Private hire operator licence
You need a private hire operator licence to accept bookings for private hire vehicles, including if you are a booking agent that accept and subcontract bookings. A private hire operator licence is required regardless of how the booking is made, such as through a booking office or via phone, website or app.
Commercial vehicles (such as for courtesy hotel transfers) may require a licence. ‘Novelty’ vehicles, such as stretch limousines, party buses and chauffeur-driven vehicles, will require a private hire operator licence. Wedding and funeral service vehicles are exempt from operator licensing requirements. If you are unsure whether you require a private hire operator licence, contact us at email@example.com.
Important note: A private hire operator licence granted by us entitles you to accept bookings for private hire vehicles and drivers licensed in Three Rivers District only or subcontract bookings to operators licensed in the district or elsewhere. It is an offence to pass bookings to a vehicle or driver not licensed in the same local authority area as the operator. For the full conditions relating to private hire operator licences, see our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy 2022.
Apply for or renew a private hire operator licenceApply for a new operator licence (PDF)Renew an operator licence (PDF)
Applications for renewals must be submitted at least two months before the date of expiry of the existing licence. Applications to renew a licence submitted after the expiry of the current licence will not be valid, and you will need to apply for a new licence.
You will need to supply the below additional documents when submitting your application:
- an unused DVLA online check code (PDF) for each applicant (you must apply for the code on the same day that you submit your licence application)
- a taxi safeguarding course pass certificate for each applicant
- Proof of immigration status/right to work in the UK. If the applicant is not a British/Irish passport holder they will need to provide a share code. (For applicants on a time-limited visa, any licence issued will expire when the visa expires. If, at any time, an applicant’s entitlement to work in the UK is moved, the licence will be revoked.)
- a recent passport-style photo for each applicant (see our photo guidance (PDF))
- a clear copy of each applicant’s DVLA photocard driving licence displaying their current home address
- a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for each applicant and director of the company dated within three months
- a letter of permission from the property owner (if the proposed premises is rented/leased)
- a certificate of public liability insurance and employer’s liability insurance(applicable only if you are applying for a public office or you employ staff)
- proof of correct planning permission for the proposed operating base (you may need planning permission to use any premises, such as your home address or an office, as a booking office)
After submitting your application, you will need to arrange a knowledge test for every private hire operator licence applicant.
Operating base inspection
After your application has been processed, one of our licensing offers will contact you to arrange an inspection of your operating base. Our officer will also assess how you take bookings and keep records.
Maintaining your licence
If your application is successful, you will be issued a licence. Private hire operator licences can be issued for a maximum period of five years. You must submit an annual basic disclosure certificate every year. Failure to do so can result in the suspension of your licence.
Notify a change of name or address
Licence holders must notify us of any change to their name or corresponding address.Notify a change of name or address for a Licence holder
You will need to pay the relevant fee with your application.