Initially, applicants need to apply on the appropriate application form which can be downloaded from this page, obtained by post from the Council (telephone 01437 764551) or by calling in at the Council offices. The licence is issued under an Act of Parliament called the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and is valid for one year. To get a driver's licence the Council have to determine whether or not you are a "fit and proper person" under the terms of the Act. This involves a series of tests and checks being carried out with various organisations so that the Council can determine your application fairly and consistently. Should there be issues arising from these checks, the application is referred to the Licensing Committee to consider. The checks and tests that we carry out are as follows:
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
All hackney carriage/private hire driver applicants MUST apply for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The application form is available from the Licensing team Council (telephone 01437 764551). All applicants will need to make an appointment to go through the completed DBS form with a Licensing Inspector (Tuesday/ Thursday mornings).
Further details of the DBS are available on their website at Disclosure and Barring Service (opens new window) . The DBS also offer an update service where by applicants for an annual fee, can maintain their DBS record indefinitly. Further information can be found on the above link.
The check involves a search of your individual criminal record to establish whether or not you are safe person to drive members of the public, some of which may be vulnerable, elderly, or infirm. The DBS is a central organisation that deals with all checks of criminal records for the Council.
All applicants will be required to undergo a medical examination, known as a Group II medical, which must be carried out by your own doctor. This requirement is in accordance with government guidelines and brings taxi/private hire drivers in line with HGV and PSV drivers. Certain medical conditions may mean that you are not capable of driving professionally and it is important that the Council know about such problems to ensure the safety of the public. Drivers under 65 must undergo a medial every 3 years; drivers over 65 annually.
It is necessary to provide the Council with business reference. A reference should be provided on the appropriate form. Any reference may be required to be verified.
How much does it cost for licences?
Taxi licence fees are reviewed annually and the current fees are listed on the fees page Taxi Licensing Fees 2015/2016
What happens once all the checks have been carried out?
Once the checks have been carried out the Licensing Team will determine your application. If you are successful then a drivers badge will be issued to you and your licence sent through the post. If there are any concerns relating to your fitness to become a taxi/private hire driver then your case will be heard before the Licensing Sub Committee. You will also be informed that if you do not agree with the decision of the committee then you may appeal to the Magistrates Court within twenty-one days.
How long does the process to become a taxi/private hire driver take?
The Licensing Team will deal with your completed application as quickly as it can, normally within 28 working days.
What additional documents need to accompany my drivers application form?
Apart from completing your application form in full you will also need to supply the following: