Taxi licensing: Driver application guidance

Taxi licensing: Driver application guidance

This guidance is for anyone looking to apply for a hackney carriage or private hire driver licence.

Please note: The licensing office is no longer accepting paper applications and all applications for new drivers must be submitted online.

Application requirements

Age

You must be over 18 and a half years of age to apply.

Driving Licence

You must have held a full DVLA driving licence for at least 12 months.

Your DVLA driving licence must be presented when applying for the licence.

Drivers will need to complete and return the DVLA mandate as part of their application process.

Medical

You need to have Group II DVLA Medical Form completed by your own GP.

If this has not been carried out by your own GP then the medical practitioner must have access to your full medical records and history.

A separate fee will be charged for completion of the form and will be paid by the applicant.

Please note: You do not need the medical report on application, this can be submitted at a later date.

Photographs

You will need to upload a passport style photograph when you complete the online application form.

Fees

We offer both one year and three year options for both new applicants and drivers wishing to renew an existing licence.

The three year option offers a saving of £60 for hackney carriage and private hire drivers and £120 for dual licensees.

One year licence

New applicants and existing hackney carriage or private hire driver renewals:

  • £60 per year plus £60 DBS/DVLA checks once every three years
  • Total cost (over a three year period) - £240.

Dual (hackney carriage and private hire) driver licence:

  • £90 per year plus £60 DBS/DVLA check once every three years
  • Total cost (over a three year period) - £330

Three year licence

New applicants and existing hackney carriage or private hire driver renewals:

  • £180 (to be paid up front)– including the three year DBS/DVLA fee

Dual (hackney carriage and private hire) driver licence:

  • £210 (to be paid up front) – including the three year DBS/DVLA fee

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

Disclosure & Barring Service checks are made using online services.

Please refer to our advice on how to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Certificate of good conduct

If you have not lived in the UK for five consecutive years or more we will require a “Certificate of Good Conduct” from your previous country of residence.

You will need to apply for this via your local embassy.

Your application cannot be progressed without this.

DBS check update service

If you currently have a DBS certificate and have applied for the update service at the time of application, you will not be required to complete a further DBS application.

You will however need to present the certificate and reference number on submitting your licensing application.

The certificate must:

  • be an enhanced check
  • be issued within the last 12 months
  • state that the "position applied for" is "Child and Adult Workforce" or "Other Workforce Taxi Driver"

The Authority will check the status of your certificate at the time of submitting your licensing application.

Convictions

You must declare all previous convictions including cautions, reprimands and fixed penalty notices.

Convictions for driving offences or criminal matters may require you to appear before the Regulatory and Appeals Sub-Committee who will make further determination.

You will be advised of referral if required at the time of submitting your application.

Right to work

As part of your application for a licence you will need to provide documentation proving that you have the right to work in the United Kingdom in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Act 2016.

Locality test

Hackney carriage and dual licence applicants are required to pass a locality test, which must be booked when applying for the licence.

Tests are held at the Newcastle City Council Licensing Office, Unit 2, Wincomblee Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 3PF.

Booking a locality test

You will be allocated a date and time once your application has been accepted.

Your first test is included in the licence fee.

If you fail to attend or do not pass the test a further non-refundable fee of £24 is payable for any subsequent tests.

If you need to book a retest, please email NCCLicensing@newcastle.gov.uk or call 0191 2783864.

What the locality test covers

An officer will test you on your knowledge of the area.

To pass the test you must be able to demonstrate a good geographical knowledge.

You should for example, know the names of the main streets in the city, the location of hotels, places of interest, churches, hospitals, public houses and public buildings.

You should also know the shortest routes to take between destinations in the city.

You must bring the test sheet and your driving licence with you every time you attend a re-test.

Find out more

Further information about the locality test is available on our information page.

Interview

Private hire applicants are required to attend a one to one meeting with licensing officers to be briefed on matters deemed relevant to private hire driver licensing.

The statement of knowledge and understanding will include an overview of:

  • relevant legislation
  • conditions
  • the authority's expectations of licensed professional drivers
  • the carriage of vulnerable and disabled passengers
  • medical criteria and notification to the licensing authority
  • offences (including motoring and illegal ply for hire), together with potential legal and licensing action
  • reporting of convictions
  • required standards and maintenance checks

Applicants are required to have good geographical knowledge of the City and surrounding areas.

If good knowledge is not held by the applicant, the officer will ask the applicant to rebook the interview once the geographical knowledge is held by the applicant.

Applicants must confirm and show that they understand all matters contained in the statement and will be required to sign a declaration to confirm this.

Training

Safeguarding vulnerable passengers

We recognise that the taxi trade play an important role as part of the public transport network within the city and given the nature of licensed driver work we believe that licensed drivers are well placed to act as eyes and ears within our local communities.

A pre-requisite of any licence grant will be the undertaking of safeguarding training to update and refresh your knowledge of the safety factors concerning licensed driver work and that of your passengers. 

Safeguarding is everybody’s business and we are committed to working in partnership with and supporting our local businesses to raise awareness.

The purpose of the session is to give everybody an improved understanding of what might make a passenger vulnerable to abuse, what you could do if you were worried about the safety of a passenger, what to look out for and to feel confident and comfortable in reporting any concerns to relevant agencies.

There is no associated cost (as this in included in the application fee), though failed attendance (without prior notice) will result in a charge for re-booking.

A licence cannot be granted without completion of the course.

You will be booked to attend the course on submission of the application.

If you wish to cancel or change the date you must give at least three working days’ notice. If you fail to give the required notice or fail to attend you will be charged £20.

Contact us

The licensing office is open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 3.30pm.

Please note: The licensing office is no longer accepting paper applications and all applications for new drivers must be submitted online.

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