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Licensing service changes

We have made temporary changes to our licensing services due to the coronavirus

Advice for taxis

Safety information and advice from the Department for Transport.

Use of face coverings in taxis

It is no longer a legal requirement for face coverings to be worn by passengers travelling on public transport, including taxis. Guidance on face coverings is available at GOV.UK - Face coverings.

Although taxi drivers and passengers are not legally required to wear face coverings we strongly recommend that they do, due to the relatively close contact between vehicle occupants.

Use of protective screens in private hire vehicles

We introduced a temporary policy on the use of protective screens in private hire vehicles from 25 June 2020. The government issued guidance on 3 March 2021 which can be found at GOV.UK. It should be read in conjunction with our policy below. For the avoidance of doubt, where there is any conflict between the two documents our formal policy will take precedence.

The policy permits protective screens in private hire vehicles with requirements that:

  1. The device is not to be permanently installed in the vehicle and shall be removed no later than one calendar month of the expiry of national Coronavirus Regulations, including the temporary fixings
  2. The device must not be fitted in such a way that it affects the structural integrity of the vehicle, or interferes with any manufacturer fitted safety equipment like air bags
  3. The device must be fitted in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions
  4. The device must be fitted behind the two front seats (not between the two front seats)
  5. The device must be composed of fire retardant materials
  6. The device must meet relevant safety standards
  7. The device must not impede driver or passenger access or egress to the vehicle
  8. The device must not impede the driver's vision, movement or communication with passengers
  9. The insurer should be notified of any modifications made to the vehicle
  10. Our department shall be contacted in advance of a device being installed in order to provide appropriate advice and guidance on the suitability of the proposed device
  11. Our Vehicle Testing Station shall be contacted after the installation of a device and an inspection arranged as appropriate
  12. Responsibility for fitting and maintain the device rests with the licence holder and we accept no liability in this respect
  13. The driver of the vehicle must ensure that the vehicle and the device are properly cleaned and sanitised before and after each passenger journey in accordance with government advice to the taxi trade. Get more information at GOV.UK - guidance for operators.
  14. The device will be checked during the regular six monthly vehicle inspections to ensure it continues to meet the requirements of the policy

The temporary policy shall expire one calendar month after the expiry of the national Coronavirus Regulations.

Consideration will be given to the development of a permanent policy permitting protective screens in private hire vehicles.