The National Transport Authority was formed from the amalgamation of various transport regulatory bodies in 2009. It took over the functions of the Commissioner for Taxi Regulation, which had been formed in 2003. Prior to this, licensing of the taxi industry was undertaken directly by Garda Síochána.
The Authority may make regulations and requirements in relation to the licensing of different categories of small public service vehicles and their drivers for different circumstances and different areas. It is an offence to use or drive a mechanically propelled vehicle capable of being licensed as a small public service vehicle in a public place for the carriage of passengers for reward unless both the driver and vehicle are licensed.
The provision applies to persons renting or leasing vehicles, capable of being licensed as such who is using that vehicle in a public place for the carriage of passengers for reward.
The holder of a PSV license may not lease or rent his vehicle to another person unless he is satisfied that the license in force for the vehicle continues to operate during that period. Contravention of any of the above requirements is an offence.
An authorised person who suspects an offence is being committed under the above or under any of the provisions of the Act may seize and detain the vehicle reporting to be the small PSV or the internal or external signage or identification for as long as necessary.
The Authority has power to make regulations in relation to the licensing ownership control of small PSVs, dispatch operators, PSV drivers, and the relevant standards that are to apply. It may make provision in relation to the categories of vehicles that may be licensed, terms and conditions of the license, form and content of the license, fees payable, age of vehicle which maybe licensed, inspection and certification of vehicle, the validity, revocation and suspension of a license.
Regulations may include provision in relation to
- vehicle standards;
- identification including internal and external signage;
- enforcements on the vehicle;
- conditions of transfer of license;
- conditions of operation;
- use of taxi meter machines, keeping of records;
- display of information,
- fixtures and fittings,
- inspection of vehicles.
Licensing regulations in relation to the licensing of drivers may include
- provisions in relation to the fitness of a person having regard to Garda Síochána assessment, or other assessment;
- Requirements of knowledge of the geographical routes, place names, geography routes, place names, and other relevant matters;
- Knowledge and ability of needs of persons with disability including mobility and sensory difficulties;
- Knowledge and ability of needs of customers;
- Knowledge of road traffic, law as well as licensing and other provisions;
- Health of the applicant.
The Authority may authorise and approve person to determine that a person has the requisite knowledge and acceptable level of competence in respect of any of the standards.
Regulations may be required in relation to identification of drivers including signage, badges, dress code, availability of work and scheduling of persons as driver.
Different standards and requirements maybe set in relation to license of different categories of PSV. Different requirements may relate to different circumstances and different areas.
Regulations have been made in relation to the licensing of dispatched driver and all of the above provisions have been applied to licensing of them.
Where a person has been refused or granted a license, or a license which has been granted has been suspended or revoked, the person must be notified. They may make representations within 14 days of the notification. The Authority must consider the representation.
Where the license Authority having considered representations if any decides to grant or refuse a license it shall notify the applicant. Where the applicant has been notified of the decision to refuse, grant or revoke a license he may appeal to the district court against the refusal. The decision of the district court is final except by leave for the court, an appoint of law to the high court.
There is mandatory disqualification for holding licenses on conviction of certain offences. This includes murder, manslaughter, certain offences against the person, sexual offences, drug trafficking offences, money laundering offences, theft and fraud offences, immigrant tracking programs.
After certain periods depending on the extent of the offence (ranging from 2, 5 and 10 years in respect of summary conviction, indictable offence and imprisonment of more than 10 years, the person may apply to the original court for a license other such terms as the court directs.
Where a person is convicted of any drink driving offence, he is disqualified from driving a PSV for the period of disqualification and for certain additional periods specified, it is an offence to attempt to carry passengers for reward or operate business related to the provision of PSV if disqualified application to court to reinstate a license in the above circumstances, must be given with notice to Garda Síochána.
A tax clearance certificate is required from applicants for PCV licenses. Regulations maybe made specifying the particular types of licenses requiring a tax clearance certificate.
The Authority establishes and maintains a register of license. It maybe maintained in electronic format. The register may include names and addresses, change for addresses, license number, vehicle registration number for vehicle license, driver number, category of vehicle license, date of grant, area of license details of change of ownerships, suspensions, revocation.
The Authority may on payment of a fee on subject to conditions issue the certificate in relation to information in the register. This may include details of license holder. Fee is not payable by Garda Síochána and court services.