Licensing

Changes to our Licensing services

Advice and guidance for current licence holders and new applicants on changes to our Licensing service

This guidance is for current licence holders and anyone planning to apply for a new licence. It explains the changes we are making to our Licensing services to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by Covid-19.

Everyone has a role to play in limiting the spread of Covid-19. Licence holders, including taxi and private hire car drivers, are reminded to follow Government advice including advice on isolation if you have symptoms.

 

1. General Guidelines on Changes to our Licensing service

1.1 Face to Face Appointments

We are not currently offering appointments at our Rayleigh or Rochford Offices. Alternative arrangements are being put in place to enable essential paperwork to be submitted electronically.

1.2 Committee and Board Meetings

All planned meetings of the Licensing and any Regulatory Committee have been postponed. If you are scheduled to attend a future meeting please do not attend.

We will contact you directly about alternative arrangements - where possible decisions may be taken without the need for a meeting or via the use of video conferencing facility.

1.3 Submitting Applications

We are asking customers to only submit essential applications or paperwork. If necessary, your application should be sent electronically to one of the following email addresses.

Liquor and Gambling – Licensing@rochford.gov.uk

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire – hackney@rochford.gov.uk

All other Licence Types – Licensing@rochford.gov.uk

You can find electronic copies of our applications here on our site

Your application should be signed. Any necessary documentation should accompany the application. If you do not have scanned/electronic copies of documents you can provide photographs. Images of documents must be clear and legible.

Once we receive your application we will review it and contact you to arrange payment.

If you are applying for a taxi or private hire car drivers licence we will also contact you with specific instructions on providing your right to work documentation.

Please be aware that it may take some time to review and process your application. You should expect most applications to take the statutory timescale of 9-12 months to process.

If you plan to submit a renewal application please read our guidance for existing licence holders

 

2. Guidance for Existing Licence Holders

 2.1 Your Licence is Due to Expire

All licences due to expire on or before 18 May 2020 will automatically be extended by a period of 2 months. You will be licensed to continue to trade over the extended period subject to Government guidance on Covid-19 and a pdf temporary licence will be issued.

Applications for renewal of a licence will not be accepted until 18th May 2020 at the earliest. We will continue to review this position and may apply a further extension to licences if necessary. The guidance will continue to be updated.

 

3. Guidance for Taxi and Private Hire Car/Driver Licence Holders

3.1 Drivers requiring a DBS or DVLA check

We have the facility to accept electronic submissions in relation to the DVLA checks. An email will be sent to drivers in relation to the DVLA checks from our third party provider.

This is more complex for DBS submissions, due to the fact original documentation must be seen. Those drivers that are able to scan copies of documents across, we are temporarily accepting scanned documents, those that do not have this facility will have their licence extended for 2 months.

3.2 Driver badge renewals

We are extending the licences for 2 months for those drivers that are due for their badge renewals, a temporary pdf licence will be sent to those drivers extending their licence and further instructions will be issued.

3.3 Vehicle Interim Inspections

If you have a scheduled interim inspection you should still obtain a MOT as normal and email a copy to the licensing team via hackney@rochford.gov.uk

3.4 Vehicle Renewals

We are extending the licence for 2 months for those vehicles that require the renewal of the licence. A temporary pdf licence will be sent to the owners of the vehicle. If a MOT is required, the vehicle owner will obtain a MOT as normal and email a copy to hackney@rochford.gov.uk.

3.5 Group 2 Medicals

If you are able to obtain a group 2 medical, please continue to attend the appointments and return the form to the council offices. If the office is closed, please post the form through the letterbox and this will be collected during the day.

 

4. Guidance for Liquor Licence Holders

4.1 Food Takeaway and Delivery Services

Following the announcement by the UK Government regarding a relaxation of planning rules, the Licensing team is supportive of licensed premises which wish to provide a food take away and food delivery service.

Where the premises sell food and are licensed for both on and off-sales of alcohol, the delivery of alcohol with food will also be permitted, subject to compliance with the appropriate provisions within the new guidelines.

 

We will continue to review this position and may apply a further extension if necessary. The guidance will continue to be updated.