10. A guide to DBS (criminal records) checks
Criminal records checks are a necessary part of a taxi licence, and all drivers are required by law to have them. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is most commonly used to do criminal records checks, and the government has set out that they should now be done every 6 months for taxi drivers.
Therefore, drivers need a full enhanced DBS check, and must then sign up to the DBS Update Service and give us permission to access this on their behalf every 6 months.
Primarily criminal records checks safeguard the public, they also provide customers with confidence that using a taxi is a safe way to travel.
How to obtain an enhanced DBS certificate
The enhanced DBS check costs £67 (payable to us), and we use a company called Ucheck. You begin it via an online Ucheck form, and follow this up with an appointment to show us your ID. This form then comes to us to be progressed on your behalf. Once DBS have completed the check the enhanced DBS certificate is sent to you, usually within 21 days.
You must follow the below steps and use Ucheck to obtain your DBS certificate - do not obtain a check independently or via another company without contacting us first as it may not meet our criteria.
- Go to the website www.dbsassist.co.uk/ucheck/ and click on the 'Start application' in the orange box
- a login page will appear, enter the following details:
- organisation reference (use capitals): EAST25
- password (lower case): easttwentyfive
- Fill in the form with your details. Guidance notes are on the right of the form and are split into five sections. Below are a few points to note when completing the form:
- Section 1 – take care you include all your names including any middle names. These must match the names on your ID that you show us later.
- Section 2 – enter all the addresses you have lived at over the last 5 years starting with the most recent. Click ‘Add’ to enter previous addresses one by one in chronological order, leaving no gaps.
- Section 3 – if you have been known by any other names enter them here and click ‘Add’ to record them on your form. Enter your birth details and conviction history.
- Section 4 – the ‘DBS Assist Application Consent’ appears for you to read. You will need to tick the boxes to confirm you have read and understand the statement, then enter your name in the signature box.
- Section 5 – check the information you have entered is correct and click ‘Submit’.
- Make a note of your DBS reference number which appears in the green box. You will then need to make payment of the £67 fee and arrange an appointment to show us your ID so that we can progress your application. Please call us on 01404 515616 or email us at email@example.com to do this.
- You will need to forward us a copy of the certificate once you have received it, this can be emailed to us.
How to sign up to the DBS Update Service
Once you have your full enhanced DBS check back, you must sign up to the DBS Update Service within 30 days of the certificate being issued. You must also provide us with your written permission that we can access the DBS Update Service on your behalf. You can do this by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DBS Update Service costs £13 per year payable direct to DBS, but it saves you from having to get a new full check done every 6 months, as we can look up your certificate to find out if there has been any changes to your record. It is important to keep your subscription valid direct with DBS and pay the annual subscription fee to them, otherwise a new full enhanced DBS check will need to be done.
Signing up to the DBS Update Service is the cheapest and easiest way to satisfy the 6 monthly criminal records checks necessary for your taxi licence.