Licence to drive a taxi
All taxi drivers in the Harborough district must have a taxi driving licence. There are 2 types of taxis that we provide licences for:
Taxi driver licences are valid for 3 years.
Apply for a licence
To apply for your licence you must:
- Complete the hackney carriage drivers licence application (DOC, 168KB) or private hire vehicle drivers licence application (DOC, 167KB)
- Provide the additional documents that are required for the application
- Meet the standards for the relevant checks and tests
The current cost of a licence application is £272 which includes the first knowledge test. You are permitted three attempts in total at the knowledge test. There is a fee of £64 for a resit.
The cost of renewal is £208.
An application will not be accepted until all the relevant paperwork and full fee have been received.
In addition to your completed drivers 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)
- Medical form signed by a doctor
- Extra proof of identity and address such as a utility bill, passport or bank statement
- Full payment of the appropriate fee by debit or credit card
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.
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.
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 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 £208.
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.