Taxi Driver Licence

Taxi Driver Licence

By licensing and regularly checking the taxi drivers, operators and vehicles, we are able to ensure that the public are offered as safe a service as possible.

New taxi licensing policy

Following a consultation process between 1 November 2017 and 5 January 2018, a new taxi licensing policy was approved by full cabinet and will come into effect on 1 April 2018.

A Competency test is compulsory for all new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers. Only those passing the test will be granted a licence. This is to ensure that all drivers have a good understanding of the area, places of interest, English and arithmetic. 

Our licensing service issues licenses to allow the operation of a private hire service within the district as defined under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.

We issue two types of licences for drivers:

  1. Hackney Carriage driver licence
  2. Private Hire driver licence.

These are two separate licences and therefore if any person wishes to hold both a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver licences, they are required to submit two separate applications.

The Public Register of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers is now available.

Private Hire Driver

Private hire vehicles can only undertake pre-booked work.

Almost all vehicles in the South Cambridgeshire district are private hire, as the district does not contain taxi ranks.

The licence allows the licensee to undertake pre-booked work through an South Cambridgeshire District Council licensed operator and is normally valid for 3 years.

Hackney Carriage Driver

Hackney Carriage taxis can apply for hire only within the South Cambridgeshire district but can undertake pre-booked work from anywhere.

The licence allows the licensee to drive a Hackney Carriage taxi only and is normally valid for 3 years.

Once the applicant has passed the Competency test, we will require the following original documents to complete the application:

  • The DSA driving test pass certificate (new applicants only – must be less than 12 months old)
  • Completed application form
  • Completed medical form (PSV, HGV current drivers maybe exempt)
  • Proof of Right to Work
  • Application fee
  • DVLA check code (this can be done at the time of the appointment)

To obtain your DVLA check code you need to visit Gov.uk:

To do this you will need:

  • your driving licence, and
  • your national insurance number

Follow the instructions on the GOV.UK website to get your code - please note that this code is case sensitive and is only valid for 21 days.  Bring the code with you to the appointment.

What is the charge for the licence?

  • Grant - £225.00
  • Renewal - £123.00
  • Fee for knowledge base test for drivers  - £50.00
  • Replacement badge - £10.00

*Criminal Records Check - £53.90

*This charges is to be added to your application fee for Grant or Renewal. The Criminal Records Check fee is subject to change as the Council does not determine this fee.

If you have subscribed to the DBS update service you must bring in the original DBS certificate.  We will not be able to complete the check without this certificate. 

All new and renewal drivers will as part of their conditions of licensing with South Cambridgeshire District Council have to register with the update service from GOV.UK.  Failure to do so will result in either refusal or revocation of the licence.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) update service lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up to date online and allows employers to check a certificate online.

You must register online via the DBS website within 14 days of getting your certificate.  Registration lasts for 1 year and costs £13 per year (payable by debit or credit card only).

Applicants who have not been resident within the British Isles for a full and continuous five years, but with permissions to undertake Hackney Carriage or Private Hire work will be required to submit a certificate of good character signed and stamped by the relative Embassy.

The certificate must be translated into English and delivered as part of the application and will only is accepted if less than three months old at time of submission.

Applicants are required to produce an original Enhanced Criminal record check (DBS) certificate for the application to be considered. The certificate should be dated within one month from issue at the time of submission. Checks should be other workforce – Private Hire Driver and the barred checks should be adults and children.

An online check for an Enhanced DBS check can be carried out at the time of appointment. The fee is payable online by card at the time of application will be £53.90 (subject to review).

In order to process the DBS online, you will need to provide the following original documentation at the time of submitting the application:

  • Valid Passport
  • Current DVLA Driving licence
  • Proof of National Insurance number
  • 1 x Passport photograph

Two different proofs of name and addresses from the following list:

  • Credit card, bank or benefit statement (less than 3 months old)
  • Utility bill (not mobile phone bill) (less than 3 months old)
  • Council tax or Mortgage statement (less than 12 months old)
  • P60 or P45 statement (less than 12 months old)

All applicants for a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licence must have held a DVLA approved licence for at least 12 months.

All applicants must complete a DVLA Mandate.

All new applicants must have successfully completed a driving skills assessment. We will accept certificates that are less than one year old from the following bodies:

AA DriveTech
Telephone: 03453 731 360

Diamond Advanced Motorists
Telephone: 020 8253 0120

RoSPA
Telephone: 0121 248 2099

Institute of Advanced Motorists
Telephone: 0300 303 1134

Note – all charges for these tests are set by the relevant bodies and are subject to change without any prior notification, and are out of the control, of South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Why are we asking for your personal information?


We require your personal data to enable us to comply with a legal obligation and review and reconsider your application for a license by way of an appeal conducted by the Licensing Committee.


There are laws in place, (Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982), that tell us what information we have to collect and keep. We may automate decisions and will inform you if we have done this as soon as reasonably practicable and provide you with access to our Data Protection Policy.
You hold the following rights with regard to the personal data you provide us:

  • Right to Access – You have the right to access (receive a copy) of your personal data and supplementary information.
  • Right to Rectification – You have the right to have any inaccurate or incomplete personal data rectified.
  • Right to Restriction – You have the right to request a restriction of the processing of your personal data in situations where it is inaccurate, unlawful, and no longer needed for the purposes for which it was originally collected, or if a withdrawal of consent has been made.

 

Sharing your information


We may share your personal data with Local Partner Authorities, Police, Legal, Courts, Internal/External audit, Disclosure and Barring Service, HM Revenue & Customs, Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, Customs and Border Agency as required.


We may process the information you provide to prevent and detect fraud in any of our systems and may supply information to government agencies, credit reference agencies, audit or other external bodies for such purposes. We participate in the Governments National Fraud Initiative.
If any of the information we have about you is incorrect, please tell us, we are reliant on you assisting us to keep your information accurate and up to date.


Retention of your personal information


We only keep your information as long as necessary, for some items this will be dictated by law. You can find out more by looking at the Councils Retention Policy on the website. We do not routinely process any information about you outside the UK. We will not transfer your personal data outside of the EU. We are a registered Data Controller with the Information Commissioners Office.

You can find out more about how we handle your data by visiting our Privacy Notice If you have a query regarding your rights please contact the Data Protection Officer who can be contacted by emailing infogov@3csharedservices.org or you can write to the Council and mark your letter for the attention of the Data Protection Officer. Alternatively you can call 07864 604221 or 01954 713318.


You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) should you believe any part of this statement to be unlawful.

It is essential that licensed drivers are in good health as they are expected to carry passengers’ luggage, will drive on the road for longer periods than most car drivers, and may need to assist disabled passengers. The council must be satisfied that the drivers it licenses are sufficiently fit to undertake the tasks expected of them.

The DVLA, The Royal Society of Medicine and the DfT recommend and consider it best practice for licensed drivers (hackney carriage and private hire) to be subject to the DVLA group 2 medical requirements. The DVLA group 2 medical is a recognised national standard developed by DVLA for bus and lorry drivers

To ensure that public safety is protected, the council has chosen to adopt this best practice and to require all new and renewal applicants to obtain and submit a group 2 medical report with their application for new licences and renewals.

The medical form must be completed, signed and stamped by a doctor. The medical must be less than three months old when presented at the application appointment.

The Local Government Association has launched a national register of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver refusals and revocations.

This register is an important step in tackling the issue of individuals making applications to different authorities following refusal or revocation. At the moment, if drivers do not disclose information about a previous revocation or refusal of a licence, there is often no way for a council to find this information out. This means that vital intelligence about an applicant’s past behaviour is being missed and an individual might be able to get a new licence in another area, despite having their licence taken away elsewhere.

In response to this issue, the Local Government Association (LGA) has commissioned the development of a national register of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver licence refusals and revocations, the ‘National Register of Refusals and Revocations’ or NR3. The new register will allow licensing authorities to record details of where a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire drivers’ licence has been refused or revoked, and allow licensing authorities to check new applicants against the register. This should help to prevent people found to be not fit and proper in one area from securing a licence somewhere else through deception and non-disclosure.

For the avoidance of doubt, NR3 does not extend to vehicle or operator licensing decisions.

This licensing authority will provide information to the National Register of Taxi Licence Refusals and Revocations (NR3), a mechanism for licensing authorities to share details of individuals who have had a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver licence revoked, or an application for one refused.

This is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the licensing authority – that is, assessing whether an individual is a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver licence

Therefore:

  • Where a Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire driver licence is revoked, or an application for one refused, the authority will automatically record this decision on NR3.
  • All applications for a new licence or licence renewal will automatically be checked on NR3. If a search of NR3 indicates a match with an applicant, the authority will seek further information about the entry on the register from the authority which recorded it. Any information received as a result of an NR3 search will only be used in respect of the specific license application and will not be retained beyond the determination of that application.

The information recorded on NR3 itself will be limited to:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • address and contact details
  • national insurance number
  • driving licence number
  • decision taken
  • date of decision
  • date decision effective

Information will be retained on NR3 for a period of 25 years.

Information will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Any searches, provision or receipt of information of or under NR3 are necessary to the authority’s statutory licensing functions of ensuring that all drivers are fit and proper to hold the applicable licence.

It is not intended that any NR3 data will be transferred out of the United Kingdom.

If you wish to raise any issue related to the data protection legislation, including by relying on any of the rights afforded to data subjects under the GDPR, you can do so to the authority’s Data Protection Officer at infogov@3csharedservices.org . This includes submitting a subject access request.

You always have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Advice on how to raise a concern about handling of data can be found on the ICO’s website: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

Frequently asked questions

Why has the register been set up?

NR3 has been developed to improve public safety and confidence in Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing. There have been numerous high profile cases where drivers who have been refused licences or had a licence revoked in one area have gone to another area and received a licence in that area by failing to disclose their previous history. This undermines public safety, if there are legitimate reasons why a licence was refused or revoked, and damages confidence in the Hackney Carriage / Private Hire licensing regime and trade. This is why the initiative has been widely supported by reputable drivers and firms, as it will provide a mechanism for ensuring information about refusals and revocations can be shared between all licensing authorities in a safe and secure way, removing this potential loophole.

How will the register work – what information will be recorded?

When an authority revokes a licence, or refuses an application for one, it will record this information on NR3. The information recorded will be limited to:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • address and contact details
  • national insurance number
  • driving licence number
  • decision taken
  • date of decision
  • date decision effective

Licensing authorities will then search the register when they are processing new applications or renewals. Where an authority finds a match for their applicant on NR3, it will contact the licensing authority that recorded the entry to seek more information, which, if shared, will then be used to help reach a decision on the application.

Will I automatically be refused a licence if I am on the register?

No. Licensing authorities are legally required to consider each licence application on its own merits, and cannot refuse an application simply because an applicant may be recorded on NR3. The purpose of NR3 is to ensure that authorities have the full information necessary to help them reach a decision on whether an individual is fit and proper. If circumstances have materially changed since the decision that has been recorded on NR3, it may be appropriate for another authority to award a licence.

What if my licence is suspended?

Suspensions of licences will not be recorded on NR3. This is because suspension should be used as either a short-term punishment or to overcome a short-term situation (e.g. driving or medical issues). Where a driver is no longer considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence, the licence should be revoked.

Can I find out if my details are on the NR3?

Individuals whose details are added to NR3 will be notified of this at the point at which they are advised of the decision to refuse or revoke a licence.

Outside of these times, an individual can make a subject access request (SAR) for any of their personal data held on NR3. The ‘data controller’ in respect of this data is this licensing authority, to whom a SAR should be submitted in the first instance. As the ‘data processor’, that is the organisation storing the data, the National Anti-Fraud Network will fulfil this request. Similarly, the exercise of any other rights provided under data protection legislation should be made to this authority in the first instance.

How long will details be held on NR3 for?

Data will be retained on the register to help licensing authorities fulfil their statutory duty to be satisfied that a person is a fit and proper person to hold a taxi or PHV licence. These duties are set out under sections 51, 59 and 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976; sections 13, 16 and 17 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998; section 3 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London PHV Driver's Licences) Regulations 2003; sections 25 and 30 of the London Cab Order 1934; sections 9 and 19 of the Plymouth City Council Act 1975 and section 46 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847. In accordance with this purpose, data will remain on NR3 for 25 years.

The council has a statutory obligation to ensure that applicants have the legal right to work in the UK prior to issuing a licence. The issuing or refusing of licences will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Act 2016

All applicants must provide proof of right to work at time of application. We will only accept original documents. Please see attached for the Home Office Employers Right to Work checklist.

All drivers will be required to take part in a safeguarding course as set out by the council in order to obtain a recognised certification.

Please call us on 03450 450 063 to book an appointment for the Competency test (formally known as the knowledge test)

The Competency test is for both new Private Hire and Hackney Carriage applicants. The Competency test is a one hour test, under exam conditions. In order to pass, you must achieve minimum pass rates in each of the following categories:

  • General (7 from 10 questions)
  • Points of Interest (3 from 5 questions)
  • Numeracy (7 from 11 questions)
  • Conditions (6 from 8 questions)
  • Highway code (7 from 10 questions)
  • Road signs (6 from 8 questions)
  • Shortest routes (2 from 3 questions) - Hackney Carriage Test only

The cost of this test is £50.00 payable at the time of booking.

  • Grant - £225.00
  • Renewal - £123.00
  • Competency test for drivers  - £50.00
  • Replacement badge - £10.00
  • Criminal Records Check - £53.90

*The Criminal Records Check fee is subject to change as the Council does not determine this fee.

 

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