Advice for Taxi and Private Hire Drivers - COVID-19
The Government has not currently put any restrictions on these services.
However it is important that the measures recommended above are used to help protect drivers and their customer as they go about their work.
Always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes
Dispose of used tissues in a bin as soon as possible – you could carry bin liners in your car for you and your customers. Double bag all used tissues
Wash hands regularly with soap and water, or if not possible use sanitiser gel, to kill germs
Take precautionary measures by cleaning surfaces regularly with routine cleaning materials or sanitising wipes or spray to get rid of germs. Wipe over seats and card payment devices. Licensees who share a taxi or private hire vehicle should regularly clean the steering wheel and instruments. Where possible use card devices to avoid handling coins and notes
Older drivers or drivers who have underlying conditions such as heart disease or diabetes should if possible undertake other jobs to avoid unnecessary contact with other people as they are more likely to become very ill from COVID-19.
We would expect all private hire operators to fully cooperate with any enquiries they may receive from Public Health England or any other relevant agencies.
Whilst the above advice is current at the time of writing, please regularly check the Public Health England website found above.
COVID-19 Advice to Drivers
A Council-issued licence is required before any person can drive a Vehicle Private Hire (PHV or mini-cab). New application
There are two stages for dealing with a new application. Both stages requires the applicant to visit the Council Offices by appointment.
You must take the following items to the Licensing Officer:
Your completed application form The Suitability test fee and the Licence fee Your ordinary UK Driver Licence card; (All applicants must have held a full DVLA driving licence, or EU equivalent, covering the appropriate vehicle category for at least 3 years. EU licences must have been converted to a UK licence for at least 12 months) Two further prescribed items of identification such as Passport, Birth Certificate, etc Proof of the right to work in the UK (all applicants) see list. Convictions and fixed penalties
All convictions imposed by a Court, and current Fixed Penalties must be declared in your application.
The Council must check with the DBS about any criminal record of an applicant.
Warning: If you deliberately make a false statement or do not give all the relevant information on the application it is an offence punishable on conviction by a fine (not exceeding level 3 of the standard scale applied by the Courts).
The disclosure of a criminal record or other information will not debar you from gaining a licence unless the Council considers that the matters disclosed render you unfit to hold the licence for which you have applied.
If you would like to discuss what effect a conviction might have on your application, you may telephone the Licensing Officer in confidence, for advice before making an application.
Driver Suitability Test
All applicants will need to undergo a suitability test. This includes reading, writing, mathematics and awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). There is a fee for this test.
The applicant will be required to write out 3 receipts for mock journeys to addresses on the list.
The list can be viewed or downloaded but cannot be taken into the test. Address list Reading section
The applicant will be required to read a short paragraph of text relating to disability awareness. The text can be viewed or downloaded.
Reading test Mental arithmetic section
The applicant will be required to calculate change from a range of mock journeys. Child Sexual Exploitation awareness section
The applicant will be tested on their Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness. The information regarding CSE can be found here. Stage 2
When you receive your DBS certificate
contact the Council Offices to make an appointment at a mutually convenient time.
When you come to the Council Offices you should bring the following:
A medical examination form, duly completed by a doctor A passport-style photograph (35mm x 45mm) taken against a light background Your copy of the completed DBS certificate
If your application is approved, you will be issued with your driver’s badge and licence. These will be forwarded to you by post as soon as possible.
All applicants must undergo a medical examination as part of their initial application.
The Licensing Officer will give you a medical examination form to be filled in by a doctor You may choose which doctor you wish to use You are responsible for any fees charged
Thereafter medicals are to be undertaken as follows:
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The licensing department will send you reminders at the relevant date.
All Private Hire licences and all Hackney Carriage licences are issued for a 3 years period.
The following items have to be taken by you - the applicant, to the Licensing Officer, at the Council offices
Completed application form for renewal of a Driver Licence A Medical Certificate if applicable Your ordinary UK driving licence The Licence Fee Completed DBS application form A passport photograph
Note: A DBS check is required on first application, and then with each renewal.
You will again be required to declare All convictions and your history may be subject to a Police check.
NB: In order to renew a licence, it must be current at the time of application otherwise the procedure will be as for a new licence. Application forms and guidance
Current fees: Suitability test: £27, 3-year licence £92 (2020-2021)
Decisions new/renewal applications
Each application is treated on its own merits, the council’s main priority is public safety and therefore we will use information available to test an applicant’s honesty, integrity and character in order to determine if he/she is deemed fit and proper to hold a licence. Where an Officer has information that may indicate that an applicant is not fit and proper, be it a relevant caution or conviction or a driving offence, or other intelligence exists; then the application will be determined by the Development Control and Licensing Committee.
Decisions - current licences
Where a licence exists and information is received by the council which leads an officer to have concern regarding a driver or his/her behaviour, or if there is reason to believe that a driver may no longer be deemed fit and proper to hold a licence then the matter will be referred to the Development Control and Licensing Committee for a decision; the options available to the committee are to take no action, issue a warning, suspend or revoke a licence. The committee may also request remedial action to be taken by the driver during a suspension period.
Right of appeal
A driver has the right to appeal a Development Control and Licensing Committee decision, this right of appeal is to the Magistrates Court, the appeal must be lodged at the court within 21 calendar days of being notified of the committee’s decision.
Criminal Record check
All applicants will be required to undergo an enhanced criminal records check with the Data and Barring Service (DBS) – previously known as a CRB check. A licence will not be issued until the DBS certificate has been seen and checked.
Drivers wishing to renew their licence will not be required to take the suitability test. However, they will be required to undertake a DBS check. The renewed licence will not be issued until the new DBS certificate has been seen and checked. It is therefore important to apply for a renewal in plenty of time. The licensing section will send reminders two months in advance.