While I have not yet disclosed this here until now, I'm currenlty looking for employment after our recent move to South Carolina. Employment in engineering is notoriously slow down here and in the mean time I've decided to try to find another form of employment until I can gain an engineering or other position full time. That's when I decided to turn to Uber.
Yes, I am aware of the major downsides to driving for Uber, but this is not a full time career for me, just a way to make money until a full time position can be secured in my normal job field.
If you've ever followed any news about Uber, you likely know that the company is often blasted for not doing proper checks on their drivers. Now that I've been able to experience the first steps of the process, let me assure you that their background check company is a walking nightmare. Let me explain.
In the past 14-15 years I've moved a lot. My home town is in central New York, I went to school in Florida and took my first job in Kansas. After that I was moved around for my job to Arkansas, and Delaware. After changing jobs I moved to Pennsylvania and lived in two different places in Pennsylvania. Just recently I again moved, this time to South Carolina. As you can imagine, all of this moving means I've had many different drivers licenses.
Under Uber's background check requirements, you must show at least 1 year of driving history. Since I moved to South Carolina recently, my drivers license only shows an active driving history of a few months, meaning that I was required to provide more information to Uber for past driving history. Problem is, South Carolina like many states, now takes your old drivers license once one is issued in your new state. That means I no longer even know my old drivers license number. This remains true for Kansas, Delaware, and New York where I have also held past driver licenses.
If you don't have an old license.... and you shouldn't, you need to provide a drivers record. Problem is, you need your drivers license number to get access to this information. Luckily I hadn't updated my Global Entry profile to my new license, so I was at least able to snag my PA license number. This did not fully solve the problem. In my drivers record from PA, they only listed my last issue date of my license, which I had reissued to me when I needed my address to be up to date for a visa application. This means that according to my drivers record, the license in PA only showed last December as my license start date, despite the original license being issued years before that.
The ability to even grab my history in PA was all due to luck that I even was able to find my license number. All other states requested a license number as well. It's been 4 years since I had a DE license, 6 since Kansas, and 12 since I had a NY license. I just don't have those numbers anymore. Yet Uber offers no other options.
Uber customer support took a full hour to understand what I was saying the problem was here. I just couldn't access older records, and PA wasn't giving the full history I needed. After an hour with support, they told me to spend a further $32 on a certified record, yeah I didn't mention that each record costs $9 online, and $32 for the certified record.
I suspected this was bad information on Uber's part, and luckily I called PA DMV to verify my hunch. It was in fact bad advice from Uber. I actually needed to call PA and request that they modify the record to show full history of my license renewel and changes. They promised to have it mailed within two days. Imagine that, a DMV that was more helpful than Uber... who would have imagined.
So, in the end, PA DMV will take care of my problem, where Uber had no solutions. Uber relies on a 3rd party background check company that needs to get itself together. Very little information has been given to me at any stage of this process. Maybe I'm the lone person who has moved this much, but I highly doubt that is the case. Really the true story is that things need to be better managed with Uber background checks. I have 15 years of driving history... it should be easier than this to prove it.
Rocket Scientist, Travel Junkie, and Ruler of the 4th Moon of Omicron Persei 8