COVID 19 - FAQs for taxi and private hire licence holders
Information for taxi drivers during the Covid 19 restrictions .
Policy for Screens/Partitions in Taxis - Covid19
The Council has not made screens or partitions compulsory in taxi and private hire vehicles in relation of Covid 19. However licence holders are permitted to install screens or partitions, if they choose, provided it meets the specifications and authorisation process in the Council's policy.
DfT Letter to Taxi and Private Hire Providers dated 13 May 2020
1. Can I still work as a taxi or private hire business?
Yes. The advice from the Department of Transport is Taxis and private hire vehicles can continue to work. But the advice is absolutely clear - people should stay at home if possible. That is the way to save lives and protect our NHS. The public should avoid travel unless absolutely essential. The only reasons to leave our houses are set out in the government guidance.
2. Am I a critical worker?
No. The advice from the Department of Transport is that taxi and private hire drivers should not generally be considered Critical Workers. Those undertaking Home to School transport or the transport of ‘extremely vulnerable’ people may be considered Critical Workers on a case-by-case basis. Critical Workers should also whenever possible make suitable arrangements for their children to stay at home; requests for children to attend school should be discussed with the school.”
3. Will I still receive my licence renewal reminders?
Yes, the licensing team will send you your reminder by post using an external postal service. This is so you can fill it in and then either scan or photograph it and then return it to the licensing team with the supporting documents by emailing it to the licensing team on firstname.lastname@example.org or by posting it with copies of the supporting documents to Ebley Mill. The licensing team will phone you for payment.
4. Will I still receive a reminder when my vehicle inspection at an authorised garage is due?
Yes the licensing team will send reminders but they will be by email.
5. My taxi or private hire licence is due to be renewed, how can I do this?
You must email email@example.com with the completed renewal form together with any documents. You can either scan the documents if you have the facilities to do so or take a photo on your phone. The licensing team will ring you to take the payment.
6. I don’t have use of email, how can I renew?
You can post your application form and copies of your supporting documents to the Council Offices at Ebley Mill marked for the attention of the licensing team. Do not send a cheque, the licensing team will telephone you to make a payment.
7. Can I post original documents to the Council Offices?
No. Please do not send original documents like driving licences and registration documents as we may not be able to post them back to you.
8. Can I send you a cheque for payment?
No. Do not send a cheque. The licensing team will telephone you to take payment.
9. Can I pay online?
No. We currently do not have a facility for you to pay on-line for your applications. The licensing team will telephone you to take payment.
10. I am not working at the moment and I cannot afford to pay to renew my licences, what can I do?
If your licence is due to expire but you are not currently working due to the Coronavirus pandemic, you can email just your completed renewal form to the licensing team on firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the completion of your renewal to be deferred until such a time as you wish to start doing taxi or private hire work again. You will need to confirm in the email that you are not working at the present time.
When you wish to begin operating again please provide the Licensing Section with any outstanding renewal documents and/or fees so that we can complete the renewal of your licence.
Please note that whilst your renewal is deferred you should not undertake taxi or private hire work and, if appropriate, you should temporarily remove the taxi or private hire plate from your vehicle.
11. I do not want to renew my licence or I want to surrender my licence?
Email the licensing team on email@example.com and they will cancel your renewal or surrender your licence as well as arrange for any refunds for plate deposits or remaining months that may be due. Refunds will be made to your bank account so you will need to provide the licensing team with your bank details.
12. How can I return my taxi plate to get my plate deposit back.
You cannot return your plate to the Council at this time. You must destroy the plate and any badges by defacing them or cutting them up and disposing of them. You should email the licensing team on firstname.lastname@example.org with a statement confirming that you have done this.
13. How will my renewed taxi or private hire badge be sent to me?
The Council cannot issue you a badge at this time. Instead the licensing team will email you an interim authorisation letter which will have your photo and licence expiry date. If you do not have an email address we will post it to you. You can show this letter to passengers or any Officers if you are stopped. If you can't print the letter you can show it from your phone.
14. How will my renewed internal vehicle disc and/or external plate be sent to me?
The Council cannot issue internal discs or external plates at this time. Instead the licensing team will email you an interim authorisation letter which will have your vehicle details and licence expiry date. If you do not have an email address the team will post it to you. You can show this letter to passengers or any Officers if you are stopped. If you can't print the letter you can show it from your phone.
15. I cannot get a medical done because my GP surgery is prioritising other things?
The Council will accept a renewal or allow your licence to continue without a medical at this time. We will review this in 3 months.
16. I cannot get a new photo for my driver licence?
If you have an up to date electronic head and shoulders photograph you can email this to us. If not we will use the most latest photograph we have on file and update your photograph next time your renew.
17. I cannot get a MOT for my taxi or private hire vehicle?
The Government has allowed an extension for 6 months on all MOTs so we will also allow you this extension. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and safe for your passengers.
18. I cannot get my vehicle inspected for its Council Vehicle Test at any of the authorised garages?
In line with the Government’s advice for lorries, buses and coach we will give an extension for this test if none of the authorised garages are able to inspect your vehicle. We will review this in 3 months. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and safe for your passengers.
19. Can I make a new taxi or private hire driver application?
No. Not at this time, we are unable to complete the relevant tests and checks so we cannot accept new driver applications.
20. How can I get my enhanced criminal check done?
You must use the on-line system which is explained on the taxi driver licensing web pages https://www.stroud.gov.uk/business/licensing-permits/taxis-and-private-hire-licensing/driver-licence
21. Can I change my licensed vehicle or put on a new vehicle?
Yes. However, we cannot accept a vehicle that is over 5 years old. You will need to email the licensing team on email@example.com with the application form and supporting documents. See our taxi vehicle licensing web pages for the forms and documents required. https://www.stroud.gov.uk/business/licensing-permits/taxis-and-private-hire-licensing/vehicle-licence In addition, you will need to email the licensing team photos of the vehicle as Licensing Officers will not be able to check your vehicle in person. You will need to get any new vehicle inspected at one of Council’s authorised garages which are listed on the link above. However, if the vehicle is less than one year old we can defer the MOT and the vehicle inspection if none of the authorised garages are able to complete the inspection. This will be reviewed in 3 months.
22. How can I keep myself and my passengers safe?
You should take account of Government Guidelines. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. You should not be working if you are over 70 or in the vulnerable persons’ list. For details see the Government’s website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults. If you decide to work you should only be taking passengers making essential journeys. We recommend that you only seat passengers in the rear of the vehicle and wipe down all hard surfaces, including door handles regularly with an antibacterial wipe. Wash your hands frequently or use an antibacterial gel and try to avoid touching your face. Where possible keep the recommended 2 metres distance from your passengers.
23. I am self-employed and I have no work. Can I get any funding?
You may be able to claim a grant from the Government. See their webpage for more details. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
24. Where can I find out more about what Stroud District Council are doing?
The Council has a Coronavirus webpage with lots of advice. https://www.stroud.gov.uk/health-wellbeing/coronavirus