As of January 2012 you must apply for an enhanced CRB check from the Criminal Records Bureau before you send off your PCO licence application as you will need to include a CRB reference number in your application. The CRB Check searches your details against criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer and will reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings.
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 CRB 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 TMG CRB, which manages taxi and private hire CRB checks on behalf of the PCO. Once you have applied for your CRB check and had your identity verified, you will be given a reference number and this must be included on the application form.
The CRB 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 but allows you to make a start to the CRB check, so to commence with the online CRB application by going clicking here. You will be able to download a guide to help you through the process which is as follows:
- 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 along your unique barcode token plus three original documents that prove your identity (Driving Licence, Passport, NI Number)
- Pay for the CRB application at the Post Office (£56.85)
You will receive your reference number required on the PCO Licence Application within 3 working days via email.
If you prefer you can request a paper application pack by contacting TMG CRB on 0845 251 5000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 TMG CRB will write to you and ask you to forward your original certificate. This process will be undertaken on behalf of TfL by TMG CRB, their service provider.
Applicants must respond to any correspondence from TMG CRB. Failure to do so could result in them not being licensed. TfL cannot process any applications until a result has been received on your CRB.
TMG CRB will pass a copy of the disclosure certificates to TfL before returning it to the driver. TfL will then destroy their copy once a licensing decision has been made and TMG will not be retaining 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 CRB Check, do I need a new one?
Even if you have had a CRB check from your previous employment you will still need to complete a new Enhanced Disclosure Form as you need a new CRB check for every new job you apply for.
Need help with completing your CRB?
If you need any help and support with your CRB application you can contact the TPH CRB
administration team on 0845 251 5000 between 8.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday with a 24-hour
messaging service or email email@example.com