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Licence to drive a taxi

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

View our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.

From the 1 April 2018 new Hackney Carriage Licenses will be replaced by Dual Driver Licenses which will enable the individual to drive both Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles.

Taxi driver licences are valid for 3 years.

Apply for a licence

To apply for your licence you must:

The current cost for a new licence application is £300.

The cost of renewal is £240.

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

Completed forms should be returned to the Regulatory Services and Licensing Team, email or post to Regulatory Services and Licensing Team. The Right to Licence Declaration form must be presented in person by the applicant at our office so that we can verify their identity.

Additional documents

In addition to your completed driver licence 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 Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form
  • DVLA check code (further details below)
  • DVLA Group 2 Medical form and Certificate of Fitness signed by a doctor
  • Extra proof of identity and address e.g. a passport or birth certificate and a utility bill or bank statement dated within the last 3 months.
  • Proof of right to work in the UK
  • Full payment of the appropriate fee by debit or credit card
  • If you have lived in the UK for less than 5 years you will need to provide a letter of good conduct from the embassy of each country in which you have resided in the last 5 years.

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 a safe person to drive members of the public, some of which may be vulnerable, elderly or infirm. The Disclosure and Barring Service provide a centralised disclosure service that deals with all checks of criminal records for us. The Disclosure and Barring Service assessment replaced the CRB check that was previously carried out. Request a copy of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form and the medical form

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Check: This check 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 you have held a full driving licence for a period of at least 3 years. You will need to generate a DVLA check code (enter your driver number and National Insurance number) that we can use to view your driving record online. You will be asked for this case sensitive code on your application form. This code is valid for 1 use within 21 days.

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. Taxi drivers are now required to have a DVLA Group 2 D4 medical.  The initial DVLA Group 2 medical is valid until the age of 45 years. Medicals are then renewable every five years until the age of 65 (unless the period is reduced because you have an ongoing medical condition). From the age of 65 the Group 2 medical is renewable every year without an upper age limit. Request a copy of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form and the medical form

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.

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 consists of three papers and is designed to test your knowledge of the area, conditions that apply to licensed drivers and the highway code. The initial knowledge test is included in the application fee. You are permitted three attempts in total at the knowledge test and there is a resit fee of £22 per paper.

The upcoming knowledge test dates are:

  • Friday 2 March
  • Friday 13 April
  • Friday 4 May

Once we receive your application we will contact you to book the test. Tests start at 9:30am.

The dates for resits are arranged as and when needed.

View our revision pack to help you prepare for the knowledge tests. Please read all of the documents carefully.

Child Sexual Exploitation Training : From the 1st April  2018 new and existing drivers and operators will be required to attend mandatory training to raise awareness of this type of abuse and to give the taxi trade the tools to raise their concerns with the relevant agencies.

Existing drivers and operators must have undergone the training by 31st March 2019. Failure to complete the training may result in the suspension of the licence

New taxi drivers and operators must complete the training within three months of the licence being issued. Failure to complete the training may result in the licence being suspended.

The current confirmed training events are:

  • Thursday 26th April – 5pm until 7pm – Council Chamber, The Symington Building, Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AG
  • Thursday 24th May – 5pm until 7pm – Lutterworth Sports Centre, Coventry Road, Lutterworth, LE17 4RB
  • Wednesday 20th June – 2pm until 4pm – Council Chamber, The Symington Building, Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AG
  • Thursday 30th August, 2pm until 4pm, at Lutterworth Sports Centre, Coventry Road, Lutterworth, LE17 4RB
  • Tuesday 25th September – 10am until 12 noon – Council Chamber, The Symington Building, Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AG
  • Thursday 11th October – 2pm until 4pm, at Lutterworth Sports Centre, Coventry Road, Lutterworth, LE17 4RB
  • Thursday 29th November – 10am until 12 noon – Council Chamber, The Symington Building, Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AG

To book a session please complete the online form. There will be a maximum of 20 delegates for each session and places will be booked on a first come first served basis.

Right to Work in the UK: For any new applications or for the first renewal application made after 1 December 2016, we must check an applicant’s right to work in the UK. You must therefore provide a document from the list of acceptable documents (PDF, 40KB) as part of the application process and complete the Right to Licence Declaration. If there is a restriction on the length of time you may work in the UK, your licence will be not be issued for any longer than this period.

Reviewing your application

If you are successful in your application then a driver's badge will be sent to you through the post along with your licence and a copy of the bylaws.

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 vehicles 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 3 years 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 £240.

Please note that, although the licence lasts 3 years, the DVLA check is due annually and the frequency of the medical check depends on your age and any medical conditions. We will contact you approximately 4-6 weeks before these become due.  

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 6 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 6 years when first licensed for Private Hire use.