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Guide to Taxi Driver Offences

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 14 May 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Taxi Drivers Offences Licence Smoking

Having penalty points on a licence can be serious but for taxi drivers it can result in the end of their livelihood. There are number of rules and regulations that apply specifically to taxi drivers and the vehicles that they drive.

Taxi Drivers and Penalty Points

Losing a licence over accrued Penalty Points can be seriously detrimental to a taxi driver including losing their taxi driving employment. Understandably the government has laid down a set of rules and regulations with regards to taxi driver offences. These rules not only safeguard the public in general but also the passengers carried using this type of transportation. The list of offences that can be applied to taxi drivers is a long one and will come with a range of fines and punishments. Solicitors will be able to provide information and advice on the full list of the many offences that can apply to taxi drivers.

Taxi Drivers and Licences

Driving without a valid taxi licence has been a common problem especially in larger cities. It is an offence for a driver to ply for trade without a licence. Drivers who commit this offence can face fines of up to £2500. This offence is likely to invalidate any car insurance held and drivers can then be charged with Driving Without Insurance. Taxi drivers who are requested by the police or the local authorities to produce a licence must do so within five days. Failure to produce a licence within five days can lead to fines of up to £1000.

Drink Driving in Charge of a Taxi

Drink Driving is of course a serious and dangerous driving offence. Taxi drivers do hold responsibility for the passengers that they carry. A taxi driver found to be over the legal limit while in charge of their vehicle can be fined up to £250 but the charge of drink driving will no doubt also be applied. Drink driving fines and punishments can include a custodial sentence and a fine of up to £5000. Up to 11 penalty points can be applied and driving disqualification may also be imposed. Disqualified drivers may be required to sit an extended driving test after the ban period has expired.

Falsifying Details When Applying for a Taxi Licence

Giving a false name and address on an application form when applying for a taxi licence is an offence. It is also an offence for the owner of a taxi company to permit a driver to drive a taxi if they are aware the application details given were incorrect. This offence carries a fine of up to £250. The name that is required for a taxi application must be the driver’s legal name and their present address.

Taxi Drivers and Incorrect Fares

Taxi drivers who are licensed by local authorities can be prosecuted for applying fares over the fare permitted by the local authority. This offence can lead to fines of up to £1000 for each offence. Passengers can also request a refund of the amount that was overcharged. This offence does not apply to private hire car owners who do not have the same limits imposed by local authorities. There may be defences open to solicitors over this offence such as defective taxi meters.

Smoking Whilst Driving a Taxi

Under the anti smoking ban, taxi drivers can be fined for smoking in their vehicle. The smoke free law covers all taxis as well as mini cabs. All taxis used to carry passengers must be smoke free at all times and prominent ‘No Smoking’ signs must be displayed in vehicles. Taxi drivers cannot smoke in their vehicles even if there are no passengers present. This offence can carry a £50 fixed penalty notice but failure to pay this fine can mean additional fines plus court costs, council costs and victim’s surcharges.

Carrying Disabled Passengers in a Taxi

It is now an offence for a taxi or taxi hire company to refuse transportation of a disabled person accompanied by a guide dog. Taxi drivers can also not apply additional charges for disabled people accompanied by guide dogs. This offence can lead to a fine of up to £1,000. There may be certain reasons why a taxi driver cannot transport dogs, such as medical conditions. If this is the case then this certification should be on prominent display in the taxi.

These are only a few of the wide ranging regulations and offences that apply to taxi drivers. There are also many offence including vehicle defects that apply to taxi drivers. Local authorities can have their own rules and regulations that specifically apply to taxi drivers who operate within their area. Legal advice should always be sought by any driver who is facing court appearances over motoring offences.

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[Add a Comment]
Nicko - Your Question:
I was Minicab driver I was drink and drive been court 20 mounths ban does it effect my pco licenci I will be renew next year September help me pls

Our Response:
Yes it will probably affect your taxi licence. Check with the local authority/licensing authority to see what their conditions are.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-May-18 @ 2:13 PM
I was Minicab driver I was drink and drive been court 20 mounths ban does it effect my pco licenci i will be renew next year September help me pls
Nicko - 14-May-18 @ 10:29 PM
Anton - Your Question:
I was in a taxi recently after a night out and the taxi driver sped 80-90% of the way home. Do you know in terms of what rights I have to refuse to pay the full fare. I still want to pay as they performed their job, however I did not feel safe in the car.

Our Response:
You shouldn't refuse to pay but you should report the driver to the taxi company management and/or the licensing authority. Taxis are not emergency vehicles and haveno more right to exceed the speed limit than any other driver.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Apr-18 @ 11:40 AM
I was in a taxi recently after a night out and the taxi driver sped 80-90% of the way home. Do you know in terms of what rights I have to refuse to pay the full fare. I still want to pay as they performed their job, however I did not feel safe in the car.
Anton - 28-Apr-18 @ 5:26 AM
Hi I am a Uber driver.And my job is apps based,so if i get any request i have to accept it within 30 second. Last month i was finishing my shift and i was received a job request but i wanted to finish my shift and was going cancel the trip and going offline while driving.Police saw me and stopped,i tried to explain,but they didnt listened.After six week i received the fixed penalty notice. What should i do do?
Akt - 21-Apr-18 @ 2:37 PM
Umar- Your Question:
Hi I’m a private hire driver I got 6 points in my license last year but forgot to notify the council. Now I’m renewing and they have sent me a notice. So I’m worried what’s gonna happen. Can anyone tell what they gonna do maximum.

Our Response:
This depends on the council's licensing policy, so we can't really advise you.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Apr-18 @ 9:55 AM
Hi I’m a private hire driver I got 6 points in my license last year but forgot to notify the council. Now I’m renewing and they have sent me a notice. So I’m worried what’s gonna happen. Can anyone tell what they gonna do maximum.
Umar - 15-Apr-18 @ 2:03 AM
Got 9 points on driving license and apply for a Taxi badge but the put me in sub committi any one knows what’s gona happen?
Arsl - 15-Jan-18 @ 1:56 PM
jess - Your Question:
I was in a taxi last night and I threw up however I do not have the money to pay the fine until nearly two weeks, my friend said that the driver had taken my phone. Ive been in touch with the rank and they said the driver does have my phone but wont give it me until I pay. Im willing to pay I just cant for about 11 days, surely he cant just keep my phone until then? is there anything I can do if he decides hes going to keep it, as I didnt give him my phone myself too keep, and I wont have the money for 11 days, can I contact the police in this matter as I feel like it is theft? especially as I am willing to pay when I get paid if he comes back to my address, im just in urgent need of my phone and wont be able to wait 11 days and unsure on what to do

Our Response:
Contact the taxi firm and find out what their policy is on this kind of thing. We don't really know about the legalities but most taxi drivers will fine passengers for being sick or causing any sort of damage etc. You could try Citizens' Advice for more legal pointers. It would be easier to simply try and borrow the money from someone and pay the fine!
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Feb-17 @ 10:48 AM
i was in a taxi last night and i threw up however i do not have the money to pay the fine until nearly two weeks, my friend said that the driver had taken my phone. Ive been in touch with the rank and they said the driver does have my phone but wont give it me until i pay. Im willing to pay i just cant for about 11 days, surely he cant just keep my phone until then? is there anything i can do if he decides hes going to keep it, as i didnt give him my phone myself too keep, and i wont have the money for 11 days, can i contact the police in this matter as i feel like it is theft? especially as i am willing to pay when i get paid if he comes back to my address, im just in urgent need of my phone and wont be able to wait 11 days and unsure on what to do
jess - 24-Feb-17 @ 1:32 PM
Kay - Your Question:
Hi I was stop by tfl officers for not wearing my badge and also stop to pick passanger on taxi rank they took my badge no and car details and told me I well be geting a letter in post but wont get a fine just won't to know r they told me truth

Our Response:
If that's what they said, then we can assume they are!
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Feb-17 @ 2:22 PM
Hi I was stop by tfl officers for not wearing my badge and also stop to pick passanger on taxi rank they took my badge no and car details and told me I well be geting a letter in post but wont get a fine just won't to know r they told me truth
Kay - 12-Feb-17 @ 4:36 AM
I would like some advice as a few days back I went out to a party my boyfriend rang a taxi early hours in the morning as I had had far too much to drink, we got in the taxi and arrived back home I was sick in the taxi the fare was £7.00 my boyfriend gave him £10.00 and a £5.00 tip and said I'll go ad grab you £30.00 for the soilage charge and take my girlfriend in the house he practically had to carry me in opened the door put my handbag down and grabbed £30.00 of the side as he had left cash at home for this reason as It's not the first time I've been sick in a taxi, he went out and as he went out baring in mind he left the porch and front door wide open to see the taxi driving getting into his car with my handbag and drove of its a brand new iPhone 6s Plus my boyfriend brought me for Christmas had my house keys bank card driving license everything in, the police have been contacted and I'm just wondering weather I'd get anywhere with it he left with my handbag without any soilage charge for being sick obviously because he had my handbag and the taxi base have confirmed the taxi driver I just don't have any evidence just can't see how much more evidence I need really when it was 1am in the morning and the taxi driver was stood on the drive and boyfriend saw him do it. Any advice would be much appreciated thanks
Chloelouise - 24-Jan-17 @ 12:31 PM
During work I stopped to grab a takeaway a couple jumped in my car and wanted me to take them home and said they've paid me and that I picked them from the city centre I managed to get them out the car but they took pics of my car and reported me for assault. The police did not charge me in the light of no evidence and closed the investigation. The council decided to call me in and revoked my license on the basis I'm not fit and proper to hold a license. And there was descripincies in my statement ive been told where I told the police I had takeaway I told the council worker I had chicken and I told the committee I had a burger and chips ??. However I did explain I eat our 4 times a day and it does vary what I eat and where I eat. Also they said I've been in and out of the city centre that is reflected by the APR to which I stayed the city centre is under 3 miles from my postcode and I can drive there in 5-10 mins as there is one road leading into the city and I be in and out of town all the time when I'm not working as it's my local high st. I am deciding to appeal any advice pleaseeeee
Ash - 15-Dec-16 @ 3:54 AM
I had a disqualification from driving for failing to provide a breath specimen for analysis,my ban was up on 26/2/13. How long do I haft to wait time wise before am allowed to drive private hire taxis ????
Smythy - 11-Nov-16 @ 10:15 AM
Hi, got stopped by taxi License's officer with without the meter on but told him my passenger lived within 4mile radius have been summoned to the crown court what actions will I receive. Thks.
P - 8-Nov-16 @ 3:11 PM
HI IAM A TAXI DRIVER WITH 9 POINTS ON MY LICENCEI HAVE JUST RECEIVED A SPEED CAMARA NOTICE THATS TAKES ME TO 12 POINTS DOES THAT MEAN AUTOMATIC DISQUALIFICATION
Layan - 30-Oct-16 @ 1:06 PM
I have a business near a railway station,and one taxi firm always picks up and drops off over the entrance to my business,my customers cant get in or out on many occasions.have politely asked but to no avail.is there anything i can do.thx
Rolo - 15-Oct-16 @ 5:56 PM
G - Your Question:
A friend was Moving a taxi car just up the road and stopped by council he doesn't have a taxi badge but the car belongs to him the company as it's a family owned business he only has provisional license. Will he be fined, points, taken to court ? Will it affect the car insurance ?

Our Response:
If he was driving a car that appeared to be a taxi, then the local council can fine him for that. He can be fined and be given penalty points for not driving with the correct licence - and yes this will probably affect his insurance.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-Sep-16 @ 12:04 PM
A friend was Moving a taxi car just up the road and stopped by council he doesn't have a taxi badge but the car belongs to him the company as it's a family owned business he only has provisional license. Will he be fined, points, taken to court ? Will it affect the car insurance ?
G - 20-Sep-16 @ 12:54 PM
habiib - Your Question:
A few years ago I was caught up in a police case, however the case was dropped and I was not charged or convicted with any offences, therefore I didnt feel the need to notify the council. Today,almost four years later, I received a letter from the council explainimg that they will be taking me to court for not informing them. I would appreciate your view as to whether you think I am going to lose my taxi badge and also whats the worst that could happen. Thanks

Our Response:
What is your council's policy on this. If you were not charged or convicted, it seems a little harsh to take it to courts. If however, the terms of your licence state that you should inform them of any dealings with the police or arrests, then of course you have breached the terms of your licence.
NoPenaltyPoints - 11-Aug-16 @ 1:43 PM
a few years ago i was caught up in a police case, however the case was dropped and i was not charged or convicted with any offences, therefore i didnt feel the need to notify the council. Today,almost four years later, i received a letter from the council explainimg that they will be taking me to court for not informing them. i would appreciate your view as to whether you think i am going to lose my taxi badge and also whats the worst that could happen. Thanks
habiib - 9-Aug-16 @ 10:30 PM
I want to apply to be a taxi driver but just had 3 points for running a red light. Will I still be able to do it?
Mrg - 15-Jul-16 @ 1:03 PM
john - Your Question:
I just want to know if I can apply for taxi badge if I was having a disqualification and if not how long I have to wait I ve been band for 1 year now since february I have the right to drive

Our Response:
Check your local council's operating rules. Many will issue licences for those with one offence/3 points. If you have served a ban and it's now over, there may be a specified period before you're allowed to apply.
NoPenaltyPoints - 25-May-16 @ 11:07 AM
i just want to know if i can apply for taxi badge if i was having a disqualification and if not how long i have to wait i ve been band for 1 year nowsince february i have the right to drive
john - 24-May-16 @ 2:44 PM
Speak to mick fox at hampden should be able to cut through the red tape
Gerrybhoy56 - 21-Aug-15 @ 11:14 PM
I've applied for a taxi drivers licence (private) in glasgow. Just been told the Chief Constable has objected, I have 6 of fences dating back to 1995, 2 for no insurance (6 mth ban for 1 admonished for other),2 assault (100 fine for 1 admonished for other),1 breach of peace 75 fine,and 1 misuse of drugs(cocaine) admonished. Last of fence was 8 years ago, none of these offenses warranted jail time and all fines were at a low scale, would like to hear what people think my chances are.
mark - 9-Jun-15 @ 10:38 PM
@Anwar. You should simply be honest with the insurance company and give them all the details.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Dec-14 @ 10:35 AM
Had an accident in my hackney carriage, and I have just realised I hadn't renewed my badge. Insurance company now asking for documents? I have stopped driving and stopped insurance and re applied for license. What will happen next? Will I get points? Pay fines?
Anwar - 1-Dec-14 @ 5:31 PM
@Usman. You would need to contact the council for details as it will depend on their requirements.
NoPenaltyPoints - 12-Nov-14 @ 11:32 AM
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