Applying for grant/renewal/transfer of a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage vehicle licence
New/renewal vehicle licence
Licensee transfer (changing the name of the licence holder)
Transfer of plate (changing the vehicle on the licence)
Criteria for vehicles
A vehicle must meet our criteria in order to be licensed. Please ensure that you have read our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy BEFORE purchasing a vehicle or submitting an application.
When submitting the application you will be required to submit all of the following (documents must be original):
- Completed application form - download above or collect from our offices
- Correct fee, payable by credit or debit card
- MOT certificate and compliance pass certificate issued by one of our designated garages (these can be emailed to email@example.com)
- Vehicle registration document V5 or new keepers slip (V5C/2) - necessary to prove details of vehicle and owner or proof of ownership (bill of sale) or hire purchase agreement (if the vehicle is on hire purchase)
- Valid insurance certificate covering the driver for hire and reward and third party risks to passengers
- Any other documents as stated on the application form
- Certificate showing meter (if fitted) has been calibrated, tariffed and sealed
Vehicle requirements and conditions
If your current licensed vehicle has an accident and the insurance company write it off you cannot continue to use that vehicle for Private Hire or Hackney Carriage work. Anyone trying to bring a write-off back into the trade will have the plates cancelled immediately.
Listed below are the categories insurance companies use to determine write-offs:
- CATEGORY A: Scrap - This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person, declared unsuitable or beyond repair and has been identified to be crushed in its entirety
- CATEGORY B: Break - This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared unsuitable or beyond repair. Usable parts can be recycled
- CATEGORY S: Repairable structural - Repairable vehicle which has sustained damage to any part of the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/ self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle
- CATEGORY N: Repairable non-structural - Repairable vehicle which has not sustained damage to the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle. While the damage has been noted as non-structural, there may still be some safety critical items that require replacement e.g. steering and suspension parts
Please read through the vehicle conditions before purchasing a vehicle.
MOT and compliance check
All vehicles aged over 1 year are required to undergo an annual MOT check as per the DVSA guidance. The vehicle will also need to be compliance checked annually at one of our authorised garages. The amount of compliance checks the vehicle is due is dependent on the age of the vehicle. Once a vehicle reaches 10 years of age, the licence will only be renewed if the vehicle passes 3 compliance tests each year, at approximately 4-monthly intervals.
The MOT pass certificate and/or compliance pass certificate must be submitted to the Licensing department along with the application and all other relevant documents.
Vehicles that fail the MOT and or compliance test must be removed from service immediately and only returned to the fleet once a pass certificate has been provided to the licensing team. Failure to remove a vehicle from service will be a breach of the licensing conditions and further action maybe taken against your licence.
Licensing officers carry out random checks on vehicles and drivers throughout the year to ensure they continue to comply with these requirements.
Maintaining the licence
Once the application has been granted, a licence will be issued allowing the vehicle to be used for up to 12 months as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle, as applicable. We will also issue a set of licence plates which must be displayed on the vehicle at all times, unless an exemption has been granted. Failure to display the plates correctly is an offence.
While the licence is in force, the licence-holder must inform us in writing of:
- any change to their address,
- any collisions or incidents involving the vehicle, or
- any change to the details of the vehicle (a fee is payable for changes relating to personal number plates, or the vehicle's colour, structure or capacity).
Licence-holders must notify us if they sell the licensed vehicle (the new owner will also be required to apply for a new licence in their own name). It is not possible to sell or retain the 'plate' (licence) on its own - it must be transferred to the new owner with the vehicle to which it relates.
Renewal applications must be received at least four weeks prior to the expiry of the licence. If a renewal application is not made before the expiry date, the licence will lapse and a new application will be required. This may result in the vehicle being unlicensed for a period of time but may also mean that if the vehicle does not meet the standard as a new vehicle on the fleet it may be refused.
Vehicles may be periodically stopped and/or inspected by licensing officers or the police, to ensure that they are being maintained correctly and are complying with both road laws and our licensing conditions.
Collision and defect reporting
Private Hire Vehicle Plate exemption
In order to be considered for plate exemption, the work you carry out must be exclusively or primarily chauffeured (executive) private hire work. This means that you provide the chauffeur and vehicle to a business or person, and the display of a licence plate may affect the dignity or security of the persons you are carrying.
To apply for plate exemption, you must submit the following:
- completed private hire exemption application form (pdf)
- letters from clients demonstrating the vehicle is used for chauffeured work
- booking records demonstrating that the vehicle is primarily used for chauffeured work
Please note that if your request is granted, you are required to carry the vehicle plate and letter of dispensation in the vehicle at all times. The internal plate must be displayed in the windscreen on the passenger side at all times. The exemption expires on the same date the plate expires, and must be applied for each time.
YOUR DRIVERS' BADGE MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES EVEN WHEN DISPENSATION HAS BEEN GRANTED FOR THE VEHICLE.
For more information about taxi and private hire vehicle licences, please phone 01923 776611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org