The confusion about unaccompanied minors on Uber - Bent Corner

The confusion about unaccompanied minors on Uber

Uber does not allow people younger than 18 to sign up for or have an Uber account.

This is what Uber says:

A rider must be at least 18 years of age to have an Uber account and request rides. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older on any ride.

As a driver-partner, you should decline the ride request if you believe the person requesting the ride is under 18. When picking up riders, if you feel they are underage, you may request they provide a driver’s license or ID card for confirmation. If a rider is underage, please do not start the trip or allow them to ride.

I will never ask a rider to see their ID card for confirmation. The reason? Because I cannot imagine a situation where I believe a person requesting a ride is under 18. Uber says I should ask for an ID card if I believe the rider is under 18. I tend not to believe in things that are not substantiated by evidence.

If a person has an Uber account they must be 18 otherwise they would not have an account. Remember, Uber says:

A rider must be at least 18 years of age to have an Uber account and request rides.

Knowing this, why would I believe a rider is a minor? Why would I ever feel they are under 18? Uber states in black and white that riders must be 18 to have an account and to request rides.

Also, I don’t know how to read ID cards. Living in Maryland, I suppose I could find out a rider’s age if they present a Maryland driver’s license, but then I would need to do math involving the rider’s birthday. That seems like a lot of work, especially when I am not being paid for said work. Uber does not begin paying me until the rider is in my car and I begin the trip in the app.

The confusion about unaccompanied minors on Uber - Bent Corner

What if the ID card is not a Maryland driver’s license? Living and driving in Western Maryland, riders can live in West Virginia or Pennsylvania. I have no idea how to read a West Virginia or Pennsylvania driver’s license, nor is it a skill I want to learn.

What if they do not even have a driver’s license? They are requesting an Uber. They very well might not have a driver’s license. What would I do then? If I wanted to learn how to read each and every type of ID card people may have and then ask people for their ID cards, I would have become a professional cigarette salesman.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Asking for an ID card is an unnecessary intrusion to someone’s personal privacy. It is also a thing someone prone to power trips would enjoy doing if given the opportunity. A person’s ID card not only has their date of birth, but it also has other information a person may not want anyone to know. For example, a person’s full legal name, their sex, their height, and their weight. People should never show their ID card to a complete stranger, especially without a valid reason.

As an Uber driver, I am aware of the fact that many Uber drivers are creepy.  Some even have YouTube channels and publish videos they record of people without their consent.

Considering how creepy some Uber drivers are, showing your ID card to one seems like an especially bad idea.

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Rick Rottman

My name is Rick Rottman and I live in Maryland. This is my blog. If you'd like to know more about me, check out my About page.

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