A Torbay dual hackney carriage and private hire driver has been given a formal warning and allowed to continue working despite driving customers for five months without a valid driving licence.
Members of the council's licensing sub-committee heard Marek Piewiszko had failed to renew his driving licence which expired on 29 May.
Mr Piewiszko claimed he had no idea that his licence was due for a renewal and was unaware until the problem was discovered in a routine check of DVLA records by Torbay Council’s licensing team.
The council suspended his dual hackney carriage and private hire licence immediately on 31 October, following the findings.
Councillors confirmed that the lack of a valid driving licence meant his taxi insurance was invalid, meaning if an incident had occurred, his passengers and himself would not have cover.
During the five month period, councillors were informed that Piewiszko completed 1,369 jobs - none of which recorded any incidents on his behalf.
Speaking at his hearing, Mr Piewiszko apologised for the mistake and said he had not received a reminder from the DVLA.
Mr Piewiszko told the sub-committee: “I didn’t get any letter from DVLA. It was my mistake, really I did not know about it.”
A character reference was given to councillors from Piewiszko’s boss at Torbay Taxis, Paul Le Huray.
Mr Le Huray said Mr Piewiszko had been working for the firm for 13 years without a complaint and he considered it an “honest mistake”.
He said Mr Piewiszko was one of the firm's best drivers, popular with customers who often asked for him.
Mr Le Huray said: “I consider he is a decent driver, who helps the customers and keeps his car clean. We have a uniform policy and he is always immaculate.”
The sub-committee accepted it was a genuine mistake and issued Mr Piewiszko with a written warning which would stay on his record for 12 months.
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