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Authorisation

I run a booking system to manage bookings for booked-hire services – will I be impacted by any changes?

Yes. In Stage 2 all booking entities, including current taxi booking companies will be required to have government approvals, which will be set-out in legislation. Additionally, safety requirements will be imposed on all booking entities – from individual drivers who take bookings directly to technology-based booking services – to ensure they are accountable for safe and accessible services.

Can ride-booking services pick-up and drop-off customers at Queensland airports?

Yes, as long as the ride-booking service/driver is booked, not soliciting or touting for business, and does not drop-off or collect passengers from any taxi rank. 

Can I offer a ride-booking service if I own a historic car?

Yes but not if your vehicle is registered as a Special Interest Vehicle (SIV). To operate as a ride-booking service, your vehicle must have an unrestricted vehicle registration and a current Safety Certificate from an approved inspection station.All new drivers in the personalised transport industry must obtain a Taxi Driver Authorisation which transitioned to the new Booked Hire/Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation category that combines all personalised transport drivers (taxi, limousine and ride-booking) on 1 November 2016.

What requirements do I need to meet for Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation?

New applicants for Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisations must meet the following requirements: hold a current Australian open driver licencehave held an open or provisional driver licence continuously for at least three years (can be an overseas licence)have held an Australian driver licence or recognised equivalent for at least 12 monthshave an entitlement to work in Australiahave an acceptable criminal historyhave maintained a satisfactory driving historycan provide a current medical certificate assessed against commercial vehicle standards.

What services can I provide under a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation?

Holders of Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation can provide taxi, limousine and booked hire services.

How much does a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation cost?

Under the Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation category, all personalised transport drivers (booked hire, taxis and limousine) are subject to the same fees. The fee payable for a BHTX Driver Authorisation varies according to term it is being issued for. NNew applicants must also pay a fee at the time of application. This fee is collected to off-set the costs of criminal history checks – it does not apply when an existing Driver Authorisation holder obtains a BHTX Driver Authorisation.any costs incurred to provide a medical certificate.

Do I need to present my medical assessment when I lodge my Driver Authorisation application?

No. You may choose to submit your application for Driver Authorisation and have your criminal and traffic history assessed before undergoing your medical assessment. This option may reduce expenses for those applicants without a suitable criminal or traffic history.  A medical certificate will however, need to be lodged before a Driver Authorisation application can be approved.

How much does it cost to undergo the medical assessment required to apply for a Driver Authorisation?

Your health professional is responsible for determining the fee you will be charged to undergo a medical assessment to apply for a Driver Authorisation. 

Does Medicare provide a rebate for the medical assessment required to apply for a Driver Authorisation?

No.  Medicare does not provide for any rebate on the costs associated with the medical assessment required to apply for a Driver Authorisation. 

I already hold a current General Driver Authorisation, can I provide booked hire services?

Yes. If your General Driver Authorisation was approved prior to 5 September 2016, you can provide booked hire services until it expires or 14 August 2017 (whichever occurs first).  From 14 August 2017, drivers must hold a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation to continue providing booked hire services.

When do ride-booking drivers with existing General Driver Authorisations need to get a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation?

Ride-booking drivers that hold a valid General Driver Authorisation issued prior to 5 September 2016 will need to obtain a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation upon renewal or before 14 August 2017 (whichever date comes first)   

Can I drive a taxi or limousine with a General Driver Authorisation?

No. To drive a taxi, a Booked Hire /Taxi (BHTX) or Taxi Driver Authorisation is required and to drive a limousine a Limousine, BHTX or Taxi Driver Authorisation is required. 

What will happen to my Taxi or Limousine Driver Authorisation into the future?

The taxi and limousine categories of Driver Authorisation will be phased out over time.  After changes to Department of Transport and Main Roads systems have been implemented, holders of these Driver Authorisations will be transitioned to Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation at the time of renewal.

I am adding the Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) to my General Driver Authorisation. Do I receive a fee waiver?

No. A Driver Authorisation fee waiver applies only to drivers who held a Taxi or Limousine Driver Authorisation on 11 August 2016. However, the requirement to undertake further criminal history checks or medical checks will not be required if your General Driver Authorisation is not yet due for renewal.

I have received an Authorised Queensland Taxi Driver Display Card (AQTDDC), do I need to display it?

All successful applicants for Booked Hire / Taxi Driver (BHTX) Authorisations will receive an Authorised Queensland Taxi Driver Display Card (AQTDDC).  Drivers who provide services in a licensed taxi must display the card.  Drivers providing booked hire or limousine services in a vehicle that is not a licensed taxi do not need to display the card.

I currently hold a Scheduled Services (SCHE) Driver Authorisation, can I provide booked hire services?

No. There is no transition period for drivers who hold a Scheduled Services Driver Authorisation and wish to provide a booked hire service. Drivers who wished to provide a booked hire service before 1 November had to  first obtain a Taxi Driver Authorisation. Since 1 November, drivers now have to obtain a Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisation. 

What will be displayed on my Industry Authority Card?

Applicants for Taxi Driver Authorisations (including new ride-booking drivers) who were approved before 1 November 2016 were issued an Industry Authority Card that showed the code ‘TAXI’. Applicants for Booked Hire / Taxi (BHTX) Driver Authorisations who are approved after 1 November will be issued an Industry Authority Card that shows the code ‘BHTX’.Cards with ‘TAXI’, ‘LIMO’ or ‘BHTX’ codes will authorise a driver to provide taxi, limousine and booked hire services.

Can someone holding a provisional drivers licence obtain a Taxi Driver Authorisation?

No. In addition to other driver licence requirements, a person must hold a current Australian open or restricted driver licence to obtain driver authorisation. A provisional or probationary driver licence holder does not meet this requirement. 

Will there be a register of current Driver Authorisations for the public to access?

Yes. The currency of Driver Authorisations can be checked on the Passenger Transport Driver Authorisation System (PTDAS). The PTDAS confirms the currency of a Driver Authorisation and does not contain any personal information. Since Monday 5 September 2016, the PTDAS can be accessed by any member of the public at www.support.transport.qld.gov.au/ptdas  

Driver requirements

When are personalised transport drivers not responsible for ensuring their customers wear seatbelts/are appropriately restrained?

Personalised transport (taxi, limousine and ride-booking) drivers are not responsible for ensuring customers are wearing seatbelts/restrained if they are: aged 16 years or older (and not wearing their seatbelt)aged less than seven (7) years and no suitable child restraint is available – and the child is not in the front seat (if the vehicle has two or more rows of seats). 

Licensing

If I want to provide booked hire services what would I need to do to comply with the regulations?

You will need to hold a BHTX drivers authorisation - the same as that held by taxi drivers. The cost of the Driver Authorisation has not changed.You must:Have held an Australian Driver Licence for 12 monthsEnsure your vehicle must is appropriately registered, roadworthy and has Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insuranceEnsure the booked-hire vehicle has a valid safety certificate valid for 12 months which you must carry in the vehicle at all times  Display a sign in the rear window to identify the vehicle as a ride-booking vehicleProvide an estimate of the fare before the journey commences or agree to the fare with the customer up frontProvide an itemised receipt of the fare if requested by a customer

Penalties and sanctions

Can I tout for passengers

No. Touting or soliciting for passengers is against the law. Since 5 September 2016, the penalty for soliciting or touting for passengers has increased from two to four penalty units ($243-$487).

Safety

Are the rules about wearing seatbelts/being appropriately restrained in personalised transport vehicles new?

No, these rules are not new and were already in place for taxi and limousine drivers. Now that ride-booking services are legal, the rules have been extended to include ride-booking drivers. 


Why aren’t personalised transport service providers required to provide child restraints for customers who need them?

It is not practical to require personalised transport service providers (taxi, limousine and ride-booking) to supply approved child restraints due to the range and number of child restraints that would need to be carried. 

If a customer provides their own child restraint, is the personalised transport driver responsible for ensuring the child is properly restrained?

Yes, if a child restraint is available, the personalised transport driver is responsible for ensuring the child is properly restrained. 

Fares

What are the ‘itemised receipt’ requirements?

The requirement to provide an itemised receipt will apply to all personalised transport services (taxi, limousine and ride-booking). There will be an ‘out’ provision for the driver if they believe another entity has given or is going to give the customer an itemised receipt (to accommodate practices whereby the receipt is provided electronically). The only changes to the details required to be itemised on the receipt are that the ABN and fleet number will no longer be mandated. Everything else listed will remain the same:

  • the Driver Authorisation number (for taxis) or the Driver Authorisation number or name (for all other vehicles)
  • the fare and the amounts comprising the fare (for example, a booking fee for the service, total tollage or the distance or time amount)
  • the time at which the hiring started and finished
  • the origin of, and destination for, the journey.


Will the Government be regulating how much I can charge for my services?

No. When providing booked hire services, fare estimates must be provided if requested by the customer prior to the commencement of the journey or the fare must be agreed to up front.  

Since 1 November 2016, drivers must provide customers with an itemised receipt of the journey if requested (receipts can be sent by a booking entity on behalf of the driver).


Vehicle requirements

What are the identification signage requirements for ride-booking vehicles?

A booked hire vehicle must not be driven unless a sign is displayed on or near the rear of the vehicle. The sign must:

  • reasonably imply that the vehicle is a booked hire vehicle (for example, by displaying a trademark)
  • be fitted on or towards the rear of the vehicle
  • be clearly visible from outside the vehicle.


How do I get the appropriate identification signage for my ride-booking vehicle?

Ride-booking drivers should contact their ride-booking company in the first instance to determine if they have set specific requirements or can provide appropriate identification signage for their vehicle as per the new regulations. This signage should clearly identify the vehicle as a booked hire vehicle from outside the vehicle and should be displayed prominently on or near the rear of the vehicle. However, in the absence of any requirements with their ride-booking company, any signage that displays the word ‘booked hire’ will be sufficient for the new requirement and can be supplied by the driver.