In light of recent government advice about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we have had to make some changes to the Licensing Service, and some of these may affect you and your business.

These changes have been made to help minimise the risk and spread of the virus, and to keep our staff and our customers safe.

Please be assured that we are working to deliver our services, but in some circumstances, we have had no choice but to temporarily suspend the service. Our priority will be to ensure that existing licence holders and businesses can continue to operate, where possible.

This is a difficult and unprecedented situation. We will continue to monitor the situation, and this web page will be kept up to date with all changes, including when normal service will resume.

Staffing and telephones

At the moment, most of our Officers are working from home as advised by the Government and this will unfortunately impact on the services we can offer, in particular telephone calls.

If you have an urgent enquiry please licensing@spelthorne.gov.uk and we will aim to respond to you within 10 working days.

Face to face appointments

All face to face appointments for applications in respect of private hire / hackney carriage licences have been suspended until further notice. The appointment will re-open when normal service resumes.

Knowledge tests

All knowledge tests have been suspended until further notice. We will contact all applicants to re-arrange any booked test when normal service resumes.

New applications

Unfortunately, we will not be accepting any application for new private hire / hackney carriage licences at this time. Our priority at this time is to ensure that existing licence holders and businesses can continue to operate, where possible.

Renewals applications

The following arrangements have been put in place to ensure that we can continue to deliver a service which allows you to continue to operate at this time.

Driver's badges and vehicle plates

During this current situation, all licence holders who wish to renew an existing private hire / hackney carriage driver licence can email your documents to us.

If you don't have access to a scanner you can use a high quality photo of any documents that you need to provide. 

As we are working remotely and not in the office, we cannot get access to our badge printer or make any vehicle plates. Therefore we will be producing in the form of a temporary licence, a cover letter. This will be emailed out to you and you will be required to print it.

You will still be required to display your expired plate on your vehicle and to wear your badge whilst working.

The letter is your primary means of identifying that you are a currently licensed Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Driver or that you vehicle is licenced. Therefore we advise you to carry it on your person at all times whilst working. You are also advised that along with displaying your expired badge/license plate you should also keep your paper licence in your vehicle so that it can be shown to anybody if needed.

Once the Licensing Service re-opens you will be required to submit a full renewal application before the date specified on the temporary letter. If the current situation continues beyond this date, further letter will be issued with an extended date.

The temporary licence cover letter will be issued to drivers at no cost, however at the point of completing the formal inspections after the current situation has been resolved, the fee will be due and the issued license will be backdated to the expiry date on your last full licence.

A decision to not renew after the temporary period will result in a pro-rota charge being made to the owner of the vehicle/ driver for the period covered.

Medicals

We are aware that some GP practices are now carrying out medicals and if you are due one you need to contact your Surgery to enquire.  If you have had a temporary self-declaration please contact your doctor asap to see if they will do a medical for you.   If your surgery is not doing medicals please complete the form to self-declare your medical status:

Icon for worddocuments Temporary Declaration of Medical Fitness form [43.25KB]

Once Completed please email it to us licensing@spelthorne.gov.uk

The temporary declaration will expire at the point of the formal inspection and up dated medical form completed by your doctor will need to be supplied.

MOT

The government on 30 March 2020 put in place a measure to extend MOT for 6 months for cars and motorcycles and light van. This measure was in response to the likelihood that MOT stations could be closed due to staff shortages and to remove pressure from the public to leave their homes. The council in response to this measure decided to suspend our policy requiring 6 monthly MOT for vehicles over 5 years of age and for all vehicles to have had a MOT within 14 days before of the vehicle licence renewal date.

 

In response to the slow lifting of lockdown procedures and the wide availability of operational MOT stations and as vehicles that are used by members of the public for a fee, the council has now decided that the time is right to reinstate the requirements, that all Private Hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles should have a current MOT at the point of renewal of their licence.

If you already have a temporary licence then you will be contacted and asked to produce a current MOT within the next 2 weeks. Once produced it will be taken as having been supplied at the time of renewal and for vehicles over 5 years old the 6 monthly MOT cycle will resume.

If you are applying for temporary vehicle licence renewal you will need to supply current MOT produced 14 days before your application.

DBS renewals

Drivers who require a DBS renewal should contact us by email at licensing@spelthorne.gov.uk

You will then be contacted by email with specific instructions on how to complete the application.

After completing the process you will need to provide scanned or good quality photographs (clear with full detail) of your original documents.

Enquiries

We would ask that keep referring to this page for updates.

If you have any questions that are not covered on this page please contact us at licensing@spelthorne.gov.uk and we will aim to respond to you within 10 working days.