How do i become a private hire or Hackney carriage driver?
You can find out all the information on our webpage Information for new applicants and licence holders.
Do I need to make an appointment?
No. We will need to see you in person at a later stage but we will arrange this once we have your application documents.
How long does it take to get a licence?
This varies but is largely within your control. You must obtain a number of documents in order to apply,such as an advance driving certificate, safeguarding course certificate and a medical. You can book to do these at your leisure, but could in theory do them all within a couple of days. Once we have your application we need to obtain a criminal record check on your behalf (known as an enhanced DBS disclosure). We won't do this unless we have received all your documents. The DBS disclosure will take around 2 to 4 weeks to be returned to us. Once that is received we will be in a position to determine your application. We will be able to inform you within 5 working days of receiving your DBS if your application can be granted and issue a licence or if we need further information.
In what circumstances may you need more information?
We must be satisfied that you are fit and proper. If we are not we cannot grant your licence. If once we have your complete application we are not satisfied we will discuss the matter with you. This may mean that you are asked to attend an interview or provide additional information to us. Following this we may be satisfied and grant a licence, we may refer the application to a licensing sub-committee to consider your application or we may refuse to grant a licence.
Will criminal or driving convictions affect an application?
Yes. How we consider these matters is set out in Appendix B of our Policy. You can review the Policy on the assessment of the criminal convictions, conduct and behaviour of individuals
(PDF, 325KB). All applications are considered on their own merits and you will have the opportunity to provide information and further detail to us so that we can decide your application fairly.
If my application is refused will I receive a refund?
No. The application fee is for us to process your application and consider whether to grant a licence. This is not refunded if you do not receive a licence.
I am worried that my application will be refused as i have a criminal conviction. I do not want to pay a fee as i will not receive a refund. What should i do?
We can not determine whether to grant a licence without you having made an application and paid the fee. If we did so, we would be providing a free service to you at the tax payers expense,and removing your right to appeal our decision to the magistrates court. Appendix B of our policy (above) will give you an indication as to how we will consider certain convictions. We are happy to provide very limited advice to clarify our policy or to give you a rough idea how a conviction will be considered. Our view however will neither be an approval or refusal.
Is there an upper and lower age limit to become a licensed driver?
No. As long as you have held your UK Driving Licence for at least 36 months and your medical examination is satisfactory.
What type of vehicle can I licence?
Vehicle details are in Appendix C of our Policy. Further details are also on our New Private Hire Vehicle and New-Hackney-Carriage-Vehicle-Licence pages.
We do not recommend that you purchase a vehicle before you have confirmed that it complies with our requirements.