TfL DBS Checks: What You Need to Know in 2024

As part of its commitment to public safety, Transport for London requires all its employees and licensed private hire drivers, to undergo Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

In this blog post, we will have a closer look at TfL DBS checks, what they involve, and how they affect licensed private hire drivers.

What is a TfL DBS Check?

A TfL DBS check is a criminal record check carried out by the DBS on behalf of Transport for London. The aim of the check is to ensure that all TfL employees and licensed private hire drivers are suitable to work in roles that involve contact with the public and other vulnerable groups.

What Does a TfL DBS Check Involve?

A TfL DBS check can involve three types of criminal record check: Basic DBS checks, Standard DBS checks and Enhanced DBS checks. A Basic check will reveal any unspent convictions or cautions, a Standard check will reveal any & all convictions, while an Enhanced check will reveal both spent and unspent convictions, as well as any relevant information held by the police.

TfL DBS Checks - A table to show the difference between DBS checks

For most TfL employees, the Basic check is usually sufficient. However, for licensed private hire drivers, an Enhanced check is required. This is because licensed drivers are required to work closely with the public and other vulnerable groups, such as children and disabled people.

How Does a TfL DBS Check Affect Licensed Private Hire and Taxi Drivers?

All licensed private hire and taxi drivers are required to undergo an Enhanced DBS check before they can be licensed by TfL. You need to apply for this check using TfL’s approved DBS provider, First Advantage (unaffiliated with Aaron’s Department).

TfL have published a handful of helpful PDFs which you can use for guidance with your application – we’ve linked them below:

If a licensed private hire or taxi driver, has any unspent convictions or cautions, there is a possibility that they may not be granted a licence by TfL, or if they already have a licence, TfL may revoke it or refuse to renew it.

How to Apply for a TfL DBS Check

If you are a licensed private hire driver, you can apply for a TfL DBS check online at this address – instructions are provided on this official TfL PDF. You will need to provide some personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth, as well as some identification documents, such as your passport or driving licence.

The cost of a TfL DBS check application is around £50, depending on how you opt to complete it. This fee is payable by the applicant and cannot be reimbursed by TfL or any other third party. However, it is worth noting that the cost of the check is tax-deductible, and you may be able to claim it back on your tax return.

TfL DBS Checks - An Aaron's Department Guide


In conclusion, TfL DBS checks are an essential part of the licensing process for licensed private hire drivers.

They help to ensure that drivers are suitable to work in roles that involve contact with the public and other vulnerable groups. If you are a licensed private hire driver, it is important to be aware of the requirements for TfL DBS checks and to apply for them in a timely manner.

By doing so, you can help to ensure that you remain licensed and able to work in your chosen profession.

A Bit About Us:

If you need a TfL DBS check, unfortunately you won’t be able to get one with us. But if you need checks for your staff for any other reason, that’s our business! We’ll quickly go over some of the benefits of getting your DBS checks with Aaron’s Department:

  • Our error-proof system identifies mistakes in real-time, giving users the chance to fix them – incorrect details can lead to the DBS rejecting applications, so we’ve designed a system to avoid that happening!
  • Our 3-step, registration process is fast and free – you could have your DBS results within hours of signing up.
  • Low-cost DBS check admin fees, starting from £3.11.
  • Built-in tracking system for easy monitoring of applications’ progress.
  • Free DBS fast-track: every check we receive before 4pm on a weekday is checked, countersigned, and sent on to the DBS the very same day. The faster we do that, the faster you get your check back.
  • Knowledgeable & experienced customer support, along with expert eligibility guidance.

Like we say, if you’re interested, or just need some DBS guidance, simply give us a call on 0113 877 0171, or drop us an email at, and we’ll do our best to help you and your DBS application sent off as soon as possible!

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