We are responsible for granting licences to the proprietors, operators and drivers of Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles.
We have joined the ‘National Register of Refusals and Revocations’. This new register will allow licensing authorities to record details of where a taxi driver licence has been refused or revoked. It will allow our licensing team and other licensing authorities to check new applicants against the register. This should help to prevent people found not to be fit and proper in one area from securing a licence somewhere else through deception and non-disclosure. Any driver who has their licence refused or revoked by the Ccouncil will have their details recorded on the register. Any details placed on the register will be held for a period of 25 years before being deleted.
Hackney Carriages may be the traditional London Cab style or may be normal saloon vehicles distinguishable by the fact that these vehicles have a white bonnet and boot/tailgate and will display a roof sign and display a blue and white plate on the rear of the vehicle.
Private Hire vehicles are usually 'saloon type' vehicles and include mini buses with up to and including eight passenger seats and display a red and white plate on the rear of the vehicle. Both types of vehicle display a small window sticker of the relevant colour in the windscreen showing the licence details.
The basic difference between the two vehicles is that Hackney Carriages can be "flagged down" on the street or at a rank within the District where it is licensed and Private Hire Vehicles must be pre-booked through a Private Hire Operator. If a Private Hire Driver accepts a fare off the street without it being pre-booked, they are liable to prosecution. It is also important to note that anyone taking a journey in a Private Hire Vehicle which has been "flagged down" may not be insured for the journey.
- o Vehicle Licences - All vehicles that are to be used as Private Hire Vehicles or a Hackney Carriage must be licensed by the local authority. We must be satisfied that the vehicle is roadworthy, has a valid MOT certificate (if applicable) and is insured for the appropriate use. You will also be required to provide evidence that you own the vehicle (vehicle registration document / logbook) or proof of purchase if the vehicle is newly acquired. Licences are granted for a period of six-months and your vehicle will need to be tested each time you apply.
- o Driver Licences – Anyone who drives a Private Hire Vehicle or a Hackney Carriage must be licensed by the same local authority that licenses the vehicle. We must be satisfied that the driver is ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence. All drivers are required to complete a theory test (including local knowledge; basic maths and English; Highway Code; and legislation and conditions of licence), medical, practical driving test, safeguarding course and DBS criminal record & right to work in the UK checks. Driver licenses normally last for three years.
- o Private Hire Operator Licences- Anyone wishing to take bookings for private hire vehicles must be licensed by the same local authority that licenses the vehicle they intend to operate. We must be satisfied that the driver is ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence. All operators are required to complete a safeguarding course plus DBS criminal record & right to work in the UK checks
In September 2018 the local authority approved a revised Taxi Licensing Policy which is divided into five sections for ease of reference. The five sections are:
We are in the process of writing to all our licence holders to advise them of the key Policy changes and a copy of the letter can be found here.
One key change to the new policy is the introduction of a new vehicle condition which will be added to all new private hire vehicle and hackney carriage licences. This will require the vehicle to have a basic inspection each day prior to use and the findings of the inspection will need to be recorded. To assist the trade we have produced a Daily Inspection Book which can be downloaded here.