Taxi drivers, their vehicles and taxi operators have to undergo a series of checks before a license can be issued.
Checks on taxi drivers include:
- A Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check to search an individual's criminal record to establish whether or not they are a safe person to drive members of the public.
- A Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) check about the individual's driving history.
- A medical examination to make sure the individual is physically strong enough to lift heavy objects like luggage and wheelchairs
- A knowledge test of the roads, towns and villages in the area
- Two character references are required, one from the current employer and one from a professionally qualified person.
- A local authority check to make sure an individual has not had their taxi licence withdrawn by another council
Applicants for licenses have to pay a fee to cover the costs of these checks.
Taxi licenses are administered by district councils.