If you’re driving for Uber or any other ride service, then it’s important to make sure you understand the legal factors that may impact you. Possessing knowledge of the laws and regulations that surround driving for a ride service can make the journey go a lot smoother. 

In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most essential legal considerations for Uber drivers. That way, you can offer your services to others while being assured you’re working with the law on your side.  

What Are The Requirements For An Uber Driver? 

As an Uber driver, the first thing you need to be aware of is making sure you have met all of Uber’s requirements. Specific requirements for any ride service company can be found on their website, so it’s best to go read them right off the source. In most cases, companies like Uber expect their drivers to: 

  • Hold a full drivers licence
  • Obtain a background check 
  • Have a vehicle that has passed all requirements 

We also recommend reading any terms and conditions that have been set out for drivers by Uber. Ride share companies like Uber also note on their website that along with Uber’s rules, drivers need to adhere to any related regulations of their state or territory. 

Therefore, it’s essential to do your due diligence on any state level requirements for Uber drivers. For instance, some states may demand additional checks and documentation to be submitted. If you’re struggling to get a grasp of what rules you need to follow, then it’s always a good idea to clear things up with a Regulatory Compliance Legal Expert

Do I Need An ABN As An Uber Driver? 

All Uber drivers are considered to be independent contractors. As drivers aren’t employed directly by Uber, they technically ‘work for themselves’. This means, you will likely need to have an ABN for tax and registration purposes. If you’ve been driving without one, there’s no need to stress! Applying for an ABN is a relatively simple procedure that can be done online. 

Once you’ve completed all the necessary steps and provided the right information, you should receive your ABN in an email. ABN holders are considered to be sole traders that can operate their business under their personal name. However, if you wish to use a different name for as a sole trader, then you can consider Registering A Business Name

Do Uber Drivers Need To Register For Taxes? 

When you apply for an ABN, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for income tax as well as goods and services tax (GST). When you file your annual tax returns, it’s important to disclose any amount that you’ve earned through Uber, as well as any cost associated with driving for them. 

Being transparent with your taxes is essential, as the last thing you need is trouble from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Keep in mind, if you start earning over $75, 000 in one year from Uber, then you will also need to pay GST.

Being  aware of your tax obligations is key, that way you’ll be able to stay on top of everything as you continue to drive for Uber.   

Is It Legal To Record Passengers As An Uber Driver? 

Many drivers like to keep dash cams or other recording devices in their cars, for safety purposes. It’s not against Uber’s rules to do so, but they do advise following the privacy regulations of the state or territory you’re in. 

In all instances, you won’t be permitted to publish the material you have recorded while driving Uber without the consent of the other people in the recording. Moreover, it’s important to notify people they are being recorded. You can always do this by adding a clearly visible Disclaimer in your vehicle, so passengers can be aware of their being filmed. 

Specific recording laws differ from state to state, so if you have more questions then it’s best to chat to a legal expert about your options when placing a recording device in your uber vehicle. 

What Are My Worker Rights As An Uber Driver? 

As we mentioned earlier, Uber drivers are independent contractors. Therefore, Uber isn’t required to treat drivers like employees by providing them with things like sick leave and superannuation payments. However, this does not mean Uber drivers don’t have any rights under Australian employment laws. 

As a driver, you have the right to be safe at work and be treated with respect and dignity. If you feel your rights have been breached, then we strongly recommend getting in touch with Fair Work Australia to understand your options more (unfortunately this isn’t something we can help with). 

Next Steps 

Whether it’s your full time day job or a side hustle, it’s important to factor in some of the main legal considerations that impact all Uber drivers. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • Requirements for Uber drivers include valid license, background check, compliant vehicle 
  • State-specific rules and terms set by Uber must be followed 
  • State-level regulations and additional checks may apply which can be clarified by legal experts 
  • Having an ABN is usually necessary for tax and registration as an independent contractor
  • Applying for an ABN is straightforward and can be done online 
  • ABN holders can operate as sole traders and register a separate business name 
  • Applying for ABN allows applying for income tax and GST 
  • Recording passengers with dash cams is dependent  state privacy rules- having a disclaimer can help with notifying passengers of a camera 
  • Seek legal advice for specific recording laws in your state 
  • Uber drivers are independent contractors, Fair Work Australia can assist with rights-related concerns

If you would like a consultation on essential legal considerations as an uber driver, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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