Instacart Shopper FAQs

Shoppers are at the heart of our business and we want your Sterling background check to be a positive experience.

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In Preparation of Screening

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.

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.

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.

We’ve got answers to your questions about screening and background checks. Please contact Sterling via one of the following methods or use the contact form on this page.

Instacart Shopper Support:
P: 833-342-7877 + 9001 (Instacart Shopper Extension)

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:

  1. Within the Instacart APP, click the question mark icon (?) in the top right portion of the screen to access the Help Center articles.
  2. Tap the headset icon in the top right corner to chat with a Care agent.

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.

During Screening

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.

Sterling works with all organizations to provide historical background information based on applicable state and local laws which vary.

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.

Instacart Shopper Support:
P: 833-342-7877 + 9001 (Instacart Shopper Extension)

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.

If additional information is required from you, you’ll hear from either Instacart requesting the background check or from Sterling directly.

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.

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.

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.

Post Screening

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:

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.

No, unless you have specifically provided authorization to do so.

No. We do not search juvenile courts for juvenile records.

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.

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.

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

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

When you first arrive on our background check web page (after clicking the link in your email), you’ll need to create a new password meeting the requirements indicated on the page. You’ll need to check the box to accept Sterling’s terms of use, then click the “Create an Account” button.

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.

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.

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.

Anyone who applies to be an Instacart shopper will need to go through a background check before working with the company. These checks will use your Social Security number to look through public and private databases for information on your background.

Instacart Candidate Support:

  • Phone:
    1-833-342-7877 ext. 9001
  • E-mail:

How Can We Help You?

Have a question or need help with your background check?

Please review the Shopper FAQs above before reaching out via the form.