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DBS checks for taxi drivers

All applicants for hackney carriage or private hire driver's licences must obtain an enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS - formerly the Criminal Records Bureau), both for new licences or renewals of existing licences.

The DBS's disclosure service provides access to a range of different information, such as:

  • details held on the Police National Computer, such as convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings in England, Wales and those recorded from Scotland. There is also some Northern Ireland conviction data held on PNC.
  • data held by local police forces relating to relevant non-conviction information.
  • information from the Government's Protection of Children Act List (PoCA)
  • information from the Government's Protection of Vulnerable Adults List (PoVA)
  • information held by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002 (formerly known as List 99)

This information will help us when we decide your application, as we have to be satisfied that applicants are 'fit and proper' to drive taxis or private hire vehicles before we can grant a licence.

Taxi and private hire drivers are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that any convictions or cautions can be taken into consideration, even if they would ordinarily be considered 'spent', due to our obligation to ensure the safety of the public.

Any decision to refuse a licence on the grounds on prior convictions will be made by our Licensing Committee, following a hearing. The applicant will have a right of appeal against a decision to refuse an application.

We have produced a set of guidelines, which give more information about how we will consider applications from individuals with previous convictions or cautions:

Applying for a disclosure

The DBS will only accept applications for disclosures from approved registered bodies. Applicants for drivers licences will therefore need to request their disclosure through us, and we will provide the appropriate application forms with our application packs.

Completed disclosure application forms should be handed in at the same time as the licence application form. The forms will be checked by a licensing officer to ensure they have been correctly completed, as errors can drastically increase the time taken to process the disclosure certificate.

Before we can request a disclosure, we are have to verify the identity of the person applying. To do this, we will need to see a number of pieces of approved identification, ranging from photographic government-issued documentation through to official letters, bank statements or utility bills. For further details on these identification requirements, please see our   guidance on completion of DBS application form (PDF 102 KB)

If it is not possible to produce certain types of primary identification (such as a valid passport or photo driving licence), applicants will be required to undergo a further identity check, carried out by an external validation company. We will arrange for this, but a further fee will be payable by an applicant for this service.

The current fee for an enhanced disclosure is £44, and this is payable by applicants at the time of application. We do not charge an additional admin fee for licence applicants, as this cost is included in the licence fee.

As disclosure certificates can only be considered accurate on the day they are issued, we are not able to accept any disclosures obtained previously or through other bodies. We also do not make use of the DBS Update service at this time, although we intend to review this position later in 2014.

Contact information

Telephone: 01442 228225 / 228487

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