The new register will allow councils to record details of where a taxi or PHV licence been refused or revoked and allow local authorities to check new applicants against the register.
Why is a register needed?
This is an important step to tackling the issue of individuals making applications to different licensing authorities following a refusal or 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 council 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 taken away elsewhere.
How will 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 has 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, 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 £1,050/ year and our understanding is that this would be a legitimate cost to be included in the licensing fee. Queries about membership enquries 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. The intention is, that 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 has been developed that sets out the steps authorities will need to take to use the register in a way that complies with the new data protection requirements, as well as wuth human rights law.
Guidance can be accessed by logging into the NAFN portal or on request from email@example.com.