Taxi and private hire vehicles

Any vehicle carrying 8 or fewer passengers for hire or reward must have a taxi vehicle licence and only a licensed driver can drive it.

We license both hackney carriage and private hire vehicles. Our licences are for a period of one year.

A private hire vehicle must receive its work from an operator who has been issued an operator licence by us.

You’ll also need to have a dual driver licence issued by us before you can drive a licensed taxi vehicle.

Hackney carriage vehicle

You can flag down a hackney carriage or hire them at a taxi rank. They can drive passengers anywhere for a fare. They will have an illuminated roof sign and a blue and white council licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.

All vehicles require an MOT when the vehicle is one year old from date of its’ first registration.

To get a licence a vehicle less than 12 months old will need:

  • a garage test issued within the last 28 days
  • insurance showing you can use the vehicle for public hire

Once the vehicle is a year old it will need an MOT, it will also need an new MOT on renewal of the licence even if there is time left on the current MOT.

You will need to get a garage test 6 months after the licence renewal.

To get a licence an older vehicle will need:

  • a garage test issued within the last 28 days
  • insurance showing you can use the vehicle for public hire
  • a current MOT with more than 6 months left to run

6 months after your application your vehicle will need an MOT even if there is time left on the current MOT certificate.

Your vehicle will need to take a garage test annually.

All hackney carriage vehicles must meet our set conditions to be considered for a licence.

Once we have granted a hackney carriage licence for your vehicle only a licensed driver can drive the vehicle, even when you are not using the vehicle as a taxi.

Find out more information in our: Hackney carriage vehicle conditions page

Private hire vehicle

You can only book a private hire vehicle ahead of a journey. It cannot pick up passengers without being pre-booked through a licensed operator. It cannot use taxi ranks.

They have a yellow and black council licence plate on rear of the vehicle and no roof sign.

All vehicles require an MOT when the vehicle is 3 years’ old from date of its’ first registration.

To get a licence a vehicle less than 3 years’ old will need:

  • a garage test issued within the last 28 days
  • insurance showing you can use the vehicle for private hire

Once the vehicle is 3 years’ old it will need an MOT, it will also need an new MOT on renewal of the licence even if there is time left on the current MOT.

You will need to get a garage test 6 months after the licence renewal.

To get a licence an older vehicle will need:

  • a garage test issued within the last 28 days
  • insurance showing you can use the vehicle for private hire
  • a current MOT with more than 6 months left to run

6 months after your first application your vehicle will need an MOT even if there is time left on the current MOT certificate.

Your vehicle will need to take a garage test annually.

All private hire vehicles must meet our set conditions to be considered for a licence.

Once we have granted a private hire licence for your vehicle only a licensed driver can drive the vehicle, even when you are not using the vehicle as a taxi.

Find out more information in our: Private Hire vehicle conditions page

Apply for a new taxi vehicle licence

There is a minimum processing time of 14 working days so please allow plenty of time for your application.

Before applying for a new vehicle licence make sure you have the following information to hand and be able to attach a copy of any applicable documents to the application:

  • credit or debit card for payment
  • the V5 registration certificate (logbook) in your name; or a bill of sale in your name
  • a valid insurance certificate or cover note
  • a valid MOT certificate (vehicles less than one year old do not need a certificate)
  • test certificate from one of the approved testing stations.
  • a valid LPG certificate (if applicable)
  • a valid passenger lift certificate (if applicable)

After selecting the button below you’ll need to:

  1. Create an account if you do not already have one.
  2. Select licensing.
  3. Select apply for a licence.
  4. Select taxi vehicle licensing applications.
  5. Select private hire vehicle or hackney carriage vehicle.
  6. Select new application.
  7. Follow the onscreen instructions.
     

There is a fee for this service. 

Apply for a new vehicle licence

Apply for a renewal of a taxi vehicle licence

There is a minimum processing time of 14 working days so please allow plenty of time for your application.

You can apply up to one month in advance of the expiry of your existing plate.

Before applying for a new vehicle licence make sure you have the following information to hand and be able to attach a copy of any applicable documents to the application:

  • credit or debit card for payment
  • V5 registration certificate (logbook)
  • a valid insurance certificate or cover note
  • a valid MOT certificate
  • a test certificate from one of the approved testing stations
  • a valid LPG certificate (if applicable)
  • a valid passenger lift certificate (if applicable)

We will also need you to return the current vehicle signs/plates. If you do not, we will charge a fee for them.

After selecting the button below you’ll need to:

  1. Create an account if you do not already have one.
  2. Select licensing.
  3. Select apply for a licence.
  4. Select taxi vehicle licensing applications.
  5. Select private hire vehicle or hackney carriage vehicle.
  6. Select renewal application.
  7. Follow the onscreen instructions.

There is a fee for this service.

Apply for a renewal vehicle licence

Apply for a temporary taxi vehicle plate

This is valid for a maximum of one month and used where a temporary vehicle may be needed, for example if the original vehicle has been involved in an accident.

After selecting the button below you’ll need to:

  1. Have a credit or debit card for payment.
  2. Create an account if you do not already have one.
  3. Select licensing.
  4. Select apply for a licence.
  5. Select taxi vehicle licensing applications.
  6. Select private hire vehicle or hackney carriage vehicle.
  7. Select temporary vehicle plate application.
  8. Follow the onscreen instructions.
     

There is a fee for this service. 

Apply for a temporary plate

Valid for a maximum of one month.

Change of ownership for a licensed vehicle

If the registered owner of a licensed vehicle has changed you need to inform us within 14 days of the address where the taxi is kept.


After selecting the button below you’ll need to:

  1. Have a credit or debit card for payment.
  2. Create an account if you do not already have one.
  3. Select licensing.
  4. Select apply for a licence.
  5. Select taxi vehicle licensing applications.
  6. Select private hire vehicle or hackney carriage vehicle.
  7. Select temporary vehicle plate application.
  8. Follow the onscreen instructions.

There is a fee for this service.

Inform us of a change of ownership

Change of vehicle registration

You will not be able to use the vehicle as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle until a plate has been issued with the correct details.

After selecting the button below you’ll need to:

  1. Have a credit or debit card for payment.
  2. Create an account if you do not already have one.
  3. Select licensing.
  4. Select apply for a licence.
  5. Select taxi vehicle licensing applications.
  6. Select private hire vehicle or hackney carriage vehicle.
  7. Select change of Vehicle registration.
  8. Follow the onscreen instructions.
     

There is a fee for this service. 

We will also need you to return the current vehicle signs/plates. If you do not, we will charge a fee for them.

Inform us of a vehicle registration change

Transfer from hackney carriage licence to private hire licence

If you want to change the type of licence, you’ll need to apply for a new licence.

After selecting the button below you’ll need to:

  1. Have a credit or debit card for payment.
  2. Create an account if you do not already have one.
  3. Select licensing.
  4. Select apply for a licence.
  5. Select taxi vehicle licensing applications.
  6. Select hackney carriage vehicle.
  7. Select transfer private hire to hackney carriage.
  8. Follow the onscreen instructions.
     

There is a fee for this service.

Transfer from hackney carriage to private hire

Change of address

You should tell us within 7 days of any change of address relating to a licence.

After selecting the button below you’ll need to have:

  • a credit or debit card for payment
  • your plate number
  • your new details
     

There is a fee for this service

Inform us of a change of address

Transfer from private hire licence to hackney carriage licence

If you want to change the type of licence, you’ll need to apply for a new licence.

After selecting the button below you’ll need to:

  1. Have a credit or debit card for payment.
  2. Create an account if you do not already have one.
  3. Select licensing.
  4. Select apply for a licence.
  5. Select taxi vehicle licensing applications.
  6. Select private hire vehicle.
  7. Select transfer hackney carriage to private hire.
  8. Follow the onscreen instructions.

There is a fee for this service.

Transfer from private hire to hackney carriage