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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Taxi Licensing

We undertake licensing of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles, drivers and operators within the Borough. You will find information below on:
  • Drivers
  • Vehicles
  • Private Hire Operators


Drivers

There are three types of drivers - a private hire driver is a licensed driver who can drive private hire vehicles only, a hackney carriage driver is a licensed driver who can drive hackney carriage vehicles only and a dual driver is a licensed driver who can drive both types of vehicles.


New driver applications

There are a number of elements to the application process:

  • Preliminary questionnaire
  • Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS)
  • Application
  • Medical
  • Driving licence check
  • Reference
  • Taxi driving test (DSA/Blue Lamp)
  • Knowledge test
  • Collecting your licence

If you are an applicant, you should contact our licensing team so that we can help you through the application process.


Preliminary Questionnaire

The DBS check covers convictions recorded in this country. If you have lived outside the UK for three months or more since the age of 10, we need a letter of good conduct for this period from the relevant embassy. The preliminary questionnaire PDF (110 KB) helps us direct applications to the correct embassy and provides confirmation of your residency history. Once the letter of good conduct has been given to our licensing team to verify (if required), we will give you an application pack to begin the process.


Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check

All applicants must undergo an enhanced DBS check to ensure you do not have any convictions which would prevent you from becoming a taxi driver. You must complete a DBS check form. Once you have done this, you should bring it to our licensing team as soon as you can. You will need to bring specific types of identification (see DBS guidance notes) and the fee, which is non-refundable. This is then sent to the DBS. It can sometimes take up to three months for the report to come back from the Bureau but usually they are returned with four to six weeks. You will receive a copy of the report, however the licensing team no longer receive a copy from the DBS, therefore you will need to present your returned certificate to the Licensing Team as soon as possible. We will not accept DBS checks from any other registered body except Hampshire County Council and only if it is less than six months old. If you have a relevant offence on your DBS record, you will need to attend a panel hearing to decide if you can become a licensed driver within the Borough. You can only attend the licensing panel once your application is complete. The licence application fees paid to the Council are refundable if your application is refused by the licensing panel. If you have any penalty points on your driving licence for speeding, our director of regulatory and democratic services has the delegated authority to approve applications.


Medical

You must make an appointment to see your GP or any doctor in the same surgery who has access to all your notes. Once your doctor has carried out your medical, you should return the form to us. We will send it to our consultants to be checked to ensure you reach the DVLA Group II standard. This can take up to two weeks to be returned to us. There is a fee which is non-refundable. We recommend you submit your completed application form to us once the CRB and medical have been returned to us by the appropriate agencies. Your application form must be signed by you and your proposed employer. You must present your driving licence (paper version) and the completed IDS D796 form along with this form. The cost can differ at this stage depending on what type of badge you wish to hold.


Taxi Driving Test (DSA / Blue Lamp)

You will be required to take a driving test as part of your application to ensure you are a safe driver. This can be done through the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) or The Blue Lamp Trust. Once you have passed the test, you must present the certificate to us at the Town Hall. These fees are not refundable and may vary.


Knowledge test

All applicant drivers must sit a knowledge test to show you know the Borough and can speak and understand a good level of English. The fee is non-refundable unless your application has been refused by the licensing panel and only then a cost of a maximum of one knowledge test (see Appendix 1). If you fail the knowledge test after three attempts, you will be withdrawn from the application process and will not be able to re-apply for one year, during which you will need to start the application process again.
 
The knowledge test is a computer based, multiple choice test which lasts 50 minutes.  There is an opportunity, at the beginning of the test, to run a demo should you wish.  The sections on the test are Conditions, Highway Code, Road Signs, Routes and Points of Interest.
 
Note: You will be required to bring your driving licence to the test.
 
If a driver decides to change the badge they hold, ie. Upgrade from a Hackney to a dual, they will be required to sit the relevant knowledge test, and pay the relevant fee.

Collecting your licence

Once you have successfully completed the steps above, you will be required to book an appointment with a licensing officer to arrange for your photograph to be taken. You will then receive your badge and paper licence/conditions. It allows you as a licensed driver to drive licensed vehicles, depending on what type of badge you hold.


Driver licence renewals

We will contact you about your renewal arrangements before your licence expires. Renewals involve an application and a fee. DBS (formerly CRB) checks are undertaken every three years in line with DBS guidance and medicals every five years from the ages of 45 to 65 and annually after that.


Vehicles

There are two types of licensed vehicle. A private hire vehicle is a vehicle that can carry passengers for hire or reward, but only by being pre-booked. It is not allowed to stand or ply for hire on the taxi ranks or in the streets of the Borough. If you are proposing to run a business for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for private hire vehicle(s) in the Borough, you must hold a private hire operator's licence that we have issued to you. A hackney carriage is a vehicle that can stand on the taxi ranks or ply for hire in the streets of the Borough.


Vehicle licence applications

The application process involves production of the following:

  • Application form
  • Engineers report
  • Registration document for the vehicle.
  • Current MOT (for a hackney carriage this must be when the vehicle is one year old, for a private hire vehicle this is from when the vehicle is three years old)
  • Insurance policy (or cover note with the requisite cover for carriage of the public)
  • The vehicle.

Before buying a vehicle, you are advised to contact our licensing team to obtain an application pack and ensure a vehicle meets the specifications we set down.


Granting/renewing vehicle licences

Once you have got to this stage and your vehicle has been inspected (with a meter run in the case of a hackney carriage) we will be in a position to issue your licence. Vehicle licences are renewed annually from the date of issue.


Private Hire Operators

If you are proposing to run a business for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for private hire vehicle(s) in the Borough, you must hold a private hire operator's licence issued to you by us. This may be in addition to a private hire drivers licence if you are also a driver.

If you wish to apply to be a private hire operator, please contact our licensing team for an application pack. The application requirements are:

  1. If you already hold either a hackney carriage or private hire drivers licence, you will not need to complete a DBS disclosure
  2. If you do not hold a either a hackney carriage or private hire drivers licence you will need to get the necessary form from our licensing team to enable you to make application for an enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  3. The address in the Borough where you are proposing to run your private hire business
  4. A list of the vehicles and their owner/drivers you a proposing to use to run your business
  5. Details of the company as follows:
    • Full trading name, company number and registered office address for the company
    • Full details of any director or secretary of the company to include names, addresses and dates of birth
    • Full details of other applicants if you are in a partnership (these include names, addresses and dates of birth)
    • You have the necessary planning permission for the address to be used as a business in the Borough before an operator's licence can be issued.
  6. You will be obliged to allow our authorised officers entry to your premises, to inspect your booking logs as and when necessary
  7. The appropriate fee is paid (details on request). Cheques should be made payable to "Gosport Borough Council"
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