Brighton & Hove Council Notification

Driver and Vehicle Licences - Coronavirus update 2020/03/27

Please read the following information carefully

While the Licensing Authority has plans in place to try to minimise any disruption, the Licensing Authority remains a statutory function that will continue to provide a service, although the methods of how it is delivered will change during this period.

Due to the exceptional circumstances being experienced currently with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19) the Council have put in place emergency measures to assist drivers renewing their vehicle or drivers.

We are deeply conscious of the problems facing the trade at the moment and been trying to think of ways to help, so your questions are timely and really helpful. As long as we can maintain public safety and confidence, we feel we can try to help even if it means moving ourselves into a legal grey area. We trust that the trade will recognise we are trying to help and join us in trying to help each other out.
We will be updating all information provided by Brighton & Hove Council -Taxi Licensing

Latest Update - Tuesday April 8
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We need your help and patience to achieve this.

Please Note:
Licences must still be renewed do not allow your licence to expire, if you are not able to follow the advice below please contact the licensing office on hco@brighton-hove.gov.uk

To enable the Licensing Authority to ensure public safety, the licensing office will be assessing each licence holder application individually on its own merits. Each application will need to be assessed depending on the medical condition(s) of the applicant, the right to work in the UK, and condition of the vehicle which all need be carefully reviewed before the decision is made to issue a licence, unfortunately in some cases a licence renewal may not be determined until sufficient evidence is available.
Due to the exceptional circumstances being experienced currently with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19) the council have put in place emergency measures to assist drivers renewing their vehicle or drivers.

How to renew:

* Please note documents submitted will be scanned and insurance certificates and V5 will be returned with your new licence by post.

Do not include your passport / residence permit / DVLA licence – please provide good quality copies.

Driver Licences:

Medicals:We appreciate that it is difficult for some licence holders to obtain medicals due to a reduction in NHS services due to the Coronavirus. During this period please continue to obtain these through your GP if possible or ask for a copy of the last 12 months of your medical history that can be sent to the Council’s independent medical advisor who will assess whether each driver reaches the group 2 standard.

The length of licence issued will depend on how much evidence you can provide that you are Fit & Proper and able to Live & Work in the UK.

We will try to issue a 1-3 year licence but for some drivers a 6 Month licence will be issued in order to complete some checks at a later date
Please complete your Hackney Carriage Dual or Private Hire driver application form as normal ensuring that all parts of the form are completed and include the following;

1.  Medical Form completed by your own doctor.  If you’re unable to obtain a medical, then please obtain the last 12 months of your doctor’s notes.   ALL medicals will be referred to the Council’s Medical Advisor for assessment.

2.  Completed Diabetes Questionnaire if applicable.

3.  Completed Application Form (Green)

4.  A copy of your passport if you have one *

5. A  copyof your residence permit if you have one *

6. DBS Certificate if you are signed up to the DBS update service
On receipt of your application we will email you a link from GBG Know Your People for you to register and give consent for a DVLA driving licence check.

If you need a DBS please follow the instructions on your renewal letter. Many post offices remain open for verifying your documents.

How to submit your application:

Post to the Taxi Licensing Office, Room G14, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove, BN3  3BQ or it can be posted in to Hove Town Hall - the post box is directly      situated outside the town hall to the right of Sebastian café. Place the completed forms and documents in an envelope and mark for the attention of Taxi Licensing.


Scan or photograph your completed application and email to hco@brighton-hove.gov.uk. Please ensure that every page has been completed and can be clearly read.

The application will be processed, and your licence will be posted back to you by 1stClass Post

Please ensure that you wear your drivers badge at all times whilst working.
How to submit your application:

Post to the Taxi Licensing Office, Room G14, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove, BN3 3BQ or it can be posted in to Hove Town Hall - the post box is directly      situated outside the town hall to the right of Sebastian café. Place the completed forms and documents in an envelope and mark for the attention of Taxi Licensing.

Scan or photograph your completed application and email to hco@brighton-hove.gov.uk. Please ensure that every page has been completed and can be clearly read.

The application will be processed, and your licence will be posted back to you by 1stClass Post

Please Note: Licences must be renewed do not allow your licence to expire, if you are not able to follow the above advice please contact the licensing office.
We hope this will assist you during these difficult times and if you have any questions then do not hesitate to contact:hco@brighton-hove.gov.uk
Support for the self-employed

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

UNIVERSAL CREDIT

Immediately start your claim here

The process will need you to 'Varify' you as a lelgitmate claiment and this will take a few days due to very high demand


Personal Wellbeing

We recognise these are challenging and uncertain times and would encourage anyone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing or financial difficulties to seek help from the broad range of support available including:



The Money Advice Trust, a national charity, is also available to provide advice on tackling debts and managing money. It offers free, independent and confidential advice on personal debt and provides a Business Debtline, the UK's only freededicated debt advice service for people who are self-employed and other smallbusiness owners
Last updates April 8 2020
SANE
www.sane.org.uk
Mind
www.mind.org.uk
Citizens Advice Bureau
www.citizensadvice.org.uk
1. Insurance  (Updated 08 /04)

Those drivers that are not working during this period and do not wish to use their licence vehicles for work or social domestic pleasure may wish to notify the DVLA and apply for a SORN – this would mean that the vehicle would have to be kept on private land.  You would need to take advice from your insurers as well and may be your own legal advice in relation to cancelling or suspending any vehicle insurance in place.  In relation to your Hackney Carriage / Private Hire licence, we would let this run as normal and our only expectation would be that at the point of renewal the vehicle would have the normal legal requirements in place.

Vehicle Proprietors MUST still make application to renew their vehicle licence at the normal time of renewal – but notify us that the vehicle is not currently working and we would hold their application until government guidelines in relation to COVID – 19 have been relaxed.  This would mean that a valid application has been made and there would be no risk to their plate.
2. Vehicle checks  (Updated 08/04)

If the vehicle is not working we would waive the need to conduct or obtain the normal checks, i.e. insurance, certificate of compliance/fitness, CCTV compliance, Wheelchair compliance certificate (for WAV’s) Once the government has started to lift restrictions that are currently in place, the vehicle will need to be fully compliant before it started working again.

In relation to those who are driving during this period, we can agree that there is no requirement to obtain CCTV Compliance, a Certificate of compliance and fitness can still be obtained whilst any of the approved garages remain open. If we are in a situation where all the approved garages are closed then we would accept an MOT certificate in those circumstances only, Drivers wishing to obtain a Wheelchair compliance certificate can still obtain these through Neil Parkin and they are advised to contact him to discuss the strict measures in place.  Streamline will also be conducted limited WAV training which will be restricted to a Refresher course and only on a one-to-one basis.

Vehicle licences will be issued by post or email and no checks by the licencing officers of the vehicle will take place until further notice.
3. Medicals (Updated 08/04)

At the moment our independent medical advisor is working as normal. 

We understand that it may be difficult for some drivers to obtain medicals through their GP. If drivers can’t access their GPs but are able to obtain the last 12 months of the doctors notes, then the council’s independent medical advisor would be able to assess on those.  Any driver that is struggling with either of those options should email us to discuss their own individual circumstances, these we can look at on a case by case basis.  We can say that if they are not driving we are happy for the medicals to be deferred, but they will be required before they start driving again. If they are driving then that involves public safety, so we would have to look at them on a case by case basis.
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