Last Updated on 2023-07-16

How Long It Takes To Become a Dasher: Breaking it Down

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

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Tadas Antanavicius

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

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Michael Vaness

6 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, and Spark

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Christian Lombardi

Two years of experience working across DoorDash and Uber Eats

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Ricardo Cervantes

5 years of experience working across DoorDash and Postmates

For the average person who can pass a background check and work in an area where DoorDash has availability, you should be able to get hired and on the road doing deliveries within 2 days. You then get your first paycheck from DoorDash after Sunday at midnight, and the money hits your bank account a couple days later.

But your specific experience may vary. Several factors may slow down your process at various stages of the signup process, making it take a few weeks, or, in the rarest of cases, many months.

The steps involved include:

  1. Signing up (filling out the application)
  2. Identity verification
  3. Background check
  4. Awaiting approval
  5. Getting your Red Card and tote bag (after your first Dash)

How long does the DoorDash application take?

Getting through the DoorDash “application” is extremely easy:

  1. Check this formal job description and click the signup link on that page
  2. Enter your zip code and some initial personal information
  3. Pass identity verification
  4. Kick off the background check

This whole process should take you about 5 minutes

How long does DoorDash identity verification take?

While the initial identity verification process, including uploading your license, is just part of the application, do note that you may be asked to re-verify your identity again in the future, just before doing a Dash.

DoorDash does this verification to prevent people from illegally signing up as if they are someone else.

It will never take more than a few seconds (you just snap a selfie of yourself and upload the photo), so it won’t really slow you down.

Christian Lombardi, a Dasher who has earned over $20k while Dashing, has observed: “I've heard that this is starting to be rolled out in different markets but I've not seen it yet. I believe it's a test feature, so I'm unsure if it's going to be a permanent thing moving forward.” 

How long does the DoorDash background check take?

The background check - including the MVR (motor vehicle record) check, also known as a driving record check - can be almost instant (just a few minutes), but at other times may take up to two weeks.

The background check is the most variable part of the process, and is the typical reason someone’s signup process may take a day, vs. someone else’s signup process may take over a week. If your name is more unique, you don’t have much background history, you initiate the check on a weekday (not weekend), you have a clean record, etc - you will pass your background checker more quickly than others. Maybe even instantly.

If less than 1 week has passed since you started your background check. This is normal. Just wait a little longer.

If more than 1 week has passed, this might be normal, but there might be an issue. First, check whether Checkr, DoorDash’s background check provider, has finished processing your background check by going to this link. You may get an explanation of your status there. If you cannot find an explanation there, you can consider contacting DoorDash Support to ask for an update.

If more than 2 weeks have passed, it’s very probable that something is wrong. Double check that you didn’t miss some email notification from DoorDash or Checkr. Review the Checkr status at this link, and if it’s not clear what’s going on, contact DoorDash support to ask for an update.

Lastly, how long does it take to get approved for DoorDash?

Let’s say you pass the application process, identity verification, and background check with flying colors; how long will you have to wait after that?

When DoorDash really needs drivers in an area, they’ll have a team working to approve people immediately, so this step should take no time at all.

In other areas, DoorDash may approve you, but it’s not a priority for them, so it may drag out a few days after your background check is all set.

In the worst case, you might get placed on a waitlist. This happens when an area is particularly oversaturated with Dashers.

Michael Vaness, a Dasher with over a year of experience, suggests reaching out to DoorDash support to try and collect more information if the process is dragging out: “I've had a few friends who waited months for approval and never received it. They found out that they had been approved by getting on the phone. Calling support may also help to clarify about an estimated wait time for approval so you aren't constantly guessing. If they happen to have a high saturation of applicants and a long wait list, an agent can inform you of this along with a better idea of how long you may have to wait, and they may even be able to expedite your approval process. Like any job, if you show great interest, they may be more likely to bump an applicant up the list if they show more eagerness than someone who does nothing while they wait.”

How long will the DoorDash waitlist take?

Unfortunately, this is impossible to predict. The waitlist time will vary market by market, and depend on when you got on the waitlist. DoorDash does not publicize its plans for pulling people off the waitlist. So you will be waiting anywhere from a few days, to a few months, to maybe never getting off of it.

I’m approved, but I’m still waiting for my tote bag and Red Card

Stop waiting! DoorDash requires that you complete your first delivery without your DoorDash-branded tote bag and without your Red Card. They do this to make sure people are serious about being Dashers.

You don’t typically need a tote bag to perform simple deliveries, and many orders do not require the “Red Card,” which is only used when you need to pay for a food order on arrival at the store (it is usually used for convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, Aldi, and some smaller stores; less often for restaurants).

After you’ve completed your first order, you can expect to receive your tote bag and Red Card in the mail within a week or so, though some Dashers report not receiving these items until they’ve done at least a handful of orders.

I’m doing Dashes, but when do I get paid?

If you are on the “weekly payout” option, you always have the option to trigger a same-day payment using DoorDash Fast Pay, which charges a small fee ($1.99) to get the money on the way to your bank account that day. You can only do this once per day.

Standard payments (not Fast Pay) get released weekly on Sunday evenings. They take a couple days to process, so you should expect to see money in your bank account by Wednesday or so. Michael reports that some banks, like Chime, are typically a little faster and you can see money come in by Tuesday consistently.

If you are on DasherDirect (subject to approval), the debit card that gets loaded with your earnings immediately after you "end dash" - all that same day.

How do I go ahead and become a DoorDash Driver?

Click here to review the formal job description and start your application!

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