Taxi drivers reminded of their legal requirement to carry assistance dogs

Date published: 22 February 2017

The Department for Infrastructure has reminded taxi drivers of the legal requirement to carry assistance dogs when required by passengers with disabilities.

Guide Dogs in Taxis

It is currently an offence under Section 37 of the Disability Discrimination Act for a taxi driver to refuse to carry an assistance dog or to make any additional charges for doing so, unless they display an exemption certificate.

Taxi drivers with a genuine medical reason for not carrying assistance dogs must apply to the Department for an exemption certificate and display it on the taxi. Taxi drivers who are successfully prosecuted for failing to adhere to the requirements of the legislation face a fine of up to £1000.

The Department is working closely with Guide Dogs NI to ensure that people who use assistance dogs are fully aware of their rights so that action can be taken if breaches occur.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Further advice and guidance for guide dog owners and taxi drivers is available on Guide Dogs UK website.
  2. Taxi drivers can apply to the Department for an exemption certificate by contacting Driver and Vehicle Agency, Passenger and Transport Licensing Division, Castlerock Road, Coleraine, BT51 3HS.  Or telephone on 028 9025 4100.
  3. Media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 373 and your call will be returned.

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