By Vivien von Drehnen and Sebastian Sinclair

Australian-born taxi drivers are upset they have to pay $90 to sit an English exam.

The online tests were introduced last year as part of reforms to the industry.

So far nearly 900 would-be taxi drivers have taken the test.

Taxi Council of Queensland CEO Blair Davies says the test applies to people of all backgrounds.

“Hopefully it will mean that when passengers get into taxis they can have every confidence that the driver will be able to speak English,” he said.

Brisbane’s Yellow Cab general manager Bill Parker says it is important cab drivers are confident in their conversation skills to interact with customers.

“I just think that it needs to be recognised that the person driving behind the wheel is subject to constant scrutiny,” he said.

The test does not apply to taxi drivers registered before November last year.

However would-be Australian-born taxi drivers are angry they have to pay $90 for the test.

Blair Davies says he understands their concerns.

“They probably also think that their education should be recognised particularly where they come up through the Queensland schooling system by the Queensland government,” he said.

“Our major concerns are around the length of time it takes to book into the test and for the applicant to get results. The pace seems to be a little slow in that process.”

The Taxi Council is also concerned it may put off drivers wanting to enter the industry which is already suffering from a shortage of cab drivers.