Taxis and private hire vehicle licences during the coronavirus outbreak
Guidance for operators and passengers, how to renew your licence or apply for a new one under the current social distancing restrictions.
The government has published some guidance on actions that drivers, operators and owners of taxis or private hire vehicles (PHVs) can take to protect against coronavirus.
The DfT's Safer Transport Campaign provides some simple guidance for both drivers and passengers.
Households sharing - Aside from the driver, a passenger is not permitted to share a taxi or private hire vehicle with someone from outside their household or support bubble unless their journey is undertaken for an exempt reason. For example, if sharing the vehicle is reasonably necessary as part of a passenger's work, you do not have to refuse to carry them.
People who are exempt from wearing face coverings - Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face are exempt from doing so. Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.
This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law. The government has published some access exemption card templates.
Guidance for operators - this safer travel guidance for operators will help organisations, agencies and others (such as self-employed transport providers) understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers across all modes of private and public transport.
Guidance for passengers - the government has issued some coronavirus (Covid-19) safer travel guidance for passengers. This covers walking, cycling, and travelling in vehicles or on public transport during the coronavirus outbreak.
Working in vehicles - the government has also issued guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar.
Frequently asked questions - The Department for Transport has published a selection of answers to some of the most commonly asked questions for taxis and private hire vehicle owners.
Safety tips for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers and passengers - for drivers, the Essex Residence Forum has put together a list of some things you can do to protect yourself and your passengers from coronavirus (Covid-19). And for passengers there are some similar safety tips. These are based on the latest government guidance on working safely in a vehicle.
Applying for new or renewal licenses
Due to the current situation we have had to make some changes to the way we deal with applications for new licenses or renewals of licenses.
New drivers taxi proficiency tests
Due to the lockdown, the providers that service these tests have temporarily closed. Most are taking bookings from late February. We are therefore allowing new divers to apply for a license without having completed this test. Once lockdown is lifted we will require the driver to submit their test within 3 months.
Interviews for licenses
We are able to process new and renewal plates and badges by carrying out virtual interviews for DBS and Right to Work Checks if required. Subsequent plate and badge collections will be arranged with you as the offices are not open currently.