How can I get an Uber Driving Licence?

Travelling via public transport in South Africa has always been a bit of a headache. Choosing between trains, taxis and buses can often feel like you’re choosing between safety, cost and punctuality. Thankfully, a few years ago, the world changed for the better when Uber was founded as a valid alternative to the commuter’s nightmare. The business didn’t just change the way we travelled, it also provided a plethora of new jobs for drivers who wanted a little extra cash in their pocket. Perhaps you’re one such driver, if so you’re probably wondering – How do I get an Uber Driving Licence? What are the requirements and how much money am I going to get paid anyway?

Before you can apply to become a Uber Driver you will need to meet the following criteria

  • Have a valid South African Professional Driver’s Licence (PrDP)Similar to a regular driving licence, a PrDP can be obtained from a Driving Licence Testing Centre and is a requirement for anyone wishing to transport passengers for a reward
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Provide a Driver Profile Photo
  • Acquire a Safety Screening Certificate
  • Acquire a Driving Evaluation Certificate
How can I get an Uber Driving Licence?

That all sounds simple enough except for the part about the certificates. So, what are they?

Well, these are extra considerations made by Uber that vary slightly depending on where you live. Some people will need to complete a safety screening and driver evaluation while others will only require the safety screening. The breakdown for these locations is as follows –

Safety Screening and Driver Evaluation  Safety Screening Only
Johannesburg
Pretoria  
Durban
Pietermaritzburg
Cape Town  
  All other cities

You can make bookings for these evaluations online via the Uber website but, before you do, let’s go over what they entail and how much this is going to cost you.

  • Safety Screening – This process allows Uber to check for any sort of criminal record in the driver’s past. If a criminal record is detected, the driver must apply for expungement if they are able to do so. The result from this screening will be available within 48 hours and should cost you around R150 (the price also varies slightly depending on location). You will need to bring along your original ID document/passport.
  • Driver Evaluation – Uber requires drivers to pass a driving evaluation before they can get started. This evaluation will cost you around R300 and you will need to bring along your original licence and your original ID document/passport.

There are also a wide range of vehicle requirements that change depending on the Uber service you wish to engage in. With regard to the relevant documentation, you will need –

  • Operating card (double disc)
  • Vehicle certificate of registration
  • Vehicle inspection certificate
  • Vehicle insurance cover
  • Operating Licence

Once you have everything you need, you can upload your documents and activate your Uber account.

What are the Laws on Passenger Vehicle Safety?

For Uber drivers, there are two main groups that dictate safety standards when operating. The first and foremost authority is that of the National Road Traffic Act which gives intricate details with regards to the standards that must be upheld when transporting individuals. This act covers everything from the maximum capacity of a vehicle to the number of emergency exits it must have.

How can I get an Uber Driving Licence?

The second set of rules comes directly from Uber and is intended to safeguard both the passengers and the drivers in all their dealings. These rules include things like the protocols for sanitisation and masking during Covid alongside GPS tracking and pin identification.

How Much does an Uber Licence Cost?

As mentioned, the cost of the Driver’s Evaluation and Safety Screening differs slightly depending on location. For the most part, the evaluation costs around R300 while the screening costs around R150. You can check the exact amount needed for your area when you book online but, all in all, it would probably be safe to take around R500 to cover both.

Just remember that there are many extra expenses that need to be taken into accounts such as your vehicle insurance and the cost of a PrDP.

How Long does it take to Get an Uber Licence?

Excluding evaluation and screening times which need to be booked by the individual, the activation process for an Uber driver should take between 1-7 days (times vary according to city/area) although the process can take longer in certain scenarios.

Can you Make a Living on Uber?

It depends. Just like with taxi drivers, an Uber driver’s wages can depend heavily on the location in which they operate. Ferrying passengers around the streets of Cape Town can net you a salary in line with the national average, however, other areas may not be as lucrative and certain drivers may find that the job simply does not pay enough on its own.

Another important factor to consider is that many different subsets of Uber drivers exist, each with different earning potentials. Some drivers transport people while others transport food. Some have vehicles with a high passenger capacity while others do not. All of these elements can affect how much a driver earns.

Lastly, Uber incorporates special in-app promotions which are available to certain drivers. These promotions may pay extra for certain activities such as driving during busy times or reaching a set number of trips.

How can I get an Uber Driving Licence?

How do I Register my Car with Uber?

Vehicle registration takes place during the Uber profile creation process. You will need to meet the vehicle requirements set by Uber before uploading your vehicle documents for processing. The most basic requirements for a registered vehicle are as follows –

  • Model year 2011 or newer
  • Either a 5-door hatchback or a 4-door sedan/minivan
  • ABS, passenger and driver airbag safety features fitted
  • Good condition with no cosmetic damage

It is also worth mentioning that different Uber services, such as UberX and Uber Comfort, have different vehicle requirements attached to them which drivers will need to fulfil before they can offer these services.

There is also a driver-partner system that may allow you to drive for someone else while you wait for your vehicle to be added to the platform.

In Conclusion – How do I get an Uber Driving Licence and is it Worth it?

There are certain requirements that must be met when you apply to become an Uber driver. They are as follows –

  • Have a valid South African Professional Driver’s Licence (PrDP)
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Provide a Driver Profile Photo
  • Acquire a Safety Screening Certificate
  • Acquire a Driving Evaluation Certificate

The safety screening process is used to determine whether or not the applicant has certain criminal records that may make them ineligible for the service. If you have such a record, you may still be able to apply if you are able to successfully expunge your record.

Both the safety screening and driving evaluation need to be booked online and both carry an application fee. Costs differ depending on the area in which they take place but, generally speaking, R500 should cover them both. It should also be noted that the driver evaluation is only required in particular areas and many locations will only require a safety screening.

When applying, you will also need to ensure that your vehicle meets the standards set by Uber. These standards change slightly depending on the specific Uber service in question but, at a bare minimum, they include –

  • Model year 2011 or newer
  • Either a 5-door hatchback or a 4-door sedan/minivan
  • ABS, passenger and driver airbag safety features fitted
  • Good condition with no cosmetic damage

Uber also provides various rules and guidelines which must be upheld to ensure the safety of both the driver and the passengers.

The profitability of Uber is swayed by several factors, the most prominent of these being location. Uber drivers in busy areas of Cape Town could see themselves earning a decent salary while drivers in more rural parts of the country may not make enough to get by. Additionally, many distinct Uber services exist and a driver could see a large difference in the amount that they earn depending on which service they provide. Special in-app promotions are also available which could impact a driver’s wages. These include things like completing a set number of trips and/or working during busy hours.

Disclaimer LAW101: All of our posts are for research purposes only. Law 101 aims to assist its readers with useful information on the laws of our country that can guide you to make decisions in line with the South African Governmental Laws currently in place. Although our posts cite the constitution in many instances, they are intended to assist readers who are looking to expand their knowledge of the law. Should you require specific legal advice we advise you to get in touch with a qualified legal expert.

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