Licensing bosses in Wolverhampton are preparing to approve the £49,000 register, which will enable all drivers, operators and proprietors of private hire and hackney cabs licensed by the council to provide up-to-date information records.
Private hire taxi drivers in the city hit out at the council this week after fitting plastic screens in their cars to protect against coronavirus – which licensing chiefs then made them remove, as prior permission had not been sought.
The ‘My Driver Portal’ will enable all drivers to record criminal/motoring convictions or cautions; changes in name, address or contact details; changes in private hire operator; changes of driver if the vehicle is licensed by a hire company, and any road traffic accidents.
In a report to the council, Licensing Section Leader Lorraine Jones said: "When a driver has a change in circumstances they are required to inform us in writing as part of the conditions of their licence.
"It is important to ensure that records are kept up to date in order to be able to contact the relevant and correct driver/proprietor or operator in the event of a circumstance or allegation that requires immediate action to be undertaken by licensing services.
"The portal was created as a self-help function for drivers to maintain their records online and ensure they are kept up to date as per the conditions of the licence issued.
"Traditionally this would be a paper record, but as we are working totally electronically, it was a natural step for the register to be electronic. It also makes the register more easily accessible.
"The introduction of an online portal provides easier access to the information held against licence holders and the ability for licence holders to instantly update the information themselves,” she added.
Access to the driver portal will be secure and require an email address specific to each driver, proprietor or operator.
The facility – obtained from software suppliers Idox for a one-off payment – will also include news feeds, announcements and advertisements for relative issues including insurance, replacement car hire, repairs, tyres and valeting.
There is also a potential for the council to stream income from the advertisement function.
The council’s Non-Statutory Licensing Committee will discuss the new online portal next Wednesday.