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NR3 STARTS AUGUST: TfL launches new national refusals database to taxi and minicab licensing process

Updated: Aug 1, 2021


Transport for London (TfL) are set to introduce a new national refusals database (NR3) from August 2021 as part of its taxi and private hire driver licensing process.


On 21 July 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) published its Statutory Standards for Taxi and Private Hire Licensing. One of the standards advises councils and licensing authorities on the use of the National Register of Taxi Licence Revocations and Refusals (the ‘NR3 database’) to enhance effective due diligence when making licensing decisions.

The NR3 database allows councils and licensing authorities to record details of when a taxi or PHV driver application has been refused or a licence revoked.


In line with the DfT Statutory Standards, TfL notified licensees detailing the intended use of, and interaction with, the NR3 database.


The new database will provide details of all taxi and private hire driver licence revocation and refusal decisions taken from 1 January 2018. From Monday 23 August, any subsequent licensing decisions to refuse an application or revoke a licence will be added to the NR3 database on a weekly basis.


In a notice sent to taxi and private hire drivers, Graham Robinson, TfL General Manager Taxi and Private Hire, said: “We already require taxi and private hire driver applicants to disclose if they have had an application for a licence refused, or a licence revoked or suspended by any other licensing authority. We will use the NR3 database to ensure the information provided by applicants is accurate.

“If a refused application or revoked licence is disclosed, or identified via the NR3 database, we will contact the relevant licensing authority to establish the circumstances, as this information is not available via the NR3 database. The relevance of the reason for refusing/revoking a licence will be considered.


“If we receive information about an applicant or licence holder that they did not disclose during the application process, we would also consider if this calls into question if the person is 'fit and proper' to hold a licence.”


How TfL deals with convictions and complaints


Licence refusals and revocations will be registered on NR3. Whilst there might be a number of reasons why TfL would refuse or revoke a driver’s licence, it is often a result of complaints or criminal history.


According to Taxi Defence Barristers, generally speaking, TfL will refuse applicants for any of the following convictions:

  • Any conviction for a major violent offence (murder, manslaughter etc.)

  • More than one conviction of any type of violent offence in the last 10 years

  • Serving a custodial sentence, even if the applicant has been released early on licence or the sentence was suspended

  • Convicted, cautioned or subjected to any other penalty for a serious sexual offence (rape, indecent assault, trafficking, possession of indecent images etc)

  • Convicted, cautioned or subjected to any other penalty for more than one sexual offence of any type, irrespective of age

  • Listed on either the Children’s or Adults’ barred list

  • Convicted, cautioned or subjected to any other penalty for touting in the last 12 months or have more than one penalty for touting in the last five years.

The list is not an exhaustive list and TfL may, on a case to case basis, refuse application on other grounds not listed above.

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