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Does Instacart Hire Felons?

Working as an Instacart shopper is a great way to pick up some extra cash, and if you’re a felon struggling to find traditional employment, then the self-employed gig economy can seem like a lifeline. So, does Instacart hire felons, and is there a background check to get through before you can get paid to shop?

In this Instacart guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know!

Does Instacart Hire Felons in 2024 – Yes Or No?

Does Instacart Hire Felons

Is Instacart felon friendly? Somewhat.

Having a felony conviction isn’t an automatic disqualification from the Instacart platform, but your approval will depend on the type of felony on your record and how long ago it took place.

To work for Instacart you will need to pass their background check which includes a criminal history report. And because of the way the company works, there aren’t any interviews where you can try to convince a hiring manager to take a chance on you. Everything rests on the outcome of the background check.

What Does The Instacart Background Check Look For?

The Instacart background check looks at several aspects of your history.

  • Your criminal history
  • Your driving history (for full-service shoppers)
  • Your identity and eligibility to legally work within the United States

We’ll look at each one in turn.

1. What Does Instacart Look For On The Criminal History Background Report?

What Does Instacart Look For On The Criminal History Background Report?

Instacart will search at least the last 7 years of your history to find out if you have any felony or misdemeanor convictions.

To do this, the background checking agencies that they use (Checkr, and Sterling) search the:

  • Federal Criminal Records Database
  • Enhanced Nationwide Criminal Database
  • Department of Justice Sex Offenders Registry

You’ll be disqualified if you have recent felony or misdemeanor convictions, serious felony convictions even if they’re older, or if you are required to register as a sex offender.

While Instacart searches for at least 7 years of your background, they may go back further. Some states limit background checks to 7 years, while others allow searches to go through your entire adult history.

States that limit background checks to 7 years are:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Washington

Which Felony Convictions Disqualify You From Instacart?

As we already mentioned, any recent felony or misdemeanor convictions on your background report will usually mean that your Instacart application is going to be denied.

However, that’s not always the case for some older felonies, and if your felony didn’t show on your background report because Instacart didn’t search that far back, then your conviction won’t stand in your way.

Where your older felony is reported on your background report, the type of felony offenses that will most likely disqualify you are:

  • Violent offenses
  • Theft, robbery, or burglary
  • Fraud
  • Arson
  • Firearms offenses
  • Sexual offenses

What does Instacart consider a recent felony? Offenses occurring within the last 5 years will almost certainly be classed as recent offenses. Convictions older than 5 years are looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Obviously, this isn’t ideal from your point of view, after all, you’re just doing a grocery shop for someone, but Instacart has an obligation to keep their platform safe, and since most Instacart shoppers make deliveries to customers’ homes, they can’t take on anyone who could be a safety risk.

Instacart shoppers are trusted individuals who are often asked to enter homes or garages to drop shopping where it’s most convenient for the customer. Anyone who, based on their background, has the potential to harm or steal from a customer can’t work for Instacart.

2. What Does Instacart Look For On The Driving History Report?

What Does Instacart Look For On The Driving History Report?

Your felony isn’t the only reason you could be turned down when you apply to Instacart. To become a full-service Instacart shopper able to make deliveries, you need to have a clean recent driving record. This means that as part of your background check they’ll check your Motor Vehicle report for:

  • Moving violations
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI)
  • License suspensions or revocations
  • Accident reports
  • Traffic citations
  • Penalty points

Instacart also runs annual background checks to make sure that shoppers haven’t committed criminal offenses or driving offenses in the period since they were hired.

3. How Does Instacart Carry Out Their Identity Check?

During your application on the Instacart platform, you’re asked to provide your driving license number and a photo of the front and the back of your driver’s license. Then they ask you to take a selfie to check that the license you’ve provided belongs to you.

When you complete the information for the background check, you’ll also have to provide your full name and any aliases you’ve used, your date of birth, your current and previous addresses, and your social security number.

Instacart uses all of this information during the background check to make sure that you are who you say you are, and that you are able to work legally.

Sometimes people try to get around the background check by having someone else sign up for the account, but Instacart has ways to catch that.

Shoppers are periodically sent a message while shopping that instructs them to take a selfie so that Instacart can verify that the person doing the shopping and making the delivery is the owner of the account.

Should A Felon Apply To Become An Instacart Shopper?

Should A Felon Apply To Become An Instacart Shopper?

Yes, you should go ahead and apply. The Instacart application is quick and easy to complete, so you’ve got nothing to lose by applying and there are no fees involved.

If your background check flags your felony, then a member of the Instantcert team will review your record to determine if your offense and its age disqualify you.

Quick Recap

Whether you can work for Instacart with a felony conviction will depend on how long it’s been since you committed the offense and the type of offense. You’ll also need a clean recent driving record.

Instacart doesn’t disqualify all felons automatically, and if you have an older offense, they may allow you to work on the platform.

To be eligible for Instacart, you have to pass a background check, and once you’re hired, there’s an annual background check for all Instacart shoppers.