The Council will shortly commence a review of its taxi licensing policies with a view to updating them to reflect the requirements of the new statutory guidance. Any review we undertake will include consultation with the public, the taxi trade and interested parties. Further information about this review will be issued in due course.
The most recent Government guidance on the issue of public transport ( including taxis and PHV) was updated on 24 September to take account of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place and on Public Transport) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020.
We are responsible for granting licences to the proprietors, operators and drivers of Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles.
If you are interested in obtaining a licence with the Council, you can find further information below:
- DBS Checklist (.pdf | 160kb)
- The right to work in the UK checklist (.pdf | 170kb)
Wheelchair Accessible Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles
On 28 June 2022 the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022 (‘the Act’) came into effect and amended the Equality Act 2010 to introduce new, and amend existing, duties for local authorities and Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Drivers and Operators. Disabled people should be able to travel by taxis and private hire vehicles free from any fear of discriminatory treatment. The changes introduced through the 2022 Act will provide disabled passengers with the reassurance that they will receive appropriate assistance, wherever they travel and without being charged extra.
From 28 June 2022 any Private Hire Vehicle Operator will be required to:
- Accept bookings for or on behalf of any disabled person, if they have a suitable vehicle available.
From 28 June 2022 the driver of any Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle, regardless of whether their vehicle is wheelchair accessible, will be required to:
- Accept the carriage of any disabled passenger
- Carry the mobility aids and/or wheelchair of any disabled passenger
- Provide any disabled passenger with reasonable mobility assistance
- Take reasonable steps to ensure any disabled passenger is carried safely and in reasonable comfort; and
- Carry out all of the above without charging any more than they would for a non-disabled passenger.
In addition to the requirements above the driver of any pre-booked Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle will also be required to:
- Provide any disabled passenger who requests it with assistance to identify the vehicle; and
- Do so without making any additional charge.
The Act now places a duty on licensing authorities to publish and maintain a list of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles designated as being wheelchair accessible.
We are part of the ‘National Register of Refusals and Revocations’. This new register will allow licensing authorities to record details of where a taxi driver licence has been refused or revoked. It will allow our licensing team and other licensing authorities to check new applicants against the register. This will help to prevent people found not to be fit and proper in one area from securing a licence somewhere else through deception and non-disclosure. Any driver who has their licence refused or revoked by the council will have their details recorded on the register. Any details placed on the register will be held for a period of 25 years before being deleted.
Following a detailed public and industry consultation, in October 2021, the Council amended its Taxi and Private Hire Policies to require all vehicles to have approved CCTV installed. All vehicles requiring a renewed licence from October 2022 will need to have an approved CCTV system installed before a new licence will be granted. You can read the amendments to the Council’s policy in this document here: Taxi Licensing Policy - Hackney Carriages & Private Hire Vehicles (CCTV Supplement) (.pdf | 1.24mb).
The Council is currently in the process of finalising the approved suppliers. Details of the approved CCTV provider(s), and how to book an installation will be sent to existing licensed vehicle owners/operators in July 2022. Vehicle owners and operators should not install other non-Council approved systems as these will not be complaint with the new policy.
These may be the traditional London Cab style, or may be normal saloon vehicles that are painted white, with a block bonnet and boot/tailgate, and a roof sign.
- Daily Inspection Booklet (.pdf | 200kb) download this version to print the booklet and complete by hand.
- Interactive Daily Inspection Booklet (.pdf | 3mb) download this version if to complete on a mobile phone or tablet.
Please note, to use this version you will need to download “Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF Maker” which is a free app, onto your device. You will then need to import the booklet document into the app to use it correctly. It is the responsibility of the person completing the booklet to save this document in a format where we can view it easily.
These are usually 'saloon type' vehicles and include mini buses with up to and including eight passenger seats and display a yellow and red plate on the rear of the vehicle. Both types of vehicle display a small window sticker of the relevant colour in the windscreen showing the licence details.
The basic difference between the two vehicles is that Hackney Carriages can be "flagged down" on the street or at a rank within the District where it is licensed and Private Hire Vehicles must be pre-booked through a Private Hire Operator. If a Private Hire Driver accepts a fare off the street without it being pre-booked, they are liable to prosecution. It is also important to note that anyone taking a journey in a Private Hire Vehicle, which has been "flagged down", may not be insured for the journey.
Covid19 Update: Full vehicle testing has now recommenced and you are required to follow the below rules when attending the depot.
All vehicles that are to be used as Private Hire Vehicles or a Hackney Carriage must be licensed by the local authority.
We must be satisfied that the vehicle is roadworthy, has a valid MOT certificate (if applicable) and is insured for the appropriate use. You will also be required to provide evidence that you own the vehicle (vehicle registration document / logbook) or proof of purchase if the vehicle is newly acquired.
Licences are granted for a period of six-months and your vehicle will need to be tested each time you apply.
Please note, from the 1st January 2019 all new vehicle licences will contain a condition requiring the vehicle to display operator signage to the front doors of the licensed vehicle. The new licence condition will read: All private hire vehicles* and hackney carriages (undertaking pre-booked private hire work), shall at all times display a sign with the name of the private hire operator they are working for on the front doors of the vehicle. The sign may also include the telephone number or other contact details of the operator. The sign shall be a minimum of 15 inches (375mm) wide X 10 inches (250mm) high and the background and wording of the sign shall be of contrasting colours to enable the sign to be easily read.*excluding any vehicle issued with a valid plate exemption certificate by the Council.
Anyone who drives a Private Hire Vehicle or a Hackney Carriage must be licensed by the same local authority that licenses the vehicle.
We must be satisfied that the driver is ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence. All drivers are required to complete a theory test (including local knowledge; basic maths and English; Highway Code; and legislation and conditions of licence), medical, practical driving test, safeguarding course and DBS criminal record and right to work in the UK checks.
Driver licences normally last for three years.
Anyone wishing to take bookings for private hire vehicles must be licensed by the same local authority that licenses the vehicle they intend to operate.
We must be satisfied that the driver is ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence. All operators are required to complete a safeguarding course plus DBS criminal record and right to work in the UK checks.
Applications for driver, vehicle and operator licences must be made on the appropriate form and be accompanied by the relevant fee and accompanying documentation.
Please familiarise yourself with the Taxi Licensing Policy which is divided into five sections for ease of reference. The five sections are:
- Taxi drivers (.pdf | 532kb)
- Taxi vehicles (.pdf | 572kb)
- Taxi operators (.pdf | 469kb)
- Taxi enforcement and offences (.pdf | 500kb)
- Equality Act (.pdf | 500kb)