Hackney carriage & private hire
There are two types of vehicle licence, those for hackney carriages and those for private hire vehicles. The main difference between the two types of vehicle is that a hackney carriage can be flagged down and waits at designated taxi ranks whereas a private hire vehicle must be pre-booked by telephone or a personal call. The whole licensing process is designed for the safety of the public by ensuring that the vehicles we licence are safe, reliable and efficient and that the drivers we licence are fit and proper.
What is a hackney carriage?
- a hackney carriage can park on an authorised taxi rank
- it will display a white plate on the rear bumper
- it can ply for hire or be hailed by prospective passengers in the controlling district
- it must be driven by a licensed hackney carriage driver at all times whether or not the vehicle is working
What is a private hire vehicle?
- it must be pre-booked with a licensed private hire operator
- it will display a yellow plate on the rear bumper
- it cannot stand on a rank and cannot ply for hire
- it must not operate independently from a private hire operator
- a private hire vehicle must be driven by a licensed private hire driver
- There are no regulations with regard to fares in private hire vehicles but it is advised that the cost of hiring should be agreed prior to the journey commencing
Both types of vehicle are subject to mechanical testing and all vehicle documents are checked including appropriate insurance prior to the licence being issued.
Hackney carriage/private hire vehicle driver's licence
The district council issues a combined licence enabling drivers to drive both types of licensed vehicle. It is the council's duty to ensure that the licensed drivers are suitable and the application process includes consideration of driving and criminal convictions. Criminal record checks and medical checks are all undertaken for each applicant to ensure that our licensed drivers are suitable persons. To apply for a driver's licence, you will need to make an appointment with a Licensing Officer and bring with you the completed application form, DVLA mandate and supporting documents mentioned on the forms. You are responsible for paying the Doctor for your medical and the County Council for your driver assessment:
CRB forms must be completed in person at the Council offices. Therefore these are not available to download. To complete your CRB form you must bring the following original documents with you :- A recent utility bill with your current address, a driving licence (including photo card and paper document), a document showing your National Insurance number and a document with a photograph such as your passport. You will also need to provide details of every address you have lived at for the last 5 years. A separate fee is payable for your CRB and DVLA check. Payment of fees (either by cheque or credit/debit card) must be made on the day.
Private hire operator's licence
A private hire operator's licence is required to enable a private hire vehicle to be despatched to a customer. 'Operate' has been defined in the Act as follows:- " 'Operate' means in the course of business to make provision for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for a private hire vehicle."
Information and advice
Use the link to download the fees: Licencing Fees
Taxi/private hire appointments
Please note that you will not be able to see a member of staff without making an appointment. Appointments will be available Monday to Wednesday (between 9.00am - 4.00pm) and Thursday (between 9.00am - 12.30pm).
To book your appointment or for further information or advice call 01594 812445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.