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Apply for a taxi driver’s licence

Here are the steps you need to follow to apply to become a taxi driver. They usually happen in this order.

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Read our taxi licensing policy

All information relating to hackney carriage or private hire licensing in the district is available in our Joint Taxi Licensing Policy. You must read this before you start your application.

For details on how we use data relating to licence holders and applicants, please see our privacy notice for licence holders and applicants.

 

Book a knowledge test

Firstly, you will need to book a knowledge test. To do this, please email us at licensing@southoxon.gov.uk with the subject ‘Knowledge test request’ making sure to include your full name and mobile phone number, and we will be in touch when we are able to process your booking.

A non-refundable fee is payable at the time of booking. Please see our fees and charges list for details.

We’ll email you to confirm when your test will take place; the email will contain details about the test and what you should bring with you, so please read it carefully.

The test will take approximately one hour. You must arrive at least 30 minutes before the test starts and you won’t be allowed into the test if you are late.  If you arrive late or fail to attend without giving us at least 48 hours notice, you may have to pay a further fee to book onto another test.

The test is broken down into three sections:

  • Licensing legislation and conditions, taxi policy and safeguarding
  • Highway code
  • Geography of the district

To prepare for your knowledge test we would suggest that you read our Joint Taxi Licensing Policy and the Highway Code and ensure you are familiar with the geography of the area. You can bring a streetmap book into the test. See our guidance on the knowledge test.

Book a practical driving assessment

You will need to pass a practical driving assessment designed specially for taxi drivers, from one of our list of approved providers.

Book the disability awareness and safeguarding training course

All new driver applicants are required to attend and pass our disability awareness and safeguarding training course (unless you can provide evidence of attending equivalent training within the last three years).

To book a place on a course, and for full details of the training, please see safeguarding and disability awareness training for drivers.

Once you’ve passed the course, please send us the certificate by email.

Get a medical examination

You need to book a medical examination with your GP.  A fee will be payable for this examination which would be paid directly to the doctor’s surgery. If your GP surgery does not do Group 2 medicals, you can go to any other doctor registered with the GMC provided they have access to your full medical records at the time of the medical.

Before going to the medical examination, you will need to print out the medical examination report form and take it with you to your appointment. You will then need to ask the doctor to complete it for you. Before leaving the appointment, please check the doctor has completed the entire form, including the front sheet. We often reject medicals due to them being incomplete.

If you are over 45 years of age you will need to have a medical examination every five years.  If you are over 65 you will need a medical every year.

Some drivers have certain medical conditions that may require them having more frequent medicals. For example, if you have diabetes managed by insulin or a sulphonylurea or a glinide, a full medical is required at the usual intervals determined by your age and any other medical conditions, and in addition an annual medical by a consultant specialising in diabetes will be required in accordance with DVLA Group 2 guidelines – for more details please see this annual diabetic medical form and guidance which should be sent to us once complete.

Complete and submit the application form

Once you have passed the knowledge test, please print and complete the hackney carriage and private hire driver’s licence application form. You need to read the guidance on the form and complete the form in full, ensuring you read each question carefully. Any incomplete or illegible applications will be rejected and will not be processed.

Once complete, you will need to scan the form. If you do not have access to a scanner, you could take a photograph of each page of the form but please note it must be clear and legible or we will not be able to process it.

You can then submit your application form and pay the licence fee through our online application portal – please use badge number 001.

The portal should work via any smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC with internet access and you will be able to pay the required fee with a debit or credit card.

Important note – If too many large files are uploaded it may exceed the maximum size that the system can email to us. If you have difficulties uploading all your documents and do not receive a confirmation email from us (separate from your receipt) with your uploaded files attached then please contact us at licensing@southoxon.gov.uk

Attend your appointment

Once we have received and reviewed your application form we will contact you to arrange an appointment when we will ask you to bring the following supporting documents:

If you don’t bring the appropriate documents, we will not be able to complete the appointment.

We will also send you a Taxiplus website link to apply for an enhanced DBS disclosure online. Taxiplus will be able to assist you with any queries about this process and the supporting documents required. You must use the link we provide, as disclosures from other providers will not be accepted.

If there are restrictions on the length of time you may work in the UK, your licence will not be issued for any longer than this period. In such circumstances, the check will be repeated each time you apply to renew or extend your licence. If, during this period, you are disqualified from holding a licence because you have not complied with the UK’s immigration laws, your licence will lapse and you must return it to the council. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

If you have spent more than three months out of the country since the age of 10, you may be required to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct.

After the appointment

When you receive your DBS disclosure, you must subscribe to the DBS Update Service within 28 days, as this is a condition of any licence granted.

If you applied for your disclosure through Taxiplus, you will only need to send us the original disclosure if there are any convictions or cautions listed on the document. If the DBS is clear, we will receive notification of this directly from Taxiplus and you will not need to send in the document.

If you applied for your disclosure on a paper application form, you will need to send us the original DBS disclosure (we recommend you send this by tracked mail) so that we can complete the processing of your application. We will return this to you as soon as we have processed the document.

Once all documents are in order, the application will be reviewed by an officer and if all is in order, we will issue your licence and badge and contact you to arrange a time for you to collect these from the office.

After we have issued your driver licence

If you will be using your own vehicle(s) as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle:

Before you can start taking passengers for hire and reward you need to get a licence for your vehicle – click here to apply for a vehicle licence. You should not do this until you have received your driver’s licence.

If you intend to run your own company

If you wish to start up a company accepting bookings for private hire vehicles, you will need to apply for a private hire vehicle operator’s licence. You can do this before you receive your driver’s licence if you wish, but all licences must be in place before you start to operate.

If you will be working for an operator

If you will be working for an existing operator, and will not be using your own vehicle, then all you need to check is that the vehicle you are driving is licensed (check the plate on the back) and insured.

Further information

If you have any questions please email licensing@southoxon.gov.uk or call 01235 422556 (you will need to leave a message with your name and number and we will call you back)