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.

Convictions policy - important information

Please read carefully: The Convictions Policy provides existing and prospective Licensed Vehicle Proprietors, Drivers, and Operators with clarity as to Chichester District Council's requirements as the Licensing Authority, with respect to convictions and their effect on whether or not Licence(s) will be granted and/ or retained.  The Convictions Policy was adopted for immediate use by the General Licensing Committee at it's meeting on 10 February 2021.

Please note that a licence will not be granted unless the Licensing Authority is satisfied that the applicant is a "Fit and Proper Person" to hold that licence.  Therefore it is essential that applicants carefully read the Convictions Policy prior to submitting an application.

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

As of 31 March 2021, the U.K. background screening business of GBG has been acquired by First Advantage, a leading global provider of technology solutions for background screening. Your OnlineDisclosures experience will not be impacted.

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 current cost of using the DBS on-line service is £56:  Upon receipt of the DBS certificate - this must be forwarded to the licensing office.

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 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.

DBS paper based system

Chichester District Council is no longer a DBS Registered Body able to accept paper application forms for DBS Certificates: In the future, should you wish to make a paper application for a DBS Certificate, you will need to do so via a DBS Registered Body such as the Post Office.

However, you are encouraged to use the online application process via First Advantage (formerly GB Group) then, as in the Council's proposed new Taxi and Private Hire Policy, subscribe and maintain subscription to the DBS Update Service, so that you will not need to pay for a new Certificate every 6 months for as long as your Criminal Convictions status remains unchanged.

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.