Skip to content

Instacart Background Check 2024 (What To Expect!)

Instacart Background Check

This post may contain affiliate links which means that may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only promote products that we love and feel will benefit our readers. Please read our Disclosure Policy for more information.

Instacart is one of the most popular gig economy apps, as it lets you make money on your schedule. However, before you’re hired as a shopper, you must pass the Instacart background check.

Background checks are standard for gig apps like Instacart, mainly for quality control. 

It can be scary to go through a background check, especially if you don’t know what they’re looking for. 

That’s why I created this guide so that you understand what the Instacart background check is all about, including what they look for and what may disqualify you. 

With this knowledge, it’s easier to prepare for the background check to improve your chances of getting hired to shop for Instacart. I’ll also share a few tips to help you pass the Instacart background check, so stick around to find out!

Want to make money fast? Try out:

  • YouGov – Share your opinion and earn PayPal money!
  • Prime Opinion Earn a $10 sign up bonus and get paid to complete surveys!

What Is the Instacart Background Check?

The Instacart background check is a review of every applicant that’s done to ensure the company only hires safe and trustworthy individuals to interact with their customers. 

Every Instacart shopper, whether full-service or in-store, must undergo a background check before being hired.

The background check involves using the applicants’ Social Security Numbers to find more information on private and public databases. 

Instacart doesn’t run background checks but partners with third-party companies like Checkr and Sterling. Before the background check is run, the company lets you know and obtains your consent. 

According to Instacart’s website, you’ll also get a copy of your background check results from the company that runs the check, so everything is very transparent. 

The Instacart background check includes a review of your driving record, criminal history, and any other relevant information. 

What Does Instacart Look For in a Background Check?

As an Instacart shopper, you’ll work unsupervised, and your job will involve dealing directly with customers, so the company must ensure the people they hire are a perfect fit. 

While Instacart doesn’t disclose the information about what they look for in background checks, here are the things most driving apps that pay look at:

1. Driving History

As a full-service shopper, you’ll need to drive to deliver customers’ orders, so Instacart must check your driving history. 

Instacart is looking for evidence of consistently responsible driving, so the following may raise concerns:

  • Instances of reckless driving or DUIs
  • Moving violations
  • Repeat traffic infractions like running red lights or speeding

If your background check uncovers major violations that show you’re an irresponsible driver, you may not qualify to work as an Instacart shopper. 

2. Criminal History

Instacart may also review your criminal history to check for misdemeanors or felony convictions. Here are some of the things the background check most likely looks for:

  • Violent crimes
  • A pattern of criminal behavior
  • Felony crimes within the previous seven years
  • Recent misdemeanors

Generally, the background check ascertains whether you have serious offenses on your record or a pattern of repeat criminal behavior that shows a lack of change. 

The background check company goes through public criminal record databases to find this information. This way, Instacart guarantees the safety of its customers by only hiring shoppers with clean criminal records. 

3. Work Eligibility

Instacart may also verify your eligibility to work in the country you’re applying in. If you’re a citizen of the country, your ID should be enough. 

For immigrants, the check may involve verifying your immigration status and work permits. 

4. Sex Offender Registry

The Instacart background check also involves checking the sex offender registry to ensure you’re not a registered sex offender. 

5. Identity Verification

The background check is also used for identity verification. The company checks for consistency in the information you provide in the application process. 

The background check company may verify the accuracy of the Social Security Number you provide to confirm your identity and eligibility to work. 

Instacart Background Check Requirements

Here are the requirements you must meet to qualify to work as an Instacart shopper:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be eligible to work in your country of residence
  • Ability to lift at least 30 pounds
  • Have an operational smartphone for the Instacart app
  • You must have a reliable vehicle and a valid driver’s license
  • Your car must be insured

Extra reading: Is Instacart Worth It for Shoppers?

Things That Can Disqualify You During a Background Check

While Instacart doesn’t openly disclose grounds for disqualification during their background check, here are some of the factors that could potentially disqualify you as an applicant:

Violent Crime Convictions

Instacart values the safety of its customers, so it may disqualify any applicants who have been convicted of violent felonies, especially if the felonies are recent. 

If you’re concerned about your criminal history, you can conduct a criminal background check on yourself in preparation. 

Sexual Offenses

If you were convicted of a sexual offense or you’re listed on the sex offender registry, you may be disqualified as an applicant. This is done as a measure to guarantee customer safety. 

Major Driving Violations

You may be disqualified if your background check shows a history of repeat driving violations. 

In most cases, significant offenses like reckless driving and driving under the influence are grounds for disqualification. 

Inconsistent Information

If, during the background check, it’s revealed that you provided untrue, inaccurate, or inconsistent information, you may be disqualified. 

It’s important to ensure you provide honest, up-to-date, and accurate information about yourself when signing up as an Instacart shopper. 

Theft Convictions

You may be disqualified if you have any convictions related to fraud, theft, or financial misconduct. Customers must be able to trust you, so any instances of financial misdemeanors could be a red flag. 

Unresolved Legal Matters

If you’re involved in ongoing legal matters that are yet to be resolved, your application may be put on hold until those issues have been settled. 

Eligibility Issues

The background check also confirms your eligibility, so if you’re not eligible to work in the country you’re applying in, you might be disqualified. 

As mentioned above, these are potential disqualifiers, as Instacart has not publicly disclosed any information about background check disqualification.

Different Background Check Statuses & What They Mean

Instacart gives you different notifications to inform you about the progress of your background check. 

Here are some of the statuses and what they mean:

  • Background Check in Progress: The process is underway, and the company is reviewing your information. 
  • Background Check Complete- Eligible: Your background check is done and meets Instacart’s requirements. You should expect to move forward in the onboarding process. 
  • Background Check Complete-Ineligible: If you see this status, your background check is complete, but you didn’t satisfy Instacart’s eligibility criteria.
  • Pending Document Review: The background check process is still underway, and they may need additional documents for verification. Your identification or eligibility documents may be under review. 
  • Background Check Expired: If you notice your background check has been in progress for a while without completion, you may get this status. In most cases, you have to take action to start the process again. 
  • Dispute: You are in the process of disputing your background check. 

Tips for Passing the Instacart Background Check

If you’re looking to get hired as a full-service or in-store Instacart shopper, passing the background check is a must.

Here are some of the tips that can help you pass:

  • Provide honest, accurate information: Providing factual and truthful information in your application process helps your background check go smoothly. Any false statement or discrepancies could cause disqualification. 
  • Prepare the required documents: You’ll need documentation like your ID, work permit, and driver’s license, so ensure they’re ready before starting the process. 
  • Read the instructions carefully: It’s important to read and follow Instacart’s instructions during the application process. They may require additional information from you. 
  • Clarify potential issues: If there are red flags that could come up in your background check, be upfront about them and clarify them. Providing context or explanations can go a long way in improving your chances. 
  • Verify all your information: Ensure you double-check the information you provide, such as your address history, driver’s license, and Social Security number, to make sure it’s all accurate and up-to-date. 
  • Keep an eye on your status: It’s important to keep track of your background check status so you don’t miss any communication from Instacart. This way, you can address issues and provide additional information where necessary. 
  • Follow-up: If you notice your background is taking too long, it’s okay to contact Instacart and ask about the progress. Following up can help you ensure your application is in progress. 

How Long Does the Instacart Background Check Take?

The Instacart background check typically takes up to 10 days to complete. However, the process may take longer due to temporary closures or high volumes. 

Many Instacart shoppers report that their Instacart background check took longer than 10 days. 

Some shoppers even report waiting months for their background checks to be completed. So, it’s impossible to determine how long your background check will take. 

Here are some factors that cause longer wait periods:

  • An influx of background checks for applicants
  • Slow responses from courthouses and clerk’s offices
  • Inaccurate information that causes delays
  • Incomplete information from the candidate

If you’d like to get a rough idea of how long the Instacart background check takes, you can look at what other Instacart shoppers say on sites like Reddit.

  • Mynamesarise1 says: “3-4 days personally.”
  • Soupergloo says: “Mine took a week.”
  • FEBRUARYFOU4TH says: “Believe it or not, my entire process was done within 12-15 hours. I signed up around the morning time and was approved around 5/6pm. It may also vary by how large your market is as well.”
Instacart Background Check Reddit

Based on the comments, you should expect your background check to be done within 10 days. But as mentioned, there could be factors that lead to delays. 

If your background check takes longer than expected, contact Instacart support for more information. 

What If I Fail the Instacart Background Check?

If, for some reason, you fail the Instacart background check, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Here are some options you can try:

1. Appeal or Dispute the Rejected Background Check

Your application could be rejected for many reasons, so your first step should be to find out why you failed.

If your application is rejected after a background check, you should request a copy of the results and appeal it if there are any inaccuracies. 

The background checking agencies may sometimes be wrong and could have made a mistake. 

For instance, if you failed the check because of inaccurate or inconsistent information, you can provide additional information for clarification. 

You can also appeal moving violations or driving tickets to have the decision reversed. 

The dispute process differs based on the company running the background check. For Checkr, you can appeal by contacting their disputes email and making your case. 

Sterling gives you detailed information in their rejection email, including what to do if you’d like to appeal the decision. 

2. Try Other Gig Economy Apps

If you’re unable to successfully reverse the decision, you can always try other driving apps to make money. Here are some of high-paying gig apps:

  • DoorDash: Sign up to deliver food as a Dasher. With DoorDash, you can even make money with your bike delivering fast food and restaurant meals in your area. 
  • Uber Eats: Another massively popular food delivery service where you can make up to $20 an hour. 
  • Amazon Flex: Work for Amazon as a Flex driver, delivering packages as an independent contractor. 
  • Walmart Spark: Sign up to be a Spark driver, where you make money delivering items to Walmart customers. 
  • GoShare: For people with trucks or vans, you can sign up for GoShare, a platform that connects you with individuals and businesses that need moving and delivery services. 
  • Roadie: If you’d like to make money helping people move, you can sign up for Roadie, an on-demand moving and delivery platform. 
  • Shipt: This grocery delivery platform works like Instacart, making it a great alternative. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Start Working Before the Background Check?

No. The Instacart background check is an essential part of the onboarding process, and every applicant must pass through it before being hired as a full-service or in-store Instacart shopper. 

How Far Back Do Instacart Background Checks Go?

There’s no official information on how far background checks go, so it’s safe to assume that it depends on how much information is available. 

Does Instacart Hire Felons?

Instacart has not made official statements on hiring felons, but there have been individuals with felony records that the company has hired. 

Each situation is handled individually, so Instacart looks at factors like the severity of the felony, evidence of rehabilitation, and the length of time since the felony. 

Final Thoughts

The Instacart background check is an essential part of the onboarding process, so knowing what to expect and what you can do to prepare is essential. 

Hopefully, the tips shared in this guide will help you better prepare for the background check. Ensure you provide honest, accurate, and up-to-date information to help move the process along. 

Even if you fail the Instacart background check, there are tons of other gig apps you can sign up for. You can try other jobs like DoorDash.

Looking for more money-making ideas? Checkout:

Lydia is a personal finance expert and the founder of Sproutinue, a personal finance site helping you find legit ways to make money, save money, and achieve financial freedom. She has been featured on various major financial publications, including Investopedia, Business Insider, GoBankingRates, and more.

Back To Top