Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle, Driver & Operator Licensing
We grant licences for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles, drivers and operators. To ensure the safety and comfort of the public, we must ensure that licence holders meet and maintain the required standards and comply with legislation, local byelaws and licence conditions.
How much does it cost?
For the proposed fees and charges for 2013/14 please see the document at the end of this article.
For current fees and charges related information, please use the following link:
Who is responsible?
To ensure the safety and comfort of the public, we must ensure that licence holders meet and maintain the required standards and comply with legislation, local byelaws and licence conditions.
The Council has adopted a new hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy. This policy will come into effect on 1 January 2012. The policy on the age of vehicles will come into effect on 1 July 2012. You are advised to acquaint yourself with this policy before applying for a licence.
School contracts are issued by Lincolnshire County Council (only to those already in possession of District Council hackney or private hire licences).
The Disclosure & Barring Service carries out criminal record checks prior to the issue and every 3 years on renewal of drivers' licences. Enhanced checks will be asked for anyone wishing to be a taxi or private hire driver.
You must bring proof of your national insurance number. Failure to provide this proof may result in your application being rejected. If you do not have a national insurance number, checks will be carried out to ensure you are legally entitled to work in this country.
The following are examples of documentation, which we can accept as proof of your National Insurance Number:
- A recent payslip;
- A recent Pension Statement;
- Any documentation from the Department for Work and Pensions.
- A P45, P60 or any documentation from HM Revenue and Customs.
Please remember that original documentation must be provided - photocopies cannot be accepted.
Alternatively you may wish to contact the National Insurance Contributions Office on telephone number 08459157006 - this office may be able to send you a letter confirming your National Insurance Number.
You only need to complete sections a, b, c, d & e. Do not complete any other sections otherwise, your form will be rejected. Guidance to completing the form is included on the first page of the CRB application form and you must read this carefully before attempting to complete it. Further guidance and information on which documentation can be accepted as proof of ID is available on the Disclosure & Barring Service website.
The DVLA carries out checks on driving licences.
The Driving Standards Agency test will have to be undertaken by new drivers with more than 6 points on their licence and existing drivers with more than 8 points on their licence. The points remain accountable for 4 years. Tests can be booked online.
Licence - Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire drivers, vehicles & operators
We grant licences to people who wish to drive and operate hackney carriages (otherwise known as taxis) and private hire vehicles.
To comply with the law, we must ensure that those who are granted a licence to drive are "fit and proper" persons. This involves a thorough vetting procedure and will include some or all of the following:
- Checks by Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
- Driving Standards Agency (DSA)
- A medical
- An entry test consisting of:
- Hackney Carriage - basic reading, writing and arithmetic test and a knowledge test which will require driving to 10 out of 15 streets/locations selected at random by the licensing officer. The standards of driving will be observed during this period.
- Private Hire - basic reading, writing and arithmetic test and, using a map, finding the location of 5 out of 30 locations showing what route you would use and driving to a pre-determined destination during which the standards of driving can be observed. The routes and locations for private hire drivers will be sent prior to the test.
- The cost of the first knowledge test is included in the application fee. Should an applicant fail this test subsequent tests will incur a charge.
To ensure their continued roadworthiness, vehicles are tested by approved MOT testing stations twice a year and are subject to spot checks.
In addition to vetting and checking, the licensing team administers the functions necessary to maintain the required standards, including:
Enforcement: They investigate (and prosecute) cases of breaches/non compliance with legislation, byelaws and licence conditions.
- Liaise with and give advice to the taxi and private hire trade, the public and other bodies.
- Appoint taxi ranks
- Maintain a register of fares (hackney carriage only)
- Investigate and deal with complaints.
The Council's Licensing Committee deal with cases where decisions have to be made with regard to the issue, withdrawal, suspension or revocation of a licence.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between hackney carriage and private hire?
Hackney carriages (taxis) can ply for hire (on a rank or in the street) or can be pre-booked. They must display a roof sign and have a meter fitted. Taxi owners may set their own fare scales but they must send a copy to us before this can be used. For those choosing not to do this, our 'default' rate will take effect. All taxis must have their table of fares displayed in the vehicles at all times.
Private hire can only be pre-booked. Vehicles must not display a roof sign, fares are not registered with the Council but are agreed with the customer at the time of booking. Private hire vehicles run under a private hire operator's licence - various conditions apply. All private hire operator licence applications are referred to the council's Planning Department as planning permission may be required.
Can I licence my hackney or private hire vehicle whilst it is licensed with another authority?
This authority does not allow dual plating of vehicles due to the difficulty in enforcing such practice and the confusion it can cause customers.
How do I become a taxi or private hire driver?
In the first instance contact the licensing team.
Each case is individual and will be dependent upon a number of matters such as:
- Whether or not an applicant meets the fit and proper test.
- Spent convictions will be considered but will not necessarily debar you from gaining a licence unless the authority considers that the conviction renders you unsuitable
- Medical conditions
- Having held a full UK/European driving licence for at least 12 months
The licensing team will discuss the application process in detail, answer any questions in confidence.
How long will my application take to process?
Each application will be dependent on the above factors. The vetting of some applicants may take longer than others for various reasons. The minimum period for completion of an application will be 4 weeks.
Where are the taxi ranks in each of the main towns?
Taxi ranks are situated at the following locations.
St Peter's Hill (opposite the Guildhall Arts Centre) - operates 24 hours
Wharf Road ( next to the Bus Station) - operates 24 hours
Wide Westgate (opposite Welby Street) - operates Sunday to Friday 24 hours, Saturday, 1800 onwards.
Wide Westgate, South-West side - operates Sunday to Friday, 1900 - 0600 hrs. Saturdays, 1800 - 0700 hrs.
Narrow Westgate-Market Place - operates Monday to Sunday (except market day)1900 - 0600 only
Railway Station - operates 24 hours - not appointed by the Council
Broad Street - operates 24 hours (except Fridays)
St Mary's Hill (outside town hall) - operational 21.00 - 3.00 only
Market Place - operational 24 hours
CRB Criminal Records Bureau
|[102kb]||TAXI_SAFE_POSTER||taxi safe poster|
|[159kb]||EP1 - ph BOOKLET||PH vehicle, driver & operator booklet|
|[158kb]||EP2 - HC BOOKLET||HV vehicle & driver booklet|
|[574kb]||DSA Taxi & Private Hire driving assessment booklet||DSA Taxi & Private Hire driving assessment booklet|
|[545kb]||Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Policy||Taxi & Private Hire Licensing Policy|
|[95kb]||driver application||driver application|
|[32kb]||vehicle application||vehicle application|
|[37kb]||operator application||operator application|
|[62kb]||change of vehicle||change of vehicle|
|[31kb]||newspaper advert||newspaper advert|
|[153kb]||medical form with advice||medical form with advice|
|[54kb]||council scale of charges for taxis||council scale of charges for taxis|
|[116kb]||transfer of ownership||transfer of ownership|
|[50kb]||authorised garages||authorised garages|
|[77kb]||Application for exemption for displaying PH plate||Application for exemption for displaying PH plate|
|[86kb]||exemption from displaying PH plate guidance||exemption from displaying PH plate guidance|
The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.