Private Hire Vehicles Information
Vehicle and Driver Licences - relevant convictions
Statement of policy about relevant convictions (As confirmed by Licensing Committee, 9 August 2007)
When submitting an application for a licence to drive a Private Hire Vehicle you are required to declare all convictions or cautions you may have, and if you are currently being investigated or have been charged or summoned for any offence. The information you give will be treated in confidence and will only be taken into account in relation to your application.
You should be aware that the Licensing Authority will check with the Criminal Records Bureau for the existence and content of any criminal record held in your name. Information received from the Criminal Records Bureau will be kept in strict confidence while the licensing process takes its course and will be retained for no longer than is necessary.
The disclosure of a criminal record or other information will not debar you from gaining a licence unless the authority considers that the conviction renders you unsuitable. In making a decision the Licensing Authority will consider the nature of the offence(s), how long ago the offence occured, what age you were when it was committed and any other factors which may be relevant. The Licensing Authority may wish to refer to any guidelines to which they adhere and may refer your application to the Licensing Sub-Committee.
(Should the need arise, any applicant who is refused a drivers' licence has a right of appeal (within 21 days of the decision) to a Magistrates' Court).
If you would like to discuss what effect a conviction or pending prosecution might have on your application you may telephone the Licensing Section, in confidence, for advice. Please note, where a time period is specified in relation to an offence, the period of time runs from the date of conviction not the date of commission of the offence
Listed below are the guidelines that the Licensing Section and the Licensing Committee/Sub-Committee refer to:
Minor Traffic Offences
Convictions for minor traffic offences, e.g. obstruction, waiting in a restricted street, speeding etc. should not prevent a person from proceeding with an application. If sufficient points have been accrued to require a period of disqualification of the applicant's driving licence then a hackney carriage or private hire licence may be granted after its restoration but a warning should be issued as to future conduct.
Major Traffic Offences
An isolated conviction for reckless/dangerous driving or driving without care due care and attention etc should normally merit a warning as to future driving and advice on the standard expected of hackney carriage and PHV drivers. More than one conviction for this type of offence within the last two years should merit refusal and no further application should be considered until a period of 1 to 3 years free from convictions has elapsed.
With a Motor Vehicle
A serious view should be taken of convictions of driving or being in charge of a vehicle whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. An isolated incident should not necessarily debar an applicant but strict warnings should be given as to future behaviour. More than one conviction for these offences should raise grave doubts as to the applicant's fitness to hold a licence. At least 3 years should elapse (after restoration of the driving licence) before an applicant is considered for a licence. If there is any suggestion that the applicant is an alcoholic, a special medical examination should be arranged before the application is entertained. If the applicant is found to be an alcoholic a period of 5 years should elapse after treatment is complete before a further licence application is considered.
Not in a Motor Vehicle
An isolated conviction for drunkenness need not debar an applicant from gaining a licence. However, a number of convictions for drunkenness could indicate a medical problem necessitating medical examination (see above). In some cases a warning may be sufficient.
An applicant with a conviction for a drug related offence should be required to show a period of at least 3 years free from conviction before an application is entertained, or 5 years after detoxification treatment if he/she was an addict.
As hackney carriage and private hire drivers often carry unaccompanied passengers, applicants with convictions for indecent exposure, indecent assault, importuning, or any of the more serious sexual offences or who have been placed on the sex offenders register, should be refused until they can show a substantial period (at least 5 years) free of such offences. Where an applicant has a conviction for an offence of this kind this should be referred to the sub-Committee. If a licence is granted, a strong warning as to future conduct should be issued.
As hackney carriage and private hire drivers maintain close contact with the public, a firm line should be taken with applicants who have convictions for grievous bodily harm, wounding or assault. At least 3 years free of such convictions should be shown before an application is entertained and even then a strict warning should be administered.
Hackney carriage and private hire drivers are expected to be persons of trust. The widespread practice of delivering unaccompanied property is indicative of the trust that business people place in drivers. Moreover it is comparatively easy for a dishonest driver to defraud the public by demanding more than the legal fare etc. Overseas visitors can be confused by the changes in currency and become "fair game" for an unscrupulous driver. For these reasons a serious view should be taken of any conviction involving dishonesty. In general a period of 5 years free from conviction should be required before entertaining an application.
In the event that an applicant has been convicted of any 4 offences of the type set out above in the 10 years prior to application being made for a licence, the application should be referred to the Licensing Sub-Committee.