Those applying for a hackney carriage or private hire drivers licence for the first time are required to provide evidence of their criminal history using the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure application form, which is also referred to as a criminal records check. The results of the check will help the council determine whether the applicant is a 'fit and proper' person to be granted a licence. The licence will not be granted until the results of this check are known.

DBS on-line service - GB Group (Taxi & Private Hire Driver's Only)

This service can only be used by persons wishing to apply to Chichester District Council for a Hackney Carriage (Taxi) or Private Hire Driver Licence. The online service will allow you to submit an enhanced criminal record check electronically via a secure link to the DBS. The main benefit over the paper based system is that the waiting time for results is significantly reduced, with 80% of results being returned to applicants within 5 working days. As it is not possible to grant a licence until the results of the criminal record check are known, using this method could mean that you are granted your licence a lot quicker than an applicant who has chosen to use the traditional paper based method and therefore can start working sooner. The total cost of using the DBS on-line service is £56.  £44 is for the Criminal Record Check undertaken by the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS). The remaining £12 (inc. VAT) goes to GB Group for administering the electronic application process and approving the application before being submitted to the DBS.

Furthermore, if the results are clear then there will be no need to bring in the criminal record certificate as this will be confirmed through the electronic system to the licensing team. However, if there are conviction(s), caution(s) or other relevant information stated on the certificate then the applicant will still need to bring in the document to the Council Offices.

To use the DBS on-line service you will need to self-register. Click on the link DBS On-line Service . This will take you to the front page of GB Group's website and then follow the starting instructions listed below.

1. Click Register on the right hand side of the screen.
2. Enter the Org Pin which is 142851
3. Enter other details as requested on the screen and click Next Step
4. Enter the secret word which is Chichester15 (Capital 'C' and no gap between letters and numbers) and tick to confirm that Chichester District Council is the correct organisation

5. Create a memorable password
6. Confirm the password by entering it again (Make sure you remember this)
7. Click 'Complete Registration'

To complete the process please follow the instructions given in the fact sheet.

If you have any difficulties then please contact GB Group on 0845 251 5000 (Calls cost 3p per minute plus your network charge) or email onlinedisclosures@gbgplc.com.

As the fact sheet explains certain documents will need to be verified in support of your electronic application. The supporting documents will need to be brought into the Council offices when you submit the main application. Please do not take them to the Post Office, as you will be charged an additional fee. A customer services officer will then check the documents and update the system.

Once the documents have been verified, you will need to make payment of £56 direct to the GB Group. Payment can be made by PayPal or using a direct debit/credit card. To make payment you will need to log back into the system (Org PIN is 142851) and follow the instructions. Please note that GB Group will not check your electronic application and send it on to the DBS until payment has been made, so it is important to do this as soon as possible so as not to delay receiving your results.

DBS paper based system

A hard copy of the DBS enhanced disclosure application form can also be obtained direct from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) .

  1. After dialling the number select option 1, in order to speak to a customer service operator at the DBS. Explain that you are applying to become a taxi driver and need to request an enhanced disclosure form.
  2. Advise that the registered body is Chichester District Council and that the registered body number is 20034000005.
  3. Alternatively, if you have been provided an application pack electronically then we have a limited number of the disclosure form available that can be collected from the contact centre.
  4. On receipt of the disclosure form, read the instructions on the front of the form and then complete sections a, b, c and e.  Please ensure you complete the form in black ink, if any other colour is used the DBS will automatically reject your application.

Once completed, please do not return the disclosure direct to the DBS, but instead submit it to the council with the rest of your application for it to be checked and countersigned before being sent to the DBS. Please note that it can take up to 4 weeks for the DBS to provide the criminal records certificate. To support the DBS application, the following original documents need to be seen and copied by a member of the customer services team:

  • Passport or Birth Certificate.
  • 2 recent utility bills or bank statements showing your address.
  • DVLA issued Driving Licence (both paper and durable card parts).

The criminal record certificate will only be returned to the applicant. Therefore once you have received the certificate, please bring in the document as soon as possible so that a copy can be taken by a customer services officer.

DBS update service

If you are having to provide an up to date criminal record check to several organisations on a regular basis, then you may want to consider using the DBS update service , which is provided by the DBS themselves.

Criminal convictions policy - Chichester District Council

When submitting an application for a hackney carriage or private hire driver's licence, the applicant is requested to declare all convictions and cautions. The information given will be treated in the strictest confidence and will only be taken into account in relation to the application. The existence of a criminal record or other information will not necessarily debar an applicant from gaining a licence unless the council considers that the conviction(s), caution(s) or relevant information on the certificate renders the applicant unsuitable.

The council has devised a criminal convictions policy to assist in determining such matters. All relevant convictions whether spent or unspent can be considered. The council will also have regard to the nature of the offence, how long ago and what age the applicant was when it was committed and any other factors that may be relevant. It you have any concerns then prior to submitting the application please contact the licensing team to discuss the matter further.

Driver licence renewals

Every 3 years an up to date enhanced criminal records check must be provided as part of a renewal application. For renewals, subject to all other elements being satisfactory, we will issue the licence without prejudice. In other words, the licence will be issued, but the council reserves the right to review the licence if the criminal record check is unsatisfactory i.e. evidence of additional convictions, cautions or other relevant information.

The DBS will return the certificate to the applicant. Therefore, once received please bring the original certificate to the council offices, so a member of the customer services team can then see the document and take a copy for our records. A member of the licensing team will then be able to check that there are not any additional convictions or other relevant matters that need to be considered in relation to your 'fitness and propriety' to act as a hackney carriage or private hire driver.

DBS code of practice

The disclosure information will only be used in connection with your licence application. Chichester District Council follows the DBS code of practice . The DBS website  contains information about disclosures.