Automatic Suspension for Drivers Who Refuse a to Join DBS Update

Apply for a DBS Check

Wigan Council has become the first local authority in the UK to demand private hire and hackney cab drivers in their area sign up for a DBS Update account. If drivers refuse, they are to be suspended until their registration is complete. Drivers have until 1 December 2021 to register for the DBS Update system.


What is DBS Update?

A standard DBS certificate is issued by the police, and once printed and sent out in the post, there is no way of updating it. DBS Update is designed to offer more flexibility to job seekers and employers. Update is an online system, allowing workers and employers to check their DBS status “live”. Any new convictions or cautions are automatically added, as the system is linked into the Police National Computer. This means that the information obtained through DBS Update is always current, unlike a certificate which is really only accurate on the day it is printed.

Wigan Council proposes asking all drivers to sign up for the Update service, and then check their DBS status weekly. The aim of the proposals is to give reassurance to anyone getting in a taxi that their driver has been thoroughly checked out and does not have any criminal record.


Advantages for Drivers

Wigan Council is moving away from a system which sees drivers go through the full DBS process every year. This is not a difficult process, but does involve filling in a fairly lengthy form, and providing identity documents to the Council. Under the new proposals, drivers would only have to do this once, and tick the section on the form asking whether they want to join Update. There is an annual subscription fee, but this is less than the cost of applying for a new certificate each year. All in all, joining Update should save the drivers money and time. From a passenger’s point of view, Update means peace of mind that a driver has been checked out recently, not many months ago.


Licensing of Taxi Drivers

Getting an enhanced DBS check and then joining the Update scheme is just part of the process for getting licenced as a taxi driver. This process is managed by the different Councils around the country, which all use slightly different forms and have different criteria. Drivers should be licenced in the area where they intend to work, which isn’t always the same area as their home address.

Depending on the Council, drivers may also have to take a test proving their ability in written or spoken English, although this usually has to be just done once when applying initially rather than every year. Many Councils also ask for a medical check, and all will ask to see copies of the driver’s licence and other documents to prove right to work. Checks are also carried out on the car which they intend using as a taxi, to make sure that they can carry paying passengers safely.