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NEW taxi DBS background requirements start 26 February warns Transport for London


Transport for London (TfL), the regulatory body overseeing taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) services in London, is set to introduce stringent background check requirements for drivers to enhance passenger safety.



Enhanced Screening Measures


Applicants will not only undergo an enhanced DBS check, which includes checks of the barred lists, but will also be required to provide evidence of ongoing registration with the DBS Update Service. This service allows for real-time updates to an individual’s criminal record certificate, enabling TfL to perform routine checks every six months.


The new policy stipulates that drivers licensed or re-licensed on or after 26 February 2024 must keep their subscription to the DBS Update Service active throughout the duration of their licence. This continuous registration is crucial for the licensing authority to periodically verify if there has been any new information that could affect a driver’s suitability.


TfL warns that failure to adhere to this requirement may lead to significant licensing actions, including the possibility of licence suspension or revocation. In response to these new stipulations, TfL advises existing drivers renewing their licences and new applicants to register with the Update Service during their application process.


Implications for Non-Compliance


Drivers who neglect to maintain their subscription to the Update Service will be prompted to undergo additional DBS checks, potentially delaying their licence renewal process and facing further licensing actions.


The implementation of this policy aligns with the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards. As TfL transitions to this new model, the goal is to streamline the background check process, reduce the administrative burden on drivers, and ensure that only those meeting the stringent safety criteria are permitted to operate within London's taxi and PHV sectors.


As the February 2024 deadline approaches, TfL are engaging with drivers and stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition to the new requirements.


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