Before applying for a licence or to renew an existing licence, please read our Hackney Carriage & Private Hire (Dual) Driver Licence Application Pack which will inform you as to the relevant application procedure that will be followed, and will explain to you precisely what you need to do in order to submit a complete and valid application.
When the Licensing Authority assesses the suitability of applicants and existing licence holders, it will have regard to our Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy, and our Policy on Warnings, Offences, Cautions & Convictions.
The fees and charges applicable for a new applicant or for an existing driver to renew his/her Hackney Carriage & Private Hire (Dual) Driver Licence can be found here.
Attending your Application Appointment
Appointments are carried out in 15 minute slots on Thursdays and Fridays between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please ensure that you bring with you your completed application form and all of the other necessary documents as detailed within the Pack (i.e. the relevant documents to prove you hold a Right to Work in the U.K., the documents to assist the checking of your Enhanced DBS form, the documents to assist the checking of your DVLA Driver Licence form, etc).
You will be seen by a Licensing Officer who will review your application, and commence the necessary background checks that form part of the application process.
What happens after the Application Appointment?
Once you have submitted your application and paid the application fee (see inside the application pack), if you are a new applicant you will be given information as to when you will need to attend our next Local Knowledge Test and Safeguarding Vulnerable Passengers Test.
All applicants (new and those renewing an existing licence) are provided with information relating to what they must do when they receive their Enhanced DBS Disclosure, and how to join the DBS Update Service (as it is a condition of the licence to join the Update Service and maintain registration with the Update Service).
Once all of the above are complete, we are then able to determine whether or not you are a "fit and proper person" to be granted a licence.
For your information, the checks that we carry out are as follows:
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check
This involves a search of your individual criminal record to establish whether or not you are a safe person to drive members of the public, some of which may be vulnerable, elderly, or infirm. You are advised to read our Policy on Warnings, Offences, Cautions & Convictions when making your application, should you have been the subject of any matters that may affect your application. The Enhanced DBS Form is not available online, and as such will require posting to you for you to complete ahead of your appointment with the Licensing Officer.
If you have not lived for 5 consecutive years in the U.K. when making your application to us, you will need to obtain (at your own expense) a Certificate of Good Conduct / Police Check from your previous country / countries of residence.
Please note, that from 1st May 2018, that it is a requirement that all licence holders join the DBS Update Service and maintain their registration with the Update Service.
This check is designed to give the Council an idea of your 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 licensed driver. It is also used to confirm that an applicant has held a full driving licence for a period of at least twelve months. You are advised to read our Policy on Warnings, Offences, Cautions & Convictions when making your application, should you have been the subject of any matters that may affect your application
To drive a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle 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.
New Applicants must provide the Licensing Authority with the Group II Medical Report Form (certified by a Doctor / G.P. who has written permission to access your medical records). Existing licence holders must provide the Licensing Authority with a "self-certified" Medical Report Form. Both types of Medical Report Forms are contained within the online Hackney Carriage & Private Hire (Dual) Driver Licence Application Pack.
Existing licence holders must renew their Group II Medical Report when they reach the ages of 45, 50, 55, 60 and 65. An annual Group II Medical Report Form must be supplied from 65 years of age and older.
The Licensing Authority reserves the right to increase the frequency of the need for a licence holder to provide a Group II Medical Report Form should health issues be revealed that would necessitate such a requirement.
Local Authority Check
If you have been previously licensed with another local authority or had a drivers licence revoked or suspended then you must declare this on the application form. In this situation the Council will run a check to get an indication of your licensing history with other authorities.
Local Knowledge Test
This Test lasts 90 minutes, and consists of questions relating to the rules and regulations detailed within the Driver Application Pack, an assessment of your English Language skills (so as to ensure that if granted a licence your comprehension of the English Language is sufficient for you to promote excellent customer service, and to promote your own personal safety), and an assessment of your mathematic skills. Further details as to the Test can be found within the Pack, and you are permitted to use the Pack when sitting the Test.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Passengers Test
Having sat the Local Knowledge Test, you will then be required to participate in a short session regarding the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Passengers. The aim of this short session is to raise your awareness as to the "indicators of risk" that would enable you to identify a person who is at risk of abuse, neglect, trafficking, and to whom to raise your concerns. The session is presented by the Licensing Manager, and a Test is taken at the end of the session.
What happens next?
Assuming that no concerns are raised in relation to the results of your Enhanced DBS Check, your DVLA Check, and your Medical Check, and in the case of a new applicant that you have passed both the Local Knowledge and Safeguarding Tests, then your licence and badge will be posted to your home address. Licences are issued for a 3 year duration, or for a shorter period of time should such a need arise (i.e. limited period of Right to Work in the U.K.).
If relevant information comes to light during the application process (or during the term of the licence) that casts doubt on an applicants suitability to be granted (or in the case of an existing licence holder, to continue to hold) a Hackney Carriage & Private Hire (Dual) Driver Licence, a Hearing will be convened, and the matter determined by the Service Director: Place & Communities.
Should such a Hearing be required, the applicant / licensee will be provided with a report detailing his / her case and the matter(s) that cause concern to the Licensing Authority, and a Notification detailing the time, date and location for the Hearing.
Once your licence and badge have been issued, you need to understand what type of vehicle you can drive, and for whom the law allows you to work. Click here for further information.
Please contact the Licensing Team if you have any further questions.