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  4. What The Spark Driver Background Check Looks For In 2024

What The Spark Driver Background Check Looks For In 2024

  • Spark driver background checks review criminal records, driving history, and identity verification.
  • The process, managed by Checkr, typically takes 1-7 days but can vary.
  • Disqualifying factors include felonies, recent convictions, major driving violations, and license issues.
  • Drivers can appeal disqualifications by submitting relevant documentation and explanations to Spark support.

As is very typical in the gig economy, when you apply to become a Spark driver, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that you’ll need to undergo a background check.

This is a very important part of keeping both customers and the community safe.

However, based on my research, these checks are a fairly extensive vetting process that goes a bit beyond standard background checks.

When applying to Spark, it is important to fully understand what these detailed background checks look for, and how the detailed process impacts your chances of getting approved as a driver.

How Spark Background Checks Work

Spark driver background checks review an applicant’s criminal records, motor vehicle records, and other history that could put the safety of customers or the community at risk.

Spark both a flexible and lucrative earning opportunity, so the company receives a ton of applications for drivers wanting to fulfill deliveries.

As a result, the company wants to ensure that they hand-select only the most safe, reliable, and qualified workers.

They actually outsource the process to Checkr, the same company used by most on-demand delivery companies, who then does the extensive review of the applicant.

This process typically takes between 1-7 days, but can take much longer if the applicant’s situation is complex or the company has received an unusually high number of applications.

It’s also worth noting that spark not only background checks new drivers, but also continuously monitors drivers to maintain eligibility.

They can get background checked at any time if Spark has reason to believe there is a need, typically during the investigative process after a safety incident has been reported.

What the Spark Driver Background Check Looks For

Spark driver background checks analyze a driver’s criminal history and driving record, looking for red flags that might put customers at risk.

I did a ton of research on this specifically, and the company hasn’t provided a ton of information on what they specifically look for as red flags.

However, we can default to the most common disqualifying factors of platform companies and arrive at a general conclusion. These include:

Criminal History

  • Felonies: Convictions for felonies, particularly those involving violence, sexual assault, or theft, can disqualify a candidate.
  • Recent Convictions: Recent convictions, even for misdemeanors, can be problematic. Charges related to driving under the influence (DUI), drug offenses, and serious traffic violations are scrutinized.
  • Pending Charges: Any pending charges for serious offenses can also lead to disqualification.

Driving Record

  • Major Violations: Serious driving-related convictions, such as reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter, are likely to disqualify you.
  • Recent Minor Violations: A pattern of minor violations, such as multiple speeding tickets within a short period, can be a red flag.
  • License Issues: An active license is required. Any disqualifying restrictions or suspensions on your driving license can result in disqualification.

In addition, the screening process will also uses third-party identification tools to verify that the driver is actually the person applying.

They do this by cross-referencing a photo against a government-issued photo id.

I’ve noticed that most of the other ridesharing and delivery platforms are also taking this step, which leads me to believe that they’ve had fraud exploiting this step at some point in time.

How to Check the Status of a Spark Application

After consenting to a Spark driver background check and completing your application, it will take roughly 1-2 weeks to receive the results.

You can log into your Spark Driver profile that you created during the signup process to check your status at any time.

This should give you a very clear understanding on where your status is at in the process.

Spark is usually pretty good about providing updates via email and text, but if you haven’t gotten waitlisted and your application is still pending, I suggest reaching out to support to check.

a screenshot of the Spark driver waiting list notification

You can request a status update by using this link to submit a request.

You’ll then be taken to a Google Form that has been set up by DDI work, the entity that managed the Spark delivery drivers.

I suggest offering as much detail as possible, including when you applied, a reference number if possible, and anything else that helps support staff find you in the system.

The Impact of Spark’s Strict Background Checks

I had heard that Spark’s background checks are a bit stricter than others, but was able to confirm this after talking with many different drivers who have applied.

It seems that old records can can have a big impact on whether or not an applicant will be approved for Spark.

For example, I’ve heard situations in which a driver was disqualified due to an incident that happened over ten years ago.

Obviously, these checks are at the discretion of the hiring company, but it does bring to light the issue of fairness and relevance.

This is especially true when somebody has messed up in their past, but has done a great job of showing reformed behavior over a long period of time without another incident.

What Drivers are Saying

I’m not alone in questioning this policy. Do a quick search of a popular social group for Spark drivers and you’ll see what I mean.

Some drivers express frustration and dissatisfaction due to the length and complexity of the background check process.

They feel that the process is overly stringent and time-consuming, which can delay their ability to start working and earning income.

Others mention concerns about the accuracy and fairness of the background checks, with some drivers feeling unfairly disqualified.

On the other hand, there are drivers who appreciate the thoroughness of the background checks, understanding that these measures are in place to ensure safety and security for both the drivers and the customers.

They see it as a necessary step to maintain trust and quality in the service.

My Take

As unfortunate as it may be, it is what it is and there’s really nothing that drivers can to do change the policy.

I suggest that everybody apply for Spark in the off chance that your situation might be unique to those of others.

However, if you do have a criminal record with an outdated offense, I would suggest considering trying to expunge your record.

Doing so significantly improves the chances of passing a background check, and positions yourself to do better when seeking employment from both the gig economy and full-time workforce.

Appealing Disqualifications & Deactivations

There are some cases that applications or existing drivers are disqualified or deactivated as a result of their background check.

There are various reasons why this happens, including having motor vehicle collections, even if not at fault, criminal records, or traffic violations like using a phone while driving.

In some cases, it is possible to appeal the results with the positive outcome of overturning the decision.

How to Appeal a Deactivation or Disqualification

To appeal a Spark driver deactivation or disqualification from the background check, log in to the driver portal and fill out the provided appeal form.

I suggest submitting all relevant documentation, including police reports and insurance letters, especially if there are inaccuracies in the records.

Include a clear explanation of why you believe the deactivation was unjust backed by evidence. The more evidence you have to support your argument, the better.

While doing so, be as professional as possible while appealing. Highlight your commitment to safety and clarify and misunderstandings taht might be present.

The appeals team will review your submission and send you their final decision once they have reviewed the case.

Persistence is key here, but not too much. I suggest following up regularly until you receive a definitive response.

However, don’t submit multiple reports in an effort to have the decision overturned. This will only add delays.

Avoid submitting multiple appeals to prevent delays. If you face issues, contact Spark support via email or phone for further assistance. Persistent follow-up is crucial for resolving your appeal.

Example Appeal Points

  • Accident Clarification: “I have two motor vehicle collisions on my record where I was not at fault. I have attached police reports and letters from the insurance companies confirming that the other drivers were ticketed.”
  • Professional Conduct: “I understand the importance of maintaining a safe driving record and have taken steps to ensure my driving practices meet all safety standards.”
  • Commitment to Improvement: “I am committed to adhering to all safety regulations and using a phone mount while driving to avoid any future issues.”

Over to You

That’s a quick overview of the Spark driver background check, including what to do if you get denied.

If you have any other questions or concerns, simply drop a comment below and somebody from our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Good luck with the application!

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