Lost PCO License

The simple fact is that if you’ve lost your PCO badge/license then you are not allowed to work as a private hire driver. It’s what marks you out as someone who has completed their training and got their PCO License. You must display your license in your vehicle at all times as this shows that you’re an official minicab driver and not a tout or illegal cabbie. If you have somehow lost your PCO License, it’s so important to get this sorted out so that you can continue working and earning your living.

Met PoliceIt could be that you’ve simple lost it, it’s been damaged, or it’s been stolen. If your badge or licence has been lost in a public place or stolen you must report this to the Police, who will provide you with a ‘Lost in Streets’ or Crime Reference’ number.

Complete the PCO license replacement form

Private hire drivers should download and complete the ‘Application for Replacement Badge and/or License Form‘, mark it for the attention of ‘Private Hire Driver Licensing’ and return it to TFL at the following address:

TFL – Taxi and Private Hire
Palestra
4th floor (Green zone)
197 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NJ

On this form you will have to include your badge/license number so ensure you always keep a copy of this, along with your contact details, why you need a replacement, and you must also sign a declaration to state that no one else has knowingly got your license.

You will then be sent a replacement badge by Recorded Delivery post and your license will be updated with your new badge number.

If you have any questions telephone the PCO Office direct on 0343 222 4444.

PCO License Jobs

Looking for Private Hire Driver Jobs? If you want to work as a private hire driver in London then you will need to get your PCO License. Without this then you will not be able to work and you won’t be able to earn so get your license application sent off as soon as possible.

Most people who get their PCO license are looking to work as a minicab driver, and there is still plenty of demand for minicab drivers as more and more people are ditching their own cars in favour of public transport, but there are other possibilities too such as working as chauffeurs, or in airport transfers. Having a PCO license opens up a lot of doors in times work is often hard to come by.

Minicab Drivers

As a minicab driver you will have the greatest flexibility in deciding when you want to work and the hours you put in. Most of your journeys will be short and can involve waiting for a call from the office with details of your next fare. If you enjoy driving, meeting new people, and getting out of the office, then becoming a minicab driver could be the job for you.

Being a chauffeur has the same license requirements as a minicab driver but there are several differences:

  • Booking far in advance – Where as minicab drivers will get bookings minutes in advance, a good chauffeur will often be booked up weeks in advance due to the demands of the client who may wish to have use of a chauffeur all day. Time-keeping is especially important in this instance.
  • Dress Code – A chauffeur should always be dressed smartly and this will usually involve wearing a dark suit, white shirt and a conservative tie.
  • Newer Vehicle – If you are working as a chauffeur and using your own vehicle then it must be a fairly new model and also be a high-end make e.g. Mercedes, BMW, etc. It is also essential that the car is kept clean both inside and out.

    If you don’t mind motorway miles then working for an airport transfer company is another good job for someone with a PCO license. You will put in a lot of miles in the job and it will require a car with plenty of boot space, but due to the time/distance you will always have a well-paid fare and tourists will often give you a big tip too.Yet again, these fares are all pre-booked some time in advance.

PCO License Check

Check a Private Hire Driver, or Vehicle

Need to carry out a PCO License check? Contact Transport for London to check whether a private hire driver, operator or vehicle is licensed.  This is useful for if you are an operator checking on a potential driver’s license, if you are a driver checking up on a potential employer, or perhaps even if you are using a vehicle and want to ensure that it’s licensed. Alternatively, please use the on-line check below:

Private Hire Vehicle Private Hire Driver

Find A Licensed Private Hire Operator

Another tool that may be of use is ‘Findaride’ service where you can find licensed minicab offices and other private hire operators in your area. This is quite useful if you are looking for employment and trying to find someone to work for. Obviously companies advertise for new drivers but it’s usually good to take the initiative and go directly to them.

Operators License Checker

Why is licensing important?

Licensing and regulation gives passengers the confidence that when they use a licensed private hire operator, licensed driver, or licensed vehicle that they are dealing with an honest, professional organisation with reliable drivers and safe vehicles.

CRB Check for PCO License Application

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.

Apply Online

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:

  1. Complete personal details online.
  2. Select ID for verification using the online help tool and print off the the form which will contain a unique barcode token.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 tphcrb@tmgcrb.co.uk. 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 tphcrb@tmgcrb.co.uk