The NR3 register is currently the only available means for councils to record revocations and refusals of taxi or private hire licences. This in turn provides a valuable source of information for other councils to use to check new applicants in their area.
Why is a register needed?
Media reports have highlighted the issue of individuals making applications to different licensing authorities following a refusal or revocation. If applicants do not disclose information about a previous revocation or refusal of a licence, there is often no way for a council to find this information out. The NR3 database provides a solution to this issue, allowing access to vital intelligence about an applicant’s past behaviour, providing the information has been registered.
Use of NR3 is not mandatory at present, and depends on councils being members of and actively using the register to record revocations and refusals.
Where information is not recorded, there is an increased risk that an individual who has been either refused a licence, or had their licence revoked due to misconduct or other concerns may subsequently be successful in applying to another local authority.
How does it work?
The LGA commissioned the National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) to develop and host the register. NAFN is a shared service, hosted by Tameside council, which supports public authorities to tackle fraud and share intelligence. NAFN worked with the LGA and a user group comprised of licensing officers from a number of local authorities to develop the register.
To access the register authorities are required to be members of NAFN (we believe that around 90 per cent of local authorities are already members and will be able to access the register at no additional cost).
For non-members, membership of NAFN costs £1,500/ year and our understanding is that this is be a legitimate cost to be included in the licensing fee. Queries about Membership and registration to access to NR3 should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
NR3 was commissioned by the LGA as a voluntary register. Licensing authorities will be responsible for adding basic details of drivers who have had applications for a licence either refused, revoked or suspended.
When a licensing authority receives an application for a licence, the applicant’s details will be checked on the register to confirm that there is no record of them having being revoked or refused elsewhere. Details contained on the register will be limited to information that will help to identify an individual to a certain degree of accuracy, but will not give a reason why actions were taken. It will be up to individual authorities to follow up on any searches they make which come back with a match.
The register went live in July 2018, and guidance sets out the steps authorities will need to take to use the register in a way that complies with the data protection requirements, as well as with human rights law.
Guidance can be accessed by logging into the NAFN portal, or on request from email@example.com.