7 Steps to Becoming a Dasher

7 Steps to Becoming a Dasher

What is DoorDash? DoorDash is a food delivery app. They offer a delivery service that connects users with local restaurants.

What do Dashers do? Local drivers are called Dashers. As a Dasher, you will receive orders from users, pick up the food from restaurants, and deliver it to them. DoorDash allows you to make your own schedule and choose when, where and how much you earn.

How to work for DoorDash? Let’s go over the general requirements first:                                                                                                                                          

  • Must be 18 or older
  • Have a mode of transportation (car, scooter, or bicycle)
  • Provide your driver’s license number
  • Provide your social security number (in US)
  • Consent to and pass a background check (includes Motor Vehicle Report if driving a vehicle and Criminal History Report)

Step 1: Sign Up 

To begin the application process, you can click here

First, DoorDash will ask for your zip code to verify Dashers are needed in your area (if there are too many drivers, you will not be able to to sign up and instead be placed on their waitlist). 

Then enter your email address and phone number to create your account.

Step 2: Select Mode of Transportation

Next you will enter whether you’re driving a car, scooter, or bicycle. Unless you’re riding a bicycle, you will need to have valid vehicle insurance.

Step 3: Background Check

In order to become a Dasher, you will need to consent to a free background check which takes 3-10 days to process. This requires that you submit your social security number and birthdate. You will need to pass both the Motor Vehicle Report if driving a motorized vehicle as well as a Criminal History Report. You will be notified via email if you are approved and you can also check the status on your browser. If you do not pass the background check, you will be disqualified from being a Dasher.

Who won’t pass the background check? Anyone with a disqualifying offense in the last 7 years or for any other safety-related reason. This includes DUIs, sexual offenses, felonies, violent crimes, theft, and property damage. If you want to dispute the accuracy of your background check, you can contact Checkr, the third-party provider running the background checks.

Step 4: Enter Bank Account

DoorDash will need your bank account information in order to set up direct deposit so you can start driving and start earning $$$. You can always change the bank account you’re using by going to the “Earnings” tab through the mobile app. 

Note: DoorDash issues payments the first Monday of every week, which take 1-2 business days to process. For faster access to earnings, you can set up DasherDirect or Fast Pay for a small fee.

Step 5: W-9

A W-9 is a self-employment tax agreement. Dashers who earn more than $600 a year will complete a 1099-NEC. This means you will be an independent contractor, DoorDash is not your employer.

It’s important to understand that you will be responsible for accurately reporting your earnings in tax filings. Use Jackalope to track your mileage, expenses, and earnings and save thousands on your taxes. This means tracking everything from vehicle costs, mileage, insurance, tolls/parking, phone plan costs, bank costs, etc.

Step 6: Activation Kit

Assuming you pass your background check, DoorDash will mail you an Activation Kit with everything you need to get started.

The Activation Kit includes: Hot bag, Red Card (credit card Dashers use to pay for DoorDash orders), and a Getting Started Manual. After you order an Activation Kit, you will receive a confirmation email with the tracking information. 

Step 7: Get Started!

Once you finish signing up and your application is approved, you can download the Dasher app and start dashing. When you’re ready to go, click “Dash Now” to start receiving delivery requests near you. Check out this video to learn how to schedule your first dash.

Final tips for succeeding as a Dasher:

Use Jackalope to track your mileage, expenses, and earnings, so you are organized and ready to save come tax season. 

Discover optimal times for Dashing (lunch and dinner rush) and earn more when you create your schedule using our Scheduling tool. Remember that you can optimize your earnings by applying to multiple gig apps and ensuring that you are working the right jobs at the right times for maximum hourly income. 

As a new Dasher, accept every order you get so you can familiarize yourself with your zone. 

Keep your customers happy and earn more tips by updating them when you arrive at the restaurant and provide an ETA if you have it. If you’re waiting longer than 10 minutes, simply send a quick note saying “Still waiting (cute emoji)”. Once you have the food, text them with your confirmed ETA. 

Remember—you are your own boss now. Take breaks, track everything, don’t sweat the small stuff, and have fun!