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Apply for a taxi driver licence - private hire or hackney carriage

You can apply for a new taxi driver license using our online portal.

However, before applying for a new licence, please take some time to read and understand the specific guidance first:

1.    Please provide full names and addresses of two referees from whom the Council may seek character references.

2.     Applicants (GRANTS ONLY) should complete two applications if they require both types of licence.  The fee for each type of licence is £70.00 (i.e. £140.00 for both) plus £58.00 if a disclosure is required from the Disclosure & Barring Service.  APPLICANTS MUST BE AWARE THAT FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

3.     All applicants for the initial grant of a licence to act as the driver of hackney carriages and/or private hire vehicles must arrange for a medical examination (MED.2), and in the case of renewals, applicants aged 46 years or over must arrange for a medical examination and completion of the Questionnaire form (MED.2) by a registered medical practitioner every three years.  The form (MED.2) is obtainable from the Council.  Any fee payable for the medical examination is to be paid directly by the applicants to the medical practitioner.  In the case of applicants aged 65 years or over, a (MED.2) must be completed on an annual basis.

Medicals must be carried out by a registered medical practitioner who is the applicant's own GP or one who has access to the applicant's medical records. Documentation must be provided by the applicant to the medical practitioner verifying the applicant's identity

Medical forms submitted with applications for new licences must not be older than 28 days old at date of application. 

4.    Unless otherwise specified, a licence to act as the driver of hackney carriages and/or private hire vehicles will be issued for a period of one year except in those cases where the registered medical practitioner recommends a more frequent medical examination or the Licensing Committee grant a licence for a shorter duration.

5.    Any driver who may wish to claim exemption from carrying ‘assistance dogs’ on medical grounds must apply for exemption.  The exemption procedure is available from the Licensing Office.

6.  The attention of applicants is drawn to the attached conditions of application for licences.

7.    (a)     An enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service Form is required for all grant applications and every three years for renewal applications.  Allerdale Borough Council no longer provides a DBS disclosure application service. A company called Personnel Checks do this on our behalf. To apply for your DBS check please call them on 01254 355685. They will take your details over the phone together with payment of £58.00 by debit/credit card. You can then either apply online or you will be sent an application form through the post for you to complete and return. All instructions will be given to you by Personnel Checks.  Allerdale Borough Council will still verify your ID documents.

Please note:  The Licensing Department no longer receives a copy of your DBS Disclosure result.  It will be your responsibility to submit your DBS Disclosure to us as part of the application process.

(b)      If a disclosure is required and you can supply a previous one which is less than 3 years old, this will be accepted providing it is accompanied by a statutory declaration sworn in front of a Solicitor or other Commissioner for Oaths. 

Statutory declarations are only required the first time you submit your   disclosure.  Please bring your disclosure with you when you submit your application.

8.    All new applications must be accompanied by a Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency Pass Certificate. Exemptions do apply. These include occupations as a driving instructor, driving examiner, persons having taken an advanced police driving test or persons holding a driving licence with categories D (or D + E) or D1 (or D1 + E). Drivers with these categories must hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence and hold a Driver Qualification Card valid for 5 years. The Driver Qualification Card must be produced with the application. Please contact the Licensing Department for confirmation that an exemption applies. 

If the DVSA taxi assessment is not available the applicant must pass the required assessment to be selected in due course by Allerdale Borough Council within 6 months of the implementation date of the new assessment. Any licensed drivers appearing before the Licensing Panel with repeated traffic offences may be required to pass the relevant assessment selected.

9.    Applications for renewal received longer than 28 days after the expiry of the licence will be treated as a new grant and must be accompanied by new documentation i.e. new DSA Test, new Doctors Medical (MED2) and new DBS form.

10.    N.B.  Your attention is drawn to the fact that supplied information is to be stored on computer.  You therefore have certain rights to view the information.  Such requests must be made in writing and a fee maybe payable.  Your rights are set out in the Data Protection Act, 1998.

How to arrange the assessment 

Please contact the company Green Penny to arrange the assessment either by contacting taxi@greenpenny.co.uk. All assessments will be carried out in the Allerdale area. 

Before the Council can grant a driver’s licence to any driver of a hackney carriage vehicle the applicant for the licence must comply with the following:-

1.         Complete and submit to the Council an application in a manner prescribed by the Council.

2.         Pay to the Council such fee as may be demanded by the Council for the issue of the licence

4.         Satisfy the Council that he is a fit and proper person to hold a drivers licence. In this connection the applicant may be required to undergo a short test and will be required to provide details of other employments if his sole employment is not as a hackney carriage vehicle driver.

5.         Applicants for a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage driver Licence must have held a full UK/EC/EEA driving licence for at least three years, such period to be calculated from the date of issue of a full driving licence.

6.         Provide a completed medical questionnaire, on the form (MED.1) obtainable from the Council. Where applicable a completed form (MED.2) as to the applicant’s physical fitness to be signed by the applicant’s own registered medical practitioner or one who has access to his medical records. Any fee charged for the medical examination is payable direct by the applicant to the medical practitioner.   Documentation must be provided by the applicant to the medical practitioner verifying the applicant’s identity.  Whether or not a completed form (MED.2) has been produced the Council may require the applicant to undergo a medical examination by the applicant’s own registered medical practitioner or one who has access to his medical records selected by the Council as to his/her physical fitness to be the driver of a hackney carriage vehicle.

Licensed hackney carriage drivers will be required to carry assistance dogs (for example guide dogs) accompanying disabled people and do so without charge. If you suffer from any medical condition which would exempt you from carrying such dogs, medical evidence must be provided before an exemption certificate is issued.

Medical forms submitted with applications for new licences must not be older than 28 days old at date of application. 

7.         Produce for examination a current licence issued to the applicant by the DVLA.

8.         Provide such other information as may be required by the Council.

N.B     If during the currency of any licence granted as a result of this application any change takes place in the particulars supplied the applicant shall forthwith notify the Council in writing of the change.

NOTE

(a)         The driver of a hackney carriage is not permitted to use hand held mobile phones whilst driving licensed hackney carriage vehicles.

(b)        The driver of a licensed hackney carriage should not smoke at any time whilst driving such type of vehicle, or when the vehicle is stationary and will request passengers not to smoke. A notice must be displayed.

Before the Council can grant a driver’s licence to any driver of a private hire vehicle the applicant for the licence must comply with the following:-

1.          Complete and submit to the Council an application in the manner prescribed by the Council.

2.          Pay to the Council such fee as may be demanded by the Council for the issue of the licence (non returnable).

3.          Satisfy the Council that he is a fit and proper person to hold a drivers licence. In this connection the applicant may be required to undergo a short test and will be required to provide details of other employments if his sole employment is not as a private hire vehicle driver.

4.          Applicants for a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage driver Licence must have held a full UK/EC/EEA driving licence for at least three years, such period to be calculated from the date of issue of a full driving licence.

5.         Provide a completed medical questionnaire, on the form (MED.1) obtainable from the Council. Where applicable a completed form (MED.2) as to the applicant’s physical fitness to be signed by the applicant’s own registered medical practitioner or one who has access to his medical records. Any fee charged for the medical examination is payable direct by the applicant to the medical practitioner. Documentation must be provided by the applicant to the medical practitioner verifying the applicant’s identity.  Whether or not a completed form (MED.2) has been produced the Council may require the applicant to undergo a medical examination by the applicant’s own registered medical practitioner or one who has access to his medical records selected by the Council as to his/her physical fitness to be the driver of a private hire vehicle.

Licensed private hire drivers will be required to carry assistance dogs (for example guide dogs) accompanying disabled people and do so without charge. If you suffer from any medical condition which would exempt you from carrying such dogs, medical evidence must be provided before an exemption certificate is issued.

Medical forms submitted with applications for new licences must not be older than 28 days old at date of application. 

6.          Produce for examination a current licence issued to the applicant by the D.V.L.A.

7.          Provide such other information as may be required by the Council.

N.B    If during the currency of any licence granted as a result of this application any change takes place in the particulars supplied the applicant shall forthwith notify the Council in writing of the change.  

Statement of policy concerning the relevance of criminal convictions relating to the determination of application or RENEWAL FOR a hackney Carriage/private hire vehicle driver’s licence

Introduction

1.   The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance on the criteria taken into account by the Council when determining whether or not an applicant or an existing licence holder is a fit and proper person to hold a Hackney Carriage and/or Private Hire vehicle driver and/or operator licence.

2.   The overriding consideration when having regard to this policy is to protect the safety of the public. The Licensing Authority is concerned to ensure:

2.1 that a person is a fit and proper person.

2.2 that the person does not pose a threat to the public.

2.3 that the public are safeguarded from dishonest person.

2.4 the safeguarding of children and young persons.

3.   This policy provides guidance to any person with an interest in taxi and private hire licensing. In particular, but not exclusively:

3.1 Applicants for driver/operator licences

3.2 Existing licensed drivers/operators whose licences are being reviewed

3.3 Licensing Officers

3.4 Members of the Licensing Panel (or other relevant decision making body)

3.5 Magistrates hearing appeals against local authority decisions

4.   Where licensing officers have delegated powers to grant licences, they will utilise these guidelines when making a decision to grant a licence. In all other cases applications for licences will be referred to the licensing panel. Whilst officers and the panel will have regard to the guidelines contained in the policy, each case will be considered on its individual merits and, where the circumstances demand, the officer or the panel may depart from the guidelines.

General Policy

5.      Applicants for a Private Hire/Hackney Carriage driver Licence must have held a full UK/EC/EEA driving licence for at least three years, such period to be calculated from the date of issue of a full driving licence.

6.      There may be occasions where it is appropriate to depart from the guidelines, for example where the offence is a one-off occasion or there are mitigating circumstances or alternatively where there are many or continuous offences which may show a pattern of offending and unfitness.

7.     A person with a conviction for a serious offence need not be automatically barred from obtaining a licence, but would be expected to:

7.1   Remain free of conviction for an appropriate period as stated in the guidelines; and

7.2   Show adequate evidence that he or she is a fit and proper person to hold a licence (the onus is on the applicant to produce such evidence).

8.      Simply remaining free of conviction will not generally be regarded as adequate evidence that a person is a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

9.      Where an applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence, the council cannot review the merits of the conviction [Nottingham City Council v. Mohammed Farooq (1998)]

10.   If an applicant with a history of criminal convictions has been granted a licence, and at the time of renewal of that licence the applicant’s circumstances have not changed, the licence should be renewed at the discretion of the Licensing Officer without the need for the application to be referred to the Licensing Panel and without the need for further testing through the Council’s nominated driving assessment/test. An application for renewal of a licence which contains new offences or offences which were not previously disclosed will be referred to the Licensing Panel for determination.

Appeals

11.  Any applicant refused a driver’s licence on the grounds that the council is not satisfied he is a fit and proper person to hold such a licence has a right to appeal to the Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of the notice of refusal.

12.   Nothing in the criteria outlined in this policy will remove an applicant’s right to appeal to a Magistrates’ Court against the Council’s refusal to grant or renew a licence, or decision to suspend or revoke a licence, or against any conditions which may have been imposed on any such licence by the local authority.

Powers

13.   Section 61 and Section 62 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 allow the Licensing Authority to suspend, revoke or refuse to renew a driver licence if the application/licence holder has been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty, indecency, violence; failure to comply with the provisions of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847; failure to comply with the provisions of Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976; or any other reasonable cause.

14.   The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, allows the council to  take into account all convictions recorded against an applicant or the holder of a Private  Hire vehicle or Hackney Carriage driver’s licence, whether spent or not. Therefore the Licensing Authority will have regard to all relevant convictions, particularly where there is a long history of offending or a recent pattern of repeat offending.

15.   In this policy the term “disqualification” refers to the period served, in order to take account of the fact that a court may reduce the period of disqualification from driving. An applicant must provide evidence in advance to prove that the court agreed a reduction in the period of disqualification.

Consideration of Disclosed Criminal History

16.   Under the provisions of Sections 51, 55, and 59, Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the council is required to ensure that an applicant for the grant or renewal of a Hackney Carriage and/or a Private Hire vehicle driver’s licence and/or private hire vehicle operator’s licence is a “fit and proper” person to hold such a licence. However, if an applicant has any convictions, warnings, cautions or charges awaiting trial, the Council will look into:

16.1 how relevant the offence(s) are to the licence being applied for.

16.2 how serious the offence(s) were.

16.3 when the offence(s) were committed.

16.4 the date of conviction.

16.5 circumstances of the individual concerned

16.6 sentence imposed by the court.

16.7 whether they form part of a pattern of offending.

16.8 any other character check considered reasonable (e.g. personal references)

16.9 any other factors that might be relevant.

17.   In considering whether to revoke a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver or operator licence in accordance with s61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, the decision will be made by an authorised member of the Licensing department following consultation with the Legal, Licensing and Elections Manager.  The Legal, Licensing and Elections Manager may choose to defer the decision to the Licensing Panel.

18.   Further, in considering whether to suspend or revoke a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage driver licence, if it appears that the interests of public safety require the suspension or revocation to have immediate effect, the decision will be made in accordance with section 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1976 as amended by s52 of the Road Safety Act 2006.

19.   Applicants can discuss further what effect a caution/conviction may have on any application by contacting an authorised member of the Licensing department in confidence for advice.

20.   The licensing authority conducts disclosures from the Disclose and Barring Service (DBS) of any applicant for a driver licence. The licensing authority follows the DBS’s Code of Practice on the fair use of disclosure information. A copy is available here.

21.   Applicants applying for the grant or a renewal of a drivers’ licence will be required to obtain a disclosure at their expense. The licensing authority abides by the DBS’s Policy on the secure storage, handling, use, retention and disposal of disclosure information, which is available on request.

22.   More information about the DBS can be found on their website.

23.   The licensing authority is also entitled to use other records and information that may be available to it in determining applications or an entitlement to continue holding a licence. This may include information held by the licensing authority or other licensing authorities, and information disclosed by the police under the Home Office scheme for reporting offences committed by notifiable occupations.

24.  It is an offence under Section 57(3) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 for any person knowingly or recklessly to make a false declaration or to omit any material particular in giving information required by the application for a licence. Where an applicant has made a false statement or a false declaration on their application for the grant or renewal of a licence, the licence will normally be refused.

Outstanding Charges or Summonses

25.   If the individual is the subject of an outstanding charge or summons their application can continue to be processed, but the application will need to be reviewed at the conclusion of proceedings.

26.   If the outstanding charge or summons involves a serious offence and the individual’s conviction history (including “spent” convictions) indicates a possible pattern of unlawful behaviour or character trait, then in the interests of public safety the application may be put on hold until proceedings are concluded or the application may be refused.

Non-conviction Information

27.  If an applicant has, on more than one occasion, been arrested or charged, but not convicted, for a serious offence which suggests he could be a danger to the public, consideration should be given to refusing the application. Such offences would include violent offences and sex offences.

28.   In assessing the action to take, the safety of the travelling public must be the paramount concern.

Cautions

29.   Admission of guilt is required before a caution can be issued. Every case will be considered on its own merits including the details and nature of the offence.

Licensing Offences

30.   Certain offences under taxi legislation such as plying for hire, overcharging and refusing to carry disable persons would normally prevent a licence being granted or renewed until a period of 3 years has passed since.

Licences Issued By Other Licensing Authorities

31.   Where an application for a taxi and/or private hire vehicle driver’s licence/private hire operator’s licence has been referred to the licensing panel for determination with regard to this policy, and the applicant already holds such a licence granted by another licensing authority, the guidance in this policy shall take precedence over any decision of another licensing authority.

Summary

32.   To summarise, a criminal history in itself may not automatically result in refusal and a current conviction for a serious crime need not bar an applicant permanently from becoming licensed. As the preceding paragraphs indicate, in most cases, an applicant would be expected to remain free from conviction for 3 to 5 years, according to circumstances, before an application can be considered. However, there may be occasions when an application can be allowed before 3 years free from conviction have elapsed.

33.   While it is possible that an applicant may have a number of convictions that, individually, meet the above guidelines, the overall offending history must be considered when period of time is more likely to give cause for concern than an isolated minor conviction. Obviously some discretion can be afforded if an offence disclosed is isolated and there are mitigating circumstances, but the overriding consideration is the protection of the public.

Overseas Residents

34.   Where the DBS check is unlikely to have any information on a person, due to a short period of residence in the UK, applicants must obtain (at the cost of the applicant) a certificate of good conduct from their embassy or consulate. The certificate should be authenticated, translated and sealed by the embassy/consulate. The Disclose and Barring Service provides information on most relevant embassies/consulates. Means of obtaining a certificate can be found on the DBS website.

All hackney carriage and private hire driver licences will be issued on the following terms:

  • All applicants for the grant of a new hackney carriage or private hire drivers licence must pass the DVSA taxi assessment. If this is not available the applicant must pass the required assessment to be selected in due course by Allerdale Borough Council within six months of the implementation date of the new assessment. Any licensed drivers appearing before the Licensing Panel with repeated traffic offences may be required to pass the relevant assessment selected.
  • Applications that do not comply with the terms and conditions may be considered by the Licensing Panel and the fee may not be refundable. If you are unsure if your application will be accepted on a matter of policy then please contact our Licensing department.

How to arrange the assessment 


Please contact the company Green Penny to arrange the assessment either by contacting taxi@greenpenny.co.uk. All assessments will be carried out in the Allerdale area. 

Make an application

If you can meet all the terms and conditions as outlined in the links above then

Apply online