Hackney carriage (taxi) licence
- Category: Taxi and minicab licensing
- Last Updated: 07 December 2016
Hackney carriages or taxis as they are better known, may pick up passengers from either a taxi rank or from in the street and must display a taxi sign on the roof, with the light illuminated if available for hire.
What is a hackney carriage?
Hackney carriages or taxis as they are better known, undertake the same type of work as private hire vehicles but there are fundamental differences in the way they are able to work.
- May pick up passengers from either a taxi rank or from in the street and must display a taxi sign on the roof, with the light illuminated if available for hire.
- A plate must be displayed, securely fastened to the rear of the vehicle, stating the district in which licensed, the number of passengers licensed to carry, and the vehicle details i.e. Hackney Carriage vehicle registration.
- All hackney carriages are fitted with a meter which will, upon arriving at the destination, give the cost of the journey.
The scale of charges are set by the council following public consultation. The table of fares showing the charges must be displayed in the vehicle and the driver must not charge more than the amount shown on the meter. Journeys may also be booked and at that time a quote may be given for the cost of the journey which if accepted must be honoured by the driver.
Vehicles are tested and inspected annually to ensure they are mechanically fit, safe and comfortable.
If licensed as a Hackney Carriage driver you may only drive a Hackney Carriage vehicle. We also offer a Dual Driver Licence for those people who would like to have the opportunity to drive as both a Hackney Carriage driver and to work for a Private Hire operator.
Please read the policy guidelines attached to the application form available from the Taxi Licensing Officer or telephone 01653 600666.
What is required for a vehicle application?
When applying to licence a vehicle you must fill out the relevant application form i.e. Hackney Carriage Vehicle or Private Hire Vehicle, accompanied by the vehicle's V5 document, a current Insurance Certificate and if over 3 years old an MOT certificate. The vehicle on first application must be under 5 years old and can be renewed until it reaches 10 years old. If the vehicle is new and being licensed as a Hackney Carriage, once it reaches 1 year old the Hackney Carriage must then have a MOT certificate.
All vehicles must be inspected by the Council's Mechanic before being licensed.
Fees are charged for vehicle, driver and operator licences. Please see the PDF download for details.
What will happen if I fail to be licensed?
It is a legal requirement to be appropriately licensed and there are several penalties for not being licensed in the appropriate manner. Failing to have the appropriate licences in place can result in criminal prosecution for:
- Failing to hold an operators licence
- Failing to hold a vehicle licence
- Failing to hold a drivers licence
Each offence carries a maximum penalty of £1,000.
If you require any further information please email the Taxi Licensing Officer or telephone 01653 600666.
What do I do next?
In order to comply with the licensing laws up to three licences are required.
- An operator's licence. This is granted for one year and places various record keeping requirements on licence holders.
- A vehicle licence. This is granted for one year after completion of a compliance test.
- A driver's licence. This is granted for one year to a driver who can prove they are 'fit and proper' after satisfactorily completing a medical examination and enhanced criminal records bureau check.
All application forms are available to download below.