Coronavirus - Information for taxi drivers
What about taxis that are licensed by the Council?
The use of taxis and movements of people is and will decline significantly during the current coronavirus pandemic. For those in operation, who continue to provide an important service for many, taxi and private hire drivers will follow national guidance. They are encouraged to follow these simple and sensible steps at all times and particularly in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus:
· Always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes
· Dispose of used tissues in the bin as soon as possible
· Wash hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel, to kill germs
We would also encourage licensees to take sensible and routine precautionary measures such a cleaning surfaces regularly with sanitising wipes or spray to get rid of germs. Taxi drivers should consider regularly cleaning card payment devices. Licensees who share a taxi or private hire vehicle should consider regularly cleaning the steering wheel and instruments.
Update (13 May): The government has issued guidance covering all modes of private and public transport, which the Department for Transport has summarised in the letter below:
Local Transport Restart - 13 May 2020 (PDF File, 374kb)
Taxi and Private Hire Licensing
The basic difference between the two types of vehicle is that Hackney Carriages can be 'flagged down' off the street or on a rank and private hire vehicles must be pre-booked through an operator.
Licensing provides a visible assurance to the public that the vehicle has been checked for safety and that the driver has been checked medically, and is a fit and proper person to hold a licence. Drivers take a knowledge test, ability test, have a Group 2 DVLA standard medical and have a DBS check (previously CRB) undertaken on them before their licence is issued.
The driver’s licence issued by the Council entitles the holder to drive both private hire vehicles and Hackney Carriages. The Council licence Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles, as well as Private Hire Operators.
Applying for a licence
Once you have read all the information in the licensing policy document and are satisfied that you meet the necessary criteria, the application forms and fee information is available to download from our website.
When you have completed the application form, you will need to make an appointment with the Licensing team. Appointments are available on a Tuesday and Thursday between the hours of 10:00 and 12:00 and 14:00 and 16:00. Please call 01636 655280/655894 to make an appointment. A driver’s application can take approximately 6-8 weeks.
All applicants are required to complete and pay the appropriate fee for an enhanced Disclosure Service and Barring check (previously CRB) on first application and every 12 months thereafter. Applicants are required to join the DBS update service once the DBS application has been made to enable us to carry out an annual online check.
Applicants are required to satisfy the identification requirements in order to obtain an enhanced DBS as outlined here DBS evidence criteria (PDF File, 80kb) Applicants who have previously been known as a different name are required to provide evidence of this name change. Applicants will also need to provide their national insurance number.
Any DBS certificate submitted in support of an application shall not be accepted if it is more than three months older than the date the certificate was issued and must be for the position applied for 'other workforce, taxi driver'.
Where an applicant has resided in the UK since their 10th birthday or has spent a period of 3 months or more as a non-resident, the Authority will require a certificate of good conduct authenticated by the relevant embassy of that country of residence and a translated copy, provided at the applicant's own expense, in addition to the enhanced DBS check. Further information on Certificates of Good Conduct is available on the GOV.UK website.
Applicants are required to pass a medical examination of Group II standards. Medical examinations must be conducted by the Council’s independent medical advisor. In exceptional circumstances, the applicant may use their own general practitioner or medical practice. In these cases the applicant must provide evidence as to why this should be permitted. The Councils independent medical advisor is Medigold Consultancy in Bestwood Park.
Drivers aged 45 or over will require an examination every 3 years thereafter until aged 65 years. Drivers aged 65 or over or those drivers with a specified medical condition will be required to have examinations on an annual basis (or as specified by the medical practitioner).
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) checks and references are also taken.
A knowledge test (Knowledge Test info sheet (PDF File, 628kb)and driving ability test are also carried out.
If satisfied, from the information available, that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a licence, the Licensing Officer has delegated power to grant the application and issue a three year licence.
If the Authority is not satisfied, from the information available, that the applicant should be granted a licence, the matter will be referred to the General Purposes Committee for a hearing.
Right to work in the UK
Following the implementation of the relevant section of the Immigration Act 2016, Newark & Sherwood District Council is required to conduct checks to ascertain that an applicant is not disqualified by their immigration status from holding a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Drivers Licence.
If you have time-limited permission to be in the UK and work, the check must be repeated at each subsequent application to renew or extend the licence until such time as you are able to demonstrate that you are entitled to remain indefinitely in the UK, without restriction on your ability to work.
The documents referred to in the list of acceptable documents (see below) will indicate whether you have temporary permission to be in the UK or if you are entitled to remain indefinitely in the UK.
Newark & Sherwood District Council must be satisfied you are not disqualified from holding a licence before we issue you with a licence.
Right to work in the UK (PDF File, 112kb)
Drivers licence renewal
A renewal form will be sent to your recorded address. (Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure your licence is renewed before it expires).
All drivers must be enhanced DBS checked every year with effect from 1 October 2015 on renewal. Applicants are required to join the DBS update service once the DBS application has been made to enable an annual on-line check to be carried out by us.
Please note, it is the drivers' responsibility to ensure that an annual DBS check is recorded with the Licensing office, as failure to do so will result in the suspension of the licence until such time as a DBS check is carried out.
Drivers requiring a medical, must use the Council’s independent medical advisor. In exceptional circumstances, the applicant may request in writing to use their own general practitioner or medical practice. In these cases the applicant must provide evidence as to why this should be permitted. The Councils independent medical advisor is Medigold Consultancy in Bestwood Park.
Once a driver's licence has expired it cannot be renewed. The legislation requires late applicants whose licence has expired go through the 'new licence' process.
Registers for licensed drivers and vehicles are kept in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the Town Police Clause Act 1847. These registers are available at the council offices for public inspection. If you are interested in viewing this information please contact us.
Following the report into child sex exploitation in Rotherham, the role of taxi drivers has been in the public eye. Sometimes, taxi drivers are the eyes and ears of the community due to the unique role they have in transporting and engaging with children, vulnerable adults and their carers. Because of this, we feel it is important that taxi drivers understand how to raise concerns about vulnerable children and adults.
After lengthy discussions, the councils in Nottinghamshire are introducing compulsory training for taxi drivers and operators on the very important subject of safeguarding, particularly around vulnerable young people. This means that our drivers and operators are now required to undergo our Safeguarding Vulnerable Passenger training as a condition of their licence and/or the application process.
There is no cost for the training held at NSDC. All drivers are required to attend one of the courses within one year of the condition being introduced. Failure to attend the course will result in your badge either not being renewed or being revoked or suspended.
Drivers may attend a course being held at another Council. Please note that some Councils are charging a fee ranging between £25 and £38.
For further information, please call the Licensing team on 01636 655280 / 655894.