Do drivers need to apply before starting to offer rides? What are the requirements for becoming a driver? Is there an application fee?
Drivers go through a separate application process. In order to use iCarpool as a driver and offer rides, your driver application must be approved by us. Follow this link to find out information on driver requirements: Driver Requirements.
We do not charge a fee for the application. We do need you to send us your DMV record with your driving history and you may have to pay a fee to your state department for procuring the DMV record. However, we do provide a one-time reimbursement of up to $20 to all applicants towards the cost of getting their DMV record regardless of whether your application is approved or not – for most states, this means the full amount and so applying to become a driver is completely free of any cost. To be eligible for this reimbursement, your application must be complete with all required documents.
I’m not able to set my employer in the app. The app tells me “Your employer network is not set up in iCarpool.” What should I do?
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your employer email address [For example: email@example.com]. We’ll set up the employer network and get back to you.
I just got approved as a driver. What next?
Review the documentation provided. In the app, you should be able to switch to the driver mode and add trips you make regularly. For example, your morning trip to work and your evening trip back home. Once you’ve set up your trips, you can use iCarpool at any time to share rides on those trips.
How does the system calculate the money I receive?
When you give a ride, the app retains $1 from the ride fee charged and credits the balance to your account. So for example, if you give a ride to somebody and the ride fee was $5.40, you get $4.40 and iCarpool retains $1.
Keep in mind iCarpool uses a share-the-expense carpool model. The fees from the rider are their share towards the expense of the trip which can offset your cost of driving. The app caps the money you receive using rates published by the IRS such that you cannot receive amounts beyond your cost of driving.
Why does iCarpool not allow drivers to make a profit by providing rides?
The iCarpool app caps the amount drivers receive using reimbursement rates published by the IRS such that drivers cannot receive amounts beyond their ordinary costs of driving. As drivers cannot profit but only recover partial costs, there is no incentive for them to do any extra driving or make trips for the sole purpose of picking up and dropping off riders and instead, they limit their use to offer rides along their way between their origin and destination on a trip they were already making. Typically, the not-for-profit nature of such carpooling implies the regulations for commercial vehicles do not apply and commuters who carpool are not commercial operators.
The iCarpool app is aimed at trip reduction and taking cars off our roadways by utilizing empty seats in a driver’s car on a trip they were already making. Drivers use the iCarpool platform to offer rides for different reasons including (a) to offset their ordinary driving cost, (b) to cut commute time using HOV lanes, (c) to turn their solo commute into a fun social time, (d) to reduce cars on the road and thus curb traffic congestion and automobile emissions, etc.
When and how can I withdraw money collected in my account?
You can convert redeemable credits to cash:
– when your redeemable credits balance exceeds $50 OR
– when you want to close your account
When you’re ready to convert redeemable credits to cash, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “DRIVER EARNED CREDITS WITHDRAWAL” and include your full mailing address in the email. We’ll send via check or PayPal the amount equal to the amount of redeemable credits (earned) in your account on the day we process your request. You must use the email address used in your iCarpool profile to request the withdrawal. Please note, your account must have a minimum redeemable credits balance of $10 to cash out the credits.
Can I use ride credits collected in my account to take rides?
Yes. The credits you receive by giving rides are available in the app as redeemable ride credits. You can use redeemable ride credits to pay for a ride. When you book a ride, the app automatically uses your redeemable ride credits if required. Many of us choose to drive on some days and ride on other days. The ability to use the credits you receive as a driver to pay for rides is designed to help in this scenario.
What about tolls and parking costs?
These are the driver’s responsibility. We understand driving is expensive and your commute can cost a lot. At iCarpool, we help drivers offset their driving costs through carpooling and commuter drivers can save thousands of dollars each year by using the app. However, we don’t guarantee that costs of driving are split evenly between riders and drivers. For instance some cars may give a higher mileage than others. Some drivers may prefer premium fuel, encounter tolls depending on the time or the lane used or they may encounter other costs which are not direct driving costs such as parking. The iCarpool app does not account for the exact mileage a car gives, tolls or parking costs.
I have a new car. How can I update that in my driver profile?
If you have a new car, send us an email with two pictures – preferably one front and one side view showing the entire vehicle along with the following: [License Plate, Year, Make, Model]. We will update the vehicle in your profile.
The rider didn’t show up. What should I do?
Go to the app, and from the Ride Requests screen, message the rider or call the rider to find out if there’s any delay.
If you were late, chances are the rider had left by the time you arrived. You could mark the rider as No Show, in which case the rider would not be charged a fee.
How many riders can I take along at one time?
The app allows you to take up to 5 riders at the same time on one trip. Your vehicle must provide room and seat belts for all riders in your car.
I’m an approved driver – but I can’t switch to the driver mode in the app. What’s going on?
Your driver account is automatically deactivated if your driver license on file expires. If this happens, you can send in your renewed license to email@example.com and your account will be reactivated.
What if I’m not comfortable picking up the rider?
Of course, your personal safety comes first. If you do not feel comfortable letting the passenger in to the car, feel free to say no and drive away. And let us know of your concerns especially with respect to safety and security so we may take prompt action. If you incorrectly marked the rider as picked up, drop-off the rider immediately and reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can refund the rider.
Are the payments I receive taxable?
We do not provide tax related advice. If you have questions about taxability of payments you receive via the iCarpool Platform, please consult an independent tax advisor. That said, here’s some related information for your reference. According to the IRS, payments you receive from non-profit carpools are not to be included in your income.
What are some best practices as a driver?
– Safety always comes first! Drive safely. Make sure you use a phone mount and use the phone only when you’ve safely stopped and are not driving.
– Maintain a clean car.
– Make sure you start with enough battery charge for your phone or better yet connect a car charger when offering rides.
– Instead of playing music, strike a conversation – social interactions enrich your experiences with the iCarpool Platform.