Private Hire Operator Licence
Anyone who acts as a private hire operator (that is, anyone who invites or accepts bookings for private hire vehicles, including 'booking agent' businesses which accept bookings and then sub-contract them) must be licensed by us. Private hire vehicles cannot lawfully carry out any journey which has not been pre-booked through an operator, and may invalidate their insurance if they were to do so.
For licensing purposes, it does not make any difference how a booking is made - companies providing booking offices, telephone booking lines, websites or app bookings must all be licensed. It also, does not make a difference whether the booking is for a one-off journey to be paid in cash, or a regular booking under a contract. Vehicles provided as part of a commercial package (for example, courtesy car pick-up from a hotel) may also need to be licensed, as will the hire of 'novelty' vehicles, such as stretch limos and party buses, or chauffeur-driven cars (although wedding and funeral car services are exempt from licensing).
Operators are responsible for arranging and fulfilling bookings, employing and vetting licensed drivers and vehicles, responding to customer complaints, and maintaining records of every booking they receive. As they are responsible for the care of their customers, some of whom may be vulnerable, it is vital that we can be satisfied that operators are 'fit and proper persons'.
All applications must be accompanied by:
- A recent Basic Disclosure certificate for every individual applicant, or every director of the company. This certificate must be less than 3 months old at the time of submission.
- Details of all the vehicles and drivers that the operator intends to operate Private Hire drivers and vehicle list
- Copies of any supporting documents you intend to rely upon during your application
- ID documents for all applicants/directors including proof of right to work, proof of National Insurance Number and proof of address
- Proof that proposed business address has correct permission to be used as base
- Public liability insurance and employers liability insurance where relevant (only applicable if you are applying for a public office or you are employing staff)
- Payment for the application fee. Please note only card payments are accepted
- As of 1st April 2020 - all applicants must submit a taxi Safeguarding course pass certificate
Step 2 - The Knowledge Test
Applicants for a private hire operator licence must also sit a knowledge test.
Step 3 - Operating Base Inspection
In order to ensure that you will be operating from a base within Three Rivers, a Licensing Officer will inspect your operating base to ensure that this requirement is met.
Planning permission You will also need to speak to the planning department to ensure that you can use your address as a place of business.
Step 4 - The Licence
Once all the relevant paperwork has been received and the inspection completed, a licence will be issued for a maximum period of five years.
If you wish to continue to be licensed by this authority, you will need to complete the application form and return it to the Council with the relevant fee at least 2 months before the expiry of the current licence. You will also need to bring a Basic Disclosure Certificate which is dated within the last 3 months. Licence holders who also hold a driver licence can provide proof of a valid enhanced DBS certificate instead of obtaining a new basic disclosure.
Important Renewal Appointment Information:
- All forms must be filled in prior to submitting the documents
- Your renewal application must be submitted at least 2 months prior to expiry
- You will be required to produce your annual Basic Disclosure Certificate or enhanced DBS if also licensed as a driver.
- Submit an up-to-date Private Hire Operator drivers and vehicle list (pdf)
- £965 Licence fee payable by card only
The legal duty to be properly licensed rests with yourself. Therefore, if in future you do not receive a reminder from the Council you must still seek to renew your licence. It is an offence to take a booking for a Private Hire booking without a current and valid Private Hire Operator’s licence.
All licences must be renewed before their expiry date, as shown on the licence. Any application to renew a licence that has gone beyond its expiry date will be refused and an application for a NEW operator licence will be required.
For more information on operator licences, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01923 776611.