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Struggling to complete your on-line PCO DBS (CRB) application?

As of January 2012 you must apply for an enhanced DBS (CRB) check from the Data Barring Service (or what you may know as the Criminal Records Bureau) before you send off your PCO licence application.

The PCO DBS Check (CRB) checks your personal details against criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer and will reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings.

All your past convictions, whether spent or unspent will be disclosed during the enhanced CRB checking process. If you have any concerns whether you’re eligible for the PCO Licence please give TfL a call on 0343 222 4444.

The PCO needs to make sure that you are safe, honest and a trustworthy person. That you are the type of person who deserves to be licensed as a Private Hire or Chauffeur Driver. The DBS result will help TfL make a decision as to whether you are eligible for the PCO Licence. They will consider both your repute & fitness to hold a PCO Licence. have been contracted by Transport for London (TfL) to provide all DBS checks for taxi and private hire drivers. It’s recommended the DBS check is done online as it’s much quicker than the paper based process.

It’s cheaper, easier and quicker. However, if you do not have access to a computer or an email address, the paper-based application is available. Alternatively, why not let us do your DBS check for you? Click here

The DBS check is only valid for 3 months so make sure you send off your application as soon as you get your “E” reference number via email. If you leave it too long then you may be forced to do a fresh DBS check.

Paper based DBS checks

If you prefer you can request a paper application pack by contacting TMG CRB on 0845 251 5000. The paper application costs £58.85 plus £7.15 ID checking payment. We strongly  recommend all applicants do the online DBS check.

How to do the On-Line PCO DBS check

A DBS Introduction and Information letter will be contained within your PCO licence application pack. This letter will contain the information you need to start the online DBS application process. Online applications are not entirely online. To commence with the online DBS application start by clicking here. You can download a guide to help you through the process which is as follows:

    1. Go to and register.

Select and complete the appropriate details using the below table.Follow the onscreen instructions to complete your application.

  1. Enter your details: a/ Applicant details b/ Identity document selection c/ Summary d/ Confirmation​
  2. Select ID for verification using the online help tool and print off the the form which will contain unique barcodes. Take this form to a post office for verification. Please see this list to find post offices offering this service.​​
  3. Pay for the DBS application at the Post Office and the check and send fee which is approx £8

As part of your licence application you will be asked to provide a reference number. If you are completing an online application, you will be required to provide an “E Number”. This will be emailed to you if you select to receive email progress updates as part of your application. Otherwise it can be obtained by logging into your account  3-5 days after having been to the post office.

If you prefer you can request a paper application pack by contacting GBG Group on 0845 251 5000 or emailing The paper application costs £58.85 plus the ID checking payment.

Please note, with effect from June 2013 only one disclosure certificate will be sent out to the applicant (previously 2 were sent out, one to TfL and one to the applicant) – in the event TfL are informed that the DBS has disclosed information to the applicant you will be asked to forward your original certificate. This process will be undertaken on behalf of TfL by , their service provider. Applicants must respond to any correspondence. Failure to do so could result in them not being licensed. TfL cannot process any applications until a result has been received on your Criminal Record Check (DBS check)

Your disclosures details will then be copied and passed to TfL before returning the original to you . TfL will then destroy their copy once a licensing decision has been made and no-one will not be retaining any copies.

FAQ’s about the PCO DBS check:

What do I do about a DBS check if I’ve lived abroad?All applicants for the PCO-Licence need to do the Enhanced CRB check (except those people meeting the exemptions rules) regardless of how long they have been living in the UK.

What if I have a criminal record?Having a criminal record doesn’t instantly disqualify you from getting licensed but if you do have any previous convictions then they will be assessed on a case by case basis using the following criteria:

  • Nature of the offence(s)
  • Circumstances in which any offence was committed
  • Circumstances of the individual concerned
  • Subsequent periods of good behaviour
  • Overall conviction history
  • Sentence imposed by the court
  • The applicant’s history as an “existing private hire driver” (if any)
  • Any other character check considered reasonable (e.g. personal references)

Please note that sexual and violent offences will most definitely rule you completely out of getting your PCO Licence although it is still possible to have a drink-driving charge but still be eligible to get a PCO Licence. If you have convictions and are concerned please call the TfL Licensing Team on 0343 222 4444.

What if I have points on my driving licence?Having points can’t stop you from applying and getting your PCO licence as it depends what the conviction was for, the sentence imposed and how long ago it was. If the points are for minor offences then you may find that there is no problem with your application but there is no clear yes/no for offences and you may only find out once you’ve applied. But be aware, points on your licence could effect your insurance premiums.

I’ve already got a DBS Check which I did before, do I need a new one?If you have already done a DBS check which is no more than 3 months old, TfL will only accept this if it was done for TfL or one of it’s departments. If you’re still unsure please call them on 0343 222 4444

Can you help me do my DBS check?.Yes. If you need any further help and support with your DBS application please give us a call. We have some great Packages aimed to make your life easier. We can do your DBS check onl-line for a small fee.

Alternatively, you can contact the DBS administration team direct on 0845 251 5000 between 8.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday with a 24-hour messaging service or email

TPH @ TMG CRB, 1 Wilford Business Park, Ruddington Lane, Nottingham, NG11 7EP