During this unprecedented time with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, known as Covid19, the Council have taken the difficult decision to stop all face to face contact in relation to applications pertaining to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire (taxi) licensing. This has been done to safeguard and protect not only the Council’s own staff but also our customers from the potential spread of Covid19.
With immediate effect the Council will no longer be holding appointments to submit driver, vehicle or operator applications. With that in mind alternative arrangements are currently being put into place and will be rolled out shortly.
Every applicant/licence holder that currently has an appointment booked with the Licensing Service will be contacted directly in due course with information as to how to progress their application.
Due to the number of applications expected, and the requirements of the policy to uphold, we will unfortunately no longer be accepting applications from new drivers. That means applications for those who have never been licensed before by the Council, and those who have had their licence lapse due to not completing their renewal process on time will not be accepted until further notice.
It is anticipated that applications for driver and private hire operator licences will be made via email to the licensing email address. In one email the applicant will be expected to include all of the requisite documentation as either scanned copies or clear images of the original documents. Those applications that provide everything requested will be contacted via telephone to make payment with a debit or credit card. Those unable to provide everything in one go will receive contact from the team explaining what is missing and what to do next, or rejecting the application resulting in having to start again.
The Council Safeguarding Training has been suspended. This means driver applicants will not have to meet the policy criteria of attending a course within the three months prior to their application. That said if you have completed the training then you should include the certificate, and if you haven’t you will be asked to when these interim measures come to an end.
The Disability Equality Training remains in place. As such if you are booked onto a course due to take place in the coming months then you will be expected to attend and provide a certificate along with your application. Should the training cease to take place then the Council will consider its position. For further details please contact the course provider First Response Training.
For all new and renewal vehicle applications it is anticipated that the Council will roll out an online application procedure. A link will be provided on the Council webpage. It is very similar to many online booking/shopping forms where you have some mandatory questions and cannot progress unless you complete certain sections. The forms consists of the same questions currently requested on the paper application form. As part of the online application you will be required to submit scanned copies or clear images of the original documents, and make payment online with a debit or credit card. If you do not submit these then you will not be able to progress to the payment stage and your application will not be accepted. Part of the application asks whether you have preferred times/days for the vehicle safety test. We will endeavour to fit you into the earliest slot available that meets your preferences but this cannot be guaranteed.
The Council is not currently able to carry out the vehicle safety tests for all new/renewal vehicle applications therefore any applications must be accompanied by a current valid MOT certificate along with the full application and at such a time when the garage is again able to operate you will be required to attend for a vehicle safety test. It is imperative that you keep the vehicle in good working order and if you are unable to do so due to the current situation please do not use the vehicle for your own safety and that of your customers and other road users.
Once the processes outlined above have been confirmed we will publish full details here. As this is a quickly evolving situation it may be that processes change with little notice. We will endeavour to keep the webpage updated with the most current information available at all times.
We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone and ask that you have patience and support whilst the new processes are finalised and implemented.
The Licensing Administration team
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is responsible for issuing licenses, including Hackney Carriage and private hire driver and vehicle licences, licences for premises selling alcohol and licences for sexual entertainment venues. The licensing section also processes applications for street and house-to-house collections and permits and licences for gambling premises and activities.
Last updated 24 March 2020