Driver Licences

The Council offers Private Hire only and Joint Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver licences. Once issued they remain valid for a period of one or three years, unless they are surrendered or revoked during this period.

Before the Licensing Authority can grant a driving licence it must be satisfied that the applicant is a "Fit and Proper" person, and that the applicant has held a UK or EU driving licence for at least 12 months. The Authority also ensures that applicants are medically fit, have a suitable knowledge of the district (Joint licences only) and applicable laws, and are able to understand basic English language, and the needs of mentally and physically impaired members of the public who may rely on the service they will provide.

In order to assist the Licensing Authority to determine the above, an applicant is required to submit the following documentation in addition to the prescribed application form, and the applicable fee:

  1. a current full driving licence (minimum of 12 months authorisation to drive required) registered with the DVLA. 
  2. proof of right to work in the UK (see Immigration Act 2016 section below)
  3. an enhanced DBS certificate (no older than three months at the time the application is validated) or a DBS update service certificate stating "child and adult workforce" or "other workforce" taxi driver
  4. a Group II medical certificate (no older than three months at the time the application is validated)
  5. a completed DVLA e-consent* (invite provided by officers upon receipt of an application)
  6. a passport style colour photo (PDF) which must reflect your current image. (can be provided by email as a JPG file) 
  7. a Blue Lamp Trust or Greenpenny enhanced driving assessment pass certificate (no older than twelve months at the time of application)**
  8. a local knowledge test pass certificate, arranged through the council
  9. certificate of good conduct from your own embassy if you have not lived in the UK continuously for the previous five years
  10. a nine digit tax code, or a declaration that you are registered for tax (see 'Tax Conditionality' information under 'Further Information' below)

* An email address is required if you wish to complete the e-consent process. 
** Older certificates will be accepted where an applicant has held a taxi driver licence with another licensing authority within the 12 month period prior to submitting an application to the Council.

An application for a Joint Hackney Carriage & Private Hire driver licence will only be considered valid once all the above items have been received. An application for a Private Hire only driver licence will be considered valid provided all items except 7 & 8 have been received. All successful Private Hire driver licence applicants are given a grace period of six months to provide these two required documents. Failure to provide the two documents will result in the suspension of the licence until they are provided. The Licensing Authority can only determine valid applications, and will aim to determine a valid application within ten working days of receipt of a valid application. If a Licensing Sub-Committee is required to determine an application this period may increase to 28 days.

Apply online

It is now possible to apply online for new and renewal driver licence applications via the Council's self service portal:

Before completing your application, your attention is drawn to our privacy and data retention policy (PDF).

Further information 

Paper based application forms can be found in the related documents section along with the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy which contains more information on the application procedure.

Paper based application forms and payment can be submitted through the post, or at the customer services desk in the Council Offices. 

DBS forms

All applicants who do not hold a suitable DBS Update Service certificate will be required to complete an online application form that will be sent via email. Applicants will still be required to visit the Council Offices to have their ID documents checked. The list of acceptable documents will be included in the supplied email.

If you have a child and adult workforce or other workforce enhanced DBS certificate with Barred List checks, and are registered on the DBS Update Service, you may submit this to the Council with your access code to enable the Council to complete a subject search.

All licensed drivers are required to maintain a subscription to the DBS update service whilst licensed. Subscription must be applied for within 28 days of receiving your certificate. More information can be found on the DBS Update Service (external link)

Medical requirement

It is a requirement for all new applicants to provide a group two medical form and declaration form on initial application, and every three years whilst licensed until the age of 70, and annually thereafter. You may use any GP registered with the General Medical Council, but you will need to provide them with an existing medical history summary sheet. These can be obtained from your registered GP, and in some cases if you have online access to your GP surgery, you will be able to download this summary yourself. In order to ensure that the correct D4 medical form is used, all applicants will need to click on the link in the related documents section which will take you to the current DVLA D4 form. This form is entitled Medical examination report for a Group Two (lorry or bus) licence, but this is also the form used for taxi licensing. 

If your chosen GP is unable to conduct the vision test, you will need to take the D4 form to an optician prior to attending your GP appointment. The optician will complete page three of the report, and return the form to you. Your chosen GP will conduct the remaining parts of the medical, and then declare you fit or unfit. 

In addition to having your GP complete this report form, they must sign the medical fitness certificate that you will return to the Council with your medical report. This certificate can also be found in the related documents section below. Both parts together make up the medical we will use to evaluate your fitness to drive. Please ensure that your chosen GP is willing to sign this certificate prior to attending your medical. It remains an applicant's or licence holder's responsibility to ensure that the D4 form and the medical certificate are fully completed. 

Medical frequencies may change from those listed above if you have an existing medical condition. If you suffer from hyper-tension you must take three official blood pressure readings taken at least one day apart with you to your examination. 

Local knowledge test

New applicants are required to pass a local knowledge test.

Blue Lamp Trust / Green Penny driving assessment

Tests are run by the Blue Lamp Trust or Greenpenny assessors not the Council. To book an appointment please visit the Blue Lamp Trust website (external link) or the Green Penny website (external link).

Immigration Act 2016

The Immigration Act 2016 places a duty on the Council to ensure that no person obtains a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver and operator licence if they do not have a legal right to work in the UK. Upon first application (and upon first renewal after 1st December 2016 for existing licence holders) applicants will be required to prove their right to work in the UK by supplying one of the official documents listed in the document below. The applicant must be present when the document is supplied; it is not possible for the document to be presented by another person. A copy of the document will be retained in order at the instruction of the Home Office.

Also, please note, if you provide a document from list B you will be required to produce proof of right to work upon all future renewal dates.

Tax Conditionality

If you are applying to renew a driver licence, or applying for a new licence which is the same type of licence you already hold with another authority, or it is for the same type of licence previously held with this authority, that ceased to be valid less than a year before the date of application, you must carry out a tax check via the online HMRC portal, and provide the authority with the nine digit tax check code it provides you. Without this code it will not be possible for the authority to grant a private hire or hackney carriage driver licence.

If you are applying for a new licence, and the points mentioned in the above paragraph do not apply, you will be required to sign a declaration confirming that you are aware of your need to register for tax purposes, and you will do so. This declaration will be contained on the application form.

For more information visit the HMRC guidance website (external link).

Safeguarding and customer awareness training

All successful applicants must attend a Council run safeguarding and customer awareness training session within the first six months of obtaining a licence. Failure to attend may result in the suspension of the licence.

Licence renewals

Existing licensed drivers who wish to renew their licence must do so by the expiry date of their existing licence. The Licensing Authority will notify licence holders one month prior to the expiry date of their licence, but the ultimate responsibility for submitting a renewal application remains that of the licence holder.

Renewal applications will only need to be supported by the holders DVLA driving licence, a passport style photo (JPG's accepted), and those documents that have expired, or are due to expire during the application period. Failure to renew by the expiry date will result in the licence expiring. In such cases, a new application will need to be submitted, and the applicant will need to comply with the requirements of a new application in force at that time.

Related documents