Harmonised Standards for Taxi and Private Hire vehicle licensing

We need to look at and make changes to the Council’s “Policy for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers and Operators” because the Welsh Government and the Department for Transport (DfT) have asked all Councils to work to the same standards. 

Taxi and private hire vehicles: licensing guidance | GOV.WALES

Statutory & Best Practice Guidance for taxi and PHV licensing authorities (publishing.service.gov.uk)

To start with, we are looking at Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) requirements, Overseas Criminal Records checks, additional requirements for Private Hire Operators and Driver Medicals and are proposing the following changes. 

What are the proposed changes and what will this mean for you and new applicants?

A 6 monthly DBS requirement for all drivers.

When making their next grant or renewal application, drivers will either need to join the DBS Update service or provide an Enhanced DBS Check every 6 months. This DBS check will be specifically for the role of a taxi / private hire vehicle driver. Drivers will no longer be able to obtain their DBS via the Integrated Transport Unit. The cost of the joining the update service is £13 a year.

A Basic disclosure requirement for vehicle proprietors upon application. (This was not previously a requirement when making applications for vehicle licences. Applicants that already hold a hackney carriage or private hire driver licence with this authority are not required to provide the basic disclosure as part of their application for a hackney carriage/private hire vehicle licence.)

Overseas Criminal Record Check for applicants for Vehicle Licences & private hire vehicle operator’s licence. (This is already undertaken for drivers)

Holders of Private Hire Vehicle Operator licences will have to undertake basic disclosures of members of staff (not just drivers) who work for them and access booking records or dispatch vehicles.

Where the applicant/operator employs or intends to employ persons involved in taking bookings or the dispatch of vehicles, the operator must produce a policy on the employment of ex-offenders in those roles.

The Private Hire Operator must maintain a register of all such staff which shall include a record of when each DBS check has been undertaken. This register must be available for inspection by an authorised officer of the Licensing Authority upon request. The register should include the following:

  • the date that person’s employment in that role commenced
  • the date the operator checked the DBS certificate
  • the name of the person that checked the DBS certificate
  •  the date the person ceased to perform that role.
  • The register must be retained for 6 months in line with the booking records
  • Should an employee cease to be on the register and later re-enter the register a new basic DBS certificate (or use of the Update Service) should be viewed by the operator.

The Operator must require that all staff employed in taking bookings or dispatching vehicles to report to them within 48 hours of any conviction, binding over, caution, warning, reprimand or arrest for any criminal matter whilst they are employed in this role.

New applicants and existing drivers will need to provide a Group 2 Medical undertaken by their own general practitioner (GP) or another GP at the applicant’s registered practice that has full access to their medical records. (In exceptional circumstances, and only with prior agreement from the Licensing authority, a medical assessment may be carried out by another registered GP practice as long as the applicant’s full medical history has been viewed and assessed by that GP.)

A Group 2 Medical is needed:

  • On application and
  • Every 5 years between the ages of 45 and 65
  • Every year when the driver is aged 65 years or over.
  • A Group 2 medical must also be undertaken if requested at any time by the licensing authority or the medical practitioner. 

The following provision within the existing driver policy will be removed namely…. ‘Where the DVLA have required a satisfactory Group 2 medical examination so as to entitle a driver to drive coaches and lorries etc which is reflected on their DVLA licence, production of a completed medical form may not be required by the LA.’

Any medical submitted in support of an application will be valid for 4 months from the date the examining doctor, optician or optometrist signs it.