COVID-19: Any specific information relating to Pembrokeshire will be updated at www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Taxi Licensing

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver

Initially, applicants need to apply on the appropriate application form.  The licence is issued under an Act of Parliament called the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and is valid for three years. 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:

Knowledge Test

As part of the application process Pembrokeshire County Council has introduced a Local Knowledge Test. 

All applicants will be expected to pass the Local Knowledge Test as part of the application procedure prior to being issued with a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Badge. 

A fee of £49.00 is payable prior to the day of the test. Only applicants who have paid the fee in full, may sit the exam. 

If you wish to book a place please contact the Licensing Team via licensing@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Immigration Act 2016

With effect from 1 December 2016, the Immigration Act 2016 prevents people without lawful immigration status and the right to work in the UK (referred to as Right to Licence) from holding a hackney carriage or private hire driver licence or a private hire operator licence.

The Licensing Team are required, by law, to carry out face to face checks with ALL licence applicants to ensure that licences are not issued to any person who does not have the correct ‘right to work' documentation.

The new legislation relates to private hire/ hackney carriage vehicle drivers and private hire operators.

All applicants, new or renewal will need to make an appointment with a Licensing Officer to bring along original documents as required by the Home Office.

All documents provided will be photocopied and a copy retained by the Licensing Department.

Where there are no restrictions on the right to work in the UK, ‘Right to Licence' checks on subsequent renewal applications will not need to be repeated.

A full list of acceptable documents for a ‘Right to Licence' check is available on-line at Right to work checklist (opens new window) 

If there are restrictions on the length of time you may work in the UK, your licence will not be issued for any longer than this period. In such circumstances, the check will be repeated each time you apply to renew or extend your licence. If, during this period, you are disqualified from holding a licence because you have not complied with the UK's immigration laws, your licence will lapse and you must return it to the Council, failure to do so is a criminal offence.

IF YOU DO NOT PROVIDE US WITH SUITABLE DOCUMENTATION YOU WILL NOT, BY LAW, BE ABLE TO RENEW OR APPLY FOR YOUR LICENCE.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 

All hackney carriage/private hire driver applicants MUST apply for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.  

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. 

Please refer to our convictons policy - Guidance on suitability of applicant - Convictions Policy

Medical Examination

All applicants will be required to undergo a medical examination, known as a Group 2 medical, which must be carried out by your own doctor.  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 year of age must undergo a medical every 3 years; drivers 65 years old and over will require an annual medical.

You will need to provide the following items:

  • Application form (with all sections completed)
  • Two passport photographs
  • A medical certificate from your own GP
  • Enhanced DBS certificate – issued within the last 3 months by Pembrokeshire County Council
  • A copy of both sides of your driving licence photocard (the licence must have been held for at least one year)
  • DVLA licence check code
  • Proof of ‘Right to Work’
  • Application fee - £240 /3 year licence
ID: 2067, revised 17/01/2020

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Section 165 and Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) came into force on 6th April 2017.

Section 167 of the Act provides the Licensing Authority with the power to maintain a list of wheelchair accessible taxis (hackney carriages) and private hire vehicles.

Any driver of a taxi (hackney carriage) or private hire vehicle which has been designated as being wheelchair accessible must comply with the requirements of Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010, unless they have been issued with an exemption certificate.

The duties under Section 165 are:

  • To carry the passenger while in the wheelchair;

  • Not to make any additional charge for doing so;

  • If the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat to carry the wheelchair;

  • To take such steps as necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort;

  • To give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.

Mobility assistance is defined as:

  • Enabling the passenger to get into or out of the vehicle;

  • If the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, enabling the passenger to get into and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair;

  • Loading the passenger’s luggage into or out of the vehicle

  • If the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, loading the wheelchair into or out of the vehicle.

  • It is an offence for a driver of a wheelchair accessible vehicle on the designated list not to comply with the above duties. Any failure to comply with these duties will be treated seriously and may result in prosecution and/or referral to the Licensing Sub-Committee for consideration of their hackney carriage/ private hire driver’s licence. 

Section 166 allows the Licensing Authority to exempt drivers from the duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs if they are satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on medical grounds or because the driver's physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for him or her to comply with the duties.

Any driver of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle on the designated list may submit a request for an exemption from the Section 165 duties by completing the relevant application form. Medical evidence will be required in support of the application.

 

The current designated list of wheelchair accessible vehicles licensed by Pembrokeshire County Council is available below:

 

 Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
 Private Hire/ Hackney Carriage No  Vehicle Registration Number Operator/ Proprietor Make and model of Vehicle  Colour  No. of Passengers 
PH.41  DK06 LKE  Link Private Hire  Renault Master  White 
           
HC.2  PO61 DHD  Cleddau Cabs Renault Traffic  Black 
HC.111  SF59 AVX  Cleddau Cabs  Peugeot Expert Blue 
HC.50  YN55 WZS  Harford Cabs  VW Transporter  Silver 
HC.122  KM08 VJY  Harford Cabs  Citreon Dispatch  Silver 
HC.293  YJ67 COU  Harford Cabs  Renault Traffic White 
HC.296  KX09 DFL Harford Cabs  Ford Transit  Silver
HC.164  DU03 FZN Link Taxis  Ford Transit Black 
HC.277  SF56 HYG  Matts Cabs   LDV Maxus Silver 
HC.236  SF09 PZV  Jocks Taxis   Peugeot Expert Silver 
HC.126 YJ10 RXY Kathrin Telford Peugeot Expert Silver 5

 

 

ID: 2835, revised 11/07/2019

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle

To get a vehicle licensed you must first decide whether the vehicle that you are going to drive is to be a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle. A private hire vehicle can only be used for pre-booked journeys and a Private Hire Operator licence is also needed. Hackney carriage vehicles are able to take bookings and can also use taxi ranks.

You will need to fill out the appropriate application form and present the following in support of your application:

  • The Registration Document - you will need to produce the original so that a photocopy can be taken.
  • Insurance Certificate/Cover Note - your original document must be produced so that a photocopy can be taken. The insurance must be for driving a taxi/private hire vehicle and cover must start, at the latest, from the date and time on which the vehicle is being tested.
  • Meter calibration certificate.
  • The full fee - until you have paid the appropriate fee in full you will not be able to book your vehicle in for a test.

How do I get an appointment for my vehicle to be inspected?

Once all your documents and payment have been received and are in order a member of the Licensing team will arrange an appointment for you to attend the council’s MOT centre. Appointments are subject to availability and are beyond the control of the Licensing team.

How long does the process take?

The Licensing Team will deal with your completed application as quickly as it can, normally within 28 working days.

ID: 2070, revised 17/01/2020

Private Hire Operator

If you intend to operate private hire vehicles, then you will need to apply to become a Private Hire Operator.

The following documentation is required to accompany your application:

  • Completed application form
  • Fee

No application can be processed until the appropriate fee has been received 

Planning consent is not a pre-requisite for your licence, but you must ensure that you obtain the proper planning permission from the local authority. Please contact Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning department for advice on this matter.

It should also be noted that if your property is Council owned then you need to apply for landlord consent from the local authority. This is not a pre-requisite for your licence but it is a condition of tenancy that anyone wishing to operate a business from a Council owned property must obtain the relevant permission.

The time scale for determination of the licence will be 28 days without objections and 42 days with. These time-scales are set down as performance indicators within the department’s performance plan.

All matters relating to your application are confidential and will not be discussed with anyone other than those directly involved in the processing of your application.

If you have any comments or questions please ring 01437 764551.

ID: 2072, revised 17/01/2020

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing

Coronavirus (Covid 19): Information to taxi and private hire licensees

https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/support/sector-specific-content/taxi-trade-advice

We understand that the taxi and private hire trade in Wales may have a number of concerns and queries regarding the possible implications of the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak.

HM Government has published up-to-date information on the Coronavirus (Covid 19) and guidance for the transport sector

In addition, we have collated the following information that you may find of use.

 

1.                 Should I continue to work?

The advice from the Department for Transport (DfT) on 25 March 2020 states:

“Taxis and private hire vehicles can continue to work. But the advice is absolutely clear - people should stay at home if possible. That is the way to save lives and protect our NHS. The public should avoid travel unless absolutely essential. The only reasons to leave our houses are set out in the government guidance.

Clearly if absolutely necessary to travel by taxi or private hire vehicle, best efforts should be used to follow the guidance as far as is practically possible, including washing your hands as soon as you get home.

Critical Worker Status

Taxi and private hire drivers should not generally be considered Critical Workers. Those undertaking home to school transport or the transport of extremely vulnerablepeople may be considered Critical Workers on a case-by-case basis.

Critical Workers should also whenever possible make suitable arrangements for their children to stay at home, and requests for children to attend schoolshould be discussed with the school.”

 

2.                 Financial Support

If you are unable to work due to the current emergency situation, you may be eligible for financial support.

a.       Self Employed Income Support

On 26 March 2020 HM Government announced a financial support package for the self-employed. Those eligible will receive a grant worth 80 % of their average trading profit (up to a maximum of £2500), for the next three months.

For further information and how to apply please visit: Covid 19 Self-Employed Income Support

b.       Business Support

HM Government has also announced a number of financial support packages available to employees and businesses. This includes measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, deferring VAT and Income Tax payments and a number of grant initiatives.

For further information and how to apply please visit: Covid 19 Support for Businesses

c.       Statutory sick pay (SSP)

If you cannot work as you have coronavirus or are self-isolating on government advice, you may be eligible for statutory sick pay. You will be able to claim SSP from the first day that you are self-isolating and cannot work. For further information please see Statutory Sick Pay

d.       Universal credit

For those not eligible for the business or self-employment income support schemes or SSP, you may be eligible for Universal Credit. Further information can be found at: Universal Credit

 

3.                 Vehicle MOTs and Tax

HM Government has announced that vehicle MOTs that expire on or after 30 March 2020 will be extended by 6 months.

You must ensure that your vehicle remains safe and roadworthy and are reminded that you can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle

You can tax your vehicle as soon as your MOT expiry date has been updated.

 

4.                 Your health

You should keep up to date on information about stopping the spread of Covid 19 and self-isolation (including what to do if you or someone you have had contact with have symptoms) via the NHS  and HM Government website.

The current advice is to:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get back home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth if your hands are not clean

 

The following groups of people are strongly advised to stay at home and not to have face to face contact for at least 12 weeks, these include people who:

·       Are 70 or over

·       Have a underlying health condition

·       Are pregnant

·       Have a weakened immune system

Please see the HM Government website for further information on how to protect extremely vulnerable people (shielding).

 

5.                 Keeping yourself and passengers safe when you are working:

You should follow the Government’s advice concerning critical workers, but if your work is considered critical you should take the following precautions in order to protect yourself and your passengers:

·       If you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone with symptoms you should observe the self-isolation rules outlined on the NHS website

·       Ask passengers to sit in the rear of the vehicle

·       Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer gel in your vehicle. It is recommended this be a minimum 60% alcohol. Alternatively keep a large bottle of water and a bar/bottle of soap. Hand washing/sanitising should take place for at least 20 seconds.

·       Where possible try to avoid handling cash and accept alternative payment methods such as debit/credit card.

·       After each passenger journey drivers should clean hard surfaces such as door handles, window winders, seat belts, card payment devices, the rear of the front seats and other surface the passenger(s) may have touched or coughed/sneezed on. You should then wash/sanitise their own hands.

·       Drivers/licensees that share a vehicle should regularly clean the steering wheel, gear stick, radio equipment, handbrake, indicators, switches, handles, seat belts and any other hard surfaces with normal cleaning products.

·       A thorough clean of the vehicle with normal cleaning products should be completed at the end of each shift/working day.

·       Ensure the vehicle remains safe and road-worthy. Basic vehicle maintenance checks should be completed each day at the start of every shift, and as a minimum should include a visual check on all lights, oil & water levels, tyres, mirrors, seat belts and access ramps (where applicable). Many garages that undertake repairs remain open.

·       Carry tissues in your vehicles and use tissues to catch coughs and sneezes. Used tissues should be disposed of in a bin as soon as possible

 

6.                 Can I refuse to carry passengers through fear of infection?

The Institute of Licensing has provided some guidance on the legitimacy of fare refusals in relation to the Covid 19 outbreak . https://www.instituteoflicensing.org/news/covid-19-licensing-issues-can-hackney-carriage-and-private-hire-drivers-refuse-to-carry-certain-passengers-through-fear-of-infection/

 

7.                 Changes to licence application processes/licence expiries

Your licensing authority may have implemented changes to licensing requirements and procedures. You should check your licensing authority’s website for further details.

 

8.                 Can I install a safety screen in my vehicle to protect myself from Covid 19?

Safety screens provide a physical barrier between you and your passengers in the vehicle. They are commonly installed as a safety feature to protect the driver from physical attacks or theft.

There has been an increase in interest of the use of screens as a way of providing physical separation between drivers and passengers in order to prevent the transmission of Covid 19.

If you wish to install a safety screen to your vehicle you will need to ensure the following:

·       Any fittings and equipment must comply with the Road Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations

·       Any screen must be tested to the relevant EU standard for an original equipment type approval test covering interior fittings

·        The screen must be approved by MIRA or other comparable independent product engineering, testing, consultancy and certification organisation.

·       Screens must be professionally and securely fitted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions

·       Certification from the vehicle’s manufacturer should be sought to confirm that the screen does not compromise the integrity of the vehicle structure

·       Screens should be constructed of PETg or polycarbonate

·       The screen should not impede the driver’s vision, movement, or communication with passengers

·       The screen should not impede driver or passenger access or egress to the vehicle

·       Your insurer should be notified of any modifications you make to your vehicle

Prior to installing a safety screen in your vehicle you should contact your licensing authority to check that they will permit the installation and ensure that the screen and installation will meet their requirements.

 

 

 

We issue licences for Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles as well as private hire operator licences and dual drivers licences.

You are advised to read the relevant guidance to ensure you are able to meet the application requirements before submitting your application.

ID: 2065, revised 15/04/2020

FAQs asked about Taxi Licensing

What is a private hire vehicle?

A private hire vehicle can only be used for pre-booked journeys and a private hire operator licence is also needed. Private hire vehicles cannot use taxi ranks.

What is a hackney carriage?

Hackney carriage vehicles are able to take bookings and can also use taxi ranks. Hackney carriage vehicles must be fitted with a meter.

What is a private hire operator?

If a vehicle is licensed as private hire, then a private hire operator’s licence is required. Please see the How do I become a Private Hire Operator page.

ID: 2066, revised 17/01/2020