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TfL forced to extend taxi and PHV licences by FOUR MONTHS due to high demand ahead of rule changes

Transport for London (TfL) have been forced to automatically extend taxi and minicab vehicle licences by FOUR MONTHS due to a surge in vehicle testing appointments this December.

TfL issued a notice on the arrangements for yearly testing which will affect vehicle owners with licences due for renewal from 12 December onwards.

Due to unprecedented demand for testing, the NSL centres have fallen behind. To prevent further delays which are negatively impacting drivers, TfL have decided to extend the licensing period by four months if drivers undergo an MOT inspection before the expiry date of the licence.

The extension is only available to licensed vehicles whose plates expire in December. Those expiring in January will need to book an NSL appointment in the normal way.

This means that if your licence expires on Monday 12 December, it will now be extended until 12 April 2023.

It is believed that the demand for NSL testing has peaked this month ahead of new Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) minicab rules arriving on 1 January 2023.

Graham Robinson, TfL Taxi and PHV General Manager, said in the notice: “Despite the introduction of the measures set out in an earlier notice, including the provision of an additional 6,000 vehicle licensing inspection appointments during this busy period, the level of demand for inspections in December continues to exceed the number of appointments available.

“Our priority is to maintain critical taxi and private hire licensing functions while ensuring the safety and welfare of our staff, licensees and the general public in London.

“We recognise that a number of taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) owners, with licences due to expire in December 2022, have had difficulties in obtaining an inspection slot in order to renew their vehicle licence, as a consequence of the limited number of appointments available. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

“To ensure that existing taxis and PHVs, that are due to be relicensed in December, are able to continue to meet passenger demand over the busy Christmas and New Year period, we are implementing a number of changes with immediate effect.”

What are the changes?

  • Taxi vehicle and PHV licences which have expired or are due to expire between 1 December 2022 and 31 December 2022 (inclusive) will remain licensed for a period of four calendar months.

  • These vehicles will be required to undertake an MOT inspection, that is a condition of licensing, to confirm the vehicle remains roadworthy.

  • The four-month period will begin on the day the current vehicle licence is due to expire. For example, if a vehicle licence is due to expire on 15 December 2022, it will remain licensed until 15 April 2023.

  • This applies to any taxi vehicle or PHV licence that expires during this period, regardless of whether an inspection has been booked or not. Any booking that has been made will be cancelled with immediate effect and the vehicle is not required to attend a vehicle inspection site.

  • If a licensee has a vehicle licensing inspection appointment already booked in December and wishes to retain it, they should contact TfL’s priority renewal booking line.

  • Given the high demand at the vehicle inspection sites, the taxi plate and PHV licence disc will not be replaced for the relevant vehicles.

  • A letter confirming these arrangements will be sent to all those licensees who are affected and they should carry a copy of this letter at all times to show on-street compliance officers and police partners.

  • Vehicle owners are required to ensure an MOT is undertaken for all vehicles that are subject to a period of further licensing in December and must then undertake a further MOT ahead of its next vehicle licensing inspection appointment in April 2023.

The proposed change will not apply to taxis and PHVs that have already been inspected in December and licensed for a 12-month period.

The proposed change will also not apply to any vehicle that has recently failed a licensing inspection. In these circumstances the vehicle must be presented for a retest in order for a licence to be granted. The vehicle cannot be used as a licensed vehicle until such time as it has passed the licensing inspection.

It remains the responsibility of the vehicle owner to ensure the continued roadworthiness of the vehicle and to ensure it continues to meet all regulatory requirements at all times, including that the vehicle has a road tax, MOT and hire or reward insurance.


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