Safety standards for taxis

Specific safety standards apply to taxi service providers, booking service providers (if the vehicle is a taxi used to provide a related booked service), affiliated taxi service providers, taxi licence holders, owners of taxis and drivers of those taxis.

It is a condition of authorisation that taxi service providers and booking service providers comply with the safety standards.

Information on this page is specific to passenger services which are carried out in a taxi. Information about safety standards for hire vehicles and booked services can be found on the safety standards for booked vehicles page.

Which safety standards apply to taxis?

All five categories of safety standards apply to taxis in the ways described in this section:

  • Safety Management System
  • Vehicle standards
  • Insurance
  • Provision of information
  • Drivers

It is important to remember that taxi service providers have specific obligations due to the nature of providing rank and hail passenger services.

Safety Management System

A taxi service provider or booking service provider (if the vehicle is a taxi used to provide a related booked service) must have a Safety Management System that identifies and manages risks to health and safety.

You should read the Safety Management System page for more information about this safety standard.

Vehicle standards

The owner of a vehicle used to provide a taxi service has a specific obligation to ensure the vehicle is appropriately registered and safe to be driven on the road (roadworthy).

All vehicles must undergo annual safety checks — previously called a pink slip — even if they are less than five years old.

The provider of the taxi service, facilitator and affiliated provider, provider of the booking service (if relevant) and holder of the taxi licence are all responsible for ensuring this safety standard is met.

Maintenance and repairs

The owner of the vehicle used to provide a taxi service has a specific obligation to ensure:

  • the vehicle is regularly and properly maintained (consistent with the manufacturer’s recommendations)

  • maintenance or repairs are carried out by a licenced mechanic; and
  • records of maintenance and repairs are kept

Basic maintenance such as oil changes, spark plug replacements and tyre changes do not need to be carried out by a mechanic.  

  • adding approved oils or other fluids to engines, transmissions, differentials, power steering reservoirs, windscreen washer reservoirs, master cylinders, radiators or batteries
  • changing engine, transmission or differential oils
  • changing engine oil filters or fuel filters
  • carrying out general lubrication
  • changing spark plugs
  • changing wheels or tyres
  • changing light bulbs
  • replacing or repairing seats or floor coverings
  • repairs to the interior of the vehicle that do not affect the safe operation of the vehicle
  • replacing external rear vision mirrors

The provider of the taxi service, facilitator and affiliated provider, provider of the booking service (if relevant) and holder of the taxi licence are all responsible for ensuring this safety standard is met.

Wheelchair accessible taxis and drivers

The taxi service provider, facilitator and affiliated provider, provider of the booking service (if relevant), holder of the taxi licence and owner of the vehicle have a specific obligation to ensure that a vehicle used to provide a wheelchair accessible taxi service:
meets specific Australian Standards for hoists, tie downs and ramps for wheelchair accessible vehicles
has a space where a wheelchair is carried inside a vehicle at least 1300mm long, 800mm wide and 1500mm high, with no intrusions other than adjustable restraint devices, for each wheelchair carried
carries an appropriate number of wheelchair restraints
complies with the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport
is supplied with an approved child restraint
The taxi service provider, facilitator and affiliated provider, provider of the booking service must ensure the driver of a wheelchair accessible taxi is competent in loading, unloading and transporting passengers in a wheelchair.

Taxi accommodation standards – seats and doors

The provider of a taxi service, facilitator, affiliated provider, holder of the taxi licence and owner of the vehicle have a specific obligation to ensure that a taxi must be able to seat the driver and at least four, but no more than 11 adult passengers.

The vehicle must also have at least four side doors, unless it is a maxi taxi or a wheelchair accessible taxi.

Note: A vehicle which was licenced as a taxi-cab under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 prior to November 2017 may be permitted to have more than 12 seats.

Signs, lights and markings

The provider of a taxi service, facilitator and affiliated provider and holder of the taxi licence are responsible for ensuring the vehicle used to provide a taxi service (if the vehicle plies or stands for hire – rank and hail):

  • is clearly identifiable as a taxi
  • has a roof sign that displays the word taxi, cab or cabs in black lettering at least 70mm high
  • has a roof light that can be seen from a distance of 40 metres in daylight
  • has the name, identifying logo or colours of the taxi service provider displayed prominently
  • has the contact information for the taxi service provider displayed

They are also responsible for ensuring the roof light is lit when the taxi is available for hire and not lit at other times.

Fare calculation devices (meters)

The provider of a taxi service, facilitator, affiliated provider and holder of the taxi licence have a specific obligation to ensure the vehicle used to provide a taxi service (if the vehicle plies or stands for hire), is fitted with a fare calculation device (meter).

The fare calculation device must:

  • be securely fixed to the taxi or secured properly in a purpose-built mounting
  • display the fare, including any fees, charges or tolls, in Australian dollars
  • be capable of accurately calculating the authorised fare

Duress alarms and vehicle tracking systems for taxis in Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong

The provider of a taxi service, facilitator, affiliated provider and holder of the taxi licence have a specific obligation to ensure a vehicle used to provide a taxi service (if the vehicle plies or stands for hire) in the Metropolitan (Sydney), Newcastle or Wollongong transport district or within the Central Coast local government area is fitted with an approved duress alarm system and an approved vehicle tracking device that:

  • complies with standards set by Transport for NSW published in the NSW Government Gazette
  • is in working order

Service providers should make a risk assessment in consultation with their affiliated providers and drivers about whether these facilities would be reasonable measures to help you ensure the safety of drivers and passengers in areas outside Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Central Coast.

Approved security camera systems

The provider of a taxi service, facilitator, affiliated provider and holder of the taxi licence have a specific obligation to ensure a vehicle used to provide a taxi service (if the vehicle plies or stands for hire) is fitted with an approved security camera system that meets specifications published by Transport for NSW and is in working order.

Signs must be on the inside and outside of the taxi informing people they may be under video surveillance while in or near the taxi.

Further information on security camera systems requirements is available here.

Previously Compliant Cameras

The Point to Point Transport Commissioner has exempted taxis that ply or stand for hire from Clause 18(1) of the Regulation until 1 February 2021 (Approved Camera Specifications).

This exemption is granted on the following conditions:

  • The taxi is fitted with a security camera system that was compliant immediately before the repeal of the Passenger Transport Regulation 2007
  • If a security camera system fitted in the taxi is not in working order or during the period of the exemption ceases to be in working order, it is to be replaced by an approved security camera system
  • If the taxi is replaced during the period of the exemption, the replacement taxi will be fitted with an approved security camera system

This means taxis that were fitted with a compliant security camera system under the Passenger Transport Regulation 2007 have until 1 February 2021 to comply with specifications outlined in the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 and Regulation.

Taxis that were fitted with security camera systems that did not comply with the Passenger Transport Regulation 2007 before that regulation was repealed are not exempt from Clause 18 (1). These taxis must not ply or stand for hire unless they are fitted with security camera systems that comply with the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Regulation 2017 and the specifications outlined by Transport for NSW.

To find out more, read:

Insurance

The owner of a vehicle used for a taxi service has a specific obligation to ensure that each vehicle used to provide a passenger service is covered by a valid insurance policy for third party property damage with cover of at least $5 million.

The provider of the taxi service, facilitator, affiliated provider and holder of the taxi licence are all responsible for ensuring this safety standard is met.

Third party property insurance covers for damage caused to other people’s vehicles or property arising out of an accident.

This differs from CTP Green Slip Insurance which covers liability for injuries caused to others in an accident but does not cover damage to third-party property. The third party property insurance needs to be purchased separately.

All insurance must provide continuous coverage. This means that there are no days between policies in which a vehicle provides a passenger service while it is not insured.

Any insurance policy must be issued by a corporation authorised under the Insurance Act 1973 (Cth).

Provision of Information

Taxi driver identification

The provider and facilitator of a taxi service have specific obligations to ensure the driver of a taxi is provided with a driver identity document in the form of a card or electronic document that displays a photograph of the driver and identification number provided by the taxi service provider.

They must also ensure the taxi is fitted with a device for displaying the driver’s identity document that enables it to be visible to all passengers in the taxi.

For more information read the Driver Obligations factsheet.

Display of information

The provider of a taxi service, facilitator, affiliated provider and holder of the taxi licence have a specific obligations to ensure the vehicle used to provide a taxi service (if the vehicle plies or stands for hire) displays the following information inside the taxi where it is visible to all passengers:

  • the registration number of the taxi (e.g. T1234)
  • the authorised taxi service provider’s contact information
  • how a fare is calculated and if any additional charges apply, including cleaning fees

Provision of information if taxi is booked

If a taxi is used for a booked service, the provider of the booking service has a specific obligation to make information available to the person who booked the service about the taxi that has been booked and about the driver of the vehicle.

The information must be sufficient to enable the proposed passenger to identify the vehicle and the driver.

If the booking is made for a wheelchair accessible taxi, the proposed passenger must be notified of the estimated time of arrival at the nominated collection point within a reasonable time before that arrival.

Drivers

The provider of a taxi service, facilitator, affiliated provider and provider of the booking service (if relevant) are responsible for ensuring that a person does not drive a taxi:

  • if the person has been found guilty of a disqualifying offence for a driver; or
  • the person has not held an unrestricted Australian driver licence for a total of at least 12 months in the preceding two years (and continues to hold such a licence); or
  • the person does not meet the medical standards for commercial vehicle drivers set out in the publication Assessing Fitness to Drive (as amended from time to time)

A person must also not drive a taxi if the person last held a driver authority under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 or the Passenger Transport Act 2014 that was cancelled (other than on medical grounds) or if the person’s most recent application for a driver authority under either of those Acts was rejected (within the preceding 10 years) on the grounds that the person was not considered to be of good repute and in all other respects a fit and proper person.

Criminal and driving history checks required

The criminal and driving histories of all new drivers must be checked to ensure they do not have any disqualifying offences prior to a driver being on-boarded. This can be achieved through a National Police Check or similar check.

A check using the Driver Vehicle Dashboard (DVD) is not sufficient when on-boarding a driver as the DVD only identifies disqualifying offences committed in NSW after the date on which a Passenger Transport Code (PT Code) was added to the driver’s licence.  The DVD can be used to assist service providers to conduct ongoing checks after a criminal history check has been done. The DVD only assists in identifying disqualifying offences committed in NSW after the date on which a PT Code was added to the driver’s licence. Service providers will need to conduct their own checks outside of NSW

When on-boarding drivers, service providers are reminded that the PT Code is issued by Service NSW on behalf of Transport for NSW to drivers of commercial passenger vehicles in NSW who meet relevant medical standards. The issue of a PT Code has nothing to do with whether the individual has disqualifying offences.

Service providers should also conduct additional ongoing driver checks to make sure drivers do not incur disqualifying offences.  The DVD can be used to assist service providers to conduct such ongoing checks for offences committed in NSW.  Additional checks for offences in any other state or territory in Australia, or in another country, may also be required if a driver has been in those areas.

Service providers are audited to ensure they are regularly checking drivers continue to meet the standards and have no disqualifying offences.