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DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT: Taxi Association relays importance of timely DBS checks for cabbies

Transport for London (TfL) maintains a stringent stance on the Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) requirement for licensing taxi drivers, delivering a zero-tolerance policy for delays. Drivers face the risk of licence expiry without the possibility of a temporary extension if their DBS checks are not completed in time—a scenario fraught with financial and emotional stress.

The key to avoiding such a scenario lies in adherence to TfL's guidelines and timely applications through their dedicated provider, First Advantage/Know Your People. Importantly, drivers need not wait for a renewal pack from TfL; the DBS application process can commence online up to four months prior to licence expiry.

A cautionary tale from Paul Kirby, S.O Executive at Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA), highlights a common yet avoidable error. A member, in a rush to renew his licence, found his DBS application rejected due to a discrepancy in name spelling across his identification documents. With the clock ticking towards his licence expiration, the LTDA stepped in, assisting in the submission of a corrected application which was promptly approved, averting potential job loss and income disruption.

This incident highlights the importance of ensuring all names, past and present, including any aliases or variations, are correctly declared on the DBS application.

Moreover, as of 26 February 2024, TfL has mandated registration for the DBS Update Service for all new and renewal applicants. This annual subscription, costing £13, facilitates automatic document verification, eliminating the need for physical trips to verify documents. However, drivers must ensure their payment details are current to avoid service disruptions.

Kirby said via TAXI Newspaper: “There are many reasons a driver might struggle with the Enhanced DBS licensing requirement, but one thing is for sure, TfL will not issue you with a temporary licence if your DBS hasn’t been completed by the time of your licence expiry."

Kirby added: “Finally, remember you MUST always keep the actual original DBS Certificate that the Update Service relates too. TfL will not issue a licence unless you are signed up to it and provide the original. Again, if you need any help doing this or experience any problems, please do contact the LTDA.”


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