The confusion about unaccompanied minors on Uber


The confusion about unaccompanied minors on Uber - Bent CornerUber 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.

5 thoughts on “The confusion about unaccompanied minors on Uber”

  1. I drive a lot in the morning and sense this school started I have had a big increase in kids trying to use Uber as a school bus. They wear school uniforms in my area and it is easy to see they are minors. Sometimes parents use the app to have their children picked up. That is still wrong and unsafe. Your post makes it seem like you have choice, You don’t. If you can’t follow the rules then don’t use the app.

      1. The two most important parts of that statement are “if you believe” and “if you feel.”

        If someone is using their own Uber or Lyft account, I have no reason to believe or feel they are not 18 years old. The reason? A person has to be 18 years old to have their own account.

        Now if someone is not using their own account, all bets are off. I then have to be quite careful before allowing them to get into my vehicle.

  2. Oh well my friend, if you don’t want to manage risk and will accept Uber to manage it for you, then your bound to be left held accountable when you actions are contradictory to the partner service agreement that you have with them.

    Anther issue to consider is insurance. If I understand the Uber/Lyft insurance policy stipulations, if you are found to have an unaccompanied minor as a passenger during an accident they may not cover you. It is not written that plainly, but one can imagine the length the insurance companies will go to in order to avoid a claim involving an injured child.

    1. Again, I’m only obligated to ask for a rider’s identification unless I “feel” or “think” a rider is younger than 18. Thoughts and feelings are not enforceable, especially when there is clear evidence to the contrary. Uber and/or Lyft do not allow minors to have an account. If someone has an account, then they are not a minor. If they committed fraud when signing up, that is not my issue or concern. That’s Uber and/or Lyft’s problem, not mine.

      As far as insurance is concerned, your theory is ridiculous. Insurance companies do not discriminate because of age. If I pick up a passenger Uber and/or Lyft dispatched me to pick up and I’m then involved in an accident, I’m covered by insurance. Both by Uber or Lyft’s insurance, and my own private insurance.

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