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Taxi and private hire driver licences

How to become a taxi driver, how to apply, submit and pay for a taxi driver's licence. Do you need qualifications, how to submit your criminal records bureau check. Also, how to renew or change your driver's licence and what happens if you do not apply.

Do I need a licence to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle?

Taxis and private hire vehicles can only be driven (at all times) by licensed hackney carriage/private hire drivers.

Once a taxi or private hire vehicle is plated and licensed, it remains a taxi or private hire vehicle at all times, even when not being used for public hire or hire and reward i.e. for personal and social use.

What licences do I need to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle?

East Riding of Yorkshire Council issues a dual driver's badge that allows individuals to drive both hackney carriage vehicles and private hire vehicles.

To enable a hackney carriage to be used, two licences are required:

  • hackney carriage/private hire (HC/PH) driver's licence
  • hackney carriage proprietor's (vehicle) licence.

To enable a private hire vehicle to be used, three licences will be required:

  • hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence
  • private hire operator's licence
  • private hire vehicle licence.

What do I need to apply for a taxi driver's licence?

To apply for a private hire/hackney carriage driver's licence, you are required to meet the application criteria below, all aspects must be completed before any application would be considered by the Licensing Authority.

Before applying for a licence to be a private hire or hackney carriage driver, you must read the Taxi and Private Hire Services Policy. 

Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Services Policy (word 2.4mb, opens in new window) 

The application process is completed in two stages.

Further information on each aspect is further down the page.

Stage One Appointment 

  1. Enhanced DBS certificate and a certificate of good conduct from your relevant embassy (if applicable), and subscription to the DBS Update Service
  2. DVLA driver's licence mandate
  3. Right to work in the UK check
  4. Full discussion over intended use and background checks. 

Stage Two

  1. DVSA driving test pass certificate
  2. A endorsed passport photo, signed by a person of professional standing i.e. Doctor, Teacher, Solicitor etc
  3. A completed group 2 medical form, completed by your registered GP practice.
  4. Application form and Fee
  5. A written knowledge test on licence conditions.
  6. NVQ qualification on Level 2 Road Passenger vehicle driving (Taxi and private hire). 

Stage One

1. Enhanced DBS Certificate

You are required to consent to an enhanced criminal record check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to establish if you are a "fit and proper" person to hold a hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence.

The DBS check will release details of any convictions/cautions and any additional information held that puts an individual on the barred list, prohibiting the individual from working with children or vulnerable adults. As part of this check you are required to join and maintain the DBS update service.

If you are aware that your DBS check will show any cautions or convictions please refer to the relevance of convictions in the licensing policy.

Update Service

All drivers are now conditioned to subscribe as part of their licence annually to the DBS update service. This is an online system that keeps your DBS check up to date at all times. It means that any registered body can view your DBS check online after they have seen your original certificate.

You can apply to join the Update service using your DBS application form reference number as soon as the DBS have received your application. Your application number will be provided to you.

Once your DBS certificate has been issued you have only a short period of 30 days to subscribe. If your do not register within the 30 days you may be required to undergo another enhanced DBS check at the point of renewal of your licence.

For more information on applying under the DBS Update service please read the document via the link below:

Certificate of good conduct 

A certificate of good conduct authenticated by the relevant embassy, less than three months old will also be required for all foreign nationals or anyone who has lived outside the UK for 6 months or more. 

Applicants must obtain and pay for their own certificate of good conduct from the relevant embassy, which must be translated into English.

2. DVLA driver's licence mandate

Applicants must have held a DVLA driver's licence for a minimum period of 2 years before they can apply for a hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence.

You are required to complete a DVLA mandate in order to give us the full history of your driving licence. The mandate costs £15

DVLA Mandate Form (pdf 1.29mb opens in new window)

3. Right to work in the UK check 

Applicants must provide evidence of their right to work in the UK, and evidence of this must be provided. A range of documents can be used to evidence you right to live and work in the UK as detailed below. 

Documents - Right to work in the UK checks guidance (pdf, 942KB opens in new window)

Stage 2 

1. Accredited taxi/private hire practical driving test

All applicants are required to undergo a taxi/private hire assessment test to a high level with an accredited body before a licence can be granted. If you have already completed the test previously your certificate cannot be older then 2 years.

If you intend to drive a hackney carriage vehicle, you will also be required to undertake the additional wheelchair assessment part of the test.

The test is specifically designed to examine the driving standards of new applicants and reflects modern driving practices and techniques.

Tests are currently been facilitated by Diamond Advance Motorists limited, to book your test contact Diamond Advance Motorists by email to: 

Email: help@advancemotoring.co.uk or by telephone on:

Tel: 020 8253 0120 

2. Endorsed passport photograph

You are required to provide one signed and endorsed photograph of yourself, the endorsement must be done by a professional person for example doctor, solicitor, teacher etc.

The person must have been know to you for more then 3 years and must not be anyone associated with the taxi trade.

Photograph endorsement sheet (word 23kb, opens in new window)

3. Group 2 Medical report

You are required to have a DVLA group 2 medical form completed by your registered GP. Fees will be set by your individual GP.

For a list of medical conditions that would bar you from holding a hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence please refer to the guidance notes attached to the medical form and the DVLA website.

Your medical will then last five years from date of issue for applicants under the age of 65 and one year for applicants over the age of 65, unless your doctor states a more regular medical is required.

When you submit your full application your medical will need to be less then 6 weeks old at the point of application.

Medical form (pdf 494 kb opens in new window)

4. Application form and fee

You will need to submit a fully completed and signed application form, the fee for a new driver's application is £130.

Apply online for Driver's grant application

5. Written knowledge test on licence conditions

Applicants will be tested on their knowledge of the licensing conditions, policy and bye-laws. Questions will also include customer care, knowledge of the dress code and code of conduct. The questions will mainly be multiple choice in nature.

Two attempts are permitted annually. After two failures a period of two months must elapse before the final attempt. In the event of three failures a period of one year must elapse before any further attempts are undertaken.

Following failure or failure to attend the knowledge test a resit fee of £30 is payable, before a further test can be undertaken. 

No licence will be granted unless the new applicant has successfully completed a written test on licence conditions and by-laws.

If you fail the knowledge test or fail to attend for your allocated knowledge a fee of £30 will be charged for the next knowledge test.

Driver's licence conditions/dress code and code of conduct (word 37kb opens in new window)

Taxi and private hire services policy (word 2.4mb, opens in new window)

Vehicle Licence conditions (word 43kb open in new window)

6. NVQ Qualification - Level 2 Road Passenger vehicle driving (taxi and private hire) 

If you already hold this qualification, the original certificate will need to be submitted alongside your application, if you do not already hold this qualification it will not stop you from obtaining a driver's licence. The qualification however must be undertaken and obtained within the first 12 months of your licence.

Further information on NVQ qualifications can be found further down the page.

Tacit Consent

Tacit consent does not apply to a driver's application, as it is important for public safety reasons that a licence is considered and granted before you are able to trade.

Your licence will not be issued until all of the matters have been completed.

How do I apply for a taxi driver's licence?

Stage One - DBS check and DVLA mandate and right to work in the UK check. 

In order to complete an enhanced DBS check and DVLA mandate, you must make an appointment with the Licensing Authority as the countersignatory body to complete the relevant forms and identity checks.

The requirement to join the update service will be explained at this appointment.

A fee of £80 (DBS check) and £15 (DVLA mandate) must be paid at this appointment.

You will also be required to provide evidence of your right to live and work in the UK. 

To book an appointment contact the licensing team by email at taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk

The taxi hub will then send off these checks to the relevant bodies. The licensing team will receive the DVLA mandate back direct, however no copy of the DBS certificate will be received by the taxi hub, this will need submitting by appointment once received back, with your certificate of good conduct (if applicable)

Stage Two - All other aspects of the application requirements

  • DVLA Group 2 medical form completed and signed by own GP. (less than 6 weeks old on application) to have been submitted to the Licensing direct from your GP. 
  • Copy of your practical driving test pass certificate (less than 2 years old) 
  • Endorsed photograph 
  • Completed application form and fee - to be applied for online using the below link:

Apply for a hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence

Knowledge Test

Once all aspects of the stage 2 application process have been completed (see above) you can book in for your written knowledge test, you must have a complete application before the knowledge is undertaken. You will be required to bring all the following aspects of your application to your knowledge test:

  • accredited practical driving test pass certificate (less than two years old)
  • Endorsed passport photograph
  • NVQ Qualification if already obtained.

Before you book in for your test, you must also check the Licensing Team are in receipt of your group 2 medical/ DVLA mandate/ Certificate of good conduct.

To book in for your for your knowledge test please email the licensing team using the address below:

Email: taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk

The next knowledge test will be conducted on: 

  • 8 January 2019 - 10:00
  • 5 February 2019 - 10:00
  • 5 March 2019 - 10:00
  • 2 April 2019 - 10:00

What happens after I submit my application?

If you do not hear from the licensing team within 48 hours of having completed your knowledge test, you will have passed the test and your complete application for a driver's licence will be considered.

Full consideration of your application can take up to 10 working days.

How much does it cost to get a taxi driver's licence?

At stage 1 you will need to pay for

  • Disclosure and Barring Scheme check (DBS) - £80
  • DVLA Mandate - £15

At stage 2 you will need to pay for

  • Application fee (one-year provisional badge) - £130
  • The cost of the medical is set by your GP (doctor)
  • Written knowledge test (included in the application fee)
  • Private Hire/Hackney Carriage accredited practical test – fees set by Diamond Advance Motoring 

Additional Fees

  • Replacement driver's badge - £30

Please be advised that if your application is unsuccessful your hackney carriage/private hire driver application fee will be refunded. However, the fee for your disclosure, DVLA mandate, medical, practical driving test and NVQ are non- refundable.

You can also submit your application and fee at any local customer service centre across the East Riding.

Do I need a qualification to get a taxi driver's licence?

You are not required to have already gained any qualification to apply to be a hackney carriage/private hire driver, however within the 12 months of your licence being granted you will be required to have undertaken and passed the NVQ award. It is advised that you apply for your course immediately on grant of your licence.

The NVQ award in Road Passenger vehicle driving (taxi and private hire) Level 2 or similar qualification (as determined by the licensing authority) is mandatory.

It is your responsibility to ensure this qualification is undertaken within the provisional 12 month period.

Should you choose not to undertake or complete the qualification during this time your licence will not be re-issued and your licence will lapse.

Below are a list of possible providers of the required qualification:

HCUK Training (Hull)

HCUK Training (external website)

Email Address: ssw@hcuktraining.co.uk

Tel: 0300 330 1520


Leeds City College

Leeds City College (external website)

Tel: 0113 3076197


Quality Training Solutions (Ripon)

Quality Training Solutions (external website)

Email Address: enquiries@qts-global.co.uk

Tel: 07739 184176


Yorkshire Training Academy (Bradford)

Yorkshire Training Academy (external website)

Email Address: info@ytatraining.com

Tel: 01274 682199


EMD UK (LTD) (Dewsbury)

EMD UK (external website)

Email Address: info@emduk.com

Tel: 0845 5332786


GAP Training (Driffield) 

GAP Training (external website)

Tel:  01377 267209

How do I renew my taxi or private hire driver's licence?

One year provisional licence holders only

Before the end of your first year (12 months) provisional licence you will need to submit evidence that you have successfully completed a NVQ qualification in 'Road Passenger vehicle driving (taxi and private hire) Level 2' or other approved course and complete the renewal declaration form.

However, before renewing please ensure that you have an up to date DBS in place, you will need to have joined and maintained your subscription to the DBS Update Service.

If you have not completed the NVQ qualification before the end of your one-year provisional licence, the licensing team will not be able to renew your licence for another year. You will be able to re-apply as a new applicant when you have completed the qualification.

All new drivers must also have completed the Safeguarding training within the initial 6 months of the provisional licence, failure to do so will mean your licence cannot be renewed. 

Tacit Consent

Tacit consent does not apply to this application, as each application must be considered on its own merits for the reasons of public safety.

Existing licensed hackney carriage/private hire driver's

Apply online to renew your hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence:

Apply to renew your driver's licence

It is your sole responsibility to ensure that you renew your driver's licence in good time prior to the expiry of your existing driver's licence, please check this date carefully.

In order to renew your hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence, you must have joined and maintained your subscription to the DBS Update Service and your safeguarding training must be maintained. 

You must also provide to the Licensing Team an online DVLA access code to enable the licensing team to check details of your DVLA licence. This code lasts for a maximum of 21 days from creation.

Create an online DVLA access code (external website)

Without either of these in place you will not be able to renew your licence. Advice will be needed from the Licensing Team at:

Email:  taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk  

We strongly advise you submit your completed renewal application and payment of £180.00 (3-year licence), 7 days before the expiry date of your current licence.

Disclosure and Barring Services Information

You will not be required to submit a new DBS every year if you have provided us with your DBS update service confirmation, certificate number and you maintain your subscription with the DBS Update service throughout the duration of your licence.

Please note: If the Licensing Team cannot view the information on the online DBS update service to verify your criminal conviction status, your licence may not be renewed or may be suspended if membership ends during the period your licence is held.

If you have not renewed or maintained your subscription to the DBS update service each year, you will be required to submit a new application for an enhanced DBS certificate prior to a licence being issued. You should apply at least six weeks before your licence expires in these circumstances.

Every five years you will also need to provide:

  • a certified passport photograph
  • a medical if applicable (medicals usually last five years, unless you are 65 years of age in which case an annual medical will be required. A more frequent medical may also be required if specified by your GP or the licensing authority).

Once your hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence is successfully renewed it will be granted for 3 years.

A tacit consent does not apply to this application, as every application must be determined on its own merits.

Medical renewal

Your medical will last for a period of up to five years from the date of issue for applicants under the age of 65 and one year for applicants over the age of 65 unless your doctor or the licensing authority states that you require a medical on a more regular basis.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you have a valid medical in place at all times that you hold a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver's licence.

If between medicals you are diagnosed with an illness or medication that could impact on your driving ability you must inform the licensing team within 48 hours, and seek advice from the licensing team.

You are required to have our medical form completed by your own registered GP and the GP must then return it to the Licensing Team direct.

Fees are set by your individual GP.

  Medical form and guidance notes (pdf 494kb opens in new window)

For a list of medical conditions that would prevent you from holding a hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence, please refer to the guidance notes attached to the medical form.

Medical forms can be submitted direct to the Licensing Team at the address below:

Taxi Hub
East Riding of Yorkshire Council,
County Hall,
Cross Street,
Beverley,
East Riding of Yorkshire,
HU17 9BA

For further advice on medicals please contact the taxi hub:

By email: taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk

What if I no longer want to be a taxi or private hire driver?

If you no longer wish to be a hackney carriage/private hire driver, you should surrender your licence using the attached form below or email the taxi hub

Surrender a Licence form (pdf 67kb opens in new window)

You must also return your badge, and paper licence to the licensing team at:

Taxi Hub 
County Hall
Cross Street
Beverley
HU17 9BA

or via any customer service centre.

How do I change my driver's licence?

Change of address/change of name

If you wish to change details on your licence then you can complete the below online form which will allow you to:

  • change your email address
  • change your name or address.

Apply online to change your licence details

If your change of name is due to marriage or divorce, we will require a certified copy of your marriage certificate or divorce papers. If your name change has been done by deed poll then a copy of the deed poll will be required. 

Your documents can be verified at a customer service centre.

Please use the customer service centre finder to locate your nearest centre.

How do I report an offence/conviction?

You have to notify the licensing team no later then 48 hours after you are arrested/cautioned/convicted/bound over/fined or issued with DVLA endorsements.

Notify of an offence/conviction online

Who regulates and enforces taxi and private hire drivers?

If you want to report an unlicensed taxi driver or have a complaint about a taxi driver licensed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council please contact us online.

Alternatively, you can email us:

In order for the licensing team to successfully investigate your complaint, we will need as much information from you as possible.

The following information would help us with our investigation:

  • vehicle registration number
  • plate number (on the rear of the vehicle)
  • vehicle make and model
  • journey details - time and date
  • trading name
  • driver description, name and badge number.

You will be asked to give your name and contact details to the licensing team. Your details will not be disclosed unless the investigation results in a prosecution. All complaints will be investigated in line with the licensing enforcement policy. Your details will not be shared with the driver concerned.

Breach of licence conditions

If you are the a licensed driver, vehicle owner or private hire operator and you are found not to be complying with your licence conditions, the licensing team can take the following actions in line with East Riding of Yorkshire Council's licensing policy:

  • A verbal or written warning
  • Final written warning 
  • Referral to the Licensing Committee, for further information on the Licensing Committee please see further down the page
  • Simple caution
  • Prosecution
  • Persistent breaches of licence conditions or code of conduct may result in a referral to the Licensing Committee or prosecution.

What happens if I do not apply for a taxi driver's licence?

If any person is found to be driving, operating or using a vehicle for the purposes of hire and reward or public hire without the correct authorisation in place, East Riding of Yorkshire Council may prosecute the individual.

Each case will be treated on its own merits and determined in line with East Riding of Yorkshire Councils enforcement protocols.

Using an unlicensed driver or unlicensed vehicle, may mean the vehicle insurance policy is invalidated, and the individual driving the vehicle may not have been police checked both of which are a risk to the public.