As of January 2012 you must apply for an enhanced DBS check before you send off your PCO licence application. You will need to include a DBS reference number in your application. The DBS Check searches your details against criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer and will reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. Previously this type of check was referred to as an enhanced CRB check. It’s now known as a DBS check.
The PCO needs to be sure that you are safe, honest and trustworthy, and that you are the type of person who they want as private hire drivers. This DBS check will help them make their decisions and decide whether you are eligible for the PCO Licence based on this information.
You can either apply online or by post and this must be done through Onlinedisclosures.co.uk, which manages taxi and private hire DBS checks on behalf of the PCO. Once you have applied for your DBS check and had your identity verified, you will be given a reference number and this must be included on the application form.
The DBS check is only valid for 3 months so make sure you send off your application as soon as you get this reference number. If you leave it too long then you may be forced to get a new CRB check.
Online applications are not entirely online. To start the online DBS application click here. You will be able to download a guide to help you through the process. However, all you need to do is:
- Complete personal details online.
- Select ID for verification using the online help tool and print off the the form which will contain a unique barcode token.
- Verify your identity at the Post Office by taking your unique barcoded sheet plus three original documents that prove your identity (Eg Driving License, Passport and Bank Statement). To locate your nearest Post Office Offering the ID verification Service please click Post Office Locations tab here.
- Pay for the DBS application at the Post Office (£56.85)
You will receive your E reference number (required on the PCO Licence Application Form) within 3-5 working days via email.
If you prefer you can request a paper application pack by contacting Onlinedisclosures.co.uk on 0845 251 5000 or emailing email@example.com. The paper application costs £58.85 plus £7.15 ID checking payment.
Please note with effect from 17/06/2013 only one disclosure certificate will be sent out to the applicant (prevously 2 were sent out, one to TfL and one to the applicant) – in the event TfL are informed that the DBS has disclosed information to the applicant you will receive a letter asking you to forward your original certificate. This process will be undertaken on behalf of TfL by their service provider.
Applicants must respond to any correspondence from Onlinedisclosures.co.uk. Failure to do so could result in them not being licensed. TfL cannot process any applications until a result has been received on your DBS check.
A copy of the disclosure certificate will then be sent to TfL before returning it to the driver. TfL will then destroy their copy once a licensing decision has been made and nobody will retain any copies.
What if I have a criminal record?
Having a criminal record doesn’t instantly disqualify you from getting licensed but if you do have any previous convictions then they will be assessed on a case by case basis using the following criteria:
- Nature of the offence(s)
- Circumstances in which any offence was committed
- Circumstances of the individual concerned
- Subsequent periods of good behaviour
- Overall conviction history
- Sentence imposed by the court
- The applicant’s history as an “existing private hire driver” (if any)
- Any other character check considered reasonable (e.g. personal references)
Please note that sexual and violent offences will most definitely rule you completely out from getting your PCO Licence although it is still possible to have a drink-driving charge but still be eligible to get a PCO Licence.
What if I have points on my driving licence?
Having points can’t stop you from applying and getting your PCO licence as it depends what the conviction was for, the sentence imposed and how long ago it was. If the points are for minor offences then you may find that there is no problem with your application but there is no clear yes/no for offences and you may only find out once you’ve applied. Be aware though that points on your licence could effect your insurance premiums.
I’ve already had a DBS Check, do I need a new one?
Even if you have had a DBS check from your previous employment you will still need to complete a new Enhanced Disclosure Form as you need a new DBS check for every new job you apply for.
Need help with completing your DBS/CRB ? If you need any help and support with your DBS application you can contact us for assistance or simply contact the DBS administration team on 0845 251 5000 between 8.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday with a 24-hour messaging service or email firstname.lastname@example.org