The DoorDash activation kit is a set of items that DoorDash sends you after you sign up to be a DoorDash driver. Your activation kit includes most of the things you’ll need to start Dashing.
I first signed up for DoorDash way back in 2016, and back then, you didn’t get an activation kit in the mail. Instead, you had to go to an in-person orientation where a DoorDash employee would walk you through how the DoorDash app works, then give you a delivery bag and a DoorDash red card before manually activating your account.
A lot has changed since I signed up to be Dasher all those years ago. These days, you no longer have to do an in-person orientation. Instead, DoorDash walks you through how to use the app online, then mails you a DoorDash activation kit. It makes signing up to be a Dasher much easier than it used to be – you don’t even have to leave your couch to sign up anymore.
You might be wondering what exactly is the DoorDash activation kit. In this post, we’ll look at what the DoorDash activation kit is and answer a few questions related to it.
What Comes In The DoorDash Activation Kit?
The DoorDash activation kit typically comes with three things: (1) a DoorDash delivery bag, (2) a DoorDash red card, and (3) a welcome manual that gives you basic directions on how to download the Dasher app and set up your account.
During the pandemic, DoorDash also started sending new Dashers a DoorDash branded face mask and a small tube of hand sanitizer. I’m not sure if DoorDash still includes those items in the DoorDash activation kit, so if anyone has recently received the activation kit, please feel free to let me know in the comments.
Let’s take a closer look at each item in the DoorDash activation kit:
1. DoorDash Delivery Bag
The DoorDash delivery bag is a red insulated bag with the DoorDash logo on it. It’s a good beginner bag if you just need something to hold food.
If you use a bike to do deliveries as I do, eventually you’ll need to upgrade to a delivery backpack, but if you do your deliveries using a car, you can probably stick with using the included DoorDash delivery bag (and if you deliver with other apps like Uber Eats or Grubhub, you can also use this bag to deliver with those apps too).
Getting the delivery bag for free is a nice benefit because you’d otherwise have to pay a few dollars to get an insulated food delivery bag.
2. DoorDash Red Card
The DoorDash Red Card is a company debit card that DoorDash provides to Dashers. Most orders on DoorDash are prepaid, so you won’t need to use the Red Card, but there are a few restaurants where you may have to place the order yourself or pay for the order using your Red Card.
If you get an order like this, DoorDash will automatically load the required amount onto the card, which you then use to pay for the order. It’s important to note that the Red Card can only be used when you have a delivery that requires the card, so don’t think you can start using it to buy things for yourself.
You’ll also need to activate the Red Card in the Dasher app before you can log in and accept deliveries. You’ll find some sources online that seem to suggest you can start Dashing without a Red Card, but I don’t think this is right. That’s because a few years ago, I had an issue where my Red Card expired and I wasn’t able to log into the Dasher app until my new Red Card arrived. It didn’t seem to matter that I wouldn’t need the Red Card for the vast majority of my deliveries – DoorDash simply wouldn’t let me log into the app until I had activated my new Red Card.
That being said, maybe things have changed over the past year. I know that in the past, DoorDash made you confirm that you had your Red Card before you could start a dash, but it no longer makes you do that anymore. This change may mean you no longer need to have an active Red Card to start dashing.
3. DoorDash Welcome Manual
The last thing that comes in the DoorDash activation kit is a welcome manual (it’s really more of a welcome pamphlet). This manual provides basic information about how to use the app and how to activate your Red Card. It also gives you information on how to link your bank account so you can get paid.
Can I Start DoorDash Without The Activation Kit?
I’ve found conflicting reports about whether you can start DoorDash without the activation kit. On the one hand, the DoorDash help section seems to say that you have to complete a delivery before you can even request the DoorDash activation kit, which would suggest that you can do deliveries without the activation kit.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, however. First, I don’t see why DoorDash would make you complete a delivery before you can even get your delivery items. And second, I recall that when you sign up, you request the activation kit during the signup process. Indeed, elsewhere on the DoorDash website, it seems to suggest that you request your activation kit during the signup process.
Several years ago, my wife signed up to be a Dasher and she couldn’t start her first delivery until her activation kit arrived and she activated her Red Card in the Dasher app. And as I mentioned previously, I had an issue a few years ago where my Red Card expired and I had to wait for my new card to arrive before I could start Dashing again.
That being said, things might have changed, especially since the Dasher app no longer makes me confirm that I have my Red Card before I start a dash.
How To DoorDash Without The Activation Kit
As I mentioned in the previous section, there seems to be some conflicting information about whether you need to have the activation kit to start dashing. Part of the DoorDash website seems to suggest you can dash without the activation kit. My personal experience was that I couldn’t start dashing without an active Red Card.
That was a while ago though and there have been some changes in the Dasher app that suggest you could start dashing without the activation kit.
In practical terms though, it doesn’t matter. You can try to dash without the activation kit. If it works, great. If not, wait until your activation kit arrives, then start dashing.
Of the three big food delivery apps (DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub), DoorDash is the only one that sends new delivery people a free delivery bag. Uber Eats and Grubhub both only send you their respective company debit cards. They don’t send a delivery bag to new drivers.
Getting a free delivery bag is a fairly nice benefit. It saves you a little bit of money since you can use this delivery bag, not only for DoorDash but also for any other delivery apps you’re working for.
Hopefully, this post addresses some of the major questions about the DoorDash activation kit. If you want to share your recent experience with the activation kit, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.