10+ Official & Unofficial DoorDash Driver Requirements

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By Davis Porter

GigWolf Contributor

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By Ryan Shaw

Gig Pro

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By Faith McLaughlin

Gig Pro

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By Scott Jones

Gig Pro

Last Updated on 2023-09-10

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

As a Dasher, you get to work on your own schedule while being supported by a community that values service and reliability. To join it, you just need to meet a set of very basic requirements, which DoorDash has enforced to uphold the platform's reputation and safeguard all its stakeholders. 

This post will tell you all about them – from age restrictions and vehicle specifications to the background check essentials and technological requirements for DoorDash drivers. 

You’ll also learn that while DoorDash has its list of non-negotiables, there are also those unwritten rules that seasoned Dashers swear by. We like to think of them as the “unofficial” DoorDash driver requirements, and they’ve all been included in our guide. 

To start you off, here’s a brief rundown of the “official” requirements need to hit the road with DoorDash:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Vehicle: You can choose between a car, motorcycle, bike, or scooter. It doesn’t have to be in your name. 
  • Background Check: DoorDash will need your social security number to run a background check. 
  • Phone: An iPhone or Android smartphone will be needed to power the Dasher App.
  • Car Insurance: At least your state’s minimum coverage.

And then there are those “unofficial” requirements such as:

  • Maximum Age Limit: There’s no maximum age limit for DoorDash drivers
  • Vehicle Ownership: You’re free to sign up with a vehicle owned by your family member, friend, or colleague – as long as you're insured to drive it.
  • Smartphone Features: To efficiently support the platform’s latest features, your smartphone ought to be running Android 5.0 and above or iOS 15.0 and above. It should also come with 4G or 5G internet plus at least 3000mAH battery capacity. 
  • Safety Gear: Bike, scooter, moped, bike, and motorcycle Dashers should get safety gear for protection and riding comfort.
  • Delivery Bags: DoorDash delivery bags help to preserve the quality, temperature, and presentation of food orders. 
  • Health Insurance: Although DoorDash doesn’t directly provide health insurance to its drivers, it has partnered with Stride Health as an option to help you find your own.

We’ll also talk about the requirements you need to hit to get access to some special programs:

  • Top Dasher: Here, Dashers with lots of orders completed, high acceptance rates, and high ratings get unlimited access to “Dash Now” and priority (high paying) orders.
  • Fast Pay: Through this program, Dashers who’ve been delivering orders for a few weeks can get access to quicker payouts.
  • Early Access Scheduling: Allows Dashers with high completion rates, high ratings, and weekly active Dashing to pre-schedule their preferred delivery shifts.

Official requirement #1: You must be at least 18 years old

To drive for DoorDash, you need to be at least 18 years old. This age requirement is slightly more lenient than on platforms like Grubhub and Uber Eats, which have set the bar at 19 years.

Hiring anyone below 18 would otherwise place the company in legal trouble for breaching child labor laws.

Beyond the legalities, there's the matter of road safety. Dashers are always on the go, dealing with traffic, changing weather, and tight delivery schedules. They’re thus required to have a certain level of maturity and driving experience. 

So, while Dashers can be on the younger side, they shouldn’t be novices on the road. Even a few years of driving can greatly enhance the safety and punctuality of deliveries.

Insurance is another factor intertwined with age. Auto insurance happens to be another DoorDash driver requirement, and it can only be acquired by drivers who’ve reached 18 years of age. 

Can you do DoorDash at 16 or 17?

No, you cannot be a DoorDash driver at 16 or 17.

Even though the zeal of a 17-year-old would be commendable, DoorDash requires its drivers to be at least 18. 

The only thing that 17-year-olds can do is accompany Dashers on their trips as passengers. You can, for instance, ask your younger sibling or child to tag along while you make deliveries.

But, since the platform doesn't permit individuals under 18 to make deliveries, it's a logical extension that they cannot assist in the delivery process either. Although a minor might be in the car and even hold the food bags, they are strictly prohibited from handing it to customers.

How old do you have to be to DoorDash on a bike?

DoorDash’s age threshold of 18 is non-negotiable – irrespective of whether you're behind the wheel of a car, revving up a motorcycle, or pedaling a bicycle. This consistency highlights DoorDash's dedication to maintaining a uniform standard of service and responsibility across its platform.

As for the paperwork, though, bikers are relieved of some of the DoorDash driver requirements. You won't be asked for auto insurance details or a driver’s license. 

But then again, if your bicycle or scooter has a motor – however small – DoorDash might ask for a valid driver's license. And that’s because you’d be in a higher speed class, regulated by different traffic rules. 

Minimum age for handling DoorDash alcohol deliveries

According to DoorDash, any order containing alcohol will not be sent to a driver under 21. It has even set up ID scans for drivers to confirm compliance during such deliveries.

Official requirement #2: Your subcontractor too must be a registered Dasher

Yes, you can theoretically operate under your parent's account as a “subcontractor” – but you can’t do that as a minor.

And even after reaching the age of 18, you still can't just start Dashing under your parent's account. There’s a set of strict requirements that must be fulfilled beforehand.  

For starters, your parent needs to be registered and approved as a Dasher. After that, they can choose to have you work as a subcontractor under their account.

According to DoorDash’s independent contractor agreement, Dashers are not obligated to perform any of the delivery services personally. They could, instead, delegate the task to third parties.

That doesn’t mean you’ll have it easy. To maintain its service standards, the platform mandates even subcontractors to meet all the DoorDash driver requirements. You must apply, pass the background check, and get accepted as a Dasher before doing any deliveries under your parent’s credentials. 

Your parent, as the primary account holder, will then be held accountable for all the actions that you perform as a subcontractor. 

Requirements for DoorDash subcontractors

Subcontracting, in the context of DoorDash, is where registered Dashers delegate the task of food delivery to other individuals. A subcontractor essentially works as an agent of the account owner. 

That doesn't mean subcontractors can bypass the platform's standards. Even without a direct DoorDash account, subcontractors are expected to meet all DoorDash driver requirements. They include:

  • Background Check: Just like regular Dashers, subcontractors must undergo and pass a background check. This ensures that the individual has a clean record and can be trusted to interact with customers and handle deliveries.
  • Age Limit: Subcontractors must be 18 years or older.
  • Driver’s License: DoorDash will check to confirm that they have a valid driver’s license. 
  • Auto Insurance: Every subcontractor ought to have the minimum auto insurance liability cover allowed in their state. 
  • Phone Requirements: To facilitate deliveries, subcontractors will need access to a smartphone capable of running the Dasher App.
  • Professional Conduct: They’re also expected to maintain a high level of professionalism. This includes punctuality, courteous interaction with customers, and proper handling of food items.

Official requirement #3: Fully-fledged driver’s license. 

DoorDash requires its drivers to hold a valid driver's license. While learner's permits are legal for driving under specific conditions, they don't fulfill DoorDash's criteria for road competence and safety.

The learner's permits, usually issued to new drivers, even come with restrictions that could compromise your deliveries. Depending on the jurisdiction, you might be required to drive only during designated hours, always be accompanied by a licensed adult, or avoid certain roads.

Other than that, it complicates insurance coverage. If a permit driver, while working for DoorDash, were to get into an accident without a licensed adult in the vehicle, there's a high likelihood that the insurance company would reject their claim.

Official requirement #4: A car, motorbike, moped, scooter, or bike

DoorDash offers various vehicle options to suit its contractors' diverse preferences. 

Cars are the primary option in most cities it operates in, with some areas accommodating even motorcycles, bikes, and scooters.

If you're unsure about the transportation modes permitted in your area, DoorDash's application process offers clarity. Early in the application, you'll be presented with a list of acceptable vehicles for your market.

It’s also possible to register multiple vehicles under one account. You could, for instance, have various bikes, cars, or motorcycles. The same platform alternatively allows you to switch between different transportation modes. A motorcyclist may, for instance, shift to driving vehicles or bikes. 

And if you're transitioning from a non-motorized mode like walking or biking to a motor vehicle, be prepared for a motor vehicle background check. It’s DoorDash's way of making sure that every Dasher, regardless of their vehicle, upholds the platform's safety standards.

Car requirements

DoorDash is refreshingly lenient when it comes to their vehicle requirements. Unlike rideshare giants like Lyft and Uber – which often have specific criteria about your car's make, model, and age – DoorDash is accommodating to everyone. 

The reason for this flexibility is simple. Whereas rideshare apps focus on passenger comfort, because they transport people, DoorDash's main goal is food delivery. The customer's primary interaction isn't with your vehicle but rather with the meal you're delivering. 

So, whether you're a college student with a hand-me-down hatchback, a retiree with a rented sedan, or anyone in between, DoorDash is open to a partnership. The only DoorDash driver requirements that they’ll need from you are a dependable vehicle, a valid domestic driver's license, an active insurance policy, and a clean driving record.

Check out the specifics of DoorDash’s car requirements

Motorcycle requirements

As a motorcycle DoorDasher, you’ll enjoy increased agility in traffic, as well as convenient parking and accessibility. 

To start, you need to be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driver's license. DoorDash insists on these basic criteria for all its drivers.

Insurance is another key requirement for motorcycle Dashers. The policy’s specifics might differ based on your location, but the underlying principle remains the same – to protect against any liabilities that might arise while you're on the road.

Upon collating these essentials, you can download the DoorDash driver app and create your account. You’ll then get the chance to define “motorcycle” as your mode of transport, before giving DoorDash consent for conducting a background check. 

The motorcycle background check will look into your motor vehicle records to confirm your driving history. Even though DoorDash insists on a clean record, it doesn’t necessarily lock out applicants who’ve been convicted in the past.

Check out the specifics of DoorDash’s motorcycle requirements

Moped requirements

Mopeds, with their compact size and nimbleness, are another popular transport choice for DoorDash drivers. But, you’ll only find them in large congested cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, and Detroit. 

In Hawaii, for example, Scott acknowledges that mopeds are a popular way to get around. He reports that, “Delivers especially love them for the great gas mileage, as they easily achieve 100 miles to the gallon.”

As for the requirements, DoorDash applies more or less the same criterias as motorcycles.

To begin with, you must be at least 18 years old to deliver with a scooter on DoorDash. That’s in addition to having a valid driver’s license plus liability insurance. A clean driving record would also help, as DoorDash emphasizes integrity, safety, and reliability. 

DoorDash is also quite flexible regarding the type of scooter. Both manual and electric scooters can be used for deliveries – despite the latter being the only officially recognized option on the DoorDash app.

During registration, be ready to provide moped details, submit your driver's license, and agree to a background check. 

Check out the specifics of DoorDash’s moped requirements

Bike requirements

If you want to earn while staying physically active, consider using a bike.

DoorDash's bike delivery system is tailored for urban areas experiencing traffic congestion and parking challenges. We’re talking about cities like Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Austin, Boston, Providence, Seattle, Miami, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The bicycles allow Dashers to weave through their tight spaces and bypass traffic snarls

If you're considering this option, the good news is that you don't need a driver’s license for regular bikes. But, if you're riding an e-bike or any motor-assisted bicycle, DoorDash might request a driver's license.

While prior experience isn't mandatory, those familiar with rideshare, food delivery, or courier services may adapt more easily to DoorDash’s bike deliveries.

Another critical consideration is the choice of bicycle from the three categories supported by DoorDash. 

Electric bikes, valued for their speed and efficiency, are particularly useful during peak hours. Hybrid bikes, on the other hand, seamlessly switch between different speeds – making them perfect for city terrains. When you’re dealing with steep and challenging terrains, though, you might want to stick with a mountain bike.

Other than that, for carrying food deliveries, you’ll need a well-insulated backpack – which can be purchased directly from the DoorDash Store. You should also get reflective clothing for increased visibility, plus maybe a bike bell for easy navigation. 

Official requirement #5: Auto insurance

DoorDash’s driver requirements dictate that Dashers should be at least 18 years old, possess a valid driver's license, and maintain an active car insurance policy.

You’re probably already used to paying $1,500 to $4,500 annually for your personal car insurance. The easiest answer to accounting for being a DoorDash driver is to ask your personal car insurance provider to add “rideshare insurance”, which should typically add about $10-30/month to your insurance bill. 

DoorDash does supplement your insurance with a liability policy, whose coverage extends to $1 million. This one doesn’t charge you any premiums. You qualify by virtue of being an insured DoorDash Driver. 

However, the policy only activates when you’re transporting orders to customers or en route to collect them – but not when you’re waiting around for an offer.

Should you face any personal injuries or damages, your primary insurance will be the first line of defense. Only after that will DoorDash's coverage step in, and only to cover the other person. All the latter’s claims are usually filed through Blue Star Claims, which is the third-party company that manages insurance on behalf of DoorDash. 

Find out more about the ins and outs of car insurance while Dashing.

Official requirement #6: You must pass a background check

When you apply to become a Dasher, DoorDash doesn’t simply take your word for it. They, instead, pass on your details to a third-party agency called Checkr, which then looks into your history.

The background check process is one of the DoorDash driver requirements that you must go through and pass if you hope to work on the platform. This is what the company uses to verify if you can indeed be trusted to uphold integrity and safety. 

Checkr’s job here is to scan both local and federal criminal records to identify any significant past convictions that DoorDash should be concerned about. They also cross-check your details against the National Sex-Offender Registry. 

But, the scrutiny doesn't stop at criminal records. Checkr reviews even your motor vehicle records for any major traffic violations, including DUI convictions. This step is meant to provide insights into your driving habits and compliance with traffic laws.

To facilitate such an in-depth background check, you'll need to provide the following details in your DoorDash application:

  • Full Name: This should be your complete legal name, including first, middle, and surname, as mentioned in your ID or license.
  • Date of Birth: Again, as it appears on your official documents.
  • Social Security Number: This can be sourced from bank statements, tax documents, or by contacting your local SSA.
  • Address: If you're unsure of the exact details, you can always use apps or refer to any government correspondence you've received. This address should match your driver’s license.
  • Contact Information: Provide a valid phone number and email address through which DoorDash can reach out to you. 
  • Consent Form: This authorizes Checkr to access and review your criminal and driving records.

Typically, the entire background check process, from the moment you submit your details to when you receive approval, may take about five to ten days. 

But, it doesn’t end there. Even after you’ve sailed through the initial background check and joined the platform, the company will occasionally revisit your records – at least once every year. This is done to confirm that you continue to observe DoorDash’s driver requirements. 

Here are more details on passing DoorDash’s background check. And if you’re particularly worried about your criminal history, we have a corresponding guide on getting hired by DoorDash with a felony history

Official requirement #7: Becoming a Top Dasher

The Top Dasher program is DoorDash's recognition and reward system for its elite drivers.

One of its prime perks is the unrestricted use of the "Dash Now" feature. While most Dashers can only access the option during peak-demand periods, Top Dashers can leverage it whenever they wish. 

Also, when an order pops up and multiple drivers are available, Top Dashers always get the first dibs. The same elite drivers are the ones who additionally get priority for orders of $30 or more. Combined, all these Top Dasher benefits should help you to strategically maximize your DoorDash earnings. 

To be eligible for the title, you'll need to meet the following DoorDash driver requirements;

  • Complete a total of 200 deliveries since joining.
  • Finish at least 100 deliveries over the past month.
  • Maintain an order completion rate of 95% or higher.
  • Have an order acceptance rate of 70% or more.
  • Achieve a customer rating of 4.7 or above.

But, the Top Dasher status isn't automatically granted the moment you meet these criteria. DoorDash only updates its Top Dasher list on the 2nd day of each month. So, if you hit the benchmarks mid-month, just sustain them until the end of the month to secure your spot.

“This is where the real money is,” says Scott. “But, it takes so much to get here.”

Official requirement #8: Qualifying for the Fast Pay programs

Fast Pay is DoorDash's solution for Dashers seeking quicker access to their earnings. Instead of the routine weekly payout, drivers can swiftly transfer their earnings to their bank account.

While DoorDash typically processes payouts every Monday for the previous week's earnings, Fast Pay provides almost real-time access to your funds. 

To be eligible, you must meet these DoorDash driver requirements:

  • Complete at least 25 deliveries.
  • Be an active member of the platform for a minimum of two weeks.

Dashers can use Fast Pay once per day. This means if you've had a particularly lucrative day, it’s possible to cash out immediately. Plus, there are no limits or fees. 

“I had a good friend who specifically started Doordashing just because of this feature,” confesses Scott. “He liked his current job, but between paychecks, he wanted to have some spending money. So, he would hop in his truck, work for a few hours in the evening, and cash out at the end of the evening. He was making close to $100 in 2-3 hours, which is not bad at all.”

The only thing is, that expedited service comes with a fee of $1.99 per transfer. Plus, there's a weekly cap of $2,000 for Fast Pay transfers.

Official requirement #9: Early Access Scheduling 

Early Access Scheduling is a reward system that allows qualified Dashers to view and select their preferred delivery shifts a week in advance. 

Every Friday at 3 p.m., the upcoming week's schedules (Monday through Sunday) are released. The system then lets Early Access Dashers strategically map out their entire week's work – which means they get to take up the most lucrative times. 

The perk is, however, only available to the most dedicated and high-performing DoorDash drivers. You basically need to:

  • Maintain a customer rating of 4.6 or above.
  • Achieve a completion rate of at least 95%.
  • Complete a minimum of 5 deliveries from 12 a.m. the previous Friday to 11:59 p.m. the previous Thursday.

Once these requirements are met, you’ll be automatically granted Early Access without any additional activation steps.

Unofficial requirement #1: There’s no maximum age limit for DoorDash drivers

If you're legally an adult – aged 18 years or over – who fulfills all the stipulated DoorDash driver requirements, you’re eligible to be a Dasher. 

It's not the candles on your birthday cake that count, but the passion and care you bring to each delivery. You can be 25, 45, or 75. 

Unofficial requirement #2: You can Dash with other people’s vehicles, but the insurance must be in your name

The car or motorcycle doesn't have to be yours. You’re free to sign up with a vehicle owned by your family member, friend, or colleague – as long as you're insured to drive it. 

Other than that, you may use a rental car on DoorDash. The company even collaborates with popular rental services like Hertz to secure favorable deals for its drivers. According to DoorDasher Faith McLaughlin, it’s also possible to get yourself hourly rentals from the likes of Avis and Getaround.  

For more insights, refer to our comprehensive writeup on car rentals and DoorDash.

Unofficial requirement #3: Free of substance abuse

When starting out, you won't be subjected to drug screenings. Instead, DoorDash relies on its Dashers to act responsibly and adhere to the company's standards.

Many businesses have strict drug testing policies for their full-time employees but are more relaxed with independent contractors. DoorDash is similar in this regard. Their main vetting process for potential Dashers is through background checks, which focus on an individual's safety and reliability rather than personal habits.

That’s not to say you’ll get away with substance abuse. Even though DoorDash might not constantly monitor its Dashers, customers do. They often report Dashers who appear to be under the influence. Those are sufficient grounds for the platform to deactivate your account.

For in-depth insights into that and other related stumbling blocks, check out our guide on drug tests and DoorDash

Unofficial requirement #4: A smartphone with long battery life and fast 4G or 5G internet connectivity

DoorDash operates on real-time data communication. From order placement to delivery, data travels between servers, the Dasher's device, and occasionally the customer. Such a system requires a smartphone that's both reliable and technically proficient.

The DoorDash app is compatible with iOS and Android. Ideally, your phone should run at least iOS 15.0 or Android 5.0 (Lollipop) to seamlessly support the platform’s advanced protocols and APIs.

During active use, the system consumes about 50-70MB of data per hour. A 4G LTE connection has the speed and low latency capabilities to facilitate that, with 5G performing even better.

When it comes to screen features, we’d recommend a clear display of 5 to 6.5 inches with a resolution of at least 1280x720 pixels (HD) for optimal app interface visibility.

You’ll also need a battery capacity of at least 3000mAh to remain operational throughout most of the day, even with intensive tasks like GPS navigation. 

Ryan Shaw confirms that DoorDash indeed drains his phone battery pretty fast, especially when running alongside streaming apps like Spotify. He thus recommends using a car charger whenever you’re Dashing. 

Otherwise, to avoid major glitches, Scott insists on frequently checking the Google PlayStore or Apple App Store for updates. He says the platform rolls them out regularly. 

Unofficial requirement #5: Safety gear for motorcycles and bikes 

When you finally get on board as a bike, scooter, moped, bike, or motorcycle Dasher, consider investing in quality safety gear – including a helmet, gloves, and protective clothing. They’ll not only shield you from potential accidents but also provide comfort during your deliveries.

Unofficial requirement #6: DoorDash Delivery bags

Equally important to bikers and motorcyclists is the equipment used to transport deliveries. A versatile, insulated food delivery backpack is a must-have as it keeps the food warm while you maneuver through traffic. Otherwise, for those who prefer not to have the weight on their backs, saddlebags or a top case could be a great alternative. 

DoorDash delivery bags, often recognized by their bright red color and logo, are insulated carriers that maintain the temperature of food items during transit.

They additionally limit package movement, which then reduces the chances of spills. Customers too like seeing their deliveries come in DoorDash bags, as they present a professional image. 

But, they’re not compulsory. DoorDash only recommends them, especially to Dashers in areas with extreme temperatures. A well-insulated bag allows them to deliver ice cream orders on a blazing summer day or hot soup in the middle of a chilly winter night. 

Another group that would appreciate the bags is drivers who often cover long distances. They keep orders at optimal temperature for the duration of the journey. 

There are also upscale restaurants that insist on DoorDash drivers using an insulated bag. To them, a delivery bag is necessary to preserve the quality of their dishes.

DoorDash itself might require a photo of your delivery bag, as proof that you have the capacity to handle pizza orders. That’s according to Scott and Faith, who insist that the platform is pretty selective when it comes to such large orders. 

Getting a DoorDash delivery bag 

DoorDash offers various bags that fit its drivers' needs. Some are perfect for individual orders, while others feature compartments to keep multiple orders organized. There are even bags built specifically to keep drinks stable and spill-free.

Scott himself admits that he has had trouble keeping most of his drinks orders from spilling in the car. He further emphasizes that he can’t imagine how hectic it must be to handle the same on a bike or scooter.

That said, the best delivery bags for DoorDash drivers are the ones that preserve the quality, temperature, and presentation of food orders. 

So, when selecting a bag, prioritize high-quality insulation to keep food at the right temperature, The bag should also be spacious enough to accommodate larger orders but compact enough for easy handling. Then since usage is frequent, it should be durable enough to resist daily wear and tear.

The DoorDash store has a range of options, from tote bags and pizza carriers to drink holders and catering bags. You should further keep an eye out for promotions, as DoorDash occasionally offers bags for free or at a discount.

But, you won’t be limited to the platform’s bag collection. If you come across an alternative insulated bag that meets DoorDash's quality and size standards, feel free to use it. Just ensure it's clean, looks professional, and doesn't sport logos from rival services.

Scott points out you might be able to get help from a restaurant, “Most pizza restaurant chains will even give you one for free if you explain that you are a new Dasher, and you need it for your orders.”

Unofficial requirement #7: health insurance

Although DoorDash doesn’t directly provide health insurance to its drivers, it has partnered with Stride Health as an option to help you find your own. 

Stride Health, based in New Mexico, is a third-party platform where drivers can explore health insurance options from leading national providers like Anthem, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. The plans here cater to the unique needs of independent DoorDash contractors, and they range from major medical coverage with varying deductibles to supplemental benefits like life and accident insurance policies.

During application, you’ll need to provide details about your health and financial status. Stride's algorithm will subsequently evaluate health insurance options from various insurers, and then highlight the ones that best match your requirements. 

For Dashers in California, there's an added layer of support in the form of Proposition 22 (Prop 22), which was passed in 2020. This law requires companies like DoorDash to contribute towards the health insurance premiums of their independent contractors. 

To qualify for the stipend, drivers need to average at least 15 active hours per week over a quarter and be part of a qualifying health plan. The stipend's value is tiered – as drivers averaging 15 to 25 active hours receive $683, while those working 25 hours or more are granted $1,366.

According to Faith McLaughlin, “DoorDash sends out an email about once every two weeks to update you about your progress towards the stipend. It details your total active hours as well as the average over the last quarter.”

Qualified to be a DoorDasher? 

As you’ve confirmed for yourself, it doesn’t take much to impress DoorDash and earn from its wide clientele. If you meet the basic DoorDash driver requirements and share their passion for service, you're essentially a Dasher at heart. Become official today by signing up on DoorDash.

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