Operating an SPSV

Driver Linking

NTA maintains a database of links between each licensed SPSV and its current driver. It is the driver’s legal responsibility to ensure that this information is current at all times by informing NTA whenever they take over the operation of an SPSV.

It is a criminal offence not to have a link notified to NTA when operating.

NTA provides a number of ways to keep this operational data up to date:

If you own and operate only one vehicle, and that vehicle is never operated by anyone else, you need notify NTA only once in relation to that vehicle (so long as you do not permit your driver licence or vehicle licence to expire). If, however, a vehicle is operated by more than one driver, each driver must notify NTA each and every time they commence operating that vehicle.

This database feeds into the NTA public safety app, Driver Check, which allows users to verify the licence and registration status of any SPSV they intend to hire.

Rental Agreements

SPSV Regulations permit a vehicle licence holder to rent the insured vehicle to another person. The person providing the rental must own the vehicle or be entitled to use it and be in possession of it while also being the holder of the vehicle licence, and must provide appropriate insurance for the period of the rental.

The person providing the rental must notify the Authority of the rental, either using NTA’s online system, or by calling the SPSV Information Line on 0818 064 000. They must provide NTA with the details of the period of the arrangement, the renter’s SPSV driver licence number and the vehicle registration number. They must maintain a record of the vehicle licence associated with the rental agreement.

Vehicle licence holder duties

The owner of a vehicle licence must:

  • ensure that the person driving is fully licensed to drive the vehicle as an SPSV
  • provide and maintain appropriate SPSV insurance
  • keep a record of the name, address and contact number of each person driving the SPSV and their SPSV driver licence details
  • retain these records and make them available for inspection by the Authority on request

The rental of an SPSV licence only (without the vehicle) is prohibited at law. It is a criminal offence to operate without a current SPSV licence. The criminal conviction for this offence attracts a penalty of up to €5,000.

Taxi ranks

Local authorities (in consultation with An Garda Síochána) are responsible for planning the location and design of taxi ranks, deciding on their size and hours of operation, building and maintaining them, and managing their use. NTA’s role in this regard is limited to offering advice, guidelines and funding to the local authorities.

When using a rank, you need to be aware of the following:

  • Taxis standing at an official taxi rank must be available for hire
  • Drivers should not leave a taxi unattended at a taxi rank
  • Customers have the right to choose which taxi they hire – they do not necessarily have to hire the first taxi in the queue
  • A taxi may be hailed and hired by a customer in close proximity to a taxi rank
  • Hackneys and limousines are not permitted to stand for hire at a taxi rank
  • No extra or booking charge is payable by customers for hiring a taxi from a rank
  • An Garda Síochána and the Local Authority are responsible for removing private vehicles from a taxi rank.
Bus lanes

The Road Traffic Regulations 1997 permit taxis in the course of business to use normal (with-flow) bus lanes.

A taxi can use a normal (with-flow) bus lane only while it is operating as an SPSV – carrying a passenger, on the way to pick up a pre-booked customer, or plying for hire. Taxis must not use bus lanes if they are not operating as an SPSV – for example, driving home at the end of a shift, travelling on personal business, or transporting only goods and not passengers.

Taxis are not allowed to use contra-flow bus lanes (in which traffic travels in the opposite direction to the traffic beside it) under any circumstances.

Hackneys and  are not permitted to use bus lanes.