Q5. Can taxi licence owners let their taxis to taxi drivers with criminal records?
The registered owner of a taxi may hire the vehicle to any person at a rate of hire based on the time during which the vehicle is hired with or without additional charge in respect of the mileage travelled by the vehicle while it is so hired, or on such other terms as may be agreed with the hirer: see Regulation 38(1) of the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations (Cap. 374D).
Thus, the license owners of a taxi is free to let their taxis to “any person”, whether or not that person is with a criminal record.
However, if the criminal records are accompanied with a disqualification order of driving, the taxi driver whom the taxi was let must not drive while being disqualified. Otherwise, he or she would commit an offence under Section 44(1)(b) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374), and subject to other conditions, be liable to a fine of $10,000 and to imprisonment for 12 months.