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Scrap PHV ‘letters of good conduct’ if TfL CANNOT prove residency proposes taxi rep

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

A taxi driver group has called on the Government and licensing authorities to scrap letters of ‘good conduct’ accepted in licence applications UNLESS Transport for London (TfL) can get proof of residency.

Private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers wishing to work in the capital must provide a ‘certificate of good conduct’ if they have lived in a country other than the UK for one or more continuous periods of 3 months or more within the last 3 years.

The form drivers must complete is known as a ‘Living and Working Abroad Form’. Failure to provide a certificate may prevent an application being considered. Failure to provide the required information, without good reason, will also be taken into account when a decision is made.

The Government recently closed a 12-week consultation to update vital Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) guidance supplied to local authorities to better cope with new digital ways of working following the boom in ride-hailing services.

London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) responded, making several points around private hire vehicle (PHV) recognition, tinted windows and passenger safety. One of the recommendations included local authorities rejecting letters of ‘good conduct’ in licence applications unless they can get proof of residency.

What is a Certificate of Good Conduct?

According to Taxi Plus, a Certificate of Good Conduct is basically a kind of letter or certificate from an overseas authority confirming a part or all of your criminal record history. They are sometimes called different things, some of the more common names for these certificates include:

  • Certificate of Good Standing

  • Police Clearance Certificate

  • Letter of Good Conduct

  • Certificate of No Criminal Record.

These certificates are usually equivalent to a Basic DBS Check but can sometimes go into more detail.

Why Would a Driver Need a Certificate of Good Conduct?

DBS Checks only check against UK records. This means that if someone has committed crimes overseas, a DBS Check will not reveal this information. Most licensing authorities state that if you have not lived in the UK for at least 5 years, or have lived overseas for longer than three months within the past 5 years, they need to see a Certificate of Good Conduct.

Licensing authorities have a statutory responsibility to make sure anyone that wants to become a taxi or private hire driver is ‘fit and proper’. The fit and proper test is a tool used in several regulated industries to make sure that only suitable individuals are employed to do certain jobs. A big part of this is carrying out a criminal record check. A Certificate of Good Conduct gives them the information they need about any potential criminal activity committed abroad.


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