Guidelines for assessment
When assessing your application, the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) has a set of guidelines which it has to apply to make sure that there is a consistent approach.
The guidelines are based on the following criteria, that you:
- have held a full Category B (car) driving licence continuously for at least three years immediately before applying
- meet the necessary good repute requirements
- meet the necessary medical requirements
- have the right to work in Northern Ireland
Renewal taxi driver licence applicants must have completed the necessary mandatory periodic training.
Car driving licence
Before you apply for a taxi driver’s licence you must have held a full Category B (car) driving licence continuously for at least three years. If you do not hold a Northern Ireland driving licence contact:
Passenger Transport Licensing Division (PTLD)
Castlerock Road, Waterside
Taxi driver theory test and practical test
First time applicants or those renewing their taxi driver licence more than two years after expiry will have to pass both the taxi driver theory and practical tests before an application will be accepted for consideration.
Read more about the tests in section five of 'Taxi Manual - all you need to know to be a taxi driver'
Criminal record check
Before you begin your taxi driver licence application you will need to apply for an enhanced disclosure certificate (EDC). This certificate details any convictions or other relevant information which may stop you getting a taxi driver’s licence. AccessNI will ask you for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which is 861379 and can only be used in relation to an EDC for taxi driver licensing.
For more information about the Access NI process and to apply online go to AccessNI criminal record checks
When you submit your PV15 application we will validate your online Access NI application to check that the personal details match the identity document you have provided. If you have lived outside the UK within the last five years we may request a Certificate of Good Conduct. You can monitor the process of your online Access NI application through the personal log in details that you created.
The documents needed for your Access NI check may differ to those which support your right to work in the UK. Please make sure the documents you give with your PV15 application cover both.
When the Access NI check is complete, Access NI will send the EDC directly to you. Access NI will tell us if your EDC is clear, however if your EDC has any criminal record information you must send it to Taxi Licensing before we can continue with your application. Any information received will be treated confidentially, in line with Taxi Licensing policies and Data Protection principles and Access NI’s Code of Practice and this will be shredded unless you provide a stamped addressed envelope for return.
If the certificate shows a criminal history you’ll receive a printed certificate by post. This should be sent to:
PTLD County Hall
Castlerock Road, Waterside
It will only be returned if you provide a prepaid self-addressed envelope, otherwise it will be securely destroyed on your behalf.
The law requires that all taxi drivers are ‘fit and proper’ people to hold licences. Having a criminal record won't necessarily stop you from holding a taxi driver’s licence, however, if you have been convicted of a serious offence you may not be eligible to hold a licence until at least three years have passed since the date of conviction or, in cases where there is a custodial sentence, release from prison.
Each conviction is considered on its own merit taking account of the penalty imposed and any mitigating factors. Some examples of serious convictions relate to offences for drugs, firearms or explosives, burglary, fraud, sexual offences or any offence involving violence such as wounding or assault, common assault, threats to kill or harassment.
When you're applying, you must give details of any health condition likely to affect your fitness as a driver of a taxi.
If you are applying to renew your taxi driver’s licence and you do not have a medical condition to declare, your licence will be renewed without a medical report.
If you do have a medical condition, you will need to submit a medical report. It is important to let your GP know that you are a key worker and require a medical report to renew your taxi driver’s licence.
If your medical report is completed by a medical professional other than your own doctor and they don’t have access to your full medical records, your GP may be asked to give further information. This can delay your application.
Depending on your medical condition, your medical report may have to be referred to Occupational Health Service (OHS) or you may have to undergo further medical checks. A decision can’t be made on your licence application until all medical checks have been completed.
If you are a licence holder the DVA will send you areminder about four months before your licence is due to expire.
You should apply for your licence as soon as you receive this notification to avoid any delay. If you’ve a medical condition which may need additional tests, for example, if you have a heart condition and need to do a treadmill test, you can ask for a medical report to be sent to you early by contacting the DVA – passenger transport licensing division.
Medical reports can only be accepted if they're signed and dated by your GP no more than four months before the date of expiry of your licence.
Right to Work
When applying for a taxi driver’s licence you must have a right to work within the UK. The Department for Infrastructure has to be satisfied that you have a right to work in the UK before a licence can be granted.
To prove your right to work in the UK, your application must include original documents from Lists A and B of Annex A in the 'Guidance for the Department for Infrastructure to prevent illegal working in the taxi sector in Northern Ireland'.
- Guidance for the Department for Infrastructure to prevent illegal working in the taxi sector in Northern Ireland
Drivers renewing a taxi driver’s licence must show that they have completed the required amount of taxi driver periodic training.
The training must have been delivered by a training provider authorised by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) for this purpose and at least 3.5 hours must have been Disability Awareness training.
Some training has now been authorised for remote delivery by approved training providers, via online video platforms. This will enable taxi drivers to continue to undertake some training online. Training should be kept up to date wherever possible, but not as an activity that needs extra travel and only in compliance with general government advice.
Details of all taxi driver periodic training courses that have been authorised for remote delivery are updated daily on the JAUPT website
Required amount of periodic training
Date of taxi driver's licence expiry
1 September 2016 - 31 August 2017
1 September 2017 - 31 August 2018
1 September 2018 - 31 August 2019
1 September 2019 - 31 August 2020
On or after 1 September 2020
How to find training courses
Only approved courses taken at approved training centres will count towards periodic training. It will be up to you to decide which courses to attend.
Further details on courses and how to apply can be found on the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) website.