DBS Checks For Taxi Drivers
If you love to drive, love meeting new people, and have a memory that could give a dolphin a run for its money, then a taxi driver job might be the one for you. You’ve no doubt been the passenger in many taxis in your life, but what about being in the drivers’ seat? Taxi driving is one of those jobs which, just like working in finance, isn’t something you’d expect to require a criminal record check. However, that’s not the case. Below, we summarise DBS checks for taxi drivers: what do you need to know.
How to Become A Taxi Driver
The first thing you’ll need to know is how to become a taxi driver. It’s not enough to enjoy driving or even having a driving license. There are other avenues you must explore to become a taxi driver.
The most important one is that you must have been qualified to drive legally for at least 12 months. However, if you want to gain The Knowledge to operate in London, then the minimum requirement is three years.
Following this, you can gain the qualifications through a college course or by applying directly.
A college course can put you at an advantage when applying for work, and the course includes Level 2 Certificates for both Road Passenger Vehicle Driving and Introduction to the Role of Professional Taxi and Private Van Hire.As this is a post-compulsory education course, you will need two or more GCSEs from 9 to 3 (A* to D for older applicants) or the equivalent.
The most popular way into the job, though is by applying directly. You will need a Taxi Driver License and need to pass the geographical Knowledge test before being hired. You will also need to pass a medical and a DBS check to obtain this license.
Most taxi drivers who apply directly are also expected to supply their own registered vehicle.
Why Do You Need a DBS Check to Be a Taxi Driver?
The government amended the Police Act 1997 Criminal Records regulations in 2012 to state that any taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) license are subject to an Enhanced DBS check. This amended was finalised to improve passenger safety and eliminate the risk of persons travelling by cab. Prior to this, an Enhanced DBS Check was only required if the driver transported children and vulnerable persons regularly.
How to Apply For DBS Check
When applying for your Enhanced DBS check, you must ensure you have the correct documents ready to submit. If you do not have them ready, you risk delaying your application and potentially missing out on work. These documents include:
- 1 form of ID (valid passport, driving license, birth certificate)
- 2 additional documents, 1 of which with the proof of current address (bank statement, P45/P60, utility bill, etc.)
You should also determine the nature of your taxi driving career. Will you be working for a school? For a university? A care home? Or will you be a private driver open for anybody? Understanding your regulated activity will determine which checks you are eligible for. Besides the Enhanced DBS Check there may also be a check on the adults’ and children’s’ barred list.
The frequency with which you transport children or vulnerable adults can help employers arrange for the proper checks. The non-regulated activity requires fewer checks than regulated activity, so it’s important to select the correct Workforce box on the application.
Taxi For You
Being a taxi driver is a fantastic way to see a lot of the city and even the country, get to know all the tricks of getting around, and meet a host of fascinating people. However, before you collect your first fare, it’s essential that you carry out a DBS check that will ensure you are fit for the role.