Instacart Shopper FAQs
Shoppers are at the heart of our business and we want your Sterling background check to be a positive experience.
Please review our Shopper FAQs below before reaching out via the contact form on this page.
In Preparation of Screening
What type of information is included in a background check?
Every organization has specific background screening requirements based on their industry, regulations, and types of positions. Most background checks include a criminal record search and a driving record check.
How do I prepare for my background check?
Before a prospective organization starts your background check, you’ll need to sign a written authorization for the background check. Without written consent, the organization is in violation of a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) law specifically written to protect your rights as a consumer. While every company has specific background screening criteria, you’ll likely be asked for your full legal name, any aliases, current address, date of birth, and social security number. Other information often requested is your driver’s license number.
How do you protect my privacy?
Sterling takes privacy very seriously. We respect the privacy of our visitors, employees, clients, and clients’ employees and Shoppers. We aim to collect, use, disclose, and retain personal information online in accordance with your expectations and the law. Read our privacy statement for details.
How do I ask a question about my specific background check?
How can I contact the Instacart Care team?
For questions about background check results or next steps once the background check is completed, Shoppers need to follow the steps below to contact Instacart directly:
- Within the Instacart APP, click the question mark icon (?) in the top right portion of the screen to access the Help Center articles.
- Tap the headset icon in the top right corner to chat with a Care agent.
Can a shopper submit the background check application using an ITIN?
No, per Instacart’s policy, you will not be able to proceed with the background check using an ITIN. You can contact Instacart and notify them that you do not have an SSN so they can provide available options to you.
How long does it take to complete my background check?
Although 90% of Sterling’s criminal checks are complete within one day, there are several extenuating circumstances that cause delays in the process — such as the availability of records. You will have the opportunity to dispute any discrepancies and Sterling will re-investigate the results, which can also extend timing.
How far back do background checks go?
Sterling works with all organizations to provide historical background information based on applicable state and local laws which vary.
How can I check the progress of my background check?
Sterling is committed to simplifying how Shoppers engage throughout the screening process from start to final decision.
If it has been more than one week from when your background check began, you can contact Sterling to check on progress. Please contact us via one of the following methods or use the contact form on this page.
What if I submitted incorrect information?
Once you submit the required information, Sterling is unable to make changes. Please contact Instacart and ask them to launch a new order with the correct details. You may receive an email to complete additional details if applicable.
Will someone contact me if there’s a problem with my background check?
If additional information is required from you, you’ll hear from either Instacart requesting the background check or from Sterling directly.
Why did I receive a Public Records Notice(s) and what do I need to do?
There is no action needed from you. The background check that is being performed on you may include public records. The notification is sent to you for informational purposes. You may receive more than one notice because Sterling is reviewing records from multiple jurisdictions which require notification. More than one letter does not indicate a problem. Common examples of public records are professional license verifications, driving records, court records of criminal and/or civil cases, and sanctions cases.
Can I continue to be a shopper/driver with Instacart if I have criminal records?
Sterling is a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) who conducts background checks and shares results with Instacart. Instacart makes a determination based on the results of our background check and any other information they request or you share with them.
I received an email with the SSN confirmation link to update my personal information, however I am unable to use it as it says it is expired.
You have 14 days from the time the link was sent to you with two attempts to correct the details. If you failed to use the link within 14 days or if you exceed the number of attempts to correct the details, you will not be able to proceed and will need to contact Instacart for further course of action. You can contact them via the Instacart Shopper Care Team on their app.
What if I am or believe that I am a victim of identity theft?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you specific rights when you are, or believe that you are, the victim of identity theft. A brief summary of the rights designed to help you recover from identity theft can be found here. A summary of your rights to place a security freeze on your credit report can be found here. Below are additional resources:
How do I request a free copy of my background check?
In some states, the organization requesting the background check is required to provide a copy of it at your request. If Sterling has prepared a consumer report or investigative consumer report in your name — as per the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act — you are entitled to a free copy of the completed report during each 12-month period. To receive a free copy of the report(s) in your file, please complete our online contact form.
Can Instacart share the results of my background check with another company?
No, unless you have specifically provided authorization to do so.
Will juvenile records show up on my background check?
No. We do not search juvenile courts for juvenile records.
Will I be denied if I have a criminal record?
Every company has their own hiring criteria. Sterling is a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) and does not make any hiring decisions. We provide reportable information to our clients for them to leverage in determining eligibility based on their standards and policies.
What happens when an organization doesn’t want to hire me because of my background check?
If an organization decides not to move forward with the hiring process because of what was uncovered in a background check, they are required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to follow a two-part notification process called adverse action.
The first step of the process is to send a pre-adverse action notice that informs the Shopper or current member that the information contained in a Consumer Report result caused the organization to consider an adverse decision. This gives the Shopper or member an opportunity to review the report and dispute any inaccuracies.
After sending a pre-adverse notification, an organization should wait at least five business days (or longer if required by state or local law) before notifying the Shopper or member of a final adverse decision. A final adverse action notice must be sent to inform the Shopper or member that the organization has taken adverse action based on information on the consumer report.
How do I dispute the results of my background check?
Shoppers may dispute the accuracy or completeness of a consumer report. To dispute, Shoppers are encouraged to call Sterling at 1-888-889-5248. Shoppers may also submit a dispute via email by contacting us at email@example.com.
Claims are investigated within the time allowed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (in general, a Consumer Reporting Agency has up to 30 days to resolve a dispute). Shoppers are notified via email of the resolution of their dispute.
Technical Support FAQs
What if I don’t know my password?
Why am I being told that my email address already exists in Sterling’s system?
You may have had a background check processed previously with Sterling through a different employer. If you don’t remember your password, you’ll need to reset the password. Click the “I am a Returning User” option near the bottom of the Create Account page, then click the “Forgot Your Password?” option and enter your email address. You’ll receive a confirmation email containing a link for resetting your password.
What if I don’t remember my password?
Reset the password if you don't remember it. Click the “I am a Returning User” option near the bottom of the Create Account page, then click the “Forgot Your Password?” option and enter your email address. You’ll receive a confirmation email containing a link to reset your password.
What if I haven’t received my confirmation email for resetting my password?
It may take up to two hours for you to receive a confirmation email when resetting your password. If you don’t see the confirmation email in your inbox, be sure to check your junk and spam folders. If you still haven’t received your email after two hours, you can try again by clicking the “I am a Returning User” option near the bottom of the Create Account page and requesting another confirmation email. If you continue not to receive a confirmation email, please call us at 833-342-7877, extension 9001, for further assistance.
How Can We Help You?
Please review the Shopper FAQs above before reaching out via the form.