The licence is issued by the District Council under the provisions of Part 11 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, and the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and is referred to as a driver's licence, or driver's badge. The Licence Holder must comply with the driver's licence conditions contained in the District Council's Taxi Licensing Policy. Click here [PDF 1.2 MB] to view the Policy.
Am I eligible?
To get a driver's licence the Council has to determine whether or not you are a "fit and proper person" to hold a licence. This involves a series of tests and checks being carried out with various organisations as listed below so that your application can be determined fairly and consistently.
Checks and Tests
This is the first stage of the application process. In order to maintain the high standards that the District Council expects of its drivers, a licence to drive a hackney carriage/private hire vehicle will not be granted unless the Council is satisfied that the applicant has a good working knowledge of the area in which he/she is going to work. The knowledge test [PDF 41KB] consists of three sections and is designed to test your knowledge of the area, the Highway Code and your understanding of the Council's Taxi Licensing Policy [PDF 1.2 MB] and the conditions contained in it.
Criminal Records check (Disclosure and Barring Service Check)
This involves a search of your individual criminal record to establish whether or not you are a suitable person to drive members of the public, some of which may be vulnerable, elderly or infirm. The Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau - CRB) provides a disclosure service that deals with all checks of criminal records for the District Council. The Council's Taxi Licensing Policy provides guidelines on the relevance of previous convictions when applying for a taxi driver licence.
The District Council's Taxi Licensing Policy requires all drivers to subscribe to the Disclosure and Barring Serivce (DBS) On-Line Update Service. The subscription must be retained throughout the duration of the Taxi/PHV Driver Licence.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) check
The check is designed to give the District Council information on your individual driving history. This is necessary to determine whether or not you are a safe driver and capable of driving a vehicle in the manner expected of a taxi driver. It is also used to confirm that an applicant has held a full driving licence for a period of at least twelve months.
Visually checking licences relies solely on the information provided on the paper licence which may not be up to date. To ensure that the information we have is up to date we use Intelligent Data Systems, a specialist provider in the field of data management to check your driving licence details via the DVLA.
To drive a taxi you must be able to physically carry out the work required of a licensed driver. This may involve lifting heavy objects such as luggage and possibly people's wheelchairs. Certain medical conditions may mean that you are not capable of driving professionally and it is important that the Council know about such problems. A medical examination by an appropriately qualified doctor, to assess your fitness to drive a licensed vehicle is required before a licence is granted. This will apply in all cases including where the applicant holds a current PSV and/or HGV licence.
Once all of these checks have been carried out the Licensing Manager will determine your application and you will be informed of the decision in writing.
How will my application be evaluated?
The licensing team will always aim to deal with your application as quickly as it can but because it is reliant on other organisations to provide it with information the process can sometimes take longer than expected. Apart from in exceptional circumstances the licensing team will aim to determine all applications within six weeks of receipt of the application. An application will not be accepted, however, until all the relevant paperwork and full fee has been received from you.
In addition to your completed drivers application form you will need to supply the following:
- Current driving licence (original version and a photocopy will be taken).
- Fully completed and signed DVLA mandate form [PDF 99KB] (this is attached to the application form).
- Fully completed medical examination report [PDF 746KB] confirming that you are physically fit to drive.
- A Disclosure and Barring Service criminal record check. (This will require an active email address as the checks will be carried out and the results provided electonically). To carry out the DBS form, we will require 2 additional forms of personal identification [PDF 42KB], for example; passport, birth certificate or marriage certificate (Other forms of identification may be acceptable, please email any queries to the Licensing Team prior to your appointment if you are in any doubt).
- Full payment of the appropriate fee. Click here [WORD 50 KB] for list of fees.
You no longer need to supply passport style photographs as one will be taken during your application appointment at the Town Hall.
Please do not post your application or ask anyone else to deliver it to the Town Hall on your behalf. You must contact the Licensing Team on 01629 761345 to make an appointment to bring your application in person, to the Town Hall, where a member of staff will check through it with you.
- DVLA mandate Form [PDF 99KB]
- Medical Form [PDF 746KB]
- Taxi Licensing Fees and Charges [WORD 50 KB]
- Taxi Licensing Policy [PDF 1.2 MB]
What happens if my application is refused?
If you are unsuccessful then the reason your application is being refused will be included in the letter and you will also be informed that if you do not agree with the decision then you may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court within 21 days.
What happens once I have obtained my Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Driver Licence?
You will be required to comply with the Council's Licence Conditions that apply to all licensed drivers. It is important that you read and fully understand the conditions because if you breach the conditions your licence can be suspended or in some cases revoked. These are detailed in the Council's Taxi Licensing Policy.
You should also familiarise yourself with meeting the needs of disabled customers please see the documents below:
- Advice for Disabled People travelling with assistance Dogs [PDF 518KB] in Taxis and minicabs
- Improving access to Taxis [PDF 510KB]
How long does the drivers licence last for?
Your drivers licence will be valid for 3 years. You will usually be required to apply to renew your licence 8 weeks before it expires. A DVLA check is required annually. A Medical Examination will be required every 3 years or sooner if the doctor recommends it. Since 1st May 2018, all drivers licensed by the Council must sign up to the Disclosure and Barring Service's on-line updating service. This will ensure that the criminal record is current and be accessed at any time. The taxi licence fees are reviewed annual and come into effect on 1st April each year.
If you allow your licence to expire you will need to begin the application process again as a new applicant - this will require you to sit a Driver's Knowledge Test before you can make an application for a Driver's Licence. In May 2018 the procedure for Knowledge Tests changed. Details of this can be found in the Council's Taxi Licensing Policy.
Applications must be made on the Council's prescribed application forms and submitted with the appropriate fee. Please contact the Licensing Team for the latest version of the application form and related documentation which can be emailed to you. We no longer accept cheque or cash payments, but you can make your payment by telephone.
Application forms to renew your driver's licence will be sent to you at least 8 weeks before your licence is due to expire. If you are due a criminal record check we will aim to send your renewal forms out 12 weeks before your licence expiry date. If you do not receive them at least 8 weeks before you should contact the Licensing Team as it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you renew your licence.
If you require any further information, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org