additional info
- SSN Trace
- Sex Offender Search
- Global Watchlist Search
- Motor Vehicle Report
- License status (valid or invalid), type, class, expiration, issue date
- Restrictions ex. corrective lenses
- Suspensions: Start and End date, active/none
3. Schedule an Orientation or Request an Activation Kit
4. Activate Your Red Card
5. Set Up Direct Deposit to Get Paid
What Do DoorDash Drivers Do?
There’s a lot to know when you become a DoorDash driver. DoorDash drivers are the people who make the magic happen. DoorDash drivers, more commonly known as Dashers, are the people who receive the orders of customers, pick up the food from restaurants, and fulfill the delivery.
Dashers are independent contractors who utilize their vehicles to fulfill deliveries. Being independent contractors, DoorDash does not hire Dashers and will not pay for your gas expenses. You can, however, count the gas expense as a work-related expense to deduct it from your taxes.
Dashers perform delivery on-demand. This means that you have no set delivery schedule, and your work depends on the number of customers requesting deliveries at any one time. Drivers may schedule shifts via the app or simply drop into open shift slots if any are available. Once your shift begins, you simply have to sign into the DoorDash app and wait for orders to pop up.
Order offers contain all the information you require to carry out your job: estimated payment, pick-up point, and drop-off point. You aren’t forced to take all orders. You have the freedom to either accept or decline any order.
Once you’ve accepted a delivery request, you simply have to make your way to the restaurant and pick up the order, as specified by the customer via the app. Once you’ve picked up the meal, DoorDash will then give you directions to the delivery point. Upon delivering the food to the customer, the order will then be marked as completed.
Benefits of Becoming a DoorDash Driver
- You’re the boss. It’s like running your own business
- You’re an independent contractor, not an employee
- You have the freedom and flexibility to drive and earn when and where you want
- Work full-time, part-time, or anytime that’s convenient and suitable for you
- The more you drive, the more you earn
- Use the tools that are readily at your disposal-car, bicycle, scooter, and a smartphone
- DoorDash is the leader in the online food delivery segment thus increasing demand and potential earnings for drivers
DoorDash Driver Requirements
Earning up to $28 an hour delivering food whenever you want sounds quite enticing, doesn’t it? If you’re going to start working as a Dasher, don’t worry just about anyone can apply. Simply meet Doordash’s basic requirements and you’re on your way dashing!.
- 18 years of age or older
- Driver’s license number or state ID (for bicycles)
- Social security number (only in the United States)
- Final Step: consent to a background check
DoorDash Vehicle Requirements
Unlike certain services such as Uber, DoorDash is quite lax when it comes to its vehicle requirements. You can use any moving vehicle.
- Any car, scooter, or bicycle (in select cities).
- DoorDash does not perform vehicle inspections.
- There are no cosmetic requirements (DoorDash branding, etc.)
As long as you have a working car to get from the pick-up point to the drop-off point, you can use it to make DoorDash deliveries.
Where Does DoorDash Operate?
As mentioned earlier, DoorDash operates in more than four thousand cities in the United States, Canada, and Australia. If you live in any of these countries, chances are DoorDash has already established a thriving community within your city.
DoorDash also has the advantage of being the fastest-growing food delivery app at the moment. If Uber Eats isn’t available near you, chances are DoorDash is available.
Doordash Cities for Drivers
For a full list of the delivery services areas fully-supported by DoorDash, refer to the list below:
DoorDash Driver Sign up Bonus
During promotional periods Doordash may be offering a new driver sign up bonus in your city. Follow the link to find out more about Doordash sign up bonuses and new Dasher promotions!
Did you know Uber Eats has a new driver Guarantee bonus of up to $2000 when you complete 200 deliveries?
The DoorDash Delivery Process
Knowing the delivery process before you become a Doordash driver will give you an idea of how it works and make the future of dashing just a bit easier. In general, deliveries are categorized into three distinct stages:
- Accepting Deliveries. Upon accessing the Dasher app, you will begin to receive delivery requests. It is up to you which requests you choose to accept and which you choose to decline. Do note, however, that you are only given 45 seconds to decide whether you will accept or decline the offer.
- Picking Up Orders. Once you arrive at the restaurant, you will have to use your own money to order the food. The order details will be sent to you via the application.
- Delivering the Food to the Customer. The third and last step is delivery. The payment that the customer will give you will cover your expenses for the food, in addition to the base pay and any tips. You keep 100% of the tips you receive through cash and the DoorDash app.
How to Deliver for DoorDash Video
How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make?
If you’ve made it this far through the article, you’re probably wondering how much you can earn from making food deliveries when you become a DoorDash driver or Dasher. On average, Dashers typically earn approximately $8 to $15 per hour. Three factors count towards your total earnings: base pay, promotions, and tips. According to DoorDash, base pay is a calculation of “time, desirability, and distance.”
To avoid any surprises, DoorDash allows drivers to see how much each delivery may pay before accepting any order.
Customers have the option to offer a tip upon ordering, which will count towards the total payout drivers see when considering accepting orders. If a customer chooses not to leave a tip, Dashers may only receive the base pay, which ranges from $2 to $6.
In some cases, DoorDash offers extra compensation for drivers working during peak hours. To prevent the promotion system from being abused, DoorDash sets certain conditions that must be met by the Dasher. For example: “Earn $5 extra in Los Angeles between 12 PM – 2 PM if you accept 90% of delivery opportunities.” If you aren’t running on a tight schedule, promotions can be a great way of netting some additional income.
How Do DoorDash Drivers Get Paid
If you’ve been working traditional long-term jobs your whole life, you may have to get used to the concept of operating a “gig job.” You don’t have a set salary. Instead, you get paid per delivery you fulfill.
When working with DoorDash, it’s best always to know how the payment system works and to keep track of your earnings regularly (weekly, monthly, etc.) DoorDash pays its Dashers weekly via direct deposit for all deliveries that have been completed within the previous week. This is a massive advantage if you need to get a hold of your earnings quickly. If you wish, you can also get paid immediately via Instant-pay. If you’d like, you can also cash out directly to your bank account via your bank’s debit card.
DoorDash Auto Insurance Coverage for Drivers
PLEASE NOTE: If you are an independent contractor for DoorDash (including all Dashers), you are required to maintain your own insurance, in the amounts and types required by law which includes, but is not limited to, auto liability insurance. Damages sustained to your vehicle in an auto accident are your responsibility and should be addressed by your auto insurance carrier directly.
DoorDash does provide excess auto insurance, but this policy applies only to damages you cause to other parties (i.e. third-party property damage and/or bodily injury) and only to accidents while on an active delivery. DoorDash’s insurance applies in excess of your primary personal automobile insurance and only after exhaustion of your personal auto insurance limits.
Doordash does state that they “provide excess auto insurance for Dashers” but it is liability only. What that means is, it only applies to bodily injuries or property damage that you cause to someone else. “Damages sustained to your vehicle in an auto accident are your responsibility and should be addressed by your auto insurance carrier directly.”
This is not a policy that is in your name. It is not covered for you. It is NOT commercial auto insurance. Basically what it amounts to is liability insurance to cover Doordash if anyone comes after them for damage that goes beyond whatever insurance you have. The coverage only applies if you exhaust all options from your own auto insurance.
Here’s an important line in that statement that you HAVE to be aware of: “If you fail to maintain your own insurance, Doordash’s coverage may not apply.” This is important. It’s an escape clause for Doordash and their insurance. If you are uninsured, Doordash may not step in here.
But wait, you have an insurance policy, so you are insured, aren’t you? If your policy excludes delivery, that’s as good as being uninsured. What that means to you is, that you may be completely on your own.
DoorDash Background Check
To start accepting jobs as a Dasher, DoorDash requires that you consent to a background check. It’s for the safety of the customers. If you were a DoorDash customer, wouldn’t you be glad they thoroughly check their independent contractors?
Through the background check, DoorDash will be able to view your criminal record (if any) and your records. It is a common practice for employers to run background checks. Most other services, such as Lyft that work with independent contractors, require that their drivers undergo a thorough background check.
If the background check reveals any disqualifying offense from the last seven years or any reason for finding you unfit to become a Dasher, DoorDash may exercise its right to disqualify you as a driver.
For transparency, DoorDash states that they enlist the services of a third-party company, Checkr, to complete their background checks. Checkr will use the social security number you provided and your address to perform an extensive review of your background. Of course, all the screenings are subject to federal and state standards set in place to protect all potential candidates from various forms of employment discrimination.
Can I Deliver Food For DoorDash Without a Car?
In certain cities, DoorDash deliveries can be made without a car. This is not dependent on DoorDash. Instead, it is dependent on the regulations of the city. Most large urban cities allow alternative forms of transportation for deliveries. If you currently do not have access to a car, you may be able to fulfill deliveries via bike or scooter.
Currently, DoorDash has not published a list of cities that allow bicycle and scooter deliveries. If you wish to find out whether your area allows alternative forms of transportation for DoorDash deliveries, please reach out to DoorDash’s customer support. Alternatively, you may simply click on the DoorDash sign-up application and check whether delivering on a bicycle is listed as one of the options throughout the Dasher sign-up process.
DoorDash made it as easy as possible for anyone to get started as a Dasher. The onboarding process has significantly been simplified over a few years. Signing up for DoorDash and joining their vibrant community of drivers is free. There are no monthly fees, nor is there an upfront registration fee.
In specific markets, you may be asked to schedule and attend an in-person orientation with one of DoorDash’s representatives. If an in-person orientation is not possible for you, you can request an “express orientation.” The DoorDash express orientation is a much more convenient option, as it merely consists of four short videos to help you settle in with your new role as a DoorDash delivery partner. In this case, DoorDash will ship your welcoming kit to your registered mailing address.
Scheduling DoorDash Delivery Shifts
DoorDash makes use of a scheduling system to prevent areas from becoming oversaturated with a surplus of Dashers. If you want to guarantee a slot of work, you may use the “Schedule” area of the DoorDash app to reserve shift blocks in advance. Depending on your schedule, you may reserve shift blocks that are an hour or two in length or blocks that are a full working day’s length.
With everyone hustling to make some extra cash, delivery shifts may become extremely competitive in highly urbanized markets. New shift blocks are released at midnight every day. It is common practice for some Dashers to stay up late just to claim their desired shifts in advance. Be sure you have no other arrangements that will interfere with you working during the duration of your shift. If you don’t log in within the first 30 minutes of your shift, DoorDash may cancel your shift altogether. DoorDash also provides two special methods of scheduling shifts:
- Early Access Scheduling. In order to reward highly-rated and experienced Dashers, DoorDash provides priority scheduling for them. With Early Access Scheduling, seasoned dashers are allowed access to new shifts each day at 3 pm, as opposed to the normal shifting period of midnight. Dashers are evaluated for Early Access on a weekly basis.
- Dash Now. In some cases, DoorDash allows Dashers to sign in and begin deliveries without having to schedule a delivery shift. This option commonly appears only when demand is exceptionally high. When Dash Now is enabled, a specific delivery region will be marked red in the Dasher app. Dashers need to simply arrive in the designated region and tap the “Dash Now” button to get started. A fair warning: “Dash Now” may toggle on and off unpredictably and may be disabled by the time you arrive at the designated area.
DoorDash Driver Referral Bonus
DoorDash implements a referral system called the “DoorDash Driver Referral Program.” According to DoorDash, referrals are an important part of their growing and expanding community of DoorDash drivers, so they allow and give bonuses for every referral.
The DoorDash Driver Referral Program offers registered Dashers in certain areas who are in good standing with DoorDash the opportunity to receive additional referral bonuses simply by getting their friends and family to sign up as Dashers.
The Dashers who sign up via their friend’s referral link are also given the opportunity to receive referral bonuses once they have met a certain number of required deliveries.
DoorDash, however, has implemented a few restrictions that unfortunately limit the potential of the referral program greatly. DoorDash states that referrals may only be made to a Dasher’s personal connections. Dashers may notify their friends and acquaintances via their personal social media accounts. They cannot, however, post public notices with their referral links on blogs, websites, and other platforms available to the general public.
The biggest dealbreaker, perhaps, is that referring Dashers can earn a maximum of 15 referral bonuses for qualified referrals per calendar year. All other referrals in excess of this will not trigger bonuses for either the person who is referred or the person who has been referred.
If a friend sends you a DoorDash referral code, you would not know whether 15 of his other friends have already used the code. You may end up signing up as a Dasher without gaining any of the referral bonuses. Don’t take that risk. Rather, use our affiliate link to sign up. Rideshare Report is an authorized affiliate of DoorDash. By using our affiliate code, you can be sure that you will be given the best Dasher sign-up bonus available in your region at any one time.
21 Top DoorDash Driver Tips & Strategies
I’ve put together a number of helpful tips to help you stay on top of your Dasher game, and earn more money:
- Wear your shirt – Wearing your DoorDash t-shirt is not a requirement but it can help you get your orders faster when restaurant staff recognizes you as a Dasher and helps to expedite your order quicker. This can save you a lot of time getting in and out of the restaurant which in turn can help you earn more money. Time is money. The faster you can pick up and drop off orders, the more money you can earn!
- Know the busy areas – try to begin your Dash requests in the busiest areas where you know most restaurants are located, then try to return back to those areas after you drop off your last delivery. By concentrating and returning to the busy zones you can increase your chances of being matched with more orders faster, thus earn more income.
- Stride Mileage & Expense Tracking A few taps to a lower tax bill.
- Get the DoorDash Customer App:
- Confirm quickly – You have 60 seconds to confirm orders when a delivery request comes in the app. DoorDash drivers or couriers who stay on top of incoming requests on their phones are better prepared to earn the most.
- Keep customers informed – keeping your customers informed and updated on their food delivery order status can help you maintain a 5-star rating. Not every delivery will be perfect. If you’re running late on delivery because of unexpected or extenuating circumstances out of your control, simply call or notify the customer with an update of the new delivery ETA
- Double-check all items during pick up – the last thing you want is having to re-deliver a food item because the restaurant failed to get the ordinal order correct or get a poor customer rating. It’s your job to ensure all food items listed in the app match what was received and packed by restaurants. Be sure to ask a restaurant staff member to double-check that all items are prepared and packed, and all
- Be sure to have your phone with you at all times. When picking up food at a restaurant, bring your phone and be sure to match the order number in your Uber EATS app with the right bag
- Make sure your phone is always charged to full capacity and charging while on trips or in your car
- Having a portable charger can be beneficial to ensure your phone is charged at all times when outside your vehicle
- Be sure to keep your insulated bag in your car and bring it with you all times to keep food fresh, warm or chilled as possible
- If you’re an Uber EATS delivery bike or scooter courier make sure you are wearing protective equipment like a helmet, gloves or even biking pants at all times.
- Be sure to handle food orders as careful as possible keeping food upright and secure
- Check all food order instructions carefully for both the restaurant and customer to ensure all deliveries go smoothly
- Accept all Uber EATS delivery food requests to avoid low acceptance rates which can greatly affect your earnings by disqualifying you for certain incentives like hourly or boost guarantees and weekly cash bonuses!
- Dress attire up is casual but remember your appearance, attitude, and professionalism can boost your ratings, and increase your chances of receiving cash tips!
- Maintain a high Uber EATS order acceptance rate, cancellation rate, and high ratings to remain in good standing on the Uber EATS platform
- Carry quarters for parking meters to avoid double parking, red or blue zones when picking up or dropping off orders
- Develop a mental strategy or take notes for certain areas that night require parking especially picking up in commercial districts. I’ve identified certain areas where I might need to park several blocks away due to commercial zonings. Be patient when developing your strategy and city parking knowledge base. After several runs in the same area, you will be able to know the best areas to park.
- Sometimes I’ll try to call the restaurant and ask them to hand off the food to me while waiting directly in front of the restaurant location while remaining in my car.
- Be careful when double parking with flashers on. If I need to double park, I put on my turning single to indicate I’m waiting for a parking spot instead. Some cities like San Francisco don’t allow for double parking anywhere in the city which can lead to a ticket.
DoorDash Driver Customer Support
Working as an independent contractor, you may be faced with several hurdles throughout your tenure as a DoorDash driver. With no direct supervisor, how do you get the assistance that you require as a dasher?
Whether you are in the process of applying as a Dasher or are already a registered driver, DoorDash provides in-person support in all of their DoorDash offices. This allows you to speak to a real person to explain your situation and ask your questions without having to send an email that someone may or may not reply to.
If you need any form of assistance, simply make your way to the nearest DoorDash office. If you would rather coordinate with DoorDash support online, there are three quick and easy ways for you to get in touch with customer support:
- DoorDash Phone Support: 855-973-1040
- DoorDash Chat Line
- DoorDash help portal
- DoorDash Dasher e-mail support
- DoorDash Facebook Group (support and guidance from your fellow Dashers)
DoorDash Frequently Asked Questions
Mike (Dean) Gumora is the founder and owner of Ridesharreport.com. I’m also the first official rideshare driver in the industry vetted by the first Rideshare/TNC startup, Sidecar in 2011. I have completed hundreds of trips and deliveries for companies such as Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates. My hands-on industry experience in rideshare began in 2011. The rideshare industry is my passion. I have followed and studied the industry since 2012. But, my real passion is supporting the ever-growing community of drivers and riders.