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Licence to drive a taxi

All taxi drivers in Harborough must have a licence. There are 2 types of taxis that we provide licences for:

Apply for a licence

To apply for your licence you must:

The current cost of a licence application is £142 which includes the first knowledge test. The cost of renewal is £127. Read about fee changes.

An application will not be accepted until all the relevant paperwork and full fee has been received.

Completed forms should be returned to the Regulatory Services and Licensing Team, email or post to Regulatory Services and Licensing Team.

Additional documents

In addition to your completed drivers application form, you will need to supply the following:

  • Current driving licence (original version and a photocopy will be taken)
  • 2 current passport sized photographs
  • Fully completed and signed DVLA Driving entitlement consent form (PDF, 183KB)
  • Fully completed and signed Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form
  • Medical form signed by a doctor
  • Extra proof of identitiy and address such as a utility bill, passport or bank statement
  • Full payment of the appropriate fee by debit or credit card

Request a copy of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form and the medical form.

Checks and tests

We must determine if you are a "fit and proper person" under the terms of the Act in order to issue a licence. This involves a series of tests and checks being carried out with various organisations, these are

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) assessment: This involves a search of your individual criminal record to establish whether or not you are safe person to drive members of the public, some of which may be vulnerable, elderly, or infirm. The DBS provides a centralised disclosure service that deals with all checks of criminal records for the Council. The DBS replaces the CRB check

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Check: This check can sometimes be referred to as a 'Swansea' check (the DVLA are based in Swansea ). It is designed to give us an idea of your individual driving history. This is necessary to determine whether or not you are a safe driver and capable of driving a vehicle in the manner expected of a taxi driver. It is also used to confirm that an applicant has held a full driving licence for a period of at least 3 years.

Medical Examination: To drive a taxi you must be able to physically carry out the work required of a licensed driver. This may involve lifting heavy objects such as luggage and possibly people's wheelchairs. Certain medical conditions may mean that you are not capable of driving professionally and it is important that we know about such problems.

Knowledge Test: In order for you to become a licensed taxi driver it is important that you have a good working knowledge of the area in which you are going to work. The knowledge test is designed to test your knowledge of the area and conditions that apply to licensed drivers.

Local Authority Check: If you have been previously licensed with another local authority or had a driver's licence revoked or suspended then you must declare this on the application form.

Reviewing your application

If you are successful in your application then a drivers badge will be sent to you through the post along with your licence and a copy of the by laws.

If you are unsuccessful the matter will be referred to a regulatory panel. If you do not agree with the decision then you may appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days.

Conditions of your licence

Once you receive your taxi driver's badge you are licensed to drive either a hackney carriage or a private hire vehicle. These vehicle must have a taxi vehicle licence. The vehicle that you drive does not have to be owned by you.

Your badge and your paper licence, which will include the conditions that apply to all licensed drivers, will be posted to your home address once a satisfactory reply has been received to all the checks that are made.

It is important that you read and fully understand the conditions. If you are found to be breaking them it may result in your licence being suspended or revoked. 

Renew your licence

The drivers licence lasts one year and you should renew your licence at this point.

To renew your licence you must complete the application form again. The cost to renew your licence and receive your new drivers badge is currently £127.

Fee changes

Harborough District Council hereby give 28 days notice under the legislation (Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s. 53 and 70)  that the hackney carriage and private hire licence fees are amended from 1 October 2015 to comply with secton 10 Deregulation Act 2015 as follows:

  • Hackney carriage/private hire drivers licence 3 years - £208
  • Hackney carriage/private hire driver’s knowledge test - £ 64
  • Private hire operators licences 5 Years - £430                                     

View the full table of fees and charges in respect of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing.

Any person wishing to make objection to the above variation in respect of these charges should do so in writing within 28 days of this publication, to Norman Proudfoot, Community Director Community Services at The Symington Building.

Types of vehicle

Hackney Carriage Vehicles

These vehicles may pick up at formal taxi ranks or be flagged down by people. They may also be pre-booked by personal or telephone requests.

They must exhibit a yellow plate on the rear and they must also have a roof sign.

All vehicles are fitted with a fare meter which is calibrated in accordance with fees formally agreed by us and periodically checked.

A standard fee or "flag drop" is made for picking up a passenger and then the meter advances through distance or duration of the journey.

Vehicles must be no older than 5 years when first licensed as a Hackney carriage.

Private Hire Vehicles

These vehicles may only be used to pick passengers up as a result of a call to a licensed Private Hire Operator. The vehicles are not insured to pick up passengers other than those who have pre-booked the journey. Private Hire vehicles may not wait at taxi ranks or accept work from people that flag them down.

Private Hire vehicles must exhibit a green licence plate on their rear and may not be a roof sign fitted to these vehicles.

Vehicles must be no older than 5 years when first licensed for Private Hire use.