New Licensing rules in place for Taxi and Private Hire drivers in North Ayrshire
NORTH Ayrshire’s Taxi and Private Hire drivers looking to renew their licence will have to prove they have a ‘right to work in the UK’ from December 1.
The Immigration Act 2016 - which has been introduced by the UK Government - will also apply to people looking to get a licence for the first time.
Licence holders must follow the new rules even if they have held a licence for years or were born in the UK.
If you are a British citizen, the Council require a current passport. If you do not have an up-to-date passport, then the Council need both a FULL birth or adoption certificate (showing one or both parents) AND a document issued by a Government agency or a previous employer showing both your National Insurance number and your name (for example, a P45 or P60 tax certificate).
If you are a National of a "European Single Market" country, a passport or National Identity Card is required. A passport and visa or residence permit confirming your immigration status and right to work in the UK must be provided if you are not a British citizen or a National of a 'European Single Market' country.
If you want a new Licence, you must show the Council documents when you apply for the Licence. If you do not prove your status then applications will not be accepted.
If you want to renew a Licence, you can lodge your renewal application before your current Licence expires (as at present) without any right-to-work documents. But these must be submitted within 28 days after the expiry date. The 28-day period cannot be extended.
A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “The Law applies to everyone, so we are not allowed to miss anyone out of the checks. However, if you were born here and have always lived here then it will be easy to prove your status.
“If you already have a licence you don’t need to do anything right now. Your Licence will still be valid after the change in the Law, but we will need to see the documents when you next ask for renewal, even if you have had a Licence for years.
“If your Licence is due to expire soon, you should apply for renewal now. Do not leave it till the last day of your licence before you apply.”
The Act is being started in stages, and the Government have decided to apply the change to Taxi/PHC Driver's licences first. The changes do not yet apply to licences for Taxi/PHC Operators or Booking Offices, or to alcohol licences, but the changes will be applied to some other kinds of licence later.