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DBS name issues still plaguing taxi driver background checks says LTDA

A senior representative at the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) has raised ongoing concerns about delays affecting drivers due to issues in the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application process.

According to Sam Houston, a number of applicants are experiencing significant setbacks due to discrepancies in names and former names, which the current provider handling DBS checks for Transport for London (TfL) seems ill-equipped to manage.

Houston highlighted that even minor spelling variations or inconsistencies in names have led to prolonged delays, with some drivers finding their applications stuck in limbo for weeks. In some cases, despite timely responses to requests for clarification, applicants receive no further communication, ultimately leading to their applications being withdrawn. This not only results in reapplications but also poses the risk of drivers being left without a valid licence, affecting their livelihood.

Houston said in TAXI Newspaper: “This has perhaps been written about elsewhere recently but I’m going to reiterate it again here. At the moment especially, it is so important to be careful when entering details into your DBS application.

“We have had lots of delays recently associated with names, former names and different spelling of names. For some unknown reason the current provider being used by TfL to process DBS applications appears unable to grapple with these complexities, if any confusion arises.

“Several times, we have had a situation where a member has been contacted for clarification by email, has responded in good time and then heard nothing back, only to find their application runs on and on without being progressed, and is eventually withdrawn, often leading to the driver having to reapply and potentially run out of licence.

“This situation is unfair on the applicants, as minor errors such as these should be relatively straightforward to correct as part of the application process.

“After all, drivers are paying money in good faith to receive a service and it is not right that people should be out of work for such trivial reasons. Let’s hope the process can be improved sooner rather than later, but for now we would encourage members to make sure you are as accurate as possible when filling out the application, whether you are doing it yourself or with help from the LTDA.”


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