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Licensing – Taxi Drivers

To follow any changes to this service, visit the Council Service Updates page.

Information about who needs to apply for a taxi/hackney carriage licence. How to apply, what documents you need and related information.

Important information

On 18 November 2020, the government issued comprehensive guidance for the taxi and PHV sector on actions that drivers, operators and owners of taxis or private hire vehicles (PHVs) can take to protect against coronavirus. The guidance is available on the  government website.

In line with advice and current measures taken by the Government to limit the spread of Coronavirus, the licensing offices have closed to the general public. All face-to-face appointments and drop-in sessions are cancelled until further notice. You may still contact the Technical Hub with any licensing enquiries by calling 01724 297750 or by email at licensing@northlincs.gov.uk. Applications and supporting documents may be submitted by email or post. Payment can be made via BACS, cheque or over the phone by calling 01724 297750. We will also be arranging DBS applications remotely and will verify your original documents by video call, using Microsoft Teams or Skype.

We have published Coronavirus advice for hackney carriage and private hire licensees [PDF, 94KB] for managing Coronavirus, including links to guidance for both operators and passengers.

We are continuously reviewing the situation and will adjust accordingly should the situation change.

Please refer to national guidance to ensure whether you are legally allowed to operate your business during the crisis, or if you are entitled to financial support.

January 2021 update

Due to the current lockdown, all face-to-face training including Safeguarding has been postponed until at least March 2021. If your drivers licence is due to expire before 1 March 2021, and you have not yet passed Safeguarding, please contact Licensing. We will not be processing grant applications at this time.

Any person who carries passengers for hire and reward needs to apply for a taxi driver licence to drive licensed vehicles.

There are two types of licensed vehicles. You may apply to drive both types of vehicle.

  • Hackney carriage vehicles – these vehicles can be hailed and ply for hire on approved taxi ranks
  • Private hire vehicles – these vehicles may only carry out pre-booked journeys booked through a licensed operator.

Application forms for hackney carriage and private hire vehicle driver’s licences can be downloaded:

PLEASE NOTE: All documents supporting this application must be supplied within three working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and be rejected. The application process will not commence until all information has been received.

Licensed drivers will be required to carry vulnerable adults and/or children in their vehicles. The council will not licence anyone to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle unless it is satisfied that they are a fit and proper person. In considering the fit and proper test, applicants will be required to complete the following:

  • Complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Provide a Certificate of Good Conduct, or similar foreign criminality check, from each country they have been resident in outside of the UK after the age of 10 years old. If you were resident in another country before the age of 10 years old, we will require proof of the date you left.
  • Provide a photograph endorsed as a true likeness by a current or previous employer, or someone of professional standing who has known them for at least three years. The person of professional standing shall not include a relative or prospective employer or another driver, proprietor or operator, or member or Officer of North Lincolnshire Council.
  • Provide a medical certificate obtained from the applicant’s own GP or in consultation with their medical history
  • Have a DVLA licence or other relevant full licence which must have been held for at least 12 months. We will check your DVLA licence for relevant endorsements – please see the DVLA section of this page for more information.
  • Pass the relevant parts of the Knowledge Test – please refer to the relevant section of this page for further information.
  • Take a NLC Driver Assessment test [PDF, 235 KB] for hackney carriage and/or private hire vehicle drivers in some circumstances – Refer to the Taxi Licensing Policy [PDF, 2 MB]
  • Attend and pass a Safeguarding & CSE Awareness course. The Safeguarding Course includes evidence that drivers can converse in English. Evidence could also be provided, such as qualification certificates. Please refer to the relevant section of this page for more information.
  • Provide evidence of right to work in the UK.

If you have ever lived in another local authority area, or worked as a Driver in another local authority area, we will contact that authority to ensure there is no information or intelligence that would prevent us from issuing you a licence.

Full details regarding any of the above criteria may be found in the Taxi Licensing Policy [PDF, 2MB].

We will conduct checks with the DVLA for all people who apply to be a licensed driver. This is to ensure that their DVLA driving licence is valid and any relevant endorsements on the licence may be reviewed. The paper counterpart to the photo card driving licence is no longer valid, nor issued, by the DVLA as of 8 June 2015.

Your driving summary is available on the DVLA website. You can use this service to create a licence ‘check code’ to share your driving record with us.
The ‘check code’ will give us the authority to check on your DVLA licence:

  • the types of vehicles you can drive
  • any penalty points or disqualifications you have
  • the last eight characters of your driving licence number.

This code is a single-use code that expires after 21 days – please make sure you get it when you submit your application. Please note this code is case-sensitive; ensure you clearly indicate lower case and capital letters when providing the code. You should produce the Check Code to Licensing and not conduct the check yourself.

As from 25 May 2018 the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and Data Protection Act 2018 came into force, replacing the former Data Protection Act 1998. This has affected how your personal data can be used.  In order to process your application for a disclosure check, you must read and understand the Standard / Enhanced Check Privacy Policy.

When completing your application form you will need to sign to say you have read the policy and understand how the Disclosure Barring Service will process your personal data.  Please note that without this consent your application can not be processed.

You can find the fee for this licence by going to our fee register. Licences are usually issued for a three year period, unless your Right to Work or DVLA licence expires during this time.

We will require scanned copies or photographs of the following to accompany your application:

  • minimum of three DBS documents (such as Passport, DVLA Driving Licence and a Council Tax or Utility Bill). Details of all of the documents we can accept are available on the Gov.uk website.
  • proof of Right to Work (if not provided with DBS documents). If you do not have a British Passport, a list of other documents we can accept is available on the Gov.uk website.
  • a copy of both sides of your DVLA Photocard Driving licence (if not provided with DBS documents).

We will contact you to arrange a remote appointment to verify these documents. The appointments will be conducted via Microsoft Teams or Skype.

All applicants must attend and pass Safeguarding training before a licence will be granted, and again on renewal. There may be occasions when you are required to sit and pass an additional course if we have received information or a complaint about your behaviour.

Our Safeguarding training is now conducted by Adult Education and Community Learning. Further information can be found in the NLCACL Taxi Driver Course leaflet [PDF, 178Kb]. Places can be booked after Monday 7 September 2020 by contacting 01724 297146 or emailing nlacl.enquiries@northlincs.gov.uk

Knowledge Tests can be booked by calling 01724 297750. When you call to book, we will ask you which parts of the test you need to sit.

Hackney Carriage Drivers will be required to pass parts A, B and C of the Knowledge Test.

Private Hire Drivers will be required to pass parts C and D of the Knowledge Test.

One attempt of the test is included with your application fee. The re-sit fee is £47 for three additional attempts. Photo ID is required when you attend the Knowledge Test.

The Study Guide  is available here for you to read.

Under the Equality Act 2010, drivers of Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles have a legal obligation to carry passengers and assistance dogs and wheelchair users. When carrying these passengers, drivers cannot charge any more than the metered fare; must allow the assistance dog to remain with the passenger and afford all reasonable assistance. The term “assistance dogs” refer to more than just guide dogs for blind people. It includes:

  • Guide dogs for the blind – white harness with yellow fluorescent strips
  • Hearing dogs for the deaf – burgundy jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (seven years to adult) – yellow jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (to work with children) – blue harness
  • Canine partners (people with physical impairments) – purple jacket
  • Support dogs (physical and other impairments) – blue jacket.

Under the Act, it is an offence for any operator or driver to refuse to carry assistance dogs. On conviction for such an offence, drivers can be fined up to £1,000.

Where a driver has an allergy to dogs, the driver must apply for an exemption from carrying assistance dogs.

To apply for an exemption, a driver must fill in an Exemption application form [PDF, 41Kb].

If no exemption has been applied for and subsequently granted, then drivers are still required to carry assistance dogs. Where an application is made to us for an exemption, it must be supported by medical evidence. The driver with the allergy should be under the care of a specialist consultant and will be required to produce reports from their consultant.

In July 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) published a document of National Standards, which sets out guidelines and recommendations to Local Authorities. The document contains a set of expected minimum standards in administering the licensing function and determining applicant fitness and proprietary that Licensing Authorities are expected to follow unless there is a compelling local reason not to.

The standards have been put in place to safeguard and protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation; however all passengers will benefit from the recommendations made. A key focus of the changes is also to build confidence in the taxi and private hire industry.

The recommendations are the result of detailed discussions with the trade, regulators and safety campaign groups. The DfT have outlined that they expect these recommendations to be not only implemented by Local Authorities, but also considered rigorously and with an open mind.

North Lincolnshire Council already maintains many of these standards through the Taxi Licensing Policy, adopted guidance and more broadly through internal safeguarding and whistleblowing policies. The document contains several additional standards that would further improve public safety. Where standards differ between the Licensing Policy and the DfT guidance, Licensing will apply the most stringent requirements.

Some of the key changes that Drivers may notice are:

Information Sharing

  • Applicants will be required to disclose if they hold, or have previously held, a licence with another Local Authority. The applicant will also be required to disclose if they have had an application for a licence refused, or if a licence was revoked or suspended by another Local Authority. Licensing will continue to communicate with other Local Authorities to request or share information which may be relevant.

DBS Checks

  • Drivers will soon be required to have a DBS check every six months. This check will be carried out by the DBS Update Service. As a result, all licensed drivers will be required to evidence continuous registration with the DBS Update Service to enable Licensing to routinely check for new information every six months. Drivers that do not subscribe to the Update Service will still be subject to a check every six months. There is a cost for the update service which is currently £13 per year. Alternatively the cost of a new DBS is currently £40.
  • Previous convictions disclosed on applicants’ DBS certificates may be assessed differently following the new guidance. Any offences involving dishonesty, indecency or violence may require a longer rehabilitation period before a licence or renewal will be granted. Grandfather rights do not apply. Further information on how Licensing will assess previous convictions in line with the National Standards can be found in the Assessment of Previous Convictions.[PDF, 590Kb]
  • Licensing will inform Humberside Police and the DBS if they receive any relevant information about a Driver, or if they decide to refuse or revoke a licence. This is particularly relevant if the Driver is thought to present a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult.

Contact

licensing@northlincs.gov.uk
01724 297750

Licensing Department
PO Box 42
Church Square House
Scunthorpe
DN15 6XQ

Monday to Thursday
9:00 am – 12.30 pm & 2:00 pm – 4.30 pm

Friday
9:00 am – 12.30 pm & 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm