Sefton’s taxi drivers are being reminded that despite the relaxation of some COVID-19 restrictions, vehicle licence renewals are still being processed through a simplified email service.
Sefton Council are aiming to turnaround the renewal of vehicle licences within a ten working day period, of which a high proportion are currently being processed more quickly. Officials from the council are asking that as much information regarding vehicle renewals is included within the subject line of the e-mail to enable them to prioritise the workload.
Driver licences continue to be considered for auto renewal for a period of six months. A number of licence holders will be invited in for interview if a new DBS check is required, Immigration status check is required, a Medical check is required or there are pending criminal matters.
Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Councils Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “Since the start of the COVID pandemic, to ensure the safety of drivers and its own staff, the Council has been carrying out online renewals rather than the drop-in system at Bootle One Stop Shop.
“Infection rates show that the coronavirus is still very much with us, so the online process remains in place for now.
“We have a 10-working-day-target for the process and the majority of applications are being done more quickly.
“And, owners can apply for renewal of their plate 28 days before their current one expires so there should be no reason why anyone should be without a plate.”
To renew, all drivers need to do is email a copy of their Mechanical Fitness Test, which they get from one of the Council’s authorised testing centres to firstname.lastname@example.org. Their application needs to be accompanied by an image of their application form, their V5 Registration certificate and evidence of insurance.
The Council then collects the fee from the driver over the telephone and the renewal certificate is sent to them.
Cllr Lappin added: “As with many of our services, Sefton Council quickly adapted the way we managed taxi vehicle and driver licence renewals to ensure the safety of drivers and our own staff.
“This has mean that the popular drop-in service that took a few minutes, which drivers had got used to now takes a little longer but with a 28-day lead-in time for renewals, no-one need miss the deadline.”
Since taking renewals online to prevent the chance of COVID-19 spreading, between drivers, with Council staff and with taxi users, Sefton has processed around 9,500 renewals.
Cllr Lappin continued: “Inevitably taxi drivers in Sefton have had to get used to a change from the drop-in, face-to-face process they have been accustomed to but the vast majority of them have adapted and have been using the system without any problems.”