NAFN/NR3 National register of taxi licence revocations and refusals
Licensing authorities are required to satisfy themselves that those holding hackney carriage and private hire vehicle (PHV) driver licences are 'fit and proper' to do so. This is done firstly during the determination of an application for a licence, and then at any time during the currency of a licence.
The process of assessing whether an applicant or licensee is 'fit and proper' may vary between authorities. However, there is widespread consensus on the need to increase consistency and set national minimum standards for the fit and proper test at a suitably high level. This would help prevent individuals who have had a licence revoked by one authority from simply going to another area and securing a licence - assuming the second authority was aware of the earlier revocation.
At the moment, if drivers do not disclose information about a previous revocation or refusal of a licence, there is often no way for a licensing authority to find this information out. This means that vital intelligence about an applicant's past behaviour is being missed and an individual might be able to get a new licence in another area, despite having their licence revoked elsewhere. High profile instances of this happening have undermined public confidence in the safety of hackney carriages and PHVs. It has also left licensing authorities open to criticism for something that is currently very difficult for them to control.
In response to this issue, the council has subscribed to the national register of hackney carriage and PHV driver licence refusals and revocations. This is known as the 'national register of refusals and revocations' or NR3. The register will allow licensing authorities to record details of where a hackney carriage or PHV drivers' licence has been refused or revoked, and allow licensing authorities to check new applicants against the register. This should help to prevent people found to be not fit and proper in one area from securing a licence somewhere else through deception and non-disclosure. For the avoidance of doubt, NR3 does not extend to vehicle or operator licensing decisions.
National Register of Taxi Licence Revocations & Refusals (NR3) - Frequently asked questions
Why has the register been set up?
NR3 has been developed to improve public safety and confidence in hackney carriage and PHV licensing. There have been numerous high profile cases where drivers who have been refused licences or had a licence revoked in one area have gone to another area and received a licence in that area by failing to disclose their previous history. This undermines public safety, if there are legitimate reasons why a licence was refused or revoked, and damages confidence in the hackney carriage / PHV licensing regime and trade. This is why the initiative has been widely supported by reputable drivers and firms. It will provide a mechanism for ensuring information about refusals and revocations can be shared between all licensing authorities in a safe and secure way, removing this potential loophole.
How will the register work - what information will be recorded?
When an authority revokes a licence, or refuses an application for one, it will record this information on NR3. The information recorded will be limited to:
- Date of birth
- Address and contact details
- National Insurance number
- Driving licence number
- Decision taken
- Date of decision
- Date decision effective
Licensing authorities will then search the register when they are processing new applications or renewals. Where an authority finds a match for their applicant on NR3, it will contact the licensing authority that recorded the entry to seek more information, which, if shared, will then be used to help reach a decision on the application.
Will I automatically be refused a licence if I am on the register?
No. Licensing authorities are legally required to consider each licence application on its own merits, and cannot refuse an application simply because an applicant may be recorded on NR3. The purpose of NR3 is to ensure that authorities have the full information necessary to help them reach a decision on whether an individual is fit and proper. If circumstances have materially changed since the decision that has been recorded on NR3, it may be appropriate for another authority to award a licence.
What if my licence is suspended?
Suspensions of licences will not be recorded on NR3. This is because suspension should be used as either a short-term punishment or to overcome a short-term situation (such as driving or medical issues). Where a driver is no longer considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence, the licence should be revoked.
Can I find out if my details are on the NR3?
Individuals whose details are added to NR3 will be notified of this at the point at which they are advised of the decision to refuse or revoke a licence. Outside these times, an individual can make a subject access request (SAR) for any of their personal data held on NR3. The 'data controller' in respect of this data is this licensing authority, to whom a SAR should be submitted in the first instance. As the 'data processor', that is the organisation storing the data, the National Anti-Fraud Network will fulfil this request. Similarly, the exercise of any other rights provided under data protection legislation should be made to this authority in the first instance.
For how long will details be held on NR3?
Data will be retained on the register to help licensing authorities fulfil their statutory duty to be satisfied that a person is a fit and proper person to hold a taxi or PHV licence. These duties are set out under:
- sections 51, 59 and 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976
- sections 13, 16 and 17 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998
- section 3 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London PHV Driver's Licences) Regulations 2003
- sections 25 and 30 of the London Cab Order 1934
- sections 9 and 19 of the Plymouth City Council Act 1975
- section 46 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.
In accordance with this purpose, data will remain on NR3 for 25 years.
Breckland Council Policy - NR3 Register
Requests for information, disclosure of information and use of information as a result of an entry on the National Register of Refusals and Revocations (NR3)
This section covers the use that this authority, Breckland Council, will make of the ability to access and use information contained on the National Register of Taxi Licence Revocations and Refusals (NR3). The NR3 contains information relating to any refusal to grant, or revocation of a hackney carriage/private hire driver licence. This information is important in the context of a subsequent application to another authority for a drivers' licence by a person who has had their licence refused or revoked in the past.
Breckland Council has signed up to the NR3. This means that when an application for a hackney carriage/private hire driver licence is refused, or when an existing hackney carriage/private hire driver licence is revoked, that information will be placed upon the register.
When an application for a new hackney carriage/private hire driver licence, or renewal of an existing hackney carriage/private hire driver licence is received, Breckland Council will make a search of the NR3. The search will only be made by an Officer who has been trained in the use of the NR3 and who is acting in accordance with this Section. If details are found that appear to relate to the applicant, a request will be made to the authority that entered that information for further details.
Any information that is received from any other authority in relation to an application will only be used in relation to that application, and the determination of it, and will not be used for any other purpose. Any data that is received will only be kept for as long as is necessary in relation to the determination of that application. This will include the period of processing that application, making a decision, notifying the applicant of the outcome of that decision, and the appeal processes.
For the avoidance of doubt, any such data will be kept for a period of no more than 35 days from the date of the service of the written notification of the determination of the application*.
*The appeal period is 21 days from the date on which the written notification of the decision was received by the applicant/licensee. An appeal must be lodged within that time period, and no extension of that period is permissible (see Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council v Latif  LLR 374). However, to ensure that the information is available if an appeal is lodged and there is a dispute over time periods, a period of 35 days is specified.
Where an appeal to the magistrates' court is made, the data will be retained until that appeal is determined or abandoned. Where the appeal is determined by the magistrates' court, there is a further right of appeal to the Crown Court. In these circumstances, the data will be retained for a period of no more than 35 days from the date of the decision of the magistrates' court. If an appeal is made to the Crown Court, the data will be retained until that appeal is determined or abandoned. Where the appeal is determined by the magistrates' court or the Crown Court, it is possible to appeal the decision by way of case stated*.
*Any appeal by way of case stated must be lodged within 21 days of the decision of either the magistrates court all the Crown Court (see The Criminal Procedure Rules R35.2). To ensure that the information is available if an appeal is lodged by way of case stated and there is a dispute over time periods, a period of 35 days is specified.
Accordingly, the data will be retained for a period of no more than 35 days from the date of the decision of the Crown Court (if the decision was made by the magistrates' court, the retention period has already been addressed). If an appeal by way of case stated is made, the data will be retained until all court proceedings relating to that appeal by way of case stated (which will include potential appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court) have been determined*.
*Decisions of the local authority, magistrates' Court and Crown Court are also susceptible to judicial review. Generally any right of appeal should be exercised in preference to judicial review, but there are occasions when leave has been granted for judicial review in the circumstances. Any application for judicial review must be made "promptly; and in any event not later than three months after the grounds to make the claim first arose" (see The Civil Procedure Rules R54.5). If an application for judicial review is made after any relevant data has been destroyed, this authority will request the information again and then retain that information until all court proceedings relating to that judicial review have been determined. This will include potential appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
The data will be held securely in accordance with Breckland Council'sgeneral policy on the secure retention of personal data. At the end of the retention period, the data will be erased and/or destroyed in accordance with Breckland Council's general policy on the erasure and destruction of personal data.
Making a request for further information regarding an entry on NR3
When an application is made to Breckland Council for the grant of a new, or renewal of, a taxi driver's licence, Breckland Council will check the NR3.
Breckland Council will make and then retain a clear written record (this can be electronic) of every search that is made of the register. This will detail:
- the date of the search;
- the name or names searched;
- the reason for the search (new application or renewal);
- the results of the search; and
- the use made of the results of the search (this information will be entered to the register at a later date).
This record will not be combined with any other records (i.e. combined with a register of licences granted) and will be retained for the retention period of 25 years.
If Breckland Council discovers any match (meaning there is an entry in the register for the same name and identifying details) a request will be made to the authority that entered those details (the first authority) for further information about that entry. That request will also include details of Breckland Council's data protection policy in relation to the use of any data that is obtained as a result of this process.
This request will be made in writing in accordance with the authorised form. It will be posted or emailed to the contact address of the authority that entered those details which will be detailed in the register.
Responding to a request made for further information regarding an entry on NR3
When Breckland Council receives a request for further information from another authority a clear written record will be made of the request having been received.
This record will not be combined with any other records (such as combined with a register of licences granted) and will be retained for the retention period of 25 years.
Breckland Council will then determine how to respond to the request. It is not lawful to simply provide information as a blanket response to every request.
Breckland Council will conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment. This will consider:
- How the other authority (the second authority) will use the data.
- How it will store that data to prevent unauthorised disclosure.
- The retention period for that data.
- The mechanism for erasure or destruction of the data at the end of that period.
It is expected that if the second authority has adopted a policy similar to this, it should be a reasonably straightforward process.
If Breckland Council is satisfied that the other authority's (the second authority) data protection procedures are satisfactory, consideration will then be given as to what information will be disclosed. This will be determined by an Officer who has been trained to discharge this function.
Any disclosure must be considered and proportionate, taking into account the data subjects' rights and the position and responsibilities of a taxi driver. Data is held on the NR3 register for a period of 25 years, but Breckland Council will not disclose information relating to every entry. Each application will be considered on its own merits.
Breckland Council will disclose information relating to a revocation or refusal to grant a drivers' licence in accordance with the timescales contained within this policy and procedures document.
Where the reason for a refusal to grant or a revocation relates to a conviction which is within the timescales determined in those guidelines, there is a presumption that the information will be disclosed. Where the reason for a refusal to grant or a revocation relates to a conviction that is outside the timescales determined in those guidelines, there is a presumption against disclosure of the information.
However, in every case, consideration will be given to the full circumstances of the decision. There may be occasions where information is provided or withheld otherwise than in accordance with the presumptions above.
Any information about convictions will be shared in accordance with this policy under Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018. This states that the processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest in connection with the exercise of a function conferred on the authority by an enactment or rule of law.
The Officer will record what action was taken and why. Breckland Council will make and then retain a clear written record (which can be electronic) of every decision that is made as a result of a request from another authority. This will detail:
- the date the request was received;
- how the data protection impact assessment was conducted and its conclusions;
- the name or names searched;
- whether any information was provided;
- if information was provided, why it was provided (and details of any further advice obtained before the decision was made);
- if information was not provided, why it was not provided (and details of any further advice obtained before the decision was made); and
- how and when the decision (and any information) was communicated to the requesting authority. This record will not be combined with any other records (i.e. combined with a register of licences granted) and will be retained for the retention period of 25 years.
Using any information obtained as a result of a request to another authority
When Breckland Council receives information as a result of a request that has been made to another authority, it will take that information into account when determining the application for the grant or renewal of a taxi drivers' licence. This will be in accordance with the usual process for determining applications contained in this policy and procedures document.
Breckland Council will make and then retain a clear written record of the use that is made of the results of the search (this information will be added to the register detailed above).
Information that is received may warrant significant weight being attached to it, but it will not be the sole basis for any decision that Breckland Council will make in relation to the application.
Last updated: 01/06/2022 10:03:20