Last Updated on 2024-01-05

5 Tips When Driving For DoorDash In Another State

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Phil Grossman

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

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Ryan Shaw

5 years of experience as a DoorDash Dasher

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Scott Jones

7 years of experience working across DoorDash, Lyft, Amazon Flex, and Instacart

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Matt Wheeler

5 years of experience working across GrubHub, DoorDash, Shipt, and Uber Eats

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax advice. The content contains general information and may not reflect current tax code developments. Any reader should consult with a tax professional to obtain advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

As a Dasher, you can work anywhere you want so long as:

  • It’s in your country of residence
  • DoorDash operates there (and has availability at the time you decide to Dash)

That means that when you drive for DoorDash, you’re not restricted to the city or state you live in or signed up in. You’re free to travel across the country and dash along the way — no need to ask your boss, manager, or supervisor to transfer you to another location if you suddenly decide you want to move to a new city. 

You can dash with an out of state license, and there are no DoorDash rules regarding how often you can dash in another state — you’re free to move states as often as you like. 

This level of freedom is one of the main benefits of self-employment: you can choose when, where, and how you work. While you don’t have complete control over each of those variables (you can’t DoorDash in Portugal, for example), you have much more flexibility than you would working most other jobs. 

DoorDash currently operates in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Even with the restriction that you can’t dash outside your country, that’s quite a lot of locations to choose from. 

So, why would you want to dash in multiple states? If you’re on vacation, you can dash in between trips to the beach. Or if you’re living the van life, you can plan your route around cities that have DoorDash so you can earn while you travel. 

Scott Jones, who has been dashing since 2018, says he knows a few people that live the nomadic lifestyle, traveling wherever they please and dashing to support themselves. “They DoorDash city to city in new areas, road trip, and are pretty free. DoorDash has given them a tremendous sense of freedom that they would never be able to find otherwise.”

Scott also says that DoorDash’s flexibility made it easier for him when he was considering moving to Maui. “DoorDash makes this transition so much easier. If there is work I can jump right into and make a feasible living in Maui, then that makes it much easier to move there.”

If you want to dash around the country, here are some tips to make your experience the best it can be. 

Make sure you meet the car insurance requirements

The requirements to sign up for DoorDash are pretty minimal, but one of them is that you need to have car insurance that meets at least your state’s minimum requirements. 

If you DoorDash in another state, you may need to have insurance that meets the legal requirements in that state in order to do business there. Many states have similar requirements, so you may already have what you need, but make sure to check before you dash.

It can also be a good idea to check with your car insurance company to make sure that you’ll stay covered if you dash across state lines. 

Additionally, according to federal law, any business that moves people or goods across state lines is required to have commercial automobile coverage. As a Dasher, you’re operating a business, and if you dash in a city that’s on a state border, this may technically apply to you. 

Scott says that he had to keep this in mind while dashing in Memphis: “when we were in Memphis, we found out that there are actually three parts in three different states. Usually, we call it Memphis, Tennessee, but the reality is that there is some of it in Mississippi, and some in Arkansas, too. Working there would count as federal interstate commerce.”

Stay informed about state tax regulations

Every state has different laws when it comes to taxes. In some cases, dashing in another state may require you to file an income tax return in that state as well as your home state.

Tax laws are very complex and vary from state to state, so there’s no simple answer as to whether this will apply to you. Your best bet is to get in touch with a tax professional so you can make sure you don’t end up unintentionally evading your taxes. Also, make sure to keep impeccable notes about where and when you dashed — Stride, one of DoorDash’s partners, has an app that can help you with this. 

Don’t dash outside your country of residence

DoorDash offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to where you can work, but you don’t have complete freedom — even though moving from the US to Japan and dashing there would be a dream come true for some, it’s not allowed.

Luckily, you can dash anywhere that DoorDash operates within your home country, so you still have a lot of flexibility. In the United States, DoorDash operates in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. In Canada, Australia, and Japan, DoorDash’s operations are more limited. 

Be prepared for lower (or higher) demand

If you’re used to dashing in New York City or LA and try dashing in a small city like Apple Valley, Minnesota, you may find yourself spending a lot more time sitting around waiting for orders to come through. Pay rates can also be affected — you may find that the average base pay is higher or lower in one location compared to another. 

If you’re dashing in another state because you’ll be there regardless (if you’re on vacation, for example), then that’s not a huge problem. But if you’re dashing in another state as part of your regular routine, that could affect your income. 

On the flipside, sometimes making the trip to another city can boost your earnings due to increased demand. Just make sure you factor in the additional mileage, wear and tear, risk of accidents, and cost of gas from the increased driving when deciding to dash in another state for this reason. 

Be strategic about gas prices

Gas is expensive, and prices can vary wildly from state to state. Even getting gas right across the border can have a major impact on your wallet: neighboring states Indiana and Illinois have average gas prices of $2.771 and $3.078, respectively, as of January 5, 2024. 

If you’re going to be dashing in another state, check on gas prices and make a plan for where you’ll fill up in advance. And don’t forget to take advantage of the DoorDash Gas Rewards program to get 2% cash back rewards on gas purchases made with your DasherDirect card.

If you want to make your life easier, check out this advice from Scott:

Here is a little Dasher App Hack: So, even when I am using other apps, the Dasher app is very convenient if you need gas and want to instantly know the best price. Simply login, then towards the bottom of the map screen, you will see a small gas pump icon on the right side. Click-it. It will bring up your local area and the current prices of gas at all the stations. If you want to increase the search radius, click the upside-down triangle on the top left. Then, pinch the screen to zoom in and out. Tap any area, and a text box will come up in the top center reading, ‘Search this area’. It will now search that area's gas prices. This is really handy if you are traveling and quickly want to instantly know a cheap gas stop nearby.

How to dash in another state

Getting set up to dash in another state is easy. Since DoorDash uses your phone’s GPS to locate you, all you need to do is go to the location you want to Dash in, and hit “Dash Now” or “Schedule a Dash.” Once you do that, a pop-up will appear asking if you want to change your dashing location. Press confirm, and you’re all set. 

If those options aren’t appearing, you’ll have to either wait until one of them becomes available, or you’ll have to move to another zone where they’re currently available. 

Keep in mind that sometimes it can take a while for the app to register your new location. Scott Jones says “even when I just went one zone north of me, it took 20 minutes for it to click over. So, know that this is going to happen. You should keep trying to re-login. Reset your app, it will catch up eventually.”

Matt Wheeler, who has been dashing for four years, also mentions that it can be useful to schedule yourself before you arrive in your new location. “If it’s important that you work while in a new location, there is also the option to schedule a shift ahead of time in another state,” he says. “This can potentially prevent you from being unable to work once the time comes if the demand isn't high enough.”

Get started dashing

If you’re ready to work where, when, and how you want, sign up today to become a Dasher — it only takes 5 minutes, and you can start earning within days (subject to Dasher approval and local availability).

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