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Apply for, or renew, a vehicle licence

If you are applying for a vehicle licence you need to decide what type of licence you want – this will depend on the type of work you want to do. If you need further details please read our page about vehicle licences.

To find out about the specification for a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle, and about our standard licence conditions, please see our Joint Taxi Licensing Policy. Please note that it is your responsibility to prove that the vehicle complies with our policy, so for example if you buy an imported vehicle with no exhaust emissions details on the log book you will need to obtain evidence of this from the manufacturer before we can consider your application.

We aim to start processing this type of application within four weeks of receipt. If you do not hear anything from us within this timescale, please email us with the date you applied, your registration/plate number and your payment reference so we can track your application.

How to apply for, or renew, a vehicle licence

To apply, please download and complete a vehicle licence application form. Please read the notes and guidance carefully before you complete the form.

For all new vehicle licence applications,  you will need to email your V5C log book (all pages) to us in order to obtain a plate number for the vehicle. If you do not have the V5C log book, you must submit appropriate documentation to confirm the Euro category and exhaust emissions for the vehicle and to confirm the vehicle is not a category A, B or S write-off. For hackney carriages, you will need to do this before taking the vehicle for the compliance test as the plate number will need to be on the roof sign or the vehicle will fail the test.

For new vehicles, please use your allocated new plate number and today’s date when submitting the application through the online portal.

For renewals, please ensure you apply at least four weeks before the plate expiry date. If your licence does lapse, you will be unlicensed and you must not use the vehicle for hire and reward until you have received a new licence and plate.

What do I need to submit with my application?

When you submit your application you need to include the following:

  • your completed application form
  • V5C vehicle registration document. If the V5C is in the name of anyone other than the applicant, we will need a copy of the lease/hire agreement and written confirmation that they give approval for the vehicle to be licensed (if this isn’t covered in the lease/hire agreement). If you don’t have the V5C (for example if you’ve just bought the vehicle) then you will need to provide the receipt/bill of sale and official documentation to confirm the vehicle meets our criteria, such as the emissions requirement and to confirm the vehicle is not a category A, B or S write-off.
  • current insurance certificate or cover note for at least third party cover and appropriate for the licence type (insurance for a hackney carriage MUST state that it is covered for the carriage of passengers for hire and reward, hackney carriage or public hire; insurance which states it only covers pre-booked journeys is for private hire vehicles only).
  • current certificate of compliance from one of the authorised garages – brand new registered vehicles with fewer than 1,500 miles on the odometer will not be required to have a full compliance certificate test but will require a check on the meter (if fitted) and the tariff card.
  • a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure – this is only if you not hold a current driver licence issued by us. See guidance on the form for company and partnership applicants.
  • the application fee – for portal applications there is a drop down list from which you must select the correct fee. Please note that the reduced application fee is now for ZERO emission (fully electric or hydrogen fueled) vehicles and wheelchair accessible vehicles only. If you pay the wrong fee, the application will be rejected.

How to submit your application

Once complete, you will need to scan the form and supporting documents. 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.

When you have all your documents ready, please submit your completed application through our online application portal.

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

If you are having trouble accessing our online portal please email your application to us. These applications will take longer to process as an officer will have to call you to take payment.

We recommend you do not apply by post.

What happens next?

We will review your application, and if we need any additional information or documentation, we will let you know. We may also carry out additional checks for relevant information held by other authorities.

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

If everything is in order, we will issue a licence and plate and contact you to arrange either collection or posting.

Plate exemptions (private hire vehicles only)

If you wish to apply to be exempt from displaying a plate on your private hire vehicle you need to submit a completed plate exemption application form by email with the supporting documents as indicated. An officer will then contact you to arrange payment of the fee as it is not currently possible to pay this licence fee online.

Contact us - Licensing

01235 422556
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

South Oxfordshire District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE