“Right To Licence” checks for taxi and private hire car drivers
Under provisions of the Immigration Act 2016 which comes into force on 1 December 2016, The Highland Council will be unable, from that date, to grant a taxi driver or private hire car (PHC) driver licence to any person unless a check has first been made to verify that the person is not disqualified by reason of his or her immigration status from driving a taxi or private hire car (PHC).
This will mean that all applicants for taxi or PHC driver licences, including UK passport holders, will require to attend their nearest licensing office in person with original documents (passport or other acceptable documents) demonstrating that they have the right to work in the UK. Licensing staff will require to check the validity of the original documents in the presence of the applicant before the licence can be issued and the Council is required to retain copies. This checking process will be required both for new applications and renewal applications.
Similar arrangements are to be put in place for taxi booking office licences, but the date on which this will come into effect is as yet unknown.
A provisional list of documents which can be accepted for these “right to licence” checks has been circulated to authorities by Scottish Government. A final list and further guidance from Scottish Ministers is awaited and will be published on the licensing pages of the Council’s website when available.