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NEW DBS UPDATE SERVICE EXPLAINED: What’s the point of the new taxi and PHV driver checks?

Updated: Jan 9, 2022



Regular DBS checks and the introduction of CCTV in licensed vehicles have been just two of the key elements discussed by English licensing authorities since new taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards were introduced by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Many taxi and private hire licensing authorities now require drivers to join the DBS Update Service (DBSUS) when they first apply for or renewal a taxi drivers licence.

According to taxi licensing experts, TaxiPlus, the DBSUS is a subscription service run by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The aim of the DBSUS is to enhance the speed and ease of the recruitment process for those within regulated industries such as the taxi trade.


The DBSUS allows the DBS to keep your record updated with new information.


Drivers can then give their consent for employers or licensing bodies to view this information. Drivers will need to pay £13 per annum to join the service.

What’s the point of the DBSUS?


The Department for Transport (DfT) are supporting local licensing authorities by allowing them to improve safety in the sector. This includes introducing updated regulations designed to see tougher requirements put in place to monitor and oversee how drivers are licensed as well as on-going checks to keep track of driver behaviour.


TaxiPlus say licensing authorities must now carry out criminal record checks every 6 months on drivers. It is widely recommended that all drivers sign up to the DBSUS to streamline the process. By joining the service it allows licensing authorities to run checks on individual driver records at regular intervals.


Any cabbies that do not sign up to the DBSUS must apply for a new DBS Check every 6 months. Taxi Plus also point out that licensing authorities can no longer issue temporary licences whilst waiting for these important checks to be completed.

How easy is it to join the DBSUS service?


It’s pretty quick and easy to navigate. Once you’ve subscribed to the £13 annual fee it does save drivers time and money.


Once the driver’s latest DBS Check is in process with the DBS, the cabbie will be sent an E-Reference number. This number is used as a tracking number for the check and can be used to sign up for the update service.


Alternatively, cabbies can also wait for the certificate to arrive. Each certificate has a unique disclosure number, which can also be used to sign up to the service.


You can find the DBSUS sign up page by searching ‘DBS Update Service’ in a search on your browser or follow this link, to the .gov website.

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