What to do if your taxi licence is revoked

If you are a taxi or private hire vehicle driver, losing your licence will obviously be a source of huge concern. The good news is that there can often be grounds to appeal taxi licence revocation, meaning there is a chance you will be able to have your licence restored.

Here, we discuss why a taxi licence would be revoked, the ‘fit and proper person’ test, what the process is whereby a taxi licence would be revoked, how you can appeal a taxi licence revocation and the exact process for doing so. We will also cover what you can do if you have been refused a taxi licence.

Why would a taxi licence be revoked?

In almost all cases where a taxi licence is revoked, this will be because the Local Authority’s Licensing Committee or Sub-committee has decided that the licence holder is not a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold such a licence. This decision will be reached by the application of a ‘fit and proper person' test.

What is the 'fit and proper person' test?

There is no single, legal definition of who is considered a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a taxi licence, so each Local Authority (or Transport for London in London) will apply its own criteria to make this determination. The general principle is whether someone is deemed safe and suitable to hold a taxi licence.

Factors that a Local Authority or TfL might consider include:

  • The total number of points endorsed on an individual’s driving licence
  • How long the driver has held their driving licence (only normally applies to new applicants)
  • Any criminal convictions or cautions the driver has
  • The driver’s history of behaviour in relation to other road users and passengers in their vehicle
  • Any history of conflict with the Local Authority and its officers
  • The driver’s mental and physical fitness
  • Any other concerns about the driver’s integrity

This is not an exhaustive list and there are other factors a Local Authority could potentially look at in relation to the fit and proper person test.

What is the taxi licence revocation process?

The exact process a Local Authority will follow to revoke a taxi licence will depend on the situation.

If a complaint has been made about a taxi driver that suggests there is an imminent risk to public safety, the Authority’s Licensing Committee may hold an emergency meeting to consider the complaint. In such a situation, the Committee could immediately revoke the taxi licence without a hearing.

Where a complaint has been made but there is not considered to be an imminent risk to public safety, then a formal hearing will normally be held. Here the Licensing Committee will hear evidence and reach a decision on whether the licence should be revoked.

A decision letter will be sent by the Committee to the taxi driver informing them that their licence has been revoked.

How can I appeal a revocation?

If your taxi licence has been revoked, you will usually have 21 days from the date of the decision letter to make an appeal. This appeal will be heard by a Magistrates’ Court.

What is the process for appealing a taxi licence revocation?

You will need to apply to your local Magistrates Court to appeal a taxi licence revocation. This involves filling out some forms and paying a court summons fee. Many people choose to have a solicitor assist them with preparing their appeal.

The Magistrates’ Court will set a hearing date on which you will need to attend the court and present the evidence as to why your taxi licence should not have been revoked. The Local Authority would normally also send a representative to present their case. You can represent yourself at Magistrates’ Court, but it is usually recommended to have an experienced lawyer represent you.

Your case will be heard by a panel of Magistrates or a District Judge (Magistrates’ Court). As the revocation of a taxi licence is a civil rather than criminal matter, the appeal will be dealt with in a civil capacity. This means that the Magistrates or Judge only need to reach a decision on ‘the balance of probabilities’ rather than ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ i.e. they will be looking to decide whether it is ‘more likely than not’ that the Licensing Committee’s reasons for revoking your licence were justified.

Having heard both sides’ evidence, the Court will decide whether to uphold the revocation of your licence or reinstate your licence.

What can you do if you have been refused a taxi licence?

If you have had a taxi licence refused, you will need to follow the same process as when a taxi licence is revoked. This means you will need to make an appeal to your local Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of the date of the decision letter and you will need to attend a Court hearing. The Court will then decide whether the refusal should be upheld or whether you should be granted a taxi licence.

How our motoring solicitors can help when your taxi licence is revoked

At Renshaw Derrick, our motoring law solicitors have substantial expertise in supporting taxi drivers seeking to appeal taxi licence revocation. We can review your case and advise on whether we think you have a realistic prospect of successfully appealing the revocation of your licence. We can then support you in preparing your case and make sure you have the very best representation for your hearing.

Get in touch with our motoring lawyers in Bournemouth, Dorset, today

Get in touch with our motoring law solicitors in Bournemouth by giving us a call, emailing mail@renshawderrick.co.uk or by filling in our online enquiry form.