What are the rules if you are a taxi driver working in the UK but living abroad

UK citizens, living and working in a foreign land is not an unusual occurance. Tens of thousands of people migrate to other countries every year.

Individuals who live in the UK, but work abroad is a little less common, although those serving in the armed forces are the exception to that rule.

Taxi drivers, working in the UK but living abroad is a positive rarity. Incredibly, in London, there are only 5 taxi drivers who have supplied a home address which is outside of the UK.

A small number of cabbies do live abroad, but retain a UK address so as to minimise the complications surrounding holding a taxi license in the UK, but what are the rules regarding working as a cabbie in the UK and living abroad?

With the help of both Matthew Winfield at Transport for London and Paul Brennan at the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, here are some of the rules pertaining to holding a license and being registered outside of the UK.

An applicant who is applying to renew his taxi licence, and who has spent three months or more outside the UK (whether elsewhere in the EU or beyond) within three years before making the application would need to provide a certificate of good conduct from that country, in addition to undergoing an enhanced DBS check. Note that this is three consecutive months or more (excluding period(s) of extended vacation) and not Three cumulative months.

This leads to the question; where a cabbie renewing his licence obtain a certificate of good conduct (COGC) from? The answer being surprisingly straightforward.

Since arrangements can vary from country to country the advice is that applicants contact the Embassy or High Commission of the country in question to find out how to obtain a COGC and the costs involved.

It must be remembered that the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) request a 5 year address history for all applicants. They offer guidance for applicants who do not have this or who have lived at an address outside of the UK. The DBS Unusual Address Guide will give the relevent guidance regarding this issue.

Now we come to the driving licence itself, this again is relatively straightforward. TfL accept UK driving licences and those of other European Economic Area (EEA) states for new applications for London cab drivers’ licences and renewals. A licensee would need to notify TfL of a change to their current address and provide a copy of their new EEA driving licence so a replacement cab driver’s licence could be issued.

Whilst the above is Tranport for London guidance, it can be reasonably assumed that this would be the same on a countrywide basis.

There you have it, a seemingly complicated situation is in fact surprisingly straightforward, so if you are living abroad and are registered abroad, but still working in the UK, you can "carry on cabbing"

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