Taxi CarThe Licensing Authority
We have a statutory duty to license vehicles and drivers who wish to become members of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade within the district of St Albans.

These powers are granted under two Acts:

    • Town Police Clauses Act 1847
    • Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

Types of licence
    • drivers
    • vehicles
    • operators

Application packs
You can download the application packs from this page using the links in the downloads section. The driver application requires the completion of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application form, that is only issued by ringing the Licensing Section at St Albans Council on: 01727 296125.

Drivers
The drivers licence is commonly referred to as the 'badge'. This will only be issued to drivers who have met the licensing criteria laid out in the 'Drivers Application Pack'. A licence is issued for a period of 3 years or less.

Vehicle
The vehicle licence is normally referred to as a 'plate'. The 'Vehicle Application Pack' details the criteria vehicles must comply with to be licensed. A licence is issued for a period of 1 year or less.

Operator
The operator licence is issued to an individual or company that offers a service of pre-booking fares. This can be done by telephone or by application form and is relevant for both hackney carriage and private hire companies / drivers. A licence is issued for 5 years.

Please note appointment days are only on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Deregulation Act 2015 – Changes to Private Hire Sub Contracting

What are the changes?

Since 1st October 2015 Private Hire Operators have been allowed to subcontract bookings to Private Hire Operators licensed in other council areas. Previously they were only permitted to subcontract to other Private Hire Operators in the same council area as them. 

This is the only change that has been made.  There isnogeneral relaxation allowing any driver or vehicle to work anywhere in the UK. 

Where a booking has been subcontracted, it must be completed by a vehicle and driver licensed by the same council as the operator who has received the subcontracted booking.

For example, if a Watford based operator subcontracts a booking to a St Albans operator, the booking must be carried out by a driver and vehicle licensed by St Albans City and District Council. If a St Albans based operator sub-contracts a booking to a Watford operator, the booking must be carried out by a driver and vehicle licensed by Watford Borough Council. 

If you are licensed as a private hire driver by St Albans City and District Council, you may only take bookings given to you by a licensed St Albans operator. St Albans private hire drivers can only drive private hire vehicles licensed by St Albans City and District Council - this remains unchanged. You may not go and work for operators in other areas without a licence from that Local Authority.

If you are a St Albans licensed Private Hire Operator, you may subcontract work to, and accept subcontracted work from, licensed Private Hire Operators in other districts.  If you do so you must record the full details in your records for each individual booking. 

However, for bookings in St Albans District you mayonly give them directly to drivers and vehicles licensed in St Albans District. You may not give St Albans District bookings directly to drivers licensed by other councils.  

What to do if Lost Property is found in a Taxi

If you have lost or found property in a taxi, please send us an email to licensing@stalbans.gov.uk wih the following details

Name, Address,Telephone Number, Email Address, Date of loss, Time, Journey From and to, Details of Lost Property, Details of Taxi (plate number, company, colour, badge number)
Taxi operators do not deal with missing property and it is the responsibility of every taxi driver to check their vehicle at the end of their shift.
Please note - Taxi drivers must bring all lost property to reception at our offices in St Peters Street, St Albans.
When a passenger contacts the council by telephone about lost property, an officer will make out a report. He or she will ask you for:
• your name and address;
• your contact telephone number;
• the date and approximate time you were in the taxi;
• the name of the taxi firm you used;
• whether the taxi was booked or flagged down;
• a detailed description of all the items missing.
An officer will contact you if your property is handed into the council. We will then arrange for you to come in to collect the items and sign to say you have collected your property. You will need to show identification before we hand over your property.
Please note:
Taxi drivers check their vehicles at the end of a shift and therefore other customers may have found your missing property and kept it without the knowledge of the driver. Unfortunately, this is extremely hard to prove and therefore there is no guarantee that your items will be found and returned to you.

Revised Convictions Policy

We are required by the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to decide if someone is a suitable person to be private hire or hackney carriage drivers; vehicle operators and vehicle proprietors. 
The Home Office Guidance Circular 5/92 provides some guidance as to how we should decide who is suitable.  Paragraph 10 of the Home Office Guidance advises local authorities that they can introduce their own policies.  Our policy sets out how we will treat convictions and cautions when we consider granting, renewing, suspending or revoking a hackney-carriage licence or private-hire licence, or the status of a vehicle operator or proprietor.
Our Convictions Policy was initially published in 2008, revised in 2012 and has to be revised again in accordance with the Council procedures as it is over three years old.
We are now consulting on the revision and a summary of the changes are below;
• Additional information provided on Disclosure and Barring Checks on page 6
• Additional information provided on Right to Work on page 6
• Additional paragraph provided on Appropriate Behaviour on page 8
• Additional paragraph on Child Sexual Exploitation added at page 16
• Additional paragraph on Offences involving children added at page 16
• Addition of Suspension and reference to recent Case Law to Breach of Licence Conditions at page 21
• Addition of Suspension and reference to recent Case Law to Complaints against Drivers at page 22
• Addition of Suspension to Appeals on page 24
• Revision to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act table on pages 25 and 26

The deadline for responses is 6th June  2016  to allow time for collation and report writing for a report to Licensing & Regulatory Committee on 28th June  2016.
Any responses should be in writing via email or at the address below;
Karen Hollands
Business Compliance Officer (Licensing)
Business Compliance Team
Legal,Democratic & Regulatory Services
St. Albans City & District Council
District Council Offices
Civic Centre
St. Peter's Street
St. Albans
Hertfordshire
AL1 3JE
Tel 01727 819542
Email karen.hollands@stalbans.gov.uk

Contact Details

Licensing Authority, St Albans City and District Council, Civic Centre, St Peters Street, St Albans, Herts AL1 3JE. Tel: 01727 296125. Fax: 01727 819433. Email: licensing@stalbans.gov.uk

Date of last review: 14 August 2015