How to apply for a DBS criminal history check and DBS update service, for taxi and private hire licences.

As a private hire or taxi driver you'll need to get an enhanced DBS check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) This is to make sure that you don't have a criminal history that would stop you from operating as a driver.

If you already subscribe to the DBS update service, you can let us check your DBS certificate this by filling in the  document update service authorisation form (144 KB) .

If you're an existing driver and don't subscribe to the DBS update service, you'll need to:

  • get an enhanced DBS check
  • sign up to the DBS update service

You must sign up for the update service before your licence expires, so we can renew it.

How to apply for a DBS check

You'll need to apply for your DBS check online before your licence expires, or we may not be able to renew your licence.  We'll send you an email with:

  • a link to the online form
  • your login details 

Find more information about the online form in our  pdf online DBS check guide (191 KB) .

After you've done the online application, you'll need to call us on 0117 357 4900 to:

  • book an appointment for us to verify your ID
  • pay the DBS application fee of £53

ID appointment

Your appointment to verify your ID will be at Customer Service Point, 100 Temple Street, Bristol, BS1 6AG (find us on Google Maps).

You'll need to bring 3 forms of ID with you. Most people bring:

  • a valid British Passport
  • a current driving licence
  • a bank statement or utility bill showing your name and address less than 3 months from the date of issue, or a council tax statement less than 12 months from the date of issue

Find a list of all acceptable ID documents on GOV.UK

If you already have your enhanced DBS certificate

You must show us the certificate before you renew your  online.

You can either:

  • take a photo of the front and back of each page and email to licensing@bristol.gov.uk
  • post the original certificate to Licensing Team PO BOX 3399, 100 Temple Street, Bristol, BS1 9NE, we'll make a copy and return the certificate to you

You cannot bring your certificate in to Customer Service Point in person.

DBS update service

You'll be asked if you want to sign up to the DBS update service when you get your certificate.

You need to sign up to the DBS update service within 28 days of getting your certificate.

If you don't sign up within 28 days, you'll need to apply and pay for another DBS certificate, and then sign up for the DBS update service.

You must have a subscription to the service at all times while you hold a hackney carriage or private hire driver licence.