Professional Transport Services

Taxi licensing strengthened in England for passenger protection

12 May 2023

Councils in England are mandated to use a national database that records taxi drivers who have had their licences removed for misconduct.  The Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Act 2022 applies in England and requires better information-sharing between taxi and PHV licensing authorities to ensure that unfit drivers cannot hide previous instances of misconduct.

Over 70% of licensing authorities in England are already using the database to vet their driver licence applicants.

The first part of the act requiring licensing authorities to report safeguarding and road safety concerns about drivers licensed by other authorities to the licensing authority that issued the driver’s licence is already in force.  It is a requirement that licensing authorities receiving concerns about a driver it has licensed must then consider whether to suspend or revoke the driver’s licence.

Since then, the Department for Transport has been working to put in place arrangements so the rest of the act could be brought into force. Licensing authorities will be required to use a database to record instances where taxi and PHV drivers have their licences removed, suspended or refused for misconduct. When deciding whether to grant or renew a driver licence, licensing authorities must search the database for any entry relating to the applicant.

Now, as of April 2023, it is a compulsory requirement to use the database. The National Anti-Fraud Network will grant access to the database to all the relevant taxi and private hire vehicle licensing bodies in the UK. Government is covering the cost of administering this vital safeguarding database.

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