Applying for a driver's licence
To satisfy us that you are a 'fit and proper person' to hold a licence, you must give proof of the following when applying:
- You have held a full current UK or EU driving licence for more than one year (If you don't hold a UK. driving licence contact the licensing office for advice).
- You must pass our knowledge/locality test - you can sit the test before or after you submit your application for the licence. All applicants will be asked questions on licensing law, safeguarding and conditions of licence. Applicants for a Hackney Carriage or Dual Licence will also be asked questions on locations of various places in the area such as pubs, clubs, supermarkets, places of entertainment or interest and have to describe the shortest route between two locations in various parts of the borough and surrounding area. You can have three attempts at passing the test within a 3 month period. If you fail after three attempts you must wait for a period of at least 6 months from the date of the last test you took before being permitted to sit the test again. Guidance notes to assist you are supplied with each application pack (Private Hire or Hackney Carriage/Dual).
- You must provide evidence that you are medically fit to drive and be able to meet Group 2 standard of medical fitness to drive. We will provide you with a medical questionnaire which your own GP (or one who has had access to your full medical history) must complete. Charges for this vary (typically between £60 and £120) and you pay your GP direct.
- You must consent to a criminal record check. This is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). A separate charge is made for this service. You must register online with the DBS before submitting your application for a licence. When you receive your disclosure certificate, if it contains any information regarding police records (irrespective of how old these are) you must present it to the licensing office for inspection. You must also subscribe to the DBS Update Service.
- If you have lived outside the UK and Channel Islands for three months or more you will need to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct or equivalent document from each country that you have been resident in.
- You must provide evidence that you can live and are able to work in the U.K.
- You must undergo Preventing Sexual Exploitation training before a licence is issued.
- You must be aware of your tax responsibilities and confirm this on the application from.
National Register of Taxi Licence Refusals and Revocations (NR3)
North Tyneside Council has signed up to the National Register of Taxi Licence Refusals and Revocations (NR3). This means that when an application for a hackney carriage or private hire driver's licence is refused, or when an existing driver's licence is revoked, that information will be placed on the register.
The policy that covers the use that this Authority will make of the ability to access and use the information contained on the register can be found at the link below.
If you surrender your driver’s licence where the licence was issued for 2 or 3 years we will refund the licence fee for each full year remaining on the licence, minus a small administration fee. If the licence is revoked or suspended no refund will be given..
What you should bring with you
When applying for a driver's licence please bring:
- your driving licence
- the licence fee (which is refunded if your application is refused)
- DBS enhanced disclosure fee
- your passport and/or evidence that you can live and are able to work in the U.K.
- an official document containing your National Insurance number
- at least two recent (within three months) utility bills ( gas, electric, water, telephone, Council Tax)
- your birth certificate
- your marriage certificate (if applicable)
Criminal convictions and cautions
When applying for a licence to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle you must tell us if you have any criminal convictions or cautions (including 'spent' convictions).
All offences means:
- criminal convictions such as offences relating to dishonesty, indecency or violence
- all motoring convictions
- official cautions either by the police or other regulatory body
- any offences relating to your work as a hackney carriage and/or private hire driver (if you have held a licence in the past)
Under no circumstances should you leave out details of convictions that you consider irrelevant. It is for us to decide if convictions are relevant or not. The information you give will be treated in confidence and will only be taken into account in relation to your application.
We are allowed by law to check with the police to see if you have a criminal record and if so, its content. This information will be kept in strict confidence while the licensing process takes its course. We won't keep it any longer that necessary.
Disclosing a criminal record or other information will not debar you from gaining a licence unless we consider a conviction renders you unsuitable.
In making this decision we consider:
- the nature of the offence
- your age when it was committed
- any other relevant factors
To discuss what effect a conviction might have on your application contact us for confidential advice. If in doubt, please consult a solicitor.
Medical standards of fitness to drive
We use Group 2 Entitlement as set out in the DVLA publication 'Assessing fitness to drive – a guide for medical professionals’ as our policy on medical fitness.
This standard is relevant for vocational drivers and is applied to HGV drivers and bus drivers. You will need to take and pass a medical examination before becoming licensed. The medical must be carried out by your own General practitioner (GP) or one who has access to your full medical history.
The initial medical will remain valid until you are 45 years old when a further examination will be required, then at five yearly intervals until the age of 65 when a medical is required annually. The medical certificate may be returned to us by post by the G.P. before or after you submit your application for a licence. If you have any concerns about your medical fitness you are advised to consult your G.P. prior to submitting your application or contact us for advice
In certain cases, where a licence has been issued to an applicant with a medical condition which would not prevent him/her becoming a driver, but which requires monitoring, we may insist on a letter from the driver’s GP or consultant at each annual licence renewal confirming he/she continues to meet our policy on medical fitness.
We can't process an application until we receive a signed medical form and/or letter from your GP or consultant.
Existing drivers must tell us about any medical condition that may affect the ability to drive and meet the Group 2 standard.
If you have suffered from any of the following medical disorders your application may be refused. The list is not exhaustive and may be subject to change.
- neurological disorders (epilepsy, seizures or strokes, blackouts, narcolepsy and sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis/Parkinsons disease, cerebrovascular disease)
- cardiovascular disorders (angina, heart conditions, high blood pressure)
- diabetes - including insulin dependant and non-insulin dependant diabetes (managed by diet and/or tablets - see attached guidance)
- psychiatric disorders (neuroses, psychosis, dementia)
- drug and alcohol misuse and dependency (drink/drive offender, related seizures/disorders)
- visual disorders (poor vision, lack of peripheral vision, monocular vision *)
- renal disorders (renal failure)
- miscellaneous conditions (e.g. AIDS, elderly driver, deafness, short stature)
To discuss the effects a medical condition might have on your application, contact us for confidential advice.
Your right to work in the UK
Under the Immigration Act 2016, you must provide certain documents to show you have permission to be in the UK and work as a private hire operator, private hire or hackney carriage driver.
We will check these documents when you first apply, renew or extend your current licence. If you have time-limited permission to be in the UK we will repeat this check each time you renew or extend your licence (until you can prove you are entitled to stay indefinitely in the UK, without restriction on your ability to work).
When you renew your licence you must provide one of the original documents shown below.
Most people provide:
- a UK passport (current or expired)
- a Full UK birth certificate, which includes the name of at least one of your parents, or adoptive parents, and a document with your National Insurance Number in your name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
If you can't provide these documents, please see the Other acceptable documents guidance.
If you can't produce original documents your application will be refused.
If your application is refused on the grounds that you are not a fit and proper person to hold a licence on medical grounds or because of previous convictions, you have the right of appeal to the Regulation and Review Committee and/or Magistrates Court.