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Private Hire And Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licences

Licence Summary

Vehicles to be used for public or private hire purposes must be licensed by the local authority and can only be driven by licensed hackney carriage or private hire drivers.

A private hire business must also have an operator licence. Vehicles are required to meet certain standards e.g. colour, emissions, seating capacities etc., for further information see our Licensing Policy in the guidance notes section below.

Private Hire Operator Licences


Policy and Regulation Summary

Copies of the relevant legislation can be found at the following links:

Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Licensing Policy

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

The Town Police Clause Act 1847


Vehicle Renewals

You can now renew your licence and make payment online here.


New Vehicle Application Process

See our Licensing Fees and Charges webpage for a full list of application fees.

If you are considering making an application for a new or replacement vehicle please read the Guidance for New or Replacement Vehicles.

Before submitting an application, the vehicle will require a test at the council’s testing station. To book your vehicle for a test, please telephone Cowpen Depot Garage on 01642 524615 or 01642 528256.  The vehicle should be tested no more than 28 days prior to the submission of your application.

Please email your completed Application Form, insurance certificate, MOT certificate (if required) and DVLA registration document (V5C) to [email protected] and then telephone 01642 524802 to make your payment via debit or credit card.

Please note that an MOT certificate is not required for any vehicle less than 12 months old from the date of registration.  The DVLA registration document (V5C) must show the applicants correct name and address and the vehicle must have valid road tax.

Vehicles that have been deemed to be an insurance “write off” (i.e. in accident damage category A, B, C, or S) and/or endorsed as being “accident damaged” on their V5 document will not be licensed.

Vehicles must be appropriate for use as a licensed vehicle. Please note that Hackney Carriage Vehicles must be black. Private Hire Vehicles may be any colour other than black, and not of such design and appearance to lead any person to believe that the vehicle is a Hackney Carriage Vehicle. If the vehicle you wish to licence is not of a type already licensed by this Authority you must inform this office so that arrangements can be made to check the suitability of the proposed vehicle.

On receipt of your application we will check the details on the form and process it in a timely manner.

Once the vehicle has been licensed it must be tested bi-annually and you will be advised of the months in which the vehicle is due for test when the licence is issued.  Vehicle licences are required to be renewed annually.

Text messages will be sent to you to remind you when your vehicle is due for test and renewal.


How To Apply

To apply for a licence, or notify us of any changes to your licence, please download and complete the appropriate forms below.

Application for a Transfer of a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence

Application to Place an Advertisement on a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Vehicle

Application for Exemption from Displaying Plates and Signs

Notification of Accident Damage to a Licensed Vehicle

Notification of Change of Address

Notification of a Criminal Conviction of a Vehicle Proprietor

Replace a vehicle licence plate, internal comment card, door decal or window stickers

Private Hire Certification Form

Proprietorship Requisition Form

If you would like to:

  • Return or surrender your licence
  • Change your vehicle registration mark

Please complete the following online contact form.

Contact us about a driver, vehicle or operator licence.

Request replacement items i.e. dash display wallet, tariff card etc


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