Taxi and Private Hire Licensing

Taxis (Hackney Carriages), and Private Hire Vehicles together with their drivers and Private Hire Operators are licensed by local authorities.

Licensing provides a visible assurance to the public that the vehicle has been checked for safety and that the driver has been checked medically, and is a fit and proper person to hold a licence. Drivers take a street knowledge test, a medical and have a criminal record check undertaken on them before their licence is issued.

The Licensing Service issues driver, vehicle and operator licences. Licences are issued in the interests of public safety, however we are also concerned with the provision of an excellent customer service to licence holders and service users.

For further information and to apply for a licence please use the following links:


County lines

To help safeguard vulnerable children and protect them from gangs, the Home Office, Institute of Licensing and CrimeStoppers are working to increase awareness among taxi and private hire vehicle drivers, and licensing staff, of the signs to spot a potential victim. 

The signs to spot are:

  • a child, normally 14 - 15 years old, but can be as young as 12 travelling a long train journey alone
  • they may be from another area, so may not be familiar with an area (may look lost) and may have an unfamiliar accent for the local area
  • they may be travelling during school hours or unusual hours (e.g. late in the evening)
  • an obvious relationship with controlling, older individuals
  • suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries
  • excessive receipt of texts or phone calls.

The Home Office has produced posters to help taxi and private hire vehicle drivers and booking staff recognise the signs to spot potential victims. Taxi drivers who spot a vulnerable young person should report their concerns to CrimeStoppers.

Last updated: 3.19pm on Monday 24 June 2019

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