Taxi Licensing Offences


The law regulating hackney carriage and private hire vehicles, drivers and operators is underpinned by a number of specified offences that are supported by a system of criminal sanctions and penalties.

Many of these fall to the local licensing authority to enforce, although the police can take action in some instances.

To avoid breaking the law you should be familiar with the law and the specified offences.

A brief outline of the offences created by taxi licensing law with an explanation of the standard fine levels is given below.

The tables list offences relevant to either the hackney carriage trade and/or the private hire trade.

Hackney Carriage Trade Offences

Town Police Clauses Act 1847

Section

Offence

Maximum Penalty

40

Giving false information on application for HC(V) proprietor's licence

Level 1

44

Failure to notify change of address of HC(V) proprietor

Level 1

45

Plying for hire without HC(V) proprietors licence

Level 4

47

Driving a HC(V) without HC drivers' licence.

Level 3

47

Lending or parting with HC drivers' licence

Level 3

47

HC(V) proprietor employing unlicensed driver

Level 3

48

Failure of HC(V) proprietor to hold HC drivers' licence

Level 1

48

Failure of HC(V) proprietor to produce HC drivers' licence

Level 1

52

Failure to display HC(V) plate

Level 1

53

Refusal to take a fare

Level 1

54

Charging more than the agreed fare

Level 1

55

Obtaining more than the legal fare

Level 3*

56

Travelling less than the lawful distance for the agreed fare

Level 1

57

Failing to wait after a deposit to wait has been paid

Level 1

58

Charging more than the legal fare

Level 3

59

Carrying another person than the hirer without consent

Level 1

60

Driving HC(V) without proprietor's consent

Level 1

60

Allowing another to drive HC(V) without proprietors' consent

Level 1

61

Drunken driving of HC(V)

Level 1

61

Wanton / furious driving / wilful misconduct causing injury / danger

Level 1

62

Driver leaving HC(V) unattended

Level 1

64

HC driver obstructing other HC(V)'s

Level 1

This incurs a level 3 penalty and 1 months' imprisonment until the excess is refunded.

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

Section

Offence

Maximum Penalty

49

Failure to notify transfer of HC(V) proprietors' licence

Level 3

50(1)

Failure to present HC(V) for inspection as required

Level 3

50(2)

Failure to inform local authority where HC(V) is stored if requested

Level 3

50(3)

Failure to report an accident to local authority

Level 3

50(4)

Failure to produce HC(V) proprietors' licence and insurance certificate

Level 3

53(3)

Failure to produce HC driver's licence

Level 3

57

Making false statement or withholding information to obtain HC drivers licence

Level 3

58(2)

Failure to return a plate after expiry of notice, revocation or suspension of HC(V) proprietor's licence

Level 3

61(2)

Failure to surrender driver's licence after suspension, revocation or refusal to renew

Level 3

64

Permitting any vehicle other than HC(V) to wait on HC stand

Level 3

66

Charging more than the meter fare for a journey ending outside the district without prior agreement

Level 3

67

Charging more than the meter fare when HC(V) used as private hire vehicle

Level 3

69

Unnecessarily prolonging a journey

Level 3

71

Interfering with a taximeter

Level 3

73(1)(a)

Obstruction of an authorised officer or constable

Level 3

73(1)(b)

Failure to comply with requirements of authorised officer or constable

Level 3

73(1)(c)

Failure to give information or assistance to authorised officer or constable

Level 3

Private Hire Trade Offences

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

Section

Offence

Maximum Penalty

46(1)(a)

Using an unlicensed PH(V)

Level 3

46(1)(b)

Driving a PH(V) without a PH driver's licence

Level 3

46(1)(c)

Proprietor of a PH(V) using an unlicensed driver

Level 3

46(1)(d)

Operating a PH(V) without a PH operator's licence

Level 3

46(1)(e)

Operating a vehicle as a PH(V) when the vehicle is not licensed as a PH(V)

Level 3

46(1)(e)

Operating a vehicle as a PH(V) when the driver is not licensed as a PH driver

Level 3

48(6)

Failure to display PH(V) plate

Level 3

49

Failure to notify transfer of PH(V) licence

Level 3

50(1)

Failure to present PH(V) for inspection as required

Level 3

50(2)

Failure to inform local authority where PH(V) is stored if requested

Level 3

50(3)

Failure to report an accident to local authority

Level 3

50(4)

Failure to produce PH(V) licence and insurance certificate

Level 3

53(3)

Failure to produce PH drivers licence

Level 3

54(2)

Failure to wear PH driver's badge

Level 3

56(2)

Failure by PH operator to keep records of bookings

Level 3

56(3)

Failure of PH operator to keep records of vehicles operated by him

Level 3

56(4)

Failure to produce PH operator's licence on request

Level 3

57

Making false statement or withholding information to obtain PH driver's or operator's licence

Level 3

58(2)

Failure to return plate after expiry of notice, revocation or suspension of PH(V) licence

Level 3 + £10 daily fine

61(2)

Failure to surrender driver's licence after suspension, revocation or refusal to renew

Level 3

67

Charging more than the meter fare when HC used as PH vehicle

Level 3

69

Unnecessarily prolonging a journey

Level 3

71

Interfering with a taximeter

Level 3

73(1)(a)

Obstructing of authorised officer or constable

Level 3

73(1)(b)

Failure to comply with requirement of authorised officer or constable

Level 3

73(1)(c)

Failure to give information or assistance to authorised officer or constable

Level 3

Transport Act 1980

Section

Offence

Max Penalty

64(2)(A)

Driving a PH(V) with a roof sign which contravenes s64(1)

Level 3

64(2)(b)

Causing or permitting a PH(V) to be driven with a roof sign which contravenes s64(1)

Level 3

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Section

Offence

Max Penalty

37

Refusing to carry a guide dog and hearing dogs

Level 3

37A

Refusing to carry a assistance dogs in private hire vehicle

Level 3

Standard Scale of Fines

The current fine levels are shown below.

Level

Maximum fine

1

£200

2

£500

3

£1,000

4

£2,500

5

£5,000

Mobile Phones

It is an offence to use a hand-held phone, or similar device, when driving, incurring a £60 fixed penalty fine or up to £1,000 on conviction in court or £2,500 for drivers of goods vehicles, buses or coaches.

Three penalty points will also be imposed on your licence and if you get six points within two years of passing your test your licence will be revoked and you will need to re-sit the test.

Drivers can still risk prosecution for failure to have proper control for using hands-free phones when driving.

Additional information is available on the Department for Transport (DFT)