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New TfL policy mandates continuous DBS criminal record checks for taxi and PHV drivers



In a significant update from Transport for London (TfL), all taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers are now required to subscribe to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Update Service to obtain or renew their licences.


The move, announced by Graham Robinson, General Manager of Taxi and Private Hire at TfL, comes as a response to the Department for Transport's (DfT) latest statutory standards aimed at enhancing passenger safety.

Starting from 26 February 2024, TfL has made it clear that no taxi or PHV driver's licence will be issued or renewed unless the applicant is registered with the DBS Update Service. This requirement is comprehensive, affecting all licence applicants, including those who had submitted their applications before the specified date and are awaiting a decision.


The DBS Update Service, available for an annual fee of £13, offers a streamlined process for maintaining an up-to-date criminal record certificate. It allows TfL to perform routine checks every six months, ensuring all licensed drivers meet the necessary safety standards without the need for repeated, full criminal record checks unless the DBS indicates a change in status.

TfL has provided detailed guidance to assist drivers in navigating the new requirements, emphasising the dual benefits of saving time and money for compliant drivers while bolstering passenger safety across London's taxi and PHV services.

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