Can you drive for Uber in multiple states? The short answer to this question is that Uber doesn’t allow you to drive in multiple states, and Lyft does allow it. There’s a lot more to the story, so read on for the full details.
Check out my video, then read the video transcript below.
Uber: Sign up for a city and you can drive in that state
When you sign up with Uber, they ask you to designate a home market or a home city, but you’re still allowed to drive within that entire state. Let’s I designate my home market as Los Angeles, California. I can now pick up and drop off in any city in the state of California. Now, I’ve seen the occasional exceptions or restrictions, where drivers have signed up in one market and Uber tells them they can only drive in that market, or there’s some they’re excluded from. For the most part, if you sign up in one city, you’re now eligible to drive in any city in that state.
You can drop off into another state, but not pick up
What about driving in other states? Let’s say I get a request in LA and they want to go all the way to Nevada. Now, I can actually drop off that passenger in Nevada, but once I end the trip and I’m in Nevada, I won’t be able to get any more new requests. I’ll actually have to deadhead or drive back into California to be able to get requests again. You can drop off into other states, but in order to do pick ups, you’re going to have to come back into your home state.
Exceptions to the rule in border areas
There are a few places where there are exceptions. In the Virginia/Maryland/DC area, you can actually sign up for multiple markets but you’ll need to contact Uber in order to check this out, get it set up. I know for a fact you can do Virginia/Maryland for example, because they’re so close, and there’s so much crossover. Typically, Uber allows this in areas where there’s a lot of crossover traffic. So Uber allows you to get requests in more than one state when you have two border cities that are connected and you have a lot of people who work in each area.
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Just because Uber allows it doesn’t mean your insurance does!
One caveat is that just because Uber allows it, for you as a driver, it’s still important to check with your insurance to see how coverage works. Insurance is typically a state by state issue. And a lot of insurance companies might have similar policies in place in kind of those crossover areas, but just because Uber allows it, doesn’t mean your insurer will. And you guys know that I’m a big proponent of rideshare insurance. We have a list of agents that actually specialize in rideshare insurance, and they can get you a quote. And it’s usually very reasonably priced and also just a ton of piece of mind in actual coverage, because there are some gaps that you need to know.
What about non-connected states?
Let’s say you want to drive in two completely different non-connected states. There’s really no way to do it unless you’re permanently moving. If you’re making a permanent move, Uber tells you to start a new application in that new state. They don’t let you just transfer your account. You basically have to sign up all over again, I’ve heard it’s a little bit of as hassle, because you might have to figure out how to give them a new phone number or other tech issues. I have heard actually from some drivers that they were able to get a new sign up bonus.
What if you want to visit another state, or split time between two cities? If you’re in that type of temporary relocation situation where you’re going to come back, and you don’t want to have to start a brand new application because now you’re existing profile, in that existing state, probably won’t work anymore, because now you have this new account with Uber. It’s tough to do on Uber because of that. They want you to start that new application every time.
Lyft allows you to drive in other states
But, it actually does work on Lyft. And this is sort of hidden, but Lyft actually allows you to drive in almost every single state. And I interviewed Simon from Rideshare Dashboard, which is another rideshare blog, he actually did an East Coast to West Coast trip where he gave a Lyft ride in 65 different cities. I interviewed him on my podcast.
\Now there are a couple cities that we mentioned on the podcast, you guys can go ahead and listen, I think Seattle and New York, that he actually wasn’t able to do rides because of local city regulations. But for the most part, in almost every single city he went, he was able to get a ride. Some cities are not as busy on Lyft as others, but it was kind of cool to hear his story.
You definitely want to check with your insurance company so, make sure you check out that out too. If you guys have any other questions about driving in other states, in other cities, in other markets, I know it can be a little confusing, but hopefully this video helped shed a little bit of light on the situation and how it works. Thanks for watching!
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