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Getting your taxi licence

If you are considering driving private hire vehicle or driving a taxi. It is critical that you know and understand the rules of DBS checks for taxi drivers. DBS stands for “The Disclosure and Barring Service” it is used to determine whether a driver is suitable to transport the general public and helps ensure the passengers safety.

Here are a few things you should read to help you understand the process for obtaining DBS checks for taxi drivers...

Who is eligible to get their DBS check?
The government introduced guidelines in 2012 which meant all private hire vehicles and drivers would be eligible for and enhanced DBS check. An enhanced DBS check is where the check will show the same information as a normal check but will also show anymore information held by policed which is considered relevant to the role in question so in this case being a taxi driver or private car hire. Also, the enhanced DBS check will show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, or final warnings the applicant has.

People who are a taxi driver or private car hire will normally be required to do a new enhanced DBS check every now and again. The time between checks will vary between different employers and councils, but it is normally as often as every three years

Will having a criminal record prevent me from being a taxi driver?
If the person applying has a criminal conviction will not be unable to obtain a taxi driver licence automatically. The licensing authority will have to decide whether or not they see the applicant suitable for the role depending on the nature and severity of any offences committed.

How do I get a DBS check?
Individuals can’t apply for an DBS check by themselves. If you are self-employed you need to get in contact your local council to apply for a licence to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle. In London you’ll need to contact Transport for London to apply for your licence. The licensing authority will usually carry out an enhanced DBS check, as part of the licensing process. If you are working for a company the company can arrange a DBS check on your behalf.
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