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Instacart Background Check: What You Need to Know

Discover what an Instacart background check is. Learn how and why Instacart conducts it, what it entails, and how to dispute one.

Key Takeaways

  • Instacart uses third-party services for mandatory background checks.
  • Checks review driving, criminal records; not all offenses disqualify.
  • Background checks occur initially and annually for current shoppers.
  • Process typically takes 3 to 10 business days, depending on various factors.

Instacart background checks are a mandatory process potential shoppers undergo to demonstrate their reliability and security. The company uses third-party services to examine your driving and criminal records and other histories before onboarding you to protect its customers.

As an aspiring Instacart shopper, you need to familiarize yourself with the background check process to increase your chances of getting hired. This in-depth article will walk you through the steps, requirements, and possible challenges you might face along the way.

What You Need to Know About the Instacart Background Check

Instacart delegates background checks to third-party companies—Checkr and Sterling—who use your Social Security number (SSN) and authorization to access public and private databases to review your history.

It’ll verify that you have a clean driving history and no criminal record, which shows that you’ll be a dependable and honest shopper for the company’s customers.

There’s no fixed period as to how far back these checks go; it all depends on local regulations, role requirements, and whether you’ve raised any red flags. Still, expect a scrutiny of your past going up to 5-10 years.

You won’t receive a free copy of your background check results, but you can monitor its status through Chekr or Sterling’s website. It’s also worth noting that not all criminal records automatically disqualify you. Their type, severity, and the time when they occurred are factors that Instacart considers. Juvenile records aren’t checked, either.

How Often Does Instacart Conduct a Background Check?

Instacart conducts these checks in two ways:

  • During the initial hiring process, where they’ll check whether you meet their safety and compliance standards before employing you.
  • Annually, to maintain their safety standards and check whether you’ve been convicted of anything since the initial check.

How Long Do Instacart Background Checks Take?

These checks will typically take 3 to 10 business days, but companies like Sterling can complete 90% of criminal and public record searches within one day.

However, delays may occur when your references don’t respond, your records are missing, or you allow access to private databases such as your credit report.

How Does an Instacart Background Check Proceed?

Passing a background check is indispensable to becoming an Instacart shopper.

Step 1: Initiation

Once you reach the background check stage in the application process, Instacart will present you with a consent form that debriefs you and requests your signature. Review it carefully and make sure you agree to every proposal made in it before signing.

This aligns with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); your consent authorizes third parties to dig into your history and retrieve any relevant information required to verify your eligibility for the position. Expect to share the following:

  • Your full name and any aliases
  • Your current and past addresses
  • Your date of birth
  • Your Social Security number (SSN)
  • Your driver’s license number (If applicable)
  • Your references (Optional)

Accuracy and honesty in your answers are expected, so make sure you double-check the information you input to avoid any mistakes, delays, or rejections during this process.

Step 2: Investigation

The companies responsible for conducting the background check will use the information you provided to access a wide range of public, and sometimes private, databases. They’ll look at:

Criminal Records

National and local public databases, as well as sex offender registries, are checked for your convictions, misdemeanors, and pending charges.

Instacart is more likely to be concerned with offenses directly related to safety, trust, or theft. As such, violent crimes, sex offenses, fraud, or driving under the influence (DUI) are red flags.

The silver lining is that they take the severity of the offenses and the time elapsed since their occurrence into consideration. Felonies are taken more seriously than misdemeanors, and recent offenses carry more weight than those from the distant past.

However, if you tend to re-offend, you’ll raise doubts about your suitability.

Driving History

As an Instacart shopper, you’ll be entrusted with navigating the roads and delivering orders to customers’ homes. Having a clean driving record is mandatory; it’s a sign of responsibility and trustworthiness.

Serious offenses are grounds for disqualification. They include DUIs, reckless driving, driving without a license, and hit-and-run accidents.

The severity of incidents is considered too; minor fender benders are less serious than accidents with major damage or many injuries. Similarly to your criminal record, the time elapsed since your last violation and the frequency of your offenses play a role during deliberations.

However, note that minor violations, such as speeding, won’t automatically disqualify you unless you consistently engage in them.

Education and Employment Histories

Sometimes, Instacart might also check your education and employment histories to verify the accuracy of the information you provided, prompting you to provide additional information.

This is just a matter of ensuring your legitimacy, so be honest during the application process and contact Instacart if you have any concerns.

Step 3: Compilation

The company will compile the information it gathers and analyze it following Instacart’s criteria.

Step 4: Analysis

Instacart will review the findings outlined by the third party. It’ll look at the context of your background and offenses, their severity, and the time that has elapsed since they took place before deciding whether to reject you or move forward with your application.

The company doing the background check will notify you about the searches it conducted via its candidate portals. This process can take up to a week or more, but you can track the progress of your background check on their respective websites: Sterling or Checkr.

What Happens If I Fail My Instacart Background Check?

You’re much more likely to fail your background check if it reveals a history of serious offenses: violent crimes, sex offenses, or major theft. These directly undermine the trust and safety of the company’s customers and will often lead to permanent bans.

You’re also likely to fail it if you’ve been involved in a recent misdemeanor, but its impact is less clear-cut. The rule of thumb is that the more severe and recent the misdemeanor is, the more weight it carries. Make sure you’re not a repeat offender, and make sure that enough time passes before your first application.

Lastly, if you provide inaccurate information on your consent form, the third party can’t check and confirm your background.

What Can I Do If I Fail My Instacart Background Check?

In cases of misinformation and misdemeanors, you can dispute your background check if you provided the wrong information, believe you’re a victim of identity theft, or think that it doesn’t accurately reflect your history.

You can also reapply after enough time has elapsed for an improvement in your behavior to be noticed, but serious offenders are often barred from doing so — you’re unlikely to win disputes involving a serious crime. There’s no fixed period, but six months is reasonable.

Disputing Your Background Check

You can file a dispute with Checkr from the company’s online portal or by calling its customer support line. Its website has detailed steps on what to do.

Sterling also has a dedicated FAQs page; it recommends that you call 1-888-889-5248 or email it at [email protected] to initiate your dispute.

In either case, expect to provide a brief summary of your situation, explaining how youe you send them all the information they need so they can get started with the background check ’ve rehabilitated from the charges or how they’re inaccurate. In the former case, attach any viable proof, including certificates of rehabilitation or applicable programs.

Wrapping Up

Instacart will only hire you after you pass a background check; it does that as a way of verifying your eligibility and protecting its customers’ interests. Checkr or Sterling, the companies it employs, will review your criminal and driving history, among others, during the process.

Make sure the information you provide in the consent form is correct, and feel free to dispute the results if you believe they’re inaccurate!

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