Taxi and private hire licensing DBS checks
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Taxi and private hire licensing DBS checks

An annual online DBS status check is a pre-requisite to the renewal of a Hackney carriage driver, private hire driver, Hackney carriage proprietor and private hire operator licence.

It is also a condition upon the grant of a licence that you subscribe to the DBS update service which allows Officers to carry out a quick online status check to ensure your DBS certificate is up to date. Your licence may be suspended or not renewed unless we have this means of checking for criminal activity – convicted or otherwise.

How to enrol on the DBS Update Service

Log on​ and enrol using either your E reference number which you will get by email direct from the DBS ‘or’ when your certificate arrives you can enrol using your certificate number.

It is compulsory to pay £13 online by credit or debit card to keep your DBS live and current for one year. If you wish to continue to be licensed with Leeds City Council, you must renew with the Update Service every year at a cost of £13.

By selecting the option to automatically renew a subscription, the DBS will store your card details to take the £13 subscription on an annual basis. It is your responsibility to ensure that those payment details remain current and valid i.e. if you change your payment card over the course of the year, the DBS will not be able to take your annual subscription. Where an annual subscription has not been renewed, we won’t be able to undertake the necessary checks for criminal activity at the time of your licence renewal. You would therefore be required to undertake a full enhanced disclosure prior to renewing your licence.

Once you have enrolled you will receive a reference number starting with C directly from the DBS. Please keep this reference number safe as this is your Update Service DBS reference.

Once you have received both your certificate and your C reference number you must bring them into the licensing office for us to update your file.

Renewing your subscription to the update service

Subscriptions last for 1 year from the date of issue on your DBS certificate - you can keep renewing to continue enjoying the benefits of the update service. Subscriptions to the update service expire 12 months after the issue date on your linked DBS certificate.

If you haven’t opted to automatically renew you will need to log in to your account and make a payment within 30 days before your subscription ends. You’ll get a reminder email 30 calendar days before your subscription is due to expire. The email will be sent from you should add this address to your safe senders or safe recipients list.

If your subscription has not been renewed 14 days before the expiry date the DBS will send you a reminder letter too. Your subscription must be renewed by the day before the subscription expiry date. You can’t renew on the expiry date because the account will be closed.

If you lose your DBS certificate we will be unable to carry out an online status check; a DBS certificate should always be viewed alongside the result of a status check.

When you renew the next year’s subscription will start the day after your previous subscription expires.

Automatic renewals

Automatic renewals are set up when you first join the update service, unfortunately you can’t set this feature at any other point. If you haven’t opted to automatically renew you can do a manual renew, details below.

If you have opted to automatically renew you’ll get an email from the DBS to explain that your yearly subscription fee of £13 will be charged to the original payment details you gave them. If your payment details have changed you can update them by logging in to your account and selecting ‘Renew subscription’.

Any subscription that you have automatically opted to renew will continue to do so each year – you don’t need to anything else unless your payment details need updating. Once you select auto renewal for the update service it is not possible to switch it off unless you cancel your subscription because it is no longer needed.

If you opted to renew but payment failed the DBS will email you and will try to take the payment again. If it fails a second time your subscription will not be renewed.

Cancelling your update service account

You can cancel your update service account at any time. DBS certificate(s) attached to the account will no longer be eligible to be checked online for status changes.

If you join the update service then wish to cancel your account the fee will be non-refundable. Your fee can only be refunded if you joined with your application form reference number and we didn’t receive your application form within 28 days or your DBS check application is withdrawn.

Your subscription will continue even if all DBS certificates are removed from the account. If the subscription is not renewed at the end of the subscription period the account will close.

Any DBS certificate attached to a closed account will be removed and we will no longer be able to carry out status checks. If a subscription lapses you will have to apply for a new DBS check and then re-subscribe to the update service.

DBS helpline: Telephone 03000 200 190

Further guidance

Please use this page, in particular the Documents section, to obtain further guidance around the DBS process.​

Click to expandWhat is the DBS?

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independant Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in 2012. CRB checks are now called DBS checks.

Click to expandWhat is the difference between a standard and enhanced disclosure?

​A standard disclosure checks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.  An enhanced disclosure includes the same as the standard check plus any additional information held by local police that is reasonably considered relevant to the workforce being applied for (adult, child or 'other' workforce).

'Other' workforce means those who don't work with children or adults specifically but potentially both e.g. licensed drivers.  In this case, the police will only release information that is relevant to the post being applied for.

Click to expandHow much will it cost to undertake the enhanced DBS disclosure?

The cost is currently £70.00 (this is subject to change).  This is made up of the fee charged by the DBS directly and the administration fee applied by the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Section. ​​

Click to expandHow much will it cost to register with the online update service?

At £13 per year, registration for the update service is significantly cheaper than undertaking an enhanced disclosure every year.

Click to expandI’ve submitted my DBS application online. What happens next?

You must now enrol on the update service. Enrol using your E reference number which will the DBS will send to you via email within 6 weeks of your DBS application being submitted.

Please take care entering the reference numbers when enrolling If a mistake is made with the numbers, the DBS will still take a payment of £13. Although the payment will be returned to you, the updated service will be cancelled.

Click to expandHow can I undertake a DBS disclosure prior to renewing my licence?

You will be able to submit your DBS application online and only visit the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Section so that Licensing Officers can check your identification documents.

If you have any questions about the process you can contact us on 0113 378 1570 or via email at​​

Click to expandHow quickly will I receive the outcome of my DBS check?

In the vast majority of cases the usual timescale of 4–6 weeks will apply for you to physically receive your DBS certificate​.​

Click to expandI didn’t enrol to the update service using my E-reference number & have now received my DBS certificate. Can I still enrol?

Yes, you can enrol for the update service using your certificate number. However, please note you must enrol within 19 days of the date of issue on your certificate. If you fail to enrol within that timescale you will have to undertake the full DBS again and pay the applicable fee.​

Click to expandI haven’t enrolled in the update service within 19 days. Will my licence be renewed?


Enrolling in the update service is a condition attached to the grant of a licence. Failure to enrol in the update service may result in a licence not being renewed/ issued until a further enhanced DBS disclosure has been undertaken.​​

Click to expandMy DBS certificate has disclosed convictions; will my licence be renewed?

​A points criteria system is used to ensure that decisions are made on hard criteria and are both consistent and fair in arriving at a decision to grant or not grant a licence. The objective of the system is to define a 'fit and proper' person and to ensure that applicants and/or licence holders fulfil the requirement of being 'fit and proper' before a licence is issued or renewed.

Please refer to our convictions criteria policy for further guidance which is available below.

Criminal Convictions Policy

Click to expandI have recently undertaken a disclosure for another role; do I need to undertake another one?

​If you registered for the online DBS update service at the time of completing a previous DBS disclosure then you may not be required to undertake another one. Please note however that your previous disclosure must have been enhanced. You must also present your original DBS certificate and give us consent to carry out an online status check.

Phone: 0113 3781570

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