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We are currently experiencing a technical issue affecting the outstanding balance shown for Council Tax and NNDR accounts online. We apologise for the inconvenience and are working to fix this issue as soon as possible.

Taxi driver licences

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The application process for taxi driver licences is the same for both hackney carriage and private hire.

Licences are issued for a maximum period of 3 years, but we may grant licences for a shorter period if deemed appropriate.

Changes for taxi and private hire licence applications from April 2022

The rules have changed if you are an individual, company or any type of partnership applying for a licence as a:

  • taxi driver
  • private hire driver
  • private hire vehicle operator

You will need to complete a tax check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you are:

  • renewing a licence
  • applying for the same type of licence you previously held, that ceased being valid less than a year ago
  • applying for the same type of licence you already hold with another licensing authority

You must carry out the tax check yourself. You cannot ask a tax agent or adviser to do this on your behalf.  If a tax check is not completed, the licensing authority will be unable to consider your application to renew your licence.

You can find all the information you need on how to register and undertake your mandatory tax check at GOV.UK - Changes for taxi, private hire and scrap metal applications from April 2022

There is also a GOV.UK - Tax Check Factsheet to assist you with this process. 

The tax check must be undertaken before you submit your application for renewal.  

First-time applicants must give confirmation on their application form that they are aware of the guidance about their tax obligations and have read and understood the requirements which can be viewed at GOV.UK - Confirm your tax responsibilities when applying for a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence

If you do not confirm that you are aware of the guidance, you will not be issued with a licence.

How to apply for a new driver licence

In order to apply for a new hackney carriage or private hire driver's licence, you need to have held a full DVLA driving licence for 12 months, be over 18 and have the right to work in the UK. 

If you have an EC/EEA driver licence, it must be exchanged for a British licence prior to us issuing you with a licence. For information on how to do so please visit GOV.UK - Exchange a foreign driving licence.

More information on the right to work in the UK can be found at GOV.UK - Prove your right to work to an employer.

If you have criminal and/or motoring convictions you may contact the Licensing office on 01772 906910 (Mon-Fri 10am to 12pm) to discuss their relevance and receive advice on whether to proceed or not. You can find more information in the hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy - the relevance of convictions Appendix A.

Apply for a taxi drivers licence

The following information gives instructions on how to apply for a new hackney carriage or private hire driver's licence.

Once you have completed your driver licence application form and paid the fee please follow the Driver Training Requirements below.

Local Knowledge Test

You may book a place on the Local knowledge test by calling 01772 906910 (Mon -Fri, 10am to 12pm). You will be required to pay a fee so have your debit or credit card with you to make the payment.  

Before taking the Local Knowledge test you are advised to attain a good knowledge of Preston and surrounding areas through publications such as an A to Z of Preston, or online route planners.

To assist you we have produced a list of routes from which the Knowledge Test questions will be randomly selected. You can view a copy of the Knowledge test routes here.

English and Maths Tests

Prior to sitting the Knowledge Test you will be required to undertake a test in English Language and Mathematics. 

If you fail any of the above tests you must resit them in order to proceed with your application. 

BTEC/VRQ Level 2 'Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver'

This Council requires applicants to pass the BTEC/VRQ Level 2 course - 'Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver'. 

This course covers the following modules and a practical assessment of loading and unloading wheelchair passengers:

  • Health and Safety
  • Road Safety
  • Customer Service
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Safety Inspections
  • Regulatory Framework
  • Passenger Assistance
  • Routes and Fares
  • Transporting parcels, luggage and other items
  • Transporting Children and Young Persons

You will also receive training on how you can assist with identifying incidents of Child Sex Exploitation (CSE).

Once you have successfully passed the Communications and Knowledge Tests you should make arrangements to book a place for yourself on this course.

Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Certificate

You will be required to provide an enhanced DBS certificate. Our partner Taxi Plus will work with you and make sure you have the required documentation needed to complete your DBS application.

To start this process please visit Taxi Plus - Preston City Council

If there are any concerns about any criminal or motoring convictions then the application will be referred to the Taxi and Miscellaneous Committee. If you would like to discuss these convictions prior to making an application please contact Licensing Services on 01772 906910  (Mon - Fri 10am -12pm).

Registration to the DBS Online Update Service

On receipt of your DBS certificate you will need to register to the DBS Online Update Service. To do this please visit GOV.UK - DBS Update service and follow the online instructions. You MUST register within 30 days of the certificate being issued. Failure to do this within the allotted time will result in you having to apply for a new DBS certificate through Taxi Plus at a further cost to yourself.

Documentation check appointment

Once you have passed the above Driver Training requirements, you should book an appointment to have your documents validated by contacting Licensing Services on 01772 906910 (Mon - Fri 10am - 12pm). You will be required to provide the following:

  • Passport or Birth Certificate
  • NVQ Level 2 certificate 'Introduction into the role of the professional taxi and private hire driver'
  • If you do not hold a British passport you will require a right to work check code which you can obtain from Prove your right to work to an employer - GOV.UK
  • Enhanced DBS certificate
  • Verification of your DBS Online Update Service registration
  • Completed Medical form (PDF) [14MB]   - this can be no older than 3 months old from the date of your appointment and should be completed by a medical practitioner who has sight of your full medical records and not just a summary.

At the appointment you will also have your photograph taken which will be used for your driver badges.

When do I receive my hackney carriage or private hire driver's licence?

Once we have a complete and valid application your badges and paper licence will be processed. You will receive an SMS message when your licence and badges have been issued so you may collect them from the Town Hall reception desk during office opening hours.

The National Register of Taxi Licence Revocations and Refusals

We participate in an initiative to help strengthen the taxi and private hire trades for the benefit of both passengers and responsible drivers.

The initiative is a National Register of Taxi Licence Revocations and Refusals.

Applications for both taxi and private hire driver licences will be checked on the register which will include information on persons refused an application or persons having had a taxi or private hire driver's licence revoked by another Council.

Please note that where an applicant's details are flagged on a register search, this will be followed up separately between Councils.

Any such request in relation to your record will be responded to in accordance with our policy in respect of requests for information, disclosure of information and use of information as a result of an entry of NR3.

Map address Preston Town Hall

Preston City Council, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 2RL.

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