Hackney Carriage (Taxi) Driver and Private Hire Driver licences

Who To Contact

Licensing Section
2nd Floor, Yorkon Building
Archway Road
Huyton
L36 9FB

Telephone: 0151 443 2300

Email: taxi.licensing@knowsley.gov.uk

 

Alert!

Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, the council has continuously been reviewing its licensing processes, specifically for all Hackney and Private hire licence Applications as well as renewals.

As of November 2020 there will continue to be no Licensing Application Counter Service available. This is due to the council adapting most processes, via “Channel Shift”, towards an online submission system for most licence types.

If you have an URGENT query regarding your application and need to speak to a Licensing Officer they can be contacted on the below number:
0151 443 4726

Please note that we ask that this is used for URGENT queries only and all other enquiries please be directed to Taxi.Licensing@knowsley.gov.uk

 
 

The renewal application process for existing driver licensees

All Driver renewal applications are now processed through an electronic submission process currently using the taxi.licensing@knowsley.gov.uk single e-mail with all required documents as attachments to that one email.

Existing licensee drivers who do not require a further DBS check yet are expected to be aware of their expiry date and to at least ten working days before expiry download, complete and send:

Once completed and signed, these forms must be e-mailed in one email with all of the scanned documentary evidence as attachments (as shown on the checklist in the renewal application forms) to taxi.licensing@knowsley.gov.uk.

Please be sure to make the email header/ subject read as per the example:
YOUR NAME- PD0001- EXPIRY 01/10/2020- Renewal Application

Renewal applicants will have their submitted e-mailed forms and documents verified and if complete you will get a phone call from Licensing. Renewal applicants will be told how long an interim licence is being issued and any payment needed will be taken via card.

Renewal of licences last issued via extension process due to Covid-19

Please note if you are an existing driver whose licence has been extended due to the Covid-19 situation and the extension is due to expire then you must complete the renewal process as above again by sending the required forms again at least ten working days before the expiry of the extension. If you have not received a further licence by the expiry date then you must stop working until renewed once more. Emails simply requesting a further extension will be rejected.

Renewal of driver licences where a new DBS application is required

If a DBS is required a DBS application pack and guidance will be sent to you by post with a return envelope. That application pack must be submitted correctly and paid for before the expiry of the final short extension

If a DBS check is due and applicants do not return the completed previously posted out DBS Application form and ID Documents they may not usually be issued an interim short licence.

Once we have received the DBS application and it is correct with mandatory ID we will issue a full licence pending receipt of the full DBS Certificate and the payment for the DBS and licence will be taken by card payment.

When applicants later receive these DBS Certificates they must submit all pages to the Council within seven days of receipt or risk the suspension of their licences.

There are three ways to submit a DBS application:

 
  1. At a cost to the applicant of £12.75 via the Post Office Verification Service (this method means that you take the original ID and copies to the Post Office. The Post Office will verify the application, return the original ID to the applicant and can then (postage required) forward the application and verified copies to the Council using the envelope provided. This allows applicants to retain their original ID documents in their possession at all times.
  1. Personal delivery to the Huyton OSS postal slot (to the right of the main entrance;
  1. Postal delivery at own risk to the Licensing Service, 2nd Floor Yorkon Building, Huyton L36 9FB (recorded delivery recommended)

If applicants choose to submit original documents rather than properly verified copies then please be aware that such documents will be returned by way of ordinary postal delivery only at the risk of the document owners

The process for existing licensed drivers wishing to transfer from Private Hire to Hackney or from Hackney to Private Hire

For a fee (currently £25), an existing driver can request to surrender the driver’s licence they hold and replace it with the other driver licence type. Applicants who wish to do this also need to download the Driver Renewal Application Form, complete it fully and email the signed form and scans of their current DVLA licence photo card (both sides) to taxi.licensing@knowsley.gov.uk 

Licensing Admin Staff will contact after checking the forms and take a £25 card payment. Both the driver and the declared operator/ HC radio Circuit will be emailed a copy licence. Arrangements will be made for the badges to be printed so that an appointment can be arranged. At that point, the old surrendered licence and badges must be handed back.

The process for applicants for new Hackney Driver and Private Hire Driver

Before you commence the application process you are recommended to download the guidance pack for the licence you wish to apply for to be sure you are eligible for a licence.

The new driver licence application process

All new driver applications are now only accepted online. Currently we can accept applications but due once again to the COVID-19 situation and staffing, these will take considerably longer to process as there is a backlog which will be dealt with in order of receipt.

Persons who have earlier registered an interest by applying online have being contacted by email and, can if they no longer wish to wait be refunded the £20 initial fee paid some months ago.

New applicants who still wish to register an interest and wait until the current situation changes must complete, online, the answers to a series of questions and pay the (usually) non-refundable £20 initial application part of the fee by card payment online before an application is accepted.

In order, the online form asks applicants to provide the following information:

  1. Title, first name(s) and surname;
  2. Full address and postcode;
  3. Contact telephone number and e-mail address;
  4. Whether you have EVER used previous names other than your current one;
  5. Date and place of birth and National Insurance Number;
  6. DVLA Driving Licence Number (including issue number);
  7. For private hire this must include the name of the intended Knowsley-licensed operator;
  8. Please note that all applicants for Knowsley MBC private hire driver licences in submitting an application automatically declare they understand that they can only work through Knowsley-licensed private hire operators if a licence is granted.

Having considered above If you still wish to apply online for a Private Hire Driver Licence or a Hackney Carriage Driver Licence using the appropriate link below:

Shortly after submitting the online submission all new applicants’ will receive an emailed auto receipt. As the Council processes these online applications a DBS application, return envelope and guidance and update service form will be posted out for completion and return by one of the three submission methods outlined above. The current response time is 10 working days to send out the DBS application.

Changes to medical procedures - who may undertake an examination

If a Group II vocational medical is required you may now only obtain the Group II standard medical from either:

  • A General Practitioner at your registered surgery;
  • Another General Practitioner who has full electronic access to a printout of your medical records before completing the assessment.

Currently many registered GP’s are not undertaking medicals. If you cannot access your own GP or GP of choice then you can, at a current cost of £60-00, pay for a medical via the Just Health Ltd website or call 01282 936900 

Download a Driver Group II Medical Form 

Medical questionnaires completed by any other General Practitioner who did not have access to your medical records will be rejected.

Further advice and information for applicants and licensees

You can get further advice from the web links below if you have not got the minimum of documents for:

  • There is additional guidance available from the DBS - DBS Identity Checking Guidelines.
  • There is additional guidance available from the Immigration Agency - The Right to Work Checklist
  • How we will carry out our licensing functions in relation to both new and existing hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire drivers, and to outline our criteria and standards
  • What other things must be done/ obtained in order to have a licence granted

In order to be licensed by Knowsley Council as a Hackney Carriage (taxi) or Private Hire driver, applicants must show that they are fit and proper persons. Knowsley MBC therefore requires an enhanced level and Barred List Disclosure and Barring Service [DBS] Certificate at the applicant’s expense and a DVLA Driving Record check obtained with their agreement.

Under Sections 51 and 59 of Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, Knowsley Council shall not grant a licence to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle:

  1. Unless they are satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a driving licence or;
  2. To any person who has not for at least 12 months been authorised to drive a motor car, or is not at the date of application for a driving licence so authorised

The council’s main consideration at all times when determining applications is the protection and safety of the public. All driver applicants must disclose all previous convictions and cautions, and also pending matters or concerns regarding vulnerable children or vulnerable adults. For Hackney Carriage (taxi) and Private Hire drivers, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Exceptions Orders mean that previous convictions (apart from “Protected” cautions and Convictions) are never "spent" and all matters must always be declared.

In determining whether an applicant is ‘fit and proper’, we will consider, amongst other things, criminal record, driving record, medical fitness, relevant skills, knowledge, experience, qualifications, and previous history and behaviour patterns as a licence holder (if applicable) together with the results of the Essential Skills Assessment [ESA].

If an applicant has previous convictions, it does not necessarily mean they will be barred from being a licensed driver. The definition of what is a fit and proper person is not set in law, but the generally accepted test from Leeds City Council v Hussain is, "Would you allow your son, daughter, mother, spouse or other person you care about get into this vehicle with this person alone?" 

All new driver licence applicants must pass an Essential Skills Assessment (ESA) usually before a licence can be granted. 

Due again to the Covid-19 situation, the Council currently will, for all applicants who have completed everything except the ESA, grant an interim 1 year licence with any renewal being conditional on the applicant having passed the ESA in an amended form before the expiry of the interim initial 1 year licence.