4. Immigration Act 2016
The Immigration Act 2016 was introduced as law on 1 December 2016 and this has meant that we have had to make some changes to how we process new and renewal applications for all taxi drivers.
Under the new law, all councils must now make sure that licences are not issued to people who do not have a right to licence. This includes those illegally present in the UK, those not permitted to work in the UK, or those permitted to work in the UK but who are subject to a condition that stops them from holding a taxi or private hire licence.
The checks that we now have to complete are for people of all nationalities, including UK citizens and must be completed by everyone who holds a taxi or private hire driver licence or a private hire operator licence. This also includes existing licence holders who, upon renewal, will also have to complete the check.
This means that licensing officers will now need to see proof of right to work in the UK for every new applicant and every existing licence holder. Please contact the licensing team if you need further information about what documents are acceptable to prove right to work. You can find a list of all of the documents that are acceptable on the back of all of our application forms.
It is not possible, or legal, for the licensing team to accept copied or scanned identity documents as it is now a requirement to have original documents produced at the council offices in person. An appointment must be made for this so that licensing officers can check identity against the original documents and not copies.
The licensing team will aim to avoid duplicating or repeatedly checking documents. However, the checks have to be done for every new applicant and also for every licence driver renewal for existing licence holders in the future.
These new procedures and change in the law mean that all applicants and existing licence holders will need to pre-plan and telephone us in advance to arrange meetings with licensing officers from now on.
If you have any questions about these recent changes and how they might affect you, the licensing team will be happy to help.