DBS checks and disclosure of convictions

There is important guidance available for existing and prospective taxi drivers on completion of the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) form. You must have a DBS disclosure certificate before you can be licensed to drive a hackney carriage or private-hire vehicle. New or renewal applications for taxi licences will not be processed without one.


Guide to applying for Disclosure Information for new applicants and existing drivers

Runnymede submits your DBS application through Surrey County Council who are a 'Registered Body' with the DBS. They are also what is termed an' umbrella organisation', meaning they can submit forms on behalf of local authorities. The DBS procedure will involve you coming to the Civic Centre and completing an online application form. The DBS check will be carried out on appointment with the licensing officer, the whole process should take around 20 minutes. When you arrive at the Civic Centre, please make the reception staff aware that you have come for a taxi licence DBS check.

You must bring with you: (only original identity documents will be accepted - no photocopies), driving licence, (note if you only have a paper licence and no passport you will need more than one item from group2a or 2b below), passport or birth certificate, and a utility bill, bank statement or similar.

These are generally sufficient but a full list of acceptable documents can be seen below.                                            

Please note: It is essential that you also have a note of your National Insurance numberand five full years of address history information, the form cannot be completed without these.

The licensing officer will verify your identity and complete their part of the online DBS application form.

You then have to complete and submit the online application (there is no provision for a paper form). You can do this in two ways:

1) You can remain at the Civic Centre and complete the online form in the presence of the licensing officer. The licensing officer will remain with you to assist.

2) The licensing officer can obtain a password for you to access the application and you can then leave the Civic Centre to complete and submit the application at another location.

The payment must be made with your application; the amount is made up of three parts as follows;

1) The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) charge of £40 for the DBS service,

2) Surrey County Council charge £9 to cover their administration costs.

3) A processing charge of £18.50 is made by Runnymede Borough Council.

You can pay the total amount of £67.50 by Cash, Debit/Credit card or cheque if paying by cheque this should be made payable to Runnymede Borough Council, We will then pay Surrey County Council their admin fee of £9 and the £40 DBS fee which they in turn pay to the DBS.


A code of practice exists to govern the disclosure of information, this can be viewed at:


Please note - A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to your application but will be taken into account in the decision making process.

The applicant must produce valid original documents (not copies) to prove their identity. The applicable document list will be sent to you with your reminder for a DBS or if you are a new applicant with your drivers information pack.


Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) - The Update Service

From 2 March 2020 it is a mandatory requirement that any driver who has a DBS check carried out must subscribe to the DBS update service.

The DBS update service allows authorities to carry out an online check on a DBS record at any required interval. On subscribing to the update service drivers must provide the original certificate to the licensing section for checking and complete an authorisation mandate which gives permission to carry out an online DBS check.

Failure or refusal to comply with the requirement shall result in consideration of refusal of an application or suspension of a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver's licence. It is the Drivers' responsibility to make sure that the subscription is maintained. Failure to maintain the subscription will cause the certificate to expire and the full DBS process will have to be undertaken.

The Update Service will cost you £13 per year to maintain, you must pay directly to the DBS online. You must still pay Runnymede for your initial DBS check to be carried as the DBS recharge the Council for this.

Once you have done the first DBS check, you will not need to apply for another DBS check, as we can check your details online, as long as you have maintained your subscription to the DBS Update Service. You will only need another DBS check if you do not maintain your subscription or if there are changes to the information on your DBS record, such as a caution or convictions being recorded; in these circumstances you would have to apply for a new DBS check.


What is the DBS Update Service?

For a small annual subscription of just £13 you can have your DBS Certificate kept up-to-date and take it with you from role to role, within the same workforce, where the same type and level of check is required.


How do you register for the Update Service?

You can register for the update service in two ways: -

Wait until your certificate arrives and then register within 30 days of receiving it using the reference number on the DBS Certificate.

  1. At the time you apply for your DBS via www.gov.uk/dbs- update-service, using the application form reference number.

    Please note - A subscription to the Update Service lasts for one year.

    Step 1

    Enter your date of birth by selecting the month, then the year, then the day.

    Check your date of birth is correct, if it isn't you can enter the date manually in the format


    Select whether you are applying with your DBS application form or with your DBS Certificate.

    Step 2

    Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the service and then enter your personal details - these must match those on your application form or DBS Certificate.

    Step 3

    Answer the question 'Does the above application/DBS Certificate relate to a voluntary position?'

    Step 4

    Make payment for subscription fee (if relevant). A payment confirmation screen will confirm whether payment was successful.

    If the application form/DBS Certificate was issued for a voluntary position the subscription is free-of-charge.

    You should have now joined the Update Service.

    If you have joined with your DBS application form reference number your subscription will start from the date of issue printed on your DBS Certificate. If for some reason your application form is withdrawn your subscription fee will be refunded and your subscription cancelled.

    How do I renew my subscription?

    You can renew your subscription through the Update Service, either:

  • When you first register by choosing automatic renewal (recommended by Runnymede).

  • Online before your current subscription ends




    What else you need to know

    If you fail or refuse to comply with the requirement it shall result in consideration of refusal of an application or suspension of a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver's licence.

    It is your responsibility to make sure that the subscription is maintained. Failure to maintain the subscription will cause the certificate to expire and the full DBS process will have to be undertaken. This is a completely avoidable expense (currently£67.50) and inconvenience for you.

    Please make sure that we see your DBS certificate as soon as you receive it.

    We must see the original DBS certificate to satisfy ourselves you meet our policy on convictions. Once seen we simply check online every 6 months, this online check will not show us the certificate it will simply say no additional information has been added or there is additional information. If it is the latter, we will need to speak to you as you should have made us aware of any convictions and you will need to carry out a new DBS check so that we can see what they were.

    Managing your subscription:

    Once you have subscribed to the Update Service you can:

    View the reference details of any applications and/or DBS Certificates linked to your subscription.

    View the Update status of any DBS Certificate linked to your subscription.

    Amend your contact details and debit/credit card details if your card has changed.

    View the details of any organisations that have made a Status Check of your DBS Certificates.

    View the status and expiration date of your subscription or cancel your subscription.

    Common errors

    Experience has shown us that many drivers tell us they have subscribed to the update service, however when we check they have not done so. This is either because: -

  1. They believe that by completing the mandate form which gives the Council your written permission to check your DBS record online they are registering for the update service that is also the update service application.


  2. They fail to keep their subscription up to date.

    If you have chosen automatic renewal, £13 will be taken out of your account when it is due for the next year.

    If you have not signed up for automatic renewal you will get an email from the DBS 4 weeks before your subscription ends reminding you the fee is due for the next year and showing you how to pay, this email is repeated 2 weeks before your subscription ends. (You can make payment 30 days prior to your subscription expiring until the day before it expires).


Basic disclosure check for operators only.

From January 2018, if you need a basic disclosure check, you should apply to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), you will be able to use the new online-application route on www.gov.uk.