Taxi Drivers

Who needs to apply for a licence?

Any person who carries passengers for hire and reward needs to apply for a taxi driver licence to drive licensed vehicles.

There are two types of licensed vehicles. You may apply to drive both types of vehicle.

  • Hackney carriage vehicles – these vehicles can be hailed and ply for hire on approved taxi ranks
  • Private hire vehicles – these vehicles may only carry out pre-booked journeys booked through a licensed operator

Licensed drivers will be required to carry vulnerable adults and/or children in their vehicles. The council will not licence anyone to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle unless it is satisfied that they are a fit and proper person. In considering the fit and proper test, applicants will be required to complete the following:

  • Complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Provide a Certificate of Good Conduct, or similar foreign criminality check, from each country they have been resident in outside of the UK
  • Provide a photograph endorsed as a true likeness by someone who has known them for at least three years
  • Provide a medical certificate obtained from the applicant’s own GP or in consultation with their medical history
  • Have a DVLA licence or other relevant full licence which must have been held for at least 12 months
  • Pass the relevant parts of the Knowledge Test – Refer to the Knowledge Test Study Guide [PDF, 767 KB] for further information.
  • Take a Driver Assessment Test [PDF, 235 KB] for hackney carriage and/or private hire vehicle drivers in some circumstances – Refer to the Taxi Licensing Policy [PDF, 2 MB]
  • Attend a Safeguarding & CSE Awareness course conducted by Licensing.
  • Provide evidence of right to work in the UK.
  • Provide evidence they can converse, read and write in English.

Full details regarding any of the above criteria may be found in the Taxi Licensing Policy [PDF, 2MB].

DVLA Check

We will conduct checks with the DVLA on all people who apply to be a licensed driver. This is to ensure that their DVLA driving licence is valid and any relevant endorsements on the licence may be reviewed. The paper counterpart to the photo card driving licence is no longer valid, nor issued, by the DVLA as of 8 June 2015.

Your driving summary is available on the DVLA website. You can use this service to create a licence ‘check code’ to share your driving record with us.

The ‘check code’ will give us the authority to check on your DVLA licence:

  • The types of vehicles you can drive
  • Any penalty points or disqualifications you have
  • The last eight characters of your driving licence number

This code is a single-use code that expires after 21 days – please make sure you get it when you submit your application. Please note this code is case-sensitive; ensure you clearly indicate lower case and capital letters when providing the code.

Consent for DBS Data Processing

As from 25 May 2018 the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and Data Protection Act 2018 came into force, replacing the former Data Protection Act 1998. This has affected how your personal data can be used.  In order to process your application for a disclosure check, you must read and understand the Standard / Enhanced Check Privacy Policy.

When completing your application form you will need to sign to say you have read the policy and understand how the Disclosure Barring Service will process your personal data.  Please note that without this consent your application can not be processed.

Application Forms

Application forms for hackney carriage and private hire vehicle driver’s licences can be downloaded:

PLEASE NOTE: All documents supporting this application must be supplied within three working days, otherwise the application may be deemed incomplete and be rejected. The application process will not commence until all information has been received.

Fees and charges

You can find the fee for this licence by going to our fee register.

Licences are now issued for a three year period.

Equality Act 2010

Under the Equality Act 2010, drivers of Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles have a legal obligation to carry passengers and assistance dogs and wheelchair users.  When carrying these passengers, drivers can not charge any more than the metered fare; must allow the assistance dog to remain with the passenger and afford all reasonable assistance.  The term “assistance dogs” refer to more than just guide dogs for blind people. It includes:

  • Guide dogs for the blind – white harness with yellow fluorescent strips
  • Hearing dogs for the deaf – burgundy jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (seven years to adult) – yellow jacket
  • Dogs for the disabled (to work with children) – blue harness
  • Canine partners (people with physical impairments) – purple jacket
  • Support dogs (physical and other impairments) – blue jacket

Under the Act, it is an offence for any operator or driver to refuse to carry assistance dogs. On conviction for such an offence, drivers can be fined up to £1,000.

Where a driver has an allergy to dogs, the driver must apply for an exemption from carrying assistance dogs.

To apply for an exemption, a driver must fill in an Exemption application form  [PDF, 41Kb].

If no exemption has been applied for and subsequently granted, then drivers are still required to carry assistance dogs. Where an application is made to us for an exemption, it must be supported by medical evidence. The driver with the allergy should be under the care of a specialist consultant and will be required to produce reports from their consultant.