Applying for grant/renewal/transfer of a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage vehicle licence


Current fees 

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 conditions BEFORE purchasing a vehicle or submitting an application. These conditions can be found on this page

To apply for either a Hackney Carriage or private hire vehicle licence please download the forms below. The forms are also available to collect from Three Rivers Council reception.

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
  • 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

Age of vehicles

With regards to the age of a vehicle, any Hackney Carriage to be newly licensed must be less than 10 years old.

For a private hire vehicle we do not currently have an age limit, however we require the vehicle to be a Euro 5 emission standards minimum.  You can find a vehicles emissions on the Vehicle Certification Agency website . There is also an online checker at that can be used (Disclaimer: This tool is intended for personal use as a guideline only. Older or more unusual vehicles may not be covered by this tool. If you have concerns about your vehicle’s emissions you should consult with the retailer or manufacturer for more information.) 

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. 

Once the vehicle has been MOT'd and compliance checked the MOT pass certificate and compliance pass certificate must be submitted to the Licensing department along with the application and all other relevant documents. An application will not be processed unless a vehicle has passed both of these checks.

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 made at least five working days 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

If your licensed vehicle is involved in any collision, or incident which effects the safety, performance or appearance of the vehicle you must report it to us within 72 hours. 
If your vehicle has a mechanical fault that means you will need to rent a temporary vehicle, you have to report it to us. Please call us on 01923 776611 to report, alternatively download the form below and email it to us at

Collision and Defect Report Form (doc)

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 will need:

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.



Q) How long will it take to receive my plate and licence?
A) It can take up to five working days to process your licence once we have a a complete and valid application.
Q) How will I know when my plate is ready to collect?
A) You will be notified by phone call or email.
Q) Where do I collect my plate from?
A) Your plate will be kept in reception at Three Rivers District Council. Please bring a form of ID with you.
Q) I have lost my plate / paper licence. How can I get a replacement?
A) Please note that if you have lost your external plate then you cannot work as a licenced vehicle until it has been replaced. You will have to complete a form and pay a fee for us to reissue any part of your licence. Please download the appropriate form and submit along with the fee to the Licensing team as soon as possible to arrange replacement(s).
Q) I am selling my licenced vehicle, what should I do?
A) If you have sold your car to another licensed driver they will need to do a Transfer form, to transfer the licence into their name. You will need to confirm in writing that you sold the vehicle to them. If you have sold your car and do not wish to transfer your licence you will need to surrender your licence in writing either by writing a letter to: Licensing Team, Three Rivers House, Northway, Rickmansworth, WD3 1RL or email us at:  You must return your paper licence and plates to Three Rivers DC.
Q) I have bought a vehicle that is already licenced, what should I do?
A) You will need to complete a Transfer application form; to transfer the licence into your name.
The previous owner will need to confirm in writing that they sold the vehicle to you.  If you would like an application form please call 01923 776611 and speak to a member of the Licensing Team, they will arrange for a form to be sent out to you or for one to be collected at reception.

Contact us

For more information about taxi and private hire vehicle licences, please phone 01923 776611 or email