Taxis and private hire COVID-19 updates for taxi and Private Hire licensing

Driver licence renewals

Driver Licence Renewal that have already been submitted and paid for:

  • We will continue to process your application and will renew your licence as normal
  • Where it is essential that we see documents, we will facilitate this on an individual appointment basis at our Lawton Street garage screened reception where safe social distancing can be facilitated.
  • We understand that some drivers are struggling to obtain medicals at this point in time and are accepting self-declarations during this period. It is extremely important that drivers adhere to their licence conditions and declare any change in their medical situation immediately to the Licensing Unit for further advice.

Driver Licence Renewals that are due to expire up to 31 May 2020 where the renewal application has not been submitted and/or the fee not yet paid

  • Please submit your application and we will not require payment until 31 July 2020 (this date will remain under review)
  • Renewed driver licences will be issued for a period of 15 months but a relative 12 month licence fee only will be applied
  • Where we need to see documents, we will facilitate this on an individual appointment basis at our Lawton Street garage screened reception where safe social distancing can be facilitated.

We understand that some drivers are struggling to obtain medicals at this point in time and are accepting self-declarations during this period. It is extremely important that drivers adhere to their licence conditions and declare any change in their medical situation immediately to the Licensing Unit for further advice.

Why we are not just extending licences at this time

We realise some other local authorities have taken this option, but we want to minimise any risk to public safety as far as possible as is our primary function. We are concerned to safeguard against hundreds of vehicles and drivers having badges and plates that are expired, and the confusion and potential risks and increased administrative burden (and costs) this could provide down the line. We are able to deliver a service to licensees where we can adequately renew licences and so want to look at other ways that we can best support the trade at this very difficult time for all.

We also cannot simply shift hundreds of vehicle licence renewal dates to a later date in the year, with concurrent testing requirements as this will present spikes in activity and testing demand that could be detrimental to the service going forward. We are also mindful of the government’s commitments to supporting everyone, including self-employed individuals and so are hopeful that the measures we are proposing provide enough flexibility to licensees to support them through the immediate difficulties, whilst upholding the integrity of the licensing regime. 

We commit to keeping this current approach under continuous review and engaging with trade members and reps to work.

Why we are only automatically renewing licences up to the end of May

We have a high volume of licensees and so will work through licences in batches, dealing with the most imminent renewals over the next couple of months and will of course extend this as appropriate, allowing us to respond dynamically to the ever changing situation.

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