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Vehicles: Licensing New Vehicles & Renewing an Existing Licence

As Licensing Authorities Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council have responsibility for the administration and enforcement of taxi legislation within their areas. Both Councils' primary function is protection of the public whilst providing individuals and businesses with the relevant licences and permits necessary to carry out a legitimate business.

Licensing is the tool used by Government to ensure the safety of the public and enforce standards. The councils will only issue hackney carriage and private hire vehicle licences for vehicles that are safe and suitable. The council will only renew vehicle licences after vehicles are proven safe by passing both an MOT and compliance test.

Vehicle: Application to Licence or Renew a current Licence - Hackney Carriage or Private Hire

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Suitable Vehicles

Not all vehicles are suitable for use as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle. Some vehicles are obviously unsuitable but some on the surface seem suitable but for various reasons are not.

Any driver looking to purchase a vehicle should ask the licensing team for advice before committing to buying. The requirements in Adur and Worthing and between Hackney Carriage and Private Hire make it vital that a driver/proprietor gets advice before making a purchase.

All vehicles that are granted a licence need to be well maintained. Every vehicle will be given an annual inspection to ensure that it is roadworthy.

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CCTV

CCTV can be a useful tool for the purpose of protecting both the public and drivers.  For licensed vehicles fitted with CCTV facilities the councils have adopted rules governing the type of CCTV that can be fitted.

The introduction of compulsory CCTV in Worthing licensed vehicles is ongoing whilst the fitting is optional on Adur Vehicles. But in either case the proprietor will be responsible for ensuring the system conforms to the Data Protection Act and other relevant legislation, and displays the necessary informative notice for passengers. The approved systems have cameras that continually record visual images but audio recording that can only be activated by the driver, when necessary, for a short period to ensure passengers' normal conversations are not recorded.

Passengers should be reassured that the images and audio cannot be monitored and relevant data will only be recovered when necessary by the Police or Licensing Authority if investigating possible crime or an accident.

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Tinted Windows

A proprietor must not affix, or allow to be affixed, window tinting to a licensed vehicle without first applying for and obtaining permission from the council to do so.

Many vehicles are manufactured and produced with window glass in various tints or film coatings from clear to jet-black. The latter making it impossible to view into the passenger compartment. This is deemed to be public safety issue with heavily tinted windows being judged to be of particular concern to women passengers travelling alone, parents of children travelling unaccompanied, and law enforcement officers.

Many of the vehicles supplied with tinted glass are acceptable, however in the interests of safety and reassurance of passengers, tinted glass or mirrored glass that restricts all view into the passenger compartment will not be accepted on licensed vehicles. Adur & Worthing Councils' Handbooks both state that all vehicles should be of manufacturers’ original specification and should have windows to the side and rear providing natural light to passenger compartment.

For existing licensed vehicles with darker window tinting a transitional period in accordance with the rolling vehicle replacement programme will be permitted but vehicles being replaced or licensed for the first time must adhere to the current conditions of licence as stated in the handbooks.

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Taxi - accident reporting

If you have had an accident and the hackney carriage or private hire vehicle has sustained damaged that affects the safety, performance or appearance of the vehicle then this must be reported to the Taxi Licensing Unit.

It is the owner of the hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licensed by us who is responsible for reporting the accident. This should be done as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case within 72 hours.

The vehicle may also need to be checked by a garage, to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy and meets the councils' vehicle standards, there may be a charge for this test.

Please also note, an Insurance Company or other Legal Body can contact us for information relating to this accident (following a claim), a copy of this report will be provided to them

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