Here are the steps you need to follow to apply to become a taxi driver. They usually happen in this order.
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.
Please also review our covid-19 taxi page for current advice and guidance.
Firstly, you will need to book a knowledge test.
While the covid-19 restrictions remain in place, our procedure for this is explained on our covid-19 taxi page
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.
It will take approximately one hour. We recommend you aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before the test starts as you won’t be allowed into the test if you are late. If you arrive late or fail to attend, you will have to pay a further fee to book onto another test.
The test is broken down into three sections:
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.
You will need to pass a practical driving assessment designed specially for taxi drivers, from one of our list of approved providers.
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.
We recommend you aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before the training starts as you won’t be allowed in if you are late. If you arrive late or fail to attend, you will have to pay a further fee to book onto another course.
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.
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 as above, and in additional an annual specialist medical will be required in accordance with DVLA Group 2 guidelines – for more details please see this annual diabetic medical form and guidance.
Once you have passed the knowledge test, please download and complete the hackney carriage and private hire driver’s licence application form. You also need to get together the supporting documentation you need to submit with the form and ensure you have the money to pay the correct fee.
For details on how we use data relating to licence holders and applicants, please see our privacy notice for licence holders and applicants.
While our office remains closed, please see our covid-19 taxi page which explains how to submit the application through our online portal. You need to submit the following with the form:
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.
All applicants must submit an enhanced DBS disclosure which has this council as countersignatory and is also registered with the DBS Update Service. If you do not submit this with your application, we will send you a DBS application form and make an appointment for you to submit this with your identity documentation.
Please read the guidance on completing the DBS application and the ID Checking Guidelines to ensure you bring the required documents with you to the appointment. If you don’t complete the form properly and don’t bring the appropriate ID documents, we will not be able to complete 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. You should then send us the original DBS disclosure (we recommend you send this by recorded or special delivery) so that we can complete the processing of your application. We will return this to you as soon as we have processed the document.
If we need to carry out a Right to Work check at the same appointment, we will send you details about this. To see what documents we can accept, see the last two pages of the Home Office Right to Work guidance.
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.
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.
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.
If you have any questions please email email@example.com or call 01235 422556