Taxis & Taxi Drivers

Please see the following for information on the current situation regarding the continued working of taxis and private hire vehicles during Coronavirus:

 

Wearing of masks on public transport from 15 June

I have been asked by a few drivers whether it will be mandatory for drivers to wear masks from 15th June, please find enclosed a link to the .gov website where the first paragraph  states who this applies to, Taxis are not included in the scope of the regs.

Here is the link to public info https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-coverings-to-become-mandatory-on-public-transport

Notification For Fitting A Safety Screen In A Licensed Vehicle.docx [docx] 27KB

 

Please click for information on  6 Month MOT Extensions

 

Relicensing of vehicles (taxi and PHV)

It is important to note that any certificate of compliance issued by a licensing authority ceases to be valid for MOT purposes once the vehicle or proprietors licence expires or is revoked; the owners of any vehicles that continue to be used on the road after revocation or expiry must consider whether they need to obtain an MOT certificate in order to do so lawfully.   

MOT’s Drivers are responsible for making sure their vehicle is always safe to drive, a vehicle can be unsafe even if it has a valid MOT certificate or certificate of compliance. Drivers should be aware of their legal obligations; more information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/legal-obligations-drivers-riders

Guidance for staff in the transport sector
The Department for Transport and Public Health England has issued guidance to transport sector workers.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector/covid-19-guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector

Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19): sector guidance
We are aware that the taxis and PHV trade are undertaking delivery work – please see the section on ‘Deliveries’ as well as ‘Transport businesses’. Measures contained in the section on ‘Use of private vehicles and car pooling’ would apply to the taxi and private hire vehicle sector e.g. maintain good ventilation.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance#transport-businesses

Insurance for undertaking deliveries
Association of British Insurers (ABI) motor insurance members have committed to support taxi and private hire drivers seeking alternative sources of income: licenced taxi or private hire drivers that had hire or reward insurance in place, as of 8 March, will not need to contact their insurer to extend their your existing cover while driving this vehicle to carry parcels, medical supplies, household goods, groceries or takeaway meals during the Covid-19 restrictions.
The ABI’s commitment will be in place until the end of the Covid-19 restrictions, or until 31 July 2020, whichever is sooner
https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-hub/motor-insurance/

Face masks
The UK does not currently advise use of face masks outside of care settings, in line with PPE guidance.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

Cleaning of non-healthcare settings
Public Health England have provided guidance on the cleaning of non-healthcare settings, this is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

Driver licensing
Medicals

We are aware of the current difficulties in obtaining a medical examination report from your GP Practice. If you are due a medical on renewal of your dual driver license and you cannot get an appointment, email taxis@arun.gov.uk and a member of the taxi team will contact you regarding this.

Offers of assistance from the trade
We have received many offers of assistance from the trade, to co-ordinate the offers and assistance needed we are requesting that all offers of services be directed to: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business; this will help us to ensure all such offers are received by the correct team leading on a particular issue and responded to quickly.

Assisting the trade
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. More information on the scheme is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme. The above is perhaps particularly relevant to the taxi and PHV trade but it is part of the measures announced, e.g. changes to Universal Credit - more info is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19

Assistance for businesses
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. More information on the measures is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses.
Please also see Arun's guidance for business support: https://www.arun.gov.uk/business-covid-19
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 vulnerable’ people 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; requests for children to attend school should be discussed with the school.”

Sign up to get emails when we change any coronavirus information on the GOV.UK website

 

Can drivers refuse to carry passengers due to fear of infection? Please click this link.

Due to measures introduced in relation to the current pandemic it is not possible for us to facilitate Knowledge Tests at this time until further notice. The position is under constant review.

If you need to attend our offices it will be done on an appointment only basis.

Thank you for your understanding.

 

On this page:
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for existing drivers 
Taxi information sharing update - October 2019
Taxi Licensing Newsletter
Applying to become a driver
Booking your knowledge test
Knowledge Test
Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles
Taxi Driver Licences
Driver Renewals
Making a complaint against a licenced driver or vehicle
Forms

 

You can now make taxi applications using our online service (which can be accessed by clicking this link) - EXISTING DRIVERS ONLY

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for existing drivers 

As part of the application process for a license you are required to have an enhanced DBS check. we will accept an enhanced DBS certificate if you are enrolled on the update service. You need to apply for your DBS check go to https://www.personnelchecks.co.uk/taxis/arun/ Payment is required at the time of application. When you have paid your subscription, your registration can take up to 3 hours to be sent to you. If you think you haven’t received the link to the registration, please check your spam or junk box. If you have any queries or questions before or after submitting the payment or form, please contact Personnel Checks on 01254 355679.

After you have registered with Personnel Checks we will receive conformation of your registration and you will need to make an appointment to have your ID verified at our Littlehampton offices Please email taxis@arun.gov.uk or call 01903 737755 and ask to speak to the licensing team to make an appointment.

 

Taxi information sharing update

October 2019

As a Licensing Authority we are shortly going to share information with DEFRA regarding licensed vehicles as required by the Air Quality (Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Database) (England and Wales) Regulations 2019. The regulations have been made to facilitate the collection of data to used for the purposes of improving air quality.

This means that the authority will regularly be required to send details of vehicles that we license in the Arun area. Details sent will include vehicle registrations, plate numbers and if a vehicle is licensed as a Hackney or Private Hire vehicle. We are required to provide this information so that the Secretary of State can maintain a central register of vehicles. Details of vehicle registrations are not released into the public domain by this authority, however this information will be shared with DEFRA in order to comply with the legal requirement.

DEFRA will be the data controller in respect of the information that is going to be collected, processed and held. Arun District Council will ensure that information shared with DEFRA is complete, accurate and up to date. We have been advised that the data will be retained for seven years with historical aggregated data being retained indefinitely for scientific purposes. Aggregated data means information which has been collated for monthly reports.

The information sharing will begin in late 2019.

Further information can be found here:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/885/made

 

Taxi Licensing Newsletter

Taxi Licensing newsletter April.pdf [pdf] 2MB

 

Applying to become a driver

The steps you need to take to become an Arun licensed driver are detailed below.

You must not have accrued any points on your DVLA licence in the preceding 12 months. If you have you cannot apply  to become a driver until the 12 months are spent.

If you have any convictions or cautions of any age spent or unspent you should contact us in the first instant to discuss before you proceed any further.

 

Making an application and booking your test

We ask you not to make an application until you are in a position to attempt your knowledge test. We will send you an application form, please contact by email taxis@arun.gov.uk or by calling 01903 737755 and stating that you would like to make an appointment to apply for a taxi driver licence.

To make an application you will need to attend our Littlehampton offices by appointment for a taxi surgery, so that officers can check and discuss your application.

You will be expected to undertake the knowledge test within 1-3 weeks of attending the taxi surgery.

You will need to provide the following documentation:

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for new applicant

As part of the application process for a license you are required to have an enhanced DBS check. If you already hold an enhanced DBS certificate this can be no older than 28 days on application. We will however accept an enhanced DBS certificate if you are enrolled on the  update service, you will need to bring in the DBS certificate with your application. If you are not on the update service you will have to apply for your DBS check here https://www.personnelchecks.co.uk/taxis/arun/ after you have been to the taxi surgery. Payment is required at the time of DBS application. When you have paid the fee your registration can take up to 3 hours to be sent to you. If you think you haven’t received the link to the registration please check your spam or junk box. Then if you have any queries or questions before or after submitting the payment or form please contact Personnel Checks on 01254 355679.

After you have registered with Personnel Checks we will receive conformation of your registration and your documents will be verified by the officers.

  • If we have not been notified by Personnel Checks that you have not made an application for DBS check within 7 days of attending the taxi surgery, any knowledge test that has been booked will be cancelled until such time we have been notified of DBS application.

Your DBS will be sent to you by post. You will need to bring this into the Civic Centre to be included with your application.

  • Your full DVLA driving licence. Have held your licence for at least 12 months and have at least 12 months UK driving experience. You must not have accrued any points on your DVLA licence in the preceding 12 months.
  • Passport or birth certificate
  • Passport style photo
  • Proof of address, using either household/utility bill or a bank statement less than three months old on which shows  your name and current address.
  • Details of residence outside Great Britain
  • Household/utility bill or bank statement less than three months old which has your address on it
  • A certificate of good conduct if you were born outside the UK

If you were not born in the UK but moved to the UK since becoming the age of criminal responsibility the licensing authority will expect to see evidence of a criminal record check or certificate of good conduct. The certificate must not be older than 28 days on application and from the embassies or consulate of those countries of which you have resided. If a certificate of good conduct is not provided in written English, the applicant will pay the cost of the translation.

  • A certificate of good conduct if you have been resident outside of the UK

If an applicant has spent six continuous months or more overseas since

becoming the age of criminal responsibility, the licensing authority will expect to see evidence of a criminal record check or certificate of good conduct. The certificate must not be older than 28 days on application and from the embassies or consulate of those countries of which you have resided. If a certificate of good conduct is not provided in written English, the applicant will pay the cost of the translation.

  • You will need to provide us with information relating to your right to work in the UK. Full details can be seen here.
  • When you complete the taxi surgery, you then must make an application for a Disclosure & Barring Service Certificate within 7 days of having the appointment, details can be found below under DBS. We are notified by Personnel Check that you have made an application, if we have not been notified by Personnel Check that you have not made the application within the 7 days any knowledge test that has been booked will be cancelled until such time we have been notified.
  • Drivers assessments (managed by 1st Castle 01243 533100) and Medicals are to be taken AFTER you have passed the knowledge test.  ALL medicals MUST be carried out by your own GP or practice. If we receive a medical from a surgery or GP where you are not registered the medical will be rejected and you will be required to have a new medical.

You will need to make a payment for your driver application on grant of your licence.

You must make full application to the council for a licence within six months of passing the test. If an application has not been made within the 6 months of passing the knowledge test the application will be cancelled. If you wish to make another application the process will start from the beginning with new documents.

 

Booking your knowledge test

Tests will be held at the Civic Centre in Maltravers Road, Littlehampton. Please note you will not be permitted to use any of the following

Electronic devices including mobile phones

  • Study notes or books
  • Anything else deemed unacceptable by the invigilator
  • You must not have anything written on your hands, arms or elsewhere on your person

If you are found to be in possession of any of these items you will be disqualified from the test and your application will be rejected.

You will not be permitted to leave the room during your test, except for emergency purposes

We will provide pens and paper for your use should you require it.

The council’s decision as to whether you have passed the test is final. You will be notified of the results in due course. If you fail the knowledge test your application will be cancelled after 6 months, unless a new date for a knowledge test has been made within this time.

 

Knowledge Test

You will be required to pass the council’s knowledge test prior to being considered for the grant of a Dual Drivers Licence.

The test will demonstrate that you have a good knowledge of all round aspects of the work of a driver and the district in which you wish to work.

The first test will not be charged. Subsequent tests are charged at £50 payable in advance.

The test is an electronic multiple choice system comprising of 9 categories. In order to pass the knowledge test you must attain a 80% pass mark in each category. The test will be set at a maximum time of 70 mins to complete all categories:

  1. Highway Code. 16 out of 20 questions need to be correct
  2. Road Signs. 16 out of 20 questions need to be correct
  3. Venues. 16 out of 20 questions need to be correct
  4. Roads. These questions will ask you to identify which road joins other roads identified to you.16 out of 20 questions need to be correct
  5. Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Safeguarding. 4 out of 5 questions need to be correct
  6. Equality and Disability. 4 out of 5 questions need to be correct
  7. Numeracy. 4 out of 5 questions need to be correct
  8. Byelaws. 4 out of 5 questions need to be correct
  9. Fitness. These questions will be related to the physical and mental fitness of taxi drivers. 4 out of 5 questions need to be correct

Please be advised if you fail to meet the pass criteria in any section, the entire test is still a fail.

An example of a question you may be asked will look like this

example of knowledge test question

  • We recommend as a guide an absolute minimum of 20 hours study time prior to sitting your test.
  • You will need to read and understand our policy as part of your study. This can be found at the top of the page.
  • As part of your study it is recommended you visit areas to obtain a good working knowledge of the district.
  • We recommend you also study maps of the area.
  • Use the internet or local guides to become familiar with key places and destinations.
  • You will need to ensure you are still fully familiar with the Highway Code
  • You will need to be familiar with our Hackney Carriage Byelaws [doc] 48KB
  • Further information about the nine elements of the test can be found in our study pack: V4 knowledge test study pack.docx [docx] 2MB . We strongly recommend you study this. The information in this pack may be updated regularly. We therefore recommend you refer to our website and study pack regularly to check you have the latest version. 
  • The authority may ask to deem it appropriate from time to time to ask drivers to undertake training or knowledge tests in specific areas as a condition of renewal of their licence.

 

Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles

Hackney carriages are vehicles that can be hailed from a rank or in the street, and can also be pre-booked. Together with their drivers, hackney carriages must be licensed by the local authority. The suitability and safety of vehicles, and the suitability and fitness of drivers can be considered when applications are received. Vehicle and driver licences are annual and extensive conditions apply.

Private hire vehicles do not have a topsign and only make pre-booked journeys. Their licensing provisions are much the same as for hackney carriages, although operators must also be licensed in addition to the driver and the vehicle. Driver licences are subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to assist councils in assessing whether or not an applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a driver licence. Applicants themselves are required to submit information concerning convictions.

Further details are available in our taxi licensing Policy 2017 v1-4.pdf [pdf] 1MB. If you would like more information about vehicle specifications, please see our MOT inspection manual.doc [doc] 3MB. The garages contracted to conduct the vehicle testing are available in the contracted garages.pdf [pdf] 12KB list. 

 

MPV
  1. Multi person vehicles (MPV’s) will not be licensed by Arun District Council unless the following specifications are met:-
    1. There must be at least five (5) doors on the vehicle which are openable from the inside (offside front; nearside front; offside rear; nearside rear and a “boot” door), double “boot” doors are considered as a single door;
    2. Rear “boot” doors must be signed as “Emergency Exits”;
    3. There must be unrestricted access to the doors of the vehicle, from or to any seat, without the need to remove any seat or operate a lever to lower the back of the seat or tilt the seat forward;
    4. No passenger must be required to climb over more than one other passenger, so as to safely and comfortably leave the vehicle;
    5. The distance in the emergency aisle between the sides of seats or the side of a seat and the vehicle body, must be a minimum of 229mm (9 inches) in width at a measurement of 127mm (5 inches) in height from the floor. The distance in the emergency aisle between sides of seats or the side of a seat and the vehicle body must be a minimum of 279mm (11inches) in width at a height of 1220mm (48 inches) from the floor;
    6. All seats in the vehicle shall be either forward or rear facing. All seats must be fitted with an appropriate and approved seat belt which is in working order;
    7. A copy of the seating arrangements (where applicable) agreed upon annual test, must be kept in the vehicle for inspection by the licensing officer;

B)        There shall be four (4) road wheels;

  1. There shall be sufficient seating capacity to carry up to eight (8) passengers
  2. The size of the seats shall be in accordance with The Road Vehicle (Registration and Licensing) Regulations;
  3. A minimum secured luggage capacity of not less than fourteen (14) cubic feet. The luggage must be safely secured so as not to obstruct, restrict, or cause injury to the occupants of the vehicle.
  4. The vehicle shall be right hand drive only;

If you purchase an MPV and you would like guidance on what is the satisfactory seating arrangement please view:  MPV specification.pdf [pdf] 111KB where you will be able to see guidance notes.

 

For the purposes of this page, we will refer to both hackney carriages and private hire vehicles as taxis.

To operate as a taxi driver you will be required to licence both the vehicle you drive and yourself as an individual.
 

Taxi Driver Licences

Please read the following: Right to work checks for new and existing drivers.pdf [pdf] 385KB

If you would like to drive either a Hackney Carriage or a Private Hire Vehicle in the Arun District, you will need to apply to us for a Dual Driver licence.

Arun District Council dual driver licences will permit you to drive vehicles licensed by Arun only. You must be an Arun licensed driver to drive vehicles licensed by this authority.

New applicants may apply for a one year Driver's licence only.  Thereafter there are options to apply for either one or three year licences, but you should be aware that Medical Reports are needed on first application and then every 5 years from the age of 45 until 65 then annually thereafter, DBS is required on application and then every 3 years thereafter unless you have signed up to the update service which will be offered to you on application.

In order to apply for a Dual Driver licence you must:

  • Hold a full DVLA UK driver's licence
  • Have held your licence for at least 12 months and have at least 12 months UK driving experience
  • You must not have accrued any points on your DVLA licence in the preceding 12 months
  • Have sufficient ability to speak English and to understand spoken English to provide the service for which you wish to be licensed
  • Have adequate literacy and numeracy skills
  • Be a "fit and proper" person

We will establish that you are a "fit and proper" person by asking you to:

  • Provide details of your driving history by allowing the Council access to your DVLA records
  • Provide evidence of your conviction history by completing a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure form to Enhanced Level.  You will complete this with a member of the team.
  • By passing the knowledge test set by the council.
  • Pass a Driving Assessment test.  The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is no longer undertaking taxi driver assessments. We use 1st Castle on 01243 867502. Please contact them to arrange your driver's assessment test.  Do not book a Driving Assessment test until after you have passed the Knowledge Test.
  • Undergo a rigorous medical examination, carried out by your own doctor, to the DVLA Group II medical standards. Medical Reports are needed on first application and then every 5 years from the age of 45 until 65 then annually thereafter, DBS is required on application and then every 3 years thereafter unless you have signed up to the update service which will be offered to you on application. Do not book a medical until after you have passed the knowledge test.

To be a licensed driver, you must be deemed a fit and proper person. If you are abrupt or aggressive when talking to Council staff, this may prevent us from approving your application.

 

Fees Due

Please see our fees and charges page for details.

 

Driver Renewals

We will require all applications to be made through our on-line portal  You can now make taxi applications using our online service (which can be accessed by clicking this link) - EXISTING DRIVERS ONLY, if you require assistance please contact us.

You are reminded that it is your responsibility, not the Council's, to renew your License. We require at least 14 working days for the application form to be submitted, Making an application without sufficient time for us to process, before the license expires, means you may miss out on work as your application does not become our priority.

DBS

If you have been asked to apply for a DBS along with your renewal application you please follow the link https://www.personnelchecks.co.uk/taxis/arun/ Payment is required at the time of application. Verification documents will be verified at Littlehampton Civic Centre by the licensing team.

Medicals

If you have been asked for a medical.

Medicals are due on first application of licence then from ages 45, 50, 55, 60, 65 then annually. All drivers get a two month reminder along with their renewal  before the licences are due. We have contacted Dr’s surgeries within our district to ask why the medicals are taking so long to book, as some drivers had stated they struggled to make an appointment before their licence expires. The surgeries advised us that most drivers try to make an appointment at the last minute. It was explained to the surgeries that drivers have two month’s notice, each agreed this was sufficient time to book an appointment. It is in your own interest to contact your Dr’s surgery as soon as possible after you receive your renewal letter which states the medical is due. You are reminded that all medicals MUST be carried out by your own GP or practice. If we receive a medical from a surgery or GP where you are not registered the medical will be rejected and you will be required to have a new medical.

Renewals for Hackney Carriage Vehicles

We will require all applications to be made through our on-line portal  You can now make taxi applications using our online service (which can be accessed by clicking this link) - EXISTING DRIVERS ONLY, if you require assistance please contact us.

You are reminded that it is your responsibility, not the Council's, to renew your License. We require at least 14 working days for the application form to be submitted, Making an application without sufficient time for us to process, before the license expires, means you may miss out on work as your application does not become our priority.

 

Making a complaint against a licenced driver or vehicle

If the complaint is about the poor driving of a licenced driver you are advised to report it to Operation Crackdown http://www.operationcrackdown.org/

and Arun District Council. We would need as much information as you can give including plate number, reg number and if possible any other details of the vehicle.  

If the complaint is about the behaviour of a licenced driver this can be reported to Arun District Council giving as much information as possible regarding the incident. To include details of any witnesses to the incident, you may also wish to report this to the police on 101.

In all circumstances any compliant MUST be made in writing,  you can use the form found below if you wish to and sent  either via email taxis@arun.gov.uk or sent to Licensing Department,  Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton West Sussex BN17 5LF

Please not we do not accept anonymous complaints

 

Forms

notification of an accident - 2018.doc [doc] 91KB

statement form for complaint against driver-vehicle.doc [doc] 85KB