Decision details

Medical Examinations for Taxi and Private Hire Drivers.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy cites:

A medical certificate is required before a licence may be granted, irrespective of the age of the applicant. A DVLA Group 2 standard of medical fitness for professional drivers is required. Certificates must be completed by an applicant’s registered GP, or a GP from their registered practice, who has access to an applicant’s medical records.

Drivers must produce to the District Council at the Licensing Office a new medical certificate within seven days of the date of the expiry of a previous certificate.

Any applicant or licence holder must be medically examined every 5 years, whilst individuals of 65 years and over, must be examined annually.

Licence holders must immediately advise the Council of any deterioration of their
Health that may affect their driving capabilities and which may negate their ability to
pass a Group 2 medical standard examination. Examples include high blood pressure, angina, diabetes, vision disorder, fainting, blackouts, drug taking or alcoholism. Where there is any doubt as to the medical fitness of the applicant, the Council may require the applicant to undergo and pay for a further medical examination by a Doctor appointed by the Council. The Doctor’s recommendation will be final.

In light of the pressures on GP surgeries, compliance with the above is problematic due to non-availability of medical certification. Many authorities have taken the stance to temporarily suspend the medical requirements contained in their policies, and some have introduced a self-declaration (something similar is currently used for diabetic drivers).
Moreover, from the 17 April 2020 The Department for Transport has relaxed the requirement surrounding medicals for lorry drivers, and under a new scheme lorry drivers will be able to receive a temporary one year licence, providing they do not have any medical conditions that affect their driving and their current licence expires in 2020.

It is proposed that a Group 2 Medical Self Declaration form is introduced for drivers wishing to make renewal applications, which will then be followed up by the Council’s Occupational Health Advisor in the case of any queries. This proposed policy derogation is suggested as temporary measure, to be utilised only if a GP from the applicant’s medical practice is unable to perform a Group 2 medical.


Covid-19 is impacting the UK at an unprecedented rate, and the usual systems available to implement policy changes via Licensing and Community Safety Committee, Strategy and Resources Committee and Full Council are not expedient. Given the circumstances many of these meetings are compromised due to social distancing precautions being now in place.

Background papers: North Devon Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2016.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1 - as above
Option 2 - none
Option 3 -none

Publication date: 20/05/2020

Date of decision: 27/03/2020