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Uber Deactivation: Why It Happens and What to Do About It

You like to think that Uber is on your side and that they want you to succeed as a driver. And this is true. Despite how the company can act towards drivers at times, the success of their current business model rests on keeping drivers happy (or at least satisfied). If drivers don’t like Uber, they may leave, which could put Uber out of business.

It’s hard to feel like Uber is on your side when they deactivate your account. It may take a moment to realize it has happened, but you’ll figure it out pretty quick when you can’t log into the Uber app and no longer have access to your online account.

Deactivation is frustrating, but it can happen to even the best of drivers for reasons that have nothing to do with breaking the law or being a bad driver (though both of those things can get you deactivated). In this article, we’ll look at why deactivation happens and how you can get your account reactivated so that you can start accepting rides again.

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How to Tell If Your Account Has Been Deactivated

Sometimes, it’s obvious that Uber has deactivated your account. They may send you an email or text message telling you about it, or you may see one of the following messages pop up when you open the Uber driver app or attempt to log in to your online Uber driver account:

  • “The partner account you drive under has been disabled”
  • “Your driver account has not been activated”
  • “Your account has been placed on hold”
  • “You are waitlisted”

As you can see, none of the above messages specifically say that Uber has deactivated you. And, of course, it’s possible you’re seeing these messages due to some other reason. It could even be a technical error on Uber’s part.

The only way to be sure that you’ve been deactivated and that you’re not having some other sort of account or technical problem is to contact Uber support. They can confirm that you’ve been deactivated, explain why, and even help you get reactivated if you’re eligible (which we’ll cover more in a following section).

6 Reasons Your Uber Account Was Deactivated (and How to Avoid Them)

So what exactly causes Uber to deactivate your account? There are a lot of possible reasons out there. Most of them have to do with customer service, violating Uber’s terms of service, or, in serious cases, breaking the law. Luckily, many of them are also issues you can easily avoid or remedy. Let’s take a look at each of the reasons:

1. Low Driver Rating

In order for you to be a driver, Uber requires you to maintain a minimum rating. Low ratings can get you deactivated. The minimum rating varies based on your city. Uber doesn’t care about your specific rating so much as how your rating compares to the average rating across all drivers in the market where you operate.

Of all the things that can get you deactivated, this one is one of the easiest to avoid. Just provide good customer service, offer passengers amenities, and generally be polite. As long as you do these things, your driver rating should be fine.

2. Inactivity

To be an Uber driver, you need to, well, drive. If you’re not using the app, then Uber has no reason to keep your account active — doing so only costs them money. This doesn’t mean you have to drive 8 hours every day, or even drive every day of the week. Many drivers just work on the weekends or in their spare time, something that Uber uses as part of their marketing to drivers.

However, you can’t drive once every couple months and expect Uber to keep your account active. If you’re driving that little, it probably means you don’t enjoy it or don’t have time. If that’s the case, then Uber deactivating your account is probably for the best.

3. Passenger Complaints

Whenever a passenger rates an Uber ride, they also have a chance to leave comments about their experience. Furthermore, they can report particularly negative passenger experiences to Uber customer service.

If passengers are repeatedly complaining about you for legitimate reasons, then Uber is going to deactivate your account. Can you blame them? They want to provide quality passenger experiences, and they shouldn’t tolerate drivers who don’t.

Of course, there could be cases where passenger complaints are illegitimate. Maybe passengers are discriminating against you based on your race, gender, sexual orientation, or other protected class. Maybe you just had a string of bad luck where factors outside your control (traffic conditions, bad weather, technical or vehicle problems) caused riders to have a bad experience and take it out on you.

In these cases, you can always report what happened to Uber customer support and attempt to appeal the deactivation (we’ll discuss this more in a moment).

4. Violation of Uber’s Code of Conduct

There are some things you can do that will get you immediately deactivated. Hopefully, these are things most drivers never have to worry about since not only are they against Uber’s Terms of Service, many are also against the law.

You’ll receive immediate deactivation for any of the following offenses:

  • Physical contact with riders
  • Use of inappropriate and abusive language or gestures
  • Unwanted contact with riders after a trip is over
  • Breaking the law while using Uber
  • Unsafe driving
  • Discrimination based on a passenger’s protected class or their destination
  • Fraudulent activity, including fraudulent fees, falsified trips, or submitting any false information as part of your Uber application (such as lying about your amount of driving experience)

Again, avoiding the above is pretty easy, so we won’t go into much more detail. For a more detailed explanation of the above offenses and other things that can get you banned from driving for Uber, consult Uber’s Community Guidelines.

5. Expired Documents

Uber Deactivation: Why It Happens and What to Do About It

This is a common reason for deactivation that’s often just the result of an honest mistake. Uber requires that all necessary documentation on file with them is kept up to date. This includes your driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance information, and vehicle information. If any of this information becomes out of date in Uber’s system (even if you’ve renewed it in real life), Uber can deactivate you.

This is an easy problem to fix. All you have to do is contact support, submit the new information, and have them update it in your account. From there, you can get back on the road and driving in no time. Of course, it’s best to regularly review this info in your account to make sure it stays up to date. This way, you can avoid these problems entirely.

6. Changes in Criminal or Driving History

Uber is committed to keeping passengers, drivers, and the broader community safe. This means that all Uber partners must be good drivers who abide by the law. If your driving or criminal history changes in any way while you’re driving for Uber, the company can deactivate your account.

This could include getting convicted of a felony (especially those related to sex offenses, assault, or vehicular felonies). It could also mean other disqualifying offenses such as a DUI or an excessive number of moving violations.

Don’t think that Uber won’t find out about these offenses just because you’ve already passed your background check. The company recently announced that it will begin conducting “continuous” background checks that will monitor drivers for felonies or other disqualifying offenses on an ongoing basis. This comes after the company has received criticism for not being thorough enough in its background check process.

How to Get Your Account Reactivated

Now that you understand Uber’s deactivation policy and some common reasons for deactivation, let’s look at how you can get your account reactivated. In many cases, it’s simply a matter of talking to Uber support and working out the problem that caused the deactivation.

To start the account reactivation process, you’ll need to contact Uber support using whatever method possible. We recommend going through the online driver portal if you can, but sometimes your deactivation will make it impossible. In this case, you can contact Uber phone support about the issue.

Note that there are some offenses that result in permanent deactivation from the Uber driver platform. These would include any violations of the law or any other offenses that are, according to Uber’s discretion, too serious to allow you back on the platform without endangering the safety of passengers or other drivers.

Get Back Online and Back on the Road

Deactivation is always frustrating as a rideshare driver, especially if you rely on driving for Uber as a main source of income. After reading this article, you should understand what can cause deactivation in the first place, how to avoid it, and what to do to get yourself back on the road.


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