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Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver Licences

Licences for hackney carriage or private hire drivers

Any person who wants to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle must be licensed.

We can issue either a private hire licence, or a hackney carriage licence.

Licences can last for up to three years.

 

Licence Criteria Toggle accordion

Criteria

Applicants must:

  • be at least 21
  • have held a full UK or EEA driving licence for at 36 months
  • pass the council's knowledge test
  • provide certificate for the completion of the Driver Training Day
  • provide evidence of an English language qualification (see policy for more information)
  • take a group 2 medical with their GP
  • Complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Medical

Drivers need to complete a group 2 medical. You will need to book your medical with your GP. Take along the medical form which is found in the application pack to your appointment for your GP to complete. A medical is valid for six months.

A medical certificate must be submitted at first application, every 6 years up to 60 years of age, every 3 years up to 70 years of age, and annually thereafter on the anniversary of the grant of the most recent licence. You will need to book your medical with your GP. Take along the medical to your appointment for your GP to complete.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

You must supply three forms of identification for a criminal records check. A driving licence, passport, and a utility bill or bank statement (less than three months old) are acceptable. Further information on what documents are acceptable for the criminal records check can be found on the application form, and also on the website for the Disclosure and Barring Service. If you can't provide at least three acceptable documents, please contact the licensing team.

Right to work

The council has a duty to ensure that only those persons who are entitled to work in the UK are issued a licence to drive a licensed vehicle. For this reason all applicants must provide evidence to show that they are entitled to work in the UK, and that there are no restrictions on the work that you can do. You must produce proof of your right to work during your appointment.

The Home Office have published guidance on conducting immigration checks for taxi licensing, which also includes details of what documents can be accepted to prove your immigration status,

If you are on a time limited visa, any licence which may be issued will expire when your visa expires. If, at any time, your entitlement to work in the UK is removed, your licence will be revoked.

Knowledge Test Toggle accordion

The knowledge test is booked through the Licensing team. A pass on the test is valid for six months.

Private hire knowledge test

The private hire knowledge test is made up of 4 sections. An applicant must pass each section in order to pass the test.

The 4 sections to the knowledge test are: Routes, Highway Code, Maths and Policy/Conditions/Legislation

The private hire knowledge test each section has 5 questions which are multiple choice. Applicants need to answer 4 questions in each section to pass.

Hackney carriage knowledge test

The hackney carriage knowledge test is made up of 4 sections. An applicant must pass each section in order to pass the test.

The 4 sections to the knowledge test are: Routes, Highway Code, Maths and Policy/Conditions/Legislation

For the hackney carriage knowledge test each section apart from the routes section has 5 questions which are multiple choice. Applicants need to answer 4 questions in each section to pass. For the route section there are 10 questions (which are a mix of multiple choice and written questions), applicants need to get 8 questions correct in order to pass this section.

We do not have any mock tests or example questions.

Applicants are expected to prepare for the test on their own. This may mean;

  • getting a map
  • using the internet to plot routes
  • or driving around the roads to get to know the area
  • refreshing their knowledge on the Highway Code
  • learning conditions/bylaws
  • reading through the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy
  • being aware of relevant Legislation

Where applicants fail 1 section, they will be given 1 opportunity to take section again. If they do not pass this section again they will be required to retake the whole test. Where applicants fail 2 or more sections they will need to re sit the whole test.

New Applicants Toggle accordion

 All new applications must include:

  • A completed and signed copy of the driver application form (which can be found below.
  • A photographed copy of the usual documents you bring for the DBS check (see application form for details)
  • Make the payment for the  licence fee (resident: £405.50, non-resident: £455.50)
  • Email a copy of your right to work document, passport, driving licence and proof of address (this will be viewed in person at the DBS appointment)
  • A recent (taken at the time of application) photograph (head and neck only)
  • DVLA check code obtained through GOV.UK

Please email all of the above to licensing@stalbans.gov.uk

Once a new application is submitted you will then be booked on our Driver Training day, will be given a Knowledge test day and be booked in for a DBS appointment.

Once your application has been accepted, the relevant checks will take place, if successful the licence will be issued.

 

Tacit Consent

Tacit consent does not apply. We must grant your application before you can start operating.

Renewals Toggle accordion

Renewals 

You must ensure that your private hire only licence or hackney carriage licence is renewed before your licence expires in order to continue working.

It is suggested that you apply at least eight to twelve weeks before your licence expires. This is to allow adequate time for all of your checks to be completed and for the licensing authority to make a decision on your application.

You will not lose time from your licence if you renew earlier than twelve weeks. Your new licence will start from the expiry date of your existing licence.

During the time between the expiry of the old licence and renewal being granted no licence is in place and therefore any associated work cannot be carried out.Any individual working in between expiry and renewal will therefore be treated in thesame way as an unlicensed individual and the appropriate enforcement action will beconsidered by us.

Driver Renewal Applications must include:

  • A completed and signed copy of the driver application form (which can be found below.
  • Make the payment for the renewal fee (resident: £245.50, non-resident: £295.50)
  • Email a copy of your right to work document, passport, driving licence and proof of address. (this will be viewed in person at the DBS appointment)
  • A recent (taken at the time of application) photograph (head and neck only)
  • DVLA check code obtained through GOV.UK

Please email all of the above to licensing@stalbans.gov.uk

To complete your DBS check we will contact you to arrange a time for you to come in once we have received a valid application from yourselves.

The criminal records check can take up to eight weeks. You can only start working once we have granted you a licence.

 

Tacit Consent

Tacit consent does not apply. We must grant your application before you can start operating.

HMRC: Mandatory Tax checks at renewal Toggle accordion

From 4th April 2022 licensing authorities will have to carry out checks on applications from individuals, companies and any type of partnership to make sure they have completed a tax check.

The rules will apply to renewal applications for:

  • hackney carriage driver licences
  • private hire driver licences
  • private hire vehicle operator licences
  • scrap metal site licences
  • scrap metal collector licences

 

From the above date we will not be able to accept renewal applications unless we are provided with a valid Tax check code. You will be able to complete this tax check on GOV.UK, using your Government Gateway account.

If you don’t have a Government Gateway account then you are advised to create one now in preparation for your next renewal. This can be done by registering for HMRC Online Services:  https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services

For those without access to the online system HMRC will be providing a telephone support via 0300 200 3310.

 

The Tax Check system is now live and can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/complete-a-tax-check-for-a-taxi-private-hire-or-scrap-metal-licence

The Tax Check code will be valid for 120 days so you are advised to obtain it in plenty of time for use at renewal. By way of an example if you will be renewing your licence prior to 14th July 2022 you could apply for your tax check code now and it would still be valid when you renew.

The process of completing a check will be simple and should only take minutes and please rest assured that we, as the Licensing Authority, will not have access to any of your tax information.

Below are links to the current HMRC information which explains what you need to do and what is required of us as the licensing authority:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/licence-application-tax-check-communications-resources/tax-check-factsheet

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/changes-when-dealing-with-taxi-private-hire-or-scrap-metal-licence-applications-from-april-2022

 

Application information Toggle accordion

Application form

You can download the application pack here.

Payment

You can make payment for your applicationhere.

Licence requirements Toggle accordion

Refresher training

Drivers need to attend refresher training every renewal. The refresher training must be completed before your renewal application can be granted. You do not have to attend the refresher training before submitting your renewal application.

This training course aims at refreshing your current knowledge as well as insuring you have all the up to date information. The course will take 2-3 hours to complete, and can be accessed at any time. The cost of the training is £40 and payable by the applicant.

To accesses the training please visit the below link:

https://unifiedtransportsystems.co.uk/course/driver-training/advanced-professional-driver-level-2/

You will have to enter the password: StAlbans2021 

All licences will be granted with our standard conditions. We will also consider your application in line with our guidelines for the grant, suspension and revocation of hackney carriage driver, private hire driver and operator licences. For information on licensing conditions and suitability please see our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy

Versant test –English Language requirement 

The test is booked through St Albans Council.

The total cost of the Versant English test is £34.78. This needs to be paid prior to taking the test.

Applicants will need to make a payment for the test which can be done online using the following link (please pay under the training’ button):

https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/pay-online-taxi-licensing

Applicants will be on camera while they take the test. When we have booked them in for a test we will email them with an invitation link for Microsoft teams. It is important that drivers are able to remain on the video link while taking the test

If they would prefer to come to the council to complete this test please let us know and we can book an appointment.

The test is no longer than 20 minutes and can be taken on a computer or a mobile phone using the Versant App. If applicants have the app it will allow them to take a short practice test to get used to the test format.

Right before the test, we will give the applicant an 8-digit TIN to start the test. This is needed to allocate a test for them to use.

Once drivers have taken the test we will contact them within the next 5 working days to inform them of the result.

 

DBS Update Service

All drivers are now required to sign up to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) update service.  It costs £13 per year and you can pay by debit or credit card.

If you are in the process of getting a standard or enhanced DBS check

You will need your application reference number (called ‘form ref’ on your application form). DBS must receive your application form within 28 days.

If you already have a standard or enhanced DBS certificate

You will need your certificate number. You must register for the Update Service within 30 days of the certificate being issued.

For information please visit the DBS update service website.

Licensee's responsibilities Toggle accordion

Drivers are required to comply with the conditions of their licences, as laid out in our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy. Hackney carriage drivers also need to comply with our hackney carriage byelaws’. All licence drivers must comply with the Code of Conduct. The conditions, bylaws and Code of Conduct can all be found within in the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy

Driver Self Reporting

 Whilst licensed, drivers must notify us in writing of any change of name; postal address; email address or telephone number within 7 days of the change taking place.

Drivers must notify us in writing within 72 hours of any change in their medical condition. We may request a new medical to determine if the driver is fit to continue to drive licensed vehicles.

 Drivers must report in writing all new convictions, cautions, warnings, reprimands, criminal behaviour orders (CBOs), community service orders (including community protection notice CPN and community protection warning CPW), restraining orders and fixed penalties (including traffic offences) in writing within 7 working days of becoming aware. This can be done by emailing: Licensing@stalbans.gov.uk. Licence holders are advised that if they are in any doubt as to whether something should be reported; they should report it.

Drivers are required to inform us in writing within 48 hours if they are arrested; formally interviewed as a suspect or charged with an offence by the Police. This can be done by emailing: Licensing@stalbans.gov.uk. Licence holders are advised that if they are in any doubt as to whether something should be reported; they should report it.

For further information, please view our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy Toggle accordion

The Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy was adopted by the Licensing & Regulatory Committee on 26th January 2021. This came into effect the day after, on 27th January 2021.

Our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy brings all our existing guidelines, standards, licensee requirements and information together in one place, as well as updating our approach as a result of changes to national guidance; the DFT Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards.

The policy can be found here.

Contact Details
Licensing Service

St Albans City & District Council, Civic Centre, St Peter's St, St Albans AL1 3JE
Tel: 01727 819264

Licensing@stalbans.gov.uk