August 1

How to Become an Instacart Driver – Your Complete 2023 Guide

In this modern age, more and more people are comfortable having their groceries bought and delivered by personal shoppers. 

So if you’re looking for a side hustle, then becoming an Instacart driver is a great option. 

But wait…

How do you become an Instacart driver?

We’re here to give you all the answers in this complete guide. 

We’ll talk about the requirements and steps, and even answer some FAQs. 

So are you ready to learn how to become an INstacart driver?

Let’s go!

How to Become an Instacart Driver in 6 Steps

You’ll be glad to know that the Instacart application process can be completed in just 7 days!

Of course, this considers that your application goes smoothly.

Now, to become an Instacart driver, you need to complete these 6 steps:

  1. Choose an Instacart role
  2. Meet the eligibility requirements
  3. Download the Instacart Shopper app
  4. Complete your application
  5. Pass the background check
  6. Get started!

Let’s look at the details for each step…

Step #1: Choose an Instacart Role

Although you select your role later on, it’s a good idea to know ahead of time what type of Instacart employee you want to be. 

There are 2 positions to choose from — full-service shopper or in-store shopper

  • Full-service shoppers are freelance and independent contractors who accept, shop, and deliver orders straight to their customers. Since they’re independent, they can set the time they want to work. Plus, they get 100% of the tips.
  • In-store shoppers, on the other hand, shop and prepare orders in one specific grocery store. They don’t do the delivery. You can say they are “in-house” part-time Instacart employees that work scheduled shifts. 

NOTE: Since we’re talking about “Instacart drivers”, we will focus on full-service shoppers. 

Step #2: Meet the Eligibility Requirements

Before you send in your application, make sure you meet these eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be able to show proof that you are eligible to work in the US or Canada
  • Have a cell phone with Android 5.0 or newer or iOS 14 or newer
  • Be able to lift at least 30+ pounds
  • Be able to follow Instacart’s food safety policies
  • Have a valid driver’s license (for full-service shoppers)
  • Have a registered and insured vehicle (for full-serve shoppers)

Step #3: Download the Instacart Shopper App

Here’s a VERY easy step. 

All you need to do is download the Instacart Shopper app in the Play Store or App Store. 

If you don’t want to bother looking for the app, you can also go to the Instacart website, enter your phone number, and receive a link to the Shopper app through text. 

From there, you can download it and begin your application!

Step #4: Complete Your Application

Through the Instacart Shopper app, go to the sign-up page. 

You can also sign up as a full-service shopper here or an in-store shopper here

While there, fill in your basic information such as name, email, zip code, and phone number. After filling this up, you will receive an SMS to verify the information you’ve shared.

If using the app, you’ll need to select your Instacart role, whether full-service or in-store. 

You may also have to upload some paperwork, including:

  • Your valid US driver’s license
  • Proof of residency in your city and state
  • Proof of US citizenship or legal presence
  • Proof of your vehicle insurance and registration
  • Driver profile photo (This should be forward-facing with good lighting. Sunglasses are not allowed.)

Now, for in-store shoppers, you must wait for application approval. From there, you will need to attend an onboarding session. 

Step #5: Pass the Background Check

After confirming all of your details and submitting all files, Instacart will now conduct a background check. 

This includes your criminal background check and driving record check.

If you have a clean record, then processing will be less than a week. But if there are many applications, the background checks are usually finished after 2 weeks.

Step #6: Get Started!


You’ve been accepted as an Instacart driver.

You can now use your Instacart Shopper app to get orders, buy them, deliver the package (if full-service), and earn money!

It’s as easy as that!

Frequently Asked Questions About Instacart Drivers 

How Much Do Instacart Drivers Earn?

Instacart drivers or full-service shoppers earn an average of $15-$20 an hour. That can increase when you include customer tips as you will get 100% of the share. 

Even better, there are other ways to earn more. 

Instacart states that there are several factors that affect the price range of your deliveries.

  • Per mile rate: Instacart considers the distance you travel, so the pay is fairer for their shoppers and drivers. Usually, the rate is around $0.60 per mile. 
  • Number of items ordered: The more items in the customer’s cart, the higher your rate. This is because Instacart charges at least $0.40 per item to their customers.
  • Surge pricing: Shoppers who work during peak and rush hours in busy locations will get higher pay as Instacart charges customers more.

How Do You Become a Good Instacart Driver?

Here are some tips to become a more efficient Instacart driver:

  • Strategize your schedules. It’s always good to have a strategy or schedule. This way, you can make sure that you’re getting the best out of this side hustle. 
  • Ask the inquiry desks where items are located inside the shop. You don’t want to take up so much time going down every aisle. To spare minutes from finding the items, ask for help from the desk or the salespeople inside the store. This way, you can pick up the items faster. And sometimes, customers tip more when you deliver their orders in a shorter time.
  • Introduce yourself to the customer. Before you start your batch, try to drop a “hello” message to your customer. Use this time to re-confirm their order and to ask if they have additional requests. These short and thoughtful messages can spell the difference in the tips you’ll receive.
  • Try to find parking. If you’re delivering in areas just nearby and have small packages, it’s a good idea to park somewhere and just deliver by foot. This will avoid wasting your gas.

If you want to hear tips and experiences straight from an Instacart driver, you can check out this video below:

Why Drive with Instacart?

There are many advantages to becoming an Instacart driver.

  1. You get another source of income in just a short amount of time — with minimal requirements.

Finding another job is time-consuming, demanding, and physically taxing. With Instacart, you can earn as early as 1 week after your application! There are no educational or technical skills required. As long as you know how to drive and you are physically able to carry around stuff.

  1. You develop social and communication skills.

You interact with tens to hundreds of people daily. With this job, you’ll get to develop skills on how to interact with different personalities and handle situations with difficult and demanding customers. 

You’ll also meet other fellow drivers on the job. You get to discuss shared experiences and even learn hacks and other shopping strategies with them.

  1. On good days, you can earn a lot.

As an Instacart driver, you’re not subjected to minimum wage pay. If you’re lucky, you can get batches of orders with high item counts and generous customers. These will automatically bring up your total payout. 


So that was your complete guide on how to become an Instacart driver. 

Now that you know all the requirements and steps, it’s time to apply!

It will only take a few days. 

An Instacart driver is a good side hustle if you enjoy driving, grocery shopping, and interacting with a lot of people daily.

Best of luck!

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