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.

 

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.

 

Latest government advice for travelling and working in vehicles

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.

 

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.

Interviews for licenses

We are unable to carry out face to face interviews for drivers.

New plates

We are now able  to accept applications  for new plates. New licensed vehicles must have a physical plate on it - not a paper plate. I'm grateful for 3 of my colleagues volunteering to attend our offices in Saffron Walden. They will only attend one at a time and when we have a specified number of plates to print - so they will not be in every day - so please do not send chasing emails or phone calls. When they are in we will contact operators on the day their plates will be produced to offer them the opportunity of collection on that only. This will unfortunately be no more than a couple of days a week. Unfortunately there will be no negotiation on the time or day of the week when the plates can be picked up.

Renewal plates

We continue to service these - plates can either be picked up with new plates or emailed to vehicle owner in a paper template format.

Vehicle renewals

We are able to process these; MOT and inspections remain in place. Please email all documentation to licensing@uttlesford.gov.uk  and a paper plate and letter will be sent to the applicant.

New badges

We are unable to service and complete all of the requirements of new badges due to the issue of not being able to complete 'proficiency and medical tests.' We can however complete right to work interviews only if it completes the new badge. The Government have relaxed their position on right to work interviews - please see attached. However, we will only complete  a right to work interview  if a medical and proficiency test have already been completed.

Renewal badges

We are able to service these with paper badges. Medicals have been postponed for 6 months. If you are not signed up for the DBS update service and do have a current Enhanced DBS -we are now able to accept renewals for Uttlesford drivers due to the change in DBS Government policy allowing the use of video links.

How to renew

1.  We are only accepting renewal documentation on one email to licensing@uttlesford.gov.uk. Please include your three ID documents in that email as required for a DBS
2. Sign up using your home email to gotomeeting video conferencing or download the gotomeeting app. Please create an account using the same email. Please note a device with a camera is needed for the video meeting i.e. smartphone/iPad or PC
3.  Complete an Enhanced DBS application on Mayflower.
4. Enter the Organisation Reference UDCLICENSING. Enter the Organisation Code UDCLICENSING and complete fields with details of your 3 x identified documents. Please see the identity checking guidelines
5. Pay £50.07 for DBS check via our online payments portal
6.  Licensing will arrange a video conference on gotomeeting by emailing a link to the driver
7.  The driver will need a device with a camera on to respond at the appropriate time and join a meeting on gotomeeting. Note: Licensing will have audio as our laptops cameras don't have permission but it is critical that we see the applicant.
8. The driver can monitor the DBS progress and, upon completion, will be sent the certificate from DBS - we have no control of the time it takes

The Department for Transport has published some guidance on the continued working of taxis and private hire vehicles.