To apply for a private hire/hackney carriage driver's licence, you are required to meet the application criteria below, all aspects must be completed before any application would be considered by the Licensing Authority.
Before applying for a licence to be a private hire or hackney carriage driver, you must read the Taxi and Private Hire Services Policy.
Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Services Policy (word 382mb)
The application process is completed in two stages.
Further information on each aspect is further down the page.
If after you have read the below information you would still like to proceed and apply, please complete the below enquiry form to start the process.
Driver Enquiry Form
Stage One Appointment
- Enhanced DBS certificate and a certificate of good conduct from your relevant embassy (if applicable), and subscription to the DBS Update Service
- Right to work in the UK check
- Full discussion over intended use, background checks and tax responsibilities.
- DVSA driving test pass certificate
- An endorsed passport photo, signed by a person of professional standing i.e. Doctor, Teacher, Solicitor etc
- A completed group 2 medical form, completed by your registered GP practice.
- Application form and Fee
- A written knowledge test on licence conditions.
- NVQ qualification on Level 2 Road Passenger vehicle driving (Taxi and private hire).
1. Enhanced DBS Certificate
You are required to consent to an enhanced criminal record check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to establish if you are a "fit and proper" person to hold a hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence.
The DBS check will release details of any convictions/cautions and any additional information held that puts an individual on the barred list, prohibiting the individual from working with children or vulnerable adults. As part of this check, you are required to join and maintain the DBS update service.
If you are aware that your DBS check will show any cautions or convictions please refer to the relevance of convictions in the licensing policy.
All drivers are now conditioned to subscribe as part of their licence annually to the DBS update service. This is an online system that keeps your DBS check up to date at all times. It means that any registered body can view your DBS check online after they have seen your original certificate.
You can apply to join the Update service using your DBS application form reference number as soon as the DBS have received your application. Your application number will be provided to you.
Once your DBS certificate has been issued you have only a short period of 30 days to subscribe. If you do not register within the 30 days you may be required to undergo another enhanced DBS check at the point of renewal of your licence.
For more information on applying under the DBS Update service please read the document via the link below:
Certificate of good conduct
A certificate of good conduct authenticated by the relevant embassy, less than three months old will also be required for all foreign nationals or anyone who has lived outside the UK for 3 months or more.
Applicants must obtain and pay for their own certificate of good conduct from the relevant embassy, which must be translated into English.
2. Right to work in the UK check
Applicants must provide evidence of their right to work in the UK, and evidence of this must be provided. A range of documents can be used to evidence you right to live and work in the UK as detailed below.
Documents - Right to work in the UK checks guidance (pdf 46kb)
1. Accredited taxi/private hire practical driving test
All applicants are required to undergo a taxi/private hire assessment test to a high level with an accredited body before a licence can be granted. If you have already completed the test previously your certificate cannot be older then 2 years.
If you intend to drive a hackney carriage vehicle, you will also be required to undertake the additional wheelchair assessment part of the test.
The test is specifically designed to examine the driving standards of new applicants and reflects modern driving practices and techniques.
Tests are currently been facilitated by Diamond Advance Motorists limited and Blue Lamp Trust, to book your test please contact either of the test providers via:
Email: email@example.com or Telephone: 020 8253 0120
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: 0333 700 0157
2. Endorsed passport photograph
You are required to provide one signed and endorsed photograph of yourself, the endorsement must be done by a professional person, for example, a doctor, solicitor, teacher, etc.
The person must have been know to you for more than 3 years and must not be anyone associated with the taxi trade.
Photograph endorsement sheet (word 23kb)
3. Group 2 Medical report
You are required to have a DVLA group 2 medical form completed by your registered GP. Fees will be set by your individual GP.
For a list of medical conditions that would bar you from holding a hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence please refer to the guidance notes attached to the medical form and the DVLA website.
Your medical will then last five years from the date of issue for applicants under the age of 65 and one year for applicants over the age of 65, unless your doctor states a more regular medical is required.
When you submit your full application your medical will need to be less than 6 weeks old at the point of application.
Medical form (pdf 494kb)
4. Application form and fee
You will need to submit a fully completed and signed application form, the fee for a new driver's application is £155.
Apply online for driver's grant application
5. Written knowledge test on licence conditions
Applicants will be tested on their knowledge of the licensing conditions, policy and bye-laws. Questions will also include customer care, knowledge of the dress code and code of conduct. The questions will mainly be multiple choice in nature.
Two attempts are permitted annually. After two failures a period of two months must elapse before the final attempt. In the event of three failures, a period of one year must elapse before any further attempts are undertaken.
No licence will be granted unless the new applicant has successfully completed a written test on licence conditions and by-laws.
If you fail the knowledge test or fail to attend for your allocated knowledge a fee of £45 will be payable before a further knowledge test can be undertaken.
Driver's licence conditions/dress code and code of conduct (word 37kb)
Taxi and private hire services policy (word 1.8mb)
Vehicle Licence conditions (word 43kb)
6. NVQ Qualification - Level 2 Road Passenger vehicle driving (taxi and private hire)
If you already hold this qualification, the original certificate will need to be submitted alongside your application, if you do not already hold this qualification it will not stop you from obtaining a driver's licence. The qualification, however, must be obtained within the first 12 months of your licence.
Please Note: the requirement to obtain this qualification is currently suspended.
Further information on NVQ qualifications can be found further down the page.
A tacit consent does not apply to a driver's application, meaning that your application will not automatically be granted after a specified period of time. Each application must be considered on its own merit as it is important for public safety reasons that a licence is considered and granted before you are able to trade.
Your licence will not be issued until all of the matters have been completed.