To help you decide whether the Flex program is right for you, let’s take a look at the Amazon Flex background check process, and go over the reasons you could fail your background screening.
What is Amazon Flex Program?
Making deliveries for the Amazon Flex program is a popular way to earn extra income without being tied to a fixed schedule. Rates of pay are good, and as an independent contractor, you get to be your own boss. But before you can start work, you will need to pass the Amazon Flex background check.
For most applicants, passing the background check won’t be an issue, but if your background investigation reveals driving offenses or a criminal record, Amazon may turn down your application.
Amazon calls their Flex drivers “Delivery Partners”, and that’s the language you’ll see when you apply through the Flex App, but since most people refer to being a Flex driver, we’ll use that more common term in this article.
What Requirements Do You Need To Meet To Become An Amazon Flex Driver?
To work as an Amazon Flex driver, you need to meet some basic requirements. Amazon states that Flex applicants must.
- Live in a city covered by Amazon Flex.
- Pass a background check.
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Possess a valid US driver’s license.
- Show proof of auto insurance coverage.
- Have a social security number.
- Have a bank account eligible for direct deposit payments.
- Have or open an Amazon account.
- Own or have use of a mid-sized or larger vehicle.
- Own a newer Android phone or iPhone compatible with the Flex App.
The only educational requirement you’ll have to meet is having completed your high school diploma or GED.
You should also be in good physical shape because the job requires you to do a lot of walking and stair climbing carrying heavy packages.
What Will the Amazon Flex Background Check Look For?
Your background check will make sure that the information you supplied during your application is accurate.
You can expect Amazon to verify your identity and confirm your age. To be a Flex driver, you need to be at least 21 years old.
Like most large companies, Amazon wants to know if you have a criminal record.
They have a duty to other workers, members of the public, and their customers to ensure that they hire workers who do not pose a safety risk.
To get this information, Amazon uses a third-party background screening provider. Their provider is currently Accurate Background.
Accurate Background searches public records databases to retrieve information about arrests, charges, pending criminal cases, entries on the sexual offenders register, deferred adjudications, misdemeanor convictions, felony convictions, incarceration records, and parole dates.
They make these searches across databases at the federal, state, and county levels.
Because the Flex position involves driving, your driver’s license will be verified to make sure that it is current and has not been suspended or revoked.
Accurate Background will also investigate your driving history to find out if you have other driving offenses and the severity of those offenses.
Background check companies have to comply with data protection laws and they must get your consent before beginning any checks. As part of your Amazon Flex driver application, you have to consent to all necessary background checks.
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How Far Back Do Background Checks Go?
It’s fairly common for background checks to go back 7 years, but they can go back further unless state law has put limitations in place.
Federal and state laws govern background checks for pre-employment screening in various ways. As an independent contractor, your right to the protections offered by these laws currently falls into a gray area, but many companies abide by the spirit of the law and treat you as they would a prospective employee.
In the following states, pre-employment background checks are limited to 7 years and this should also be the case for independent contractors.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- Washington State (not Washington DC)
Read Also: Does Amazon Background Check New Hire?
Does Amazon Drug Test Flex Delivery Drivers?
Current Flex drivers sharing their experiences online report conflicting information about drug testing for Flex drivers.
Some drivers state that they were given a drug test, while others claim that they didn’t undergo drug screening.
This may be because of different policies in effect at different Amazon locations across the nation.
In any case, it’s sensible to assume that you will be drug tested and prepare accordingly.
We know that Amazon uses a mouth swab drug test for all hourly paid employees working at warehouses and fulfillment centers, while drivers directly employed by Amazon are given a urine test.
Recommended: Does Amazon Drug Test before hiring?
How Will You Know If You Passed The Background Screening Checks?
Once you have passed all of your background checks, and everything else on your application meets the requirements to be hired as a Flex driver, you’ll receive a notification about your background check status in your Flex App, along with a message welcoming you to the program.
From there, you can look for your first delivery block to book, then you can begin driving for Amazon and earn some money.
What Happens If You Fail The Background check?
If you fail the background check, you won’t be eligible to work as an Amazon Flex driver.
The only exception to this is when the information reported in your background check is incorrect.
Common interpretations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) hold that background checks for independent contractors should observe the same requirements as those for potential employees.
This means that you have the right to be informed if the information found in a background check has been used to disqualify you from driving for Amazon Flex.
To comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and some state laws, companies must send you a notice informing you of a negative outcome regarding your background check. This notice must also tell you what steps you need to take if you want to dispute the findings.
It’s vital that you check the report for accuracy. Even though background check companies are legally required to take every precaution to ensure that their data is accurate, they do, unfortunately, make mistakes.
You may find that you have what is known as a “mixed file”. This is where information about other people is reported in your file. Mixed files can occur if you share the same name as another person or live at the same address.
If you find errors in the report, the screening company has to correct its data. Getting the data corrected is essential for your current application, and for any employment applications, you make in the future.
And you should know that the consequences of these reporting errors aren’t limited to employment opportunities. Unless you get the errors corrected, the false information will cause you problems renting an apartment and getting approved for credit cards, loans, and other consumer agreements.
Although these reports are called background checks for pre-employment purposes, they are in fact credit reports.
If the background screening company fails to correct the errors in its report, you can take legal action against them.
In some cases, it’s also possible to get accurate information removed from your records. This only relates to minor offenses and is known as having your record expunged. You will need to apply to the court for this and you should get advice from a lawyer that specializes in expungements.
With a successful expungement, you can treat the offense as if it never happened. You won’t need to mention it on any applications, and background searches can no longer report the offense.
Important Information You Should Know About Driving For Amazon Flex
Being an Amazon Flex driver is a perfect fit for the many thousands of drivers earning a second income by helping the retail giant deliver packages to its customers.
But there are a few very important details you need to be aware of before you sign up.
Amazon Flex drivers are independent contractors. This means that you will not be an Amazon employee and the rate of pay that you see listed should not be compared to an hourly wage.
Amazon reports that it pays most Flex drivers between $18 – $25 per hour, depending on location, tips received, and other factors.
However, you will bear the cost of multiple expenses yourself, and these expenses should be deducted from the hourly rate to find out how much you really make.
Expenses you will incur include:
- Fuel costs and tolls
- Possible parking tickets and speeding fines
- Vehicle maintenance and repair
- Vehicle depreciation
- Health insurance
- Self-employment taxes
Another important point to note is that your schedule is not guaranteed, so you can’t rely on Flex driving as your primary source of income. If you can’t book a delivery block, you won’t earn any money.
This applies to sick time too. You won’t have any sickness covered by this work. If you can’t work, you won’t earn any income in the Flex program.
As a contractor, you aren’t covered by workers’ compensation for injuries incurred on the job either.
If you factor in the above points, and the finances still look good to you, then Amazon Flex is a worthwhile option if you’re looking for an easy side hustle or part-time income.
Must Read: Does Amazon Flex Hire Felons?
FAQ on Amazon Flex Background Check How Long
What Are Amazon Flex Background Check Requirements?
Amazon will carry out a standard background check and a driving record check when you apply to be a Flex driver.
The background check will discover past arrests, charges, and convictions, as well as any pending charges against you. Your driving record check will look for traffic violations, DUIs, and instances of negligent driving.
Amazon Flex Background Check How Long Does It Take?
According to Amazon, your background check should be completed within 2 to 5 business days. Although some drivers have reported waiting longer.
This seems to happen when information is proving difficult to confirm. For example, when you’ve moved around a lot, especially between states, more databases have to be checked.
If your Amazon Flex background check is taking a long time (2 weeks or longer), it’s a good idea to reach out to Amazon Flex support and ask them to check on your progress.
What Happens If You Fail The Amazon Flex Background Check?
If you fail your check, you will receive an official notice about your report. You should carefully check all the information and make sure that it’s accurate. If you find mistakes, you can ask for your information to be corrected.
If the negative information discovered during your background check is accurate, then you won’t be hired.
What Disqualifies You From Driving For Amazon?
Amazon hasn’t disclosed a full list of disqualifying criteria for Flex drivers, but it’s safe to say that you won’t get hired if your background check discovers recent criminal convictions for theft, fraud, violent behavior, or driving offenses.
Other important factors which would disqualify you from driving for Amazon are not being at least 21 years old, not holding a valid driver’s license, and not having access to an insured vehicle.
What Kind Of Background Check Does Amazon Do?
Before they can hire you as a Flex driver, Amazon will make checks to confirm your age and your identity, your educational background and work history, and your driver’s license. They will also search public record databases to discover any criminal records and driving offenses.
The Amazon Flex driver background check is the same standard background check that most employers insist on these days. Amazon needs to verify your identity, work history, and education, and find out if you have a criminal record.
Because this work includes driving, they will search your driving record for serious or repeated violations. In addition to passing the background checks, you must be over 21 years old, hold a valid U.S.-issued driver’s license, and have access to a fully insured vehicle that meets Amazon’s requirements.
Once your background check gets the all-clear, you’ll receive a welcome message in the Flex app, and then you’re all set to start your new job.
Also Must Read: Does Amazon Warehouse Hire Felons?
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