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Information for Taxi and Private Hire Drivers

WarningImportant update for all drivers and operators as of 4 March 2022

New tax check requirements

From 4 April 2022, the Government has made it a mandatory requirement that taxi and private hire renewals (drivers and operators) must be accompanied by a tax check code from HM Revenues and Customs.

Without this tax check code, the Council cannot accept your application which could affect your ability to renew if an application, fee and tax check code is not received prior to the license expiry date.

Applications without a valid code will not be put on hold, they will be returned as an invalid application.

More information is available here: Complete a tax check for a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence.

The Council will not be able to access any of your tax details, all the code will confirm to us is that you are registered with HMRC as an income earner that may be subject to tax.

Credit/Debit card payments

By 1 April 2022 all licensed taxis and private hire vehicles must be fitted with a credit or debit card reader to enable passengers the option to pay by credit or debit card.

The card reader/device must be capable of providing the option to the passenger to supply an email address or alternative communication for a receipt or capable of printing a receipt. All passengers should be provided with a receipt unless they advise the driver that they do not require one.

DBS online registration

A reminder to all applicants:

Section 3.7.5 of the Policy states:

It is a requirement that all drivers register their DBS with the DBS’ online checking service and maintain registration throughout the period of their licence by paying the annual registration fee. This allows the Council to undertake periodic checks throughout the licence period, and on renewal, to ensure that the applicant/licence holder continues to meet the ‘fit and proper’ person test.

Section 3.7.7 of the Policy states:

When performing an online check, if the Council establish that the online registration has not been maintained, the driver will be automatically suspended until such time as a new DBS has been obtained and registered with the online checking service.

Some drivers have not signed up as required or have not paid the annual fee so the registration lapses.

The Policy will now be enforced and suspensions will follow for drivers that are not compliant with section 3.7.5.

You can sign up online here.

Coronavirus guidance - face masks

NHDC will not be issuing its own specific guidance to the taxi and private hire trade, we will be promoting the general government position:

In England, face coverings are no longer required by law. The government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.

As there is no longer a legal requirement to wear masks, we cannot mandate it in our licensed vehicles. However we would respect a driver’s personal choice to ask passengers to wear a mask in their vehicle.

A driver is unable to refuse a fare at a rank or in the street without reasonable excuse. However we would consider it reasonable for a driver to refuse to carry a passenger if they have genuine reason to be concerned for their own health, i.e. the passenger is showing symptoms of Covid-19.

Guidance on the wearing of face masks has been issued by the government.

Safeguarding awareness training

All drivers and operators are now required to attend safeguarding awareness training as part of the driver badge grant and renewal process.

For the current training fee please refer to the Licensing Fees and Charges, payable prior to booking. Payment can be made using the online payment system. There are no face to face appointments, but you must complete the course.

Drivers may attend a course 3 months in advance of the badge expiry date.

Failure to complete the course will result in the badge renewal not being completed.

Please contact licensing@north-herts.gov.uk for course materials once you have paid. You must fill out the questionnaire and send this back to the Licensing team.

Taxi Forum

The Council hosts a quarterly taxi forum with representatives from local taxi companies including private hire and taxi drivers. Details of agendas and previous minutes can be found on the Taxi Forum Agendas and Minutes page.

If you have any items you would like to add to future agendas please email them to licensing@north-herts.gov.uk or send them to our postal address for the attention of the Licensing Department.

Vehicle compliance testing

Vehicle compliance testing takes place on the first and second Wednesday of the month..

Please ensure that licensed vehicles are booked in advance of plate expiry during the month the plate ends.

The Compliance Tests currently take place on the top floor (or in cold/icy/wet weather the floor below) of Letchworth Multi-Story Car Park. If you believe your vehicle may not be able to enter the car park due to its size, please email the licensing team to arrange an alternative location.

If you are unable to attend the given date or time, please email us.

Wheelchair accessible vehicle

We are working towards 10% of our taxi vehicle fleet being wheelchair accessible. At this time new Taxi /Private Hire plate applications must be for wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Please do not submit applications now, telephone or email with the Licensing Dept. There is no waiting list available to pre-register for a non-WAV licence.

When the target of 10% has been reached the following process will occur:

  • A notice will be published on this page that the Council are accepting Saloons (none wheelchair accessible vehicles)
  • All existing drivers will receive an email with a link to the website notice at the same time.
  • It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure we have an up to date email address. We will accept no responsibility for claims made that a driver did not receive an email and has been disadvantaged.
  • Applicants must complete an application for a new vehicle specifying the vehicle details and that they are the registered keeper. Applications will not be accepted if the driver does not own the vehicle.
  • Applicants must make payment for the plate at the time of application.

Plates will be granted on a first come first served basis, for fully completed applications.

School transport contracts

For further information and advice please contact Hertfordshire County Council.

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