Getting behind the wheel of a taxi is a tried and tested way of earning a bit of extra cash. Many taxi drivers have other jobs as well, and apps like Uber have made it easier than ever to explore this income stream. But it’s not just as simple as signing up with an app and waiting for your first customer. There are lots of hoops to jump through first, the most important of which is getting your DBS check certificate.
Why Do Taxi Drivers Need a DBS Check?
Taxi drivers, whether in a black cab or minicab, are in a position of trust with their passengers. Nobody wants to get into a cab, on their own, with someone who has a history of violence or theft. Across the UK, it’s Local Councils who have the responsibility for licencing cab drivers. Each Council will have their own rules and procedures. All will require checks on the roadworthiness of the car, and an enhanced DBS Check. Some might have additional requirements about local road knowledge, or proficiency in spoken English. Drivers need their DBS certificate before being granted their licence and being allowed to take passengers in their car. Don’t be tempted to start driving before the paperwork comes through; the penalty for operating an unlicensed taxi is a fine of up to £2500.
Getting a DBS Check
An enhanced DBS check is the most detailed level of check. Along with current convictions and cautions, it may show older convictions which are expired under other circumstances. The police also have the flexibility with this check to show other information they have on their files too, as long as it’s relevant to the position under consideration. Taxi drivers who have recently arrived in the UK from other countries will usually be asked to get the equivalent to a DBS check from their home country.
There are three main stages to getting a DBS check, and it all starts with the application form. Fill it in carefully, as errors at this stage could mean your form is rejected and you’ll have to start the process from scratch. Pay particular attention to the fields about your names and previous addresses. You will then be asked to prove who you are by showing a set combination of ID to the organisation requesting your test. After that, the DBS will search their records and prepare the certificate.
When the Certificate Arrives
The DBS certificate will arrive at your home address after around four weeks, although it might take longer at busy periods. This gives you the chance to look things over before you present it to the organisation you’ll be working for, and correct any problems with it. If everything is fine, show it to your employer, or the local Council, and they might wish to take a copy of it. Most Councils also have a re-licensing requirement after a set period of time. There’s no quick way to renew a DBS check though, and you’ll have to go through the whole process again.