Becoming a Lyft or Uber Driver-Partner in Chicago

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Cars on road in Chicago downtownI’ve visited Chicago a few times, but it was before Uber and Lyft were a thing. I was faced with hailing a cab and paying a ridiculously high rate to go a short distance. I quickly learned that I preferred to walk the mile or two instead of spending all my money on rides. If Uber or Lyft were around when I visited, I would’ve definitely taken advantage of them. I’m not the only rider who feels this way either — many people are switching from cabs to ridesharing. Uber and Lyft have both seen vast increases in the number of drivers needed for Chi-Town.

Chicago Driving Stats

  • Lyft driver Chicago averages $13/hour1
  • Uber driver-partners in Chicago averages $14 to $15 per hour2
  • Chicago ranked #9 for most congested urban areas in the U.S. in 20163
  • The average driver in Chicago spent 57 peak hours in congestion, which cost them $1,643 each in 2016
  • I-90/I-94 Northbound from exits 53A to 34B was the second most congested U.S. road in 2016
  • I-90/I-94 Southbound from exits 34B to 50B was the tenth most congested U.S. road in 2016
  • Chicago was ranked 133rd out of the 200 largest cities in the U.S. for best drivers in 20164
  • Chicago drivers average 8.5 years between claims compared to the national average of 10 years

Chicago Driver and Vehicle Requirements for Lyft and Uber

You and your vehicle will need to meet certain requirements for ride hailing in Chicago. Read the requirements below and be sure to check out the links we’ve shared too for a more detailed list.

Lyft Driver Requirements ChicagoLyft logo

Click Here to Apply to Become a Lyft Driver

Lyft, Line, Plus, Premier, Lux and Lux SUV are all available in Chicago.

  • 2004 or newer
  • 4 doors
  • 5-8 seats, including the driver’s
  • Insurance and registration
  • Vehicle inspection

If you want to drive for Lyft Chicago, read the full list of requirements here.

Uber Driver-Partner Requirements ChicagoUber logo

Sign Up to Become an Uber Driver-Partner

UberX, UberSelect, UberXL, UberBlack, UberSUV and UberCab are all available in Los Angeles.

Read this list of requirements to drive with Uber Chicago.

Best Places to Driver with Uber and Lyft in Chicago

  • Wicker Park
  • Lakeview
  • Hyde Park
  • Evanston
  • Old Town

Rush Hour

Pick up rides around these places Monday thru Friday from 6am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm.

  • McCormick Place
  • The Loop
  • River North


On the weekends from 5pm to 3am try hitting up these hotspots.

  • Chinatown
  • Pilsen
  • Millenium Park
  • River North

Beware of Alleyways

Driving with Uber in Chicago can be dangerous if you’re picking up and dropping off in alleyways. This driver has some tips for you, and they work for Lyft drivers too.

Don’t Forget About the Weather

While driving in the snow or pouring rain is miserable, it can be one of the most profitable times for drivers. People have places to go, and sometimes there are issues with public transit and can’t walk to their destination, so their only option is to hail a ride. If you’re comfortable with it, driving when the weather is bad can bring more money into your pocket in less time.

Do you have any tips for Uber and Lyft drivers in Chicago?

Sources: [1] Glassdoor, [2] Glassdoor, [3] INRIX, [4] AllState

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She is one of Exploring Life's Mysteries most experienced researchers. When reviewing products and services her natural curiosity helps her dig deep and unearth the truth behind the marketing. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly grew up camping at the nearby lake with her family when she was a young girl. It wasn't until she met her husband that she rediscovered her love for the outdoors and began taking regular vacations to the national parks. Some of Kimberly's favorite memories include camping in a tent, hiking beautiful terrains, sitting around a campfire eating s'mores and sipping on a cold craft beer.

After three years of dating and exploring different regions of the U.S., Kimberly's husband proposed to her with the help of Exploring Life's Mysteries' online engagement content that she had researched and written. Not only was he able to design her ring himself, he was able to do so at great cost savings.

Kimberly likes starting her days with a warm cup of Nespresso, and she enjoys going for walks with her family and hound mix, Sally. In the evenings, she likes indulging in a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate while cozying up by the fire pit in her backyard.

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