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'.
Completed applications should be sent to the Licensing department, at the address given. Alternatively they can be submitted at the welcome desk.
All applications must be accompanied by:
- A recent Basic Disclosure certificate for every individual applicant, or every director of the company , who is not currently licensed by us as a taxi or private hire driver (or who is not currently applying for a driver's licence)
- Details of all the vehicles and drivers that the operator intends to operate, if a licence is granted Private Hire drivers and vehicle list (pdf)
- Copies of any supporting documents you intend to rely upon during your application
- Payment for the application fee. Please note only card payments are accepted
If you are setting up a new business where you will be the only driver, we will normally ask you to apply for a private hire driver's licence at the same time, so that we can consider both applications together. Driver's licence applications require a DBS enhanced disclosure, which is more comprehensive than a basic disclosure.
We will review all valid applications and carry out further checks including a premises visit from a Licensing Officer to ascertain that the operating premises meets our conditions. A licence will be granted providing we are satisfied that the applicant(s) is a fit and proper person.
The 'fit and proper' requirement is wide ranging, but may take into account any previous criminal convictions or cautions, the right to undertake employment in the UK, and other such matters as we consider appropriate. Our Suitability Policy will advise about what we will take into consideration.
Licences will be granted for five years. There are conditions which an operator must adhere to which can be downloaded and viewed below:
- Fee for Private Hire Operator Licence (5 years) is £965.00 (cheques or cash no longer accepted)
- All Operator Licences will be subject to a minimum standard of an annual premises check
- All Operator Licences will be subject to an annual Basic Disclosure Certificate (if the operator is already a licenced driver with TRDC then the annual DBS check will cover this)
- Applicants for operator licences cannot use the same (or similar) name as any private hire firm currently operating within the district or any previously used within the district and registered by the operator at Companies House.
If you wish to continue to be licensed by this authority, you will need to complete the renewal form and return it to the Council with the relevant fee of £965.00. You will also need to bring a Basic Disclosure Certificate which is dated within the last 30 days of the date of your application form.
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
- Submit an up-to-date Private Hire Operator drivers and vehicle list (pdf)
- £965 Licence fee (cheques and cash no longer accepted)
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.