Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver's Licence

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak no new applications will be accepted until further notice.

If you want to a drive a taxi or private hire vehicle in the Mendip area you need to apply to us for a hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence.

Taxi and Private Hire Policy

The Icon for pdf Taxi Policy [1.55MB] sets out the approach of the Authority in connection with the functions of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing. It provides consistency in decision making and transparency in how the Authority carries out its responsibilities. It shows applicants and licence holders what is required of them when making applications or where they hold a licence. There is a useful referral guide for existing drivers which combines multiple bits of legislation into one document:Icon for pdf Driver and New Applicant Information Pack [246.5KB]

Applying for a licence

We issue both taxi and private hire vehicle driver licences, these licences are issued for 3 years.

To apply you must have held a full GB DVLA drivers licence for at least 12 months.

Before a licence is granted, an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:

Knowledge Test

When you attend the Knowledge Test, you will need to bring your driving licence as proof of ID. There is a fee of £30, which can be paid by cheque or postal order made payable to Mendip District Council. The Knowledge Test is a 1 to 1 interview style test, you will be asked questions and will give an answer verbally. For more information it is strongly advised that you read the Icon for pdf Driver and New Applicant Information Pack [246.5KB]as this provides a general overview of taxi legislation and Mendip District Council's taxi policy.

Once you are ready to take the Knowledge Test, please call 01749 341445 to arrange a time and date.

NR3 - National Register of Refusals and Revocations for Drivers

The Local Government Association (LGA) has launched a national register of refusals and revocations of driver's licences. We are planning to use this national register (called NR3) from 4th April 2019, in connection with the licensing of hackney carriage and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) Drivers. We intend to check the register for all new applications and all renewals, and may share data with other local authorities where we refuse a new application or renewal or revoke a licence for an individual. Please find further information below about how the register works.

We are responsible for adding basic details about drivers when we refuse their licence application or renewal and if we revoke their licence.

When we receive a new application for a licence or a renewal application, we check the applicant's details on the register to confirm that there is no record of them having been revoked or refused elsewhere.

The details contained on the register are limited to information that will help to identify an individual to a certain degree of accuracy. The register will not give a reason why actions were taken. We will have to follow up on any searches that come back with a match.

Data protection and privacy

We use the database to ensure the fitness and propriety of licence holders as part of the application process. We do this in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and human rights law.

We might also use the information provided by applicants to prevent or detect crime, to protect public funds, or in other ways as permitted by law. This can include passing information to certain third parties.

We are registered with the National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN), who the LGA commissioned to develop and host the register.

We are transferring all of the existing, relevant data that we hold into the database. Historic data for decisions to refuse or revoke will only be provided from the past 6 years. This is due to the shorter period for retention of such data prior to the 4th April 2019. However, from this date relevant data will be held for 25 years, according to the NAFN retention policy.

Dual Use Drivers Licences, Hackney Vehicle Licences, Private Hire Vehicle Licences and Private Hire Operator Licences Privacy Notice

Our policy in respect of how we will use the NR3 register, request data from other local authorities and deal with requests to share data:

Icon for pdf Policy on the Use of NR3 - The National Register of Refusals and Revocations for Drivers [154.96KB]

Please view Icon for pdf Frequently Asked Questions about NR3 [104.59KB]

Message From the Home Office Regarding Illegal Workers

Home Office launches campaign to tackle illegal working in Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle sector

The Home Office will launch Operation Magnify, a UK-wide enforcement and compliance initiative to prevent illegal working in the taxi and private hire vehicle sector.

During the campaign, immigration enforcement officers will carry out intelligence-led enforcement activity in the sector, alongside educational visits to licensing authorities and operators to raise awareness of illegal working. In the taxi and private hire vehicle sector the majority of drivers are self employed, which means that they are not subject to existing right to work checks undertaken by employers. This leaves scope for this sector to be exploited by illegal workers.

Whilst many licensing authorities conduct immigration checks as part of their process to determine that someone is 'fit and proper' to hold a licence, not all do. It is therefore sensible and proportionate to require all licensing authorities to undertake consistent and simple immigration status checks as part of the licence application process. This is why the Home Office are using the Immigration Bill, currently progressing through Parliament, to embed immigration safeguards into the existing licensing regimes for taxis and private hire vehicles.

These immigration checks further support the aims of licensing authorities to protect public safety and increase confidence in the taxi and private hire vehicle sector.

Helping you to make checks

To help us tackle the problem of illegal working, we are reminding employers of current guidance available to undertake right to work checks. This ensures drivers and operators in this sector have the right to work in the UK.

You can help to raise awareness of this issue by sharing our short animated video, 3 step check poster and information slide pack Icon for pdf How to Make Right to Work Checks [146.37KB].

  •      The 3 step check poster is available on www.gov.uk
  •      Watch our 'How to make a right to work check' video on YouTube
  •      Guidance on how to make right to work checks can be found on www.gov.uk

Anyone with concerns about illegal working or non compliant employers should report this to the Home Office at www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime

Home Office - County Line Gangs

Please see the Home Office poster Icon for pdf County Line Gangs [1.27MB] for the signs to look out for in case a child is being used by gangs to assist with drug crime.

What is Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)?

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity. Young people are groomed and sexually exploited in many different forms. This could be online, through street gangs, in religious environments, and by those in positions of authority including celebrity. The common theme in all cases is the imbalance of power and the control exerted on young people by the exploiter/perpetrator.

What is Mendip doing about CSE?

MDC is working with other Councils and the Police in Somerset to raise awareness about this issue with people who may be able to spot signs that something is wrong and children could be at risk of exploitation. To ensure taxi drivers in Mendip are able to spot signs of CSE, and know where and how to report it, we are distributing leaflets and promotional material to drivers. This will include a guide for drivers of taxi and private hire vehicles labelled 'How to identify and report Child Sexual Exploitation'.

How do I find out more about CSE?

There is further information on the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Somerset Safeguarding Children Board and National Working Group Tackling Child Exploitation websites.