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Transporting wheelchair users and assistance dogs

Under the Equality Act 2010, licensed taxi drivers are legally required to transport wheelchair users and assistance dogs.

Finding a wheelchair-accessible vehicle

We have a list of all vehicles which are licensed to transport wheelchairs (wheelchair accessible vehicles or WAVs). You can look at the list online.

Once you've opened the list, click the downward arrow to show the menu. The list of wheelchair-accessible vehicles is under 'List of Vehicles that have been designated as wheelchair accessible under Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010'.

Please note, you'll need to scroll sideways to see all the information.

Guidance for drivers

Duties of drivers of wheelchair-accessible vehicles


Under Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010, the duties of licensed drivers of designated wheelchair accessible vehicles are:

  • carry the passenger while in the wheelchair;
  • not to make any additional charge for doing so;
  • if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat to carry the wheelchair;
  • to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort; and
  • to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.

A driver may be exempt from these requirements on medical or physical grounds. If so, they must display their Notice of Exemption prominently on the front windscreen of their vehicle. For more information about applying for a medical exemption, see the 'Medical exemption for drivers' section below.

Carrying assistance dogs


The Equality Act 2010 requires drivers to carry guide dogs (and other assistance dogs) at no extra cost. Furthermore, the driver or operator must not treat the assistance dog owner less favourably because of their impairment.

Drivers can apply for an exemption from this requirement, but only if they have a genuine medical condition, and their application is supported by sufficient evidence. Under such circumstances the council may exempt the driver from the requirement to carry assistance dogs. The driver must display their Notice of Exemption prominently on the front windscreen of their vehicle.

Your guide to Assistance Dogs, produced by Transport for London, provides a brief summary of the different types of assistance dogs, and how to identify them.

Medical exemption for drivers


If you have a genuine medical condition which prevents you from being able to carry a wheelchair user in a wheelchair accessible vehicle, or prevents you from transporting an assistance dog, then please complete the medical exemption application form.

If you wish to claim an exemption on medical grounds, you’ll need information from your doctor or specialist stating the following:

  • what duties can’t be undertaken
  • why they can’t be undertaken
  • date the condition was first noted
  • whether there any modifications could be made to the vehicle or the way the driver provides the service which would mean an exemption wasn’t necessary
  • for how long the medical exemption will last

Your doctor or specialist may also provide medical reports to support your request for a medical exemption.

We may contact your GP in order to discuss the matter further.

We also reserve the right to refer you to our own medical or occupational health practitioner if we feel a further assessment is necessary. You’ll be responsible for meeting these costs.

If Licensing officers have any concerns about granting the exemption then the matter will be referred to the Licensing Committee to decide. If your application is refused, you have the right to appeal to the magistrates’ court within 28 days of the date of the refusal notice.

If the exemption is granted, you’ll be issued with an Exemption Certificate and Notice of Exemption. The Notice of Exemption must be displayed in the vehicle by fixing it, facing outwards, either on the front windscreen or in a prominent position on the dashboard.

If the exemption is time-limited then the Exemption Certificate and Notice of Exemption must be returned to the Licensing team within 7 days of the expiry date.

For more information about taxi licensing, contact the Licensing team on 01642 728011 or email licensing@middlesbrough.gov.uk.