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Apply for a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver’s licence

Find out how to apply for a taxi driver's licence

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • How to apply for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver's licence

If you would like to apply for a taxi driver's licence, it is crucial that you read this article. This article will go through the step-by-step application process and includes information on what you need to do before sending your application to us.

To apply for a licence, you need to:

  1. Read the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and conditions
  2. Complete the English test
  3. Complete the knowledge test
  4. Complete the safeguarding training
  5. Complete the hackney carriage/private hire driver assessment
  6. Complete the DBS and DVLA Checks
  7. Complete a Group 2 medical with a fitness to drive form
  8. Complete the application form
  9. Book an appointment with us

Step 1: Read the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and conditions

It is strongly recommended that you read the Policy as when applying to be a driver you sign to abide by the Law, Policy and Conditions of the licence.

The policy sets out the relevant information on how applications will be determined and how drivers and operators are expected to operate to pursue and promote the following licensing objectives.

  • Protection of the public, safeguarding children and vulnerable persons; and the prevention of crime and disorder.
  • The safety and health of drivers.
  • Establishment of professional and respected hackney carriage and private hire trades.
  • Vehicle safety, comfort and access.
  • Encouraging environmental sustainability.

Colchester Borough Council issues a dual 3 year hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence; on occasions a probationary licence may be issued for a year. Any requirement of legislation, which affects the operations being carried out under the terms of this licence, shall be regarded as if they are conditions of this licence.

Where there appears in the licence conditions a summary of any statutory provision you are advised that such summary is not exhaustive. These conditions should be read in conjunction with the policy documents, in particular the Penalty Points Scheme and Convictions Policy.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy

To be licensed as a hackney carriage or private hire driver you must:

 

  • be over 21 years of age and have held a full UK Driving and Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA) (or equivalent) driving licence for at least three years
  • supply your licence with the application. If circumstances come to light during the lifetime of the licence that you no longer have a right to work in the UK, the licence will be revoked.
  • complete the application form and supply the required fee and documentation to support your application including evidence that you may legally work in the UK
  • be vetted by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as part of the application process and then on renewal of your badge. Applicants for hackney carriage/private hire drivers’ licences are exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Therefore you must disclose all previous cautions and convictions whether they are “spent” or not. You should have regard to the Council’s Convictions’ Policy. Any conviction or caution that is relevant to determining whether you are a fit and proper person to hold a licence will be considered as part of your application.
  • have a criminal record check, or equivalent documentation, from the countries involved if you have spent six continuous months or more living outside the UK.
  • complete, at your own expense, an independent medical examination to determine whether you meet the criteria set out in the ‘Medical Aspects of Fitness to Drive’ Group 2 standard and been found to be medically fit to hold a licence. Exceptional arrangements may be made if you have insulin treated diabetes and are able to meet a series of medical criteria. The medical must be supplied to the Council before a licence can be granted and is required on initial application for a licence and then every 3 years to the age of 65 when a medical will then be required annually irrespective of your renewal date.
  • be found to be a fit and proper person to hold a hackney carriage /private hire driver’s licence by the Council having regard to its Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Licensing Policy, its relevant annexes and appendices.
  • have completed a hackney carriage/private hire driver assessment test with a Council approved driving assessor. This assessment is to be completed at your own expense.
  • if you will be driving a fully adapted disabled assess vehicle, (plate numbers 200 to 224) have undertaken a Passenger Assisted Transport training course at your own expense; the certificate must be produced to the Council
  • have undertaken the Council’s mandatory safeguarding training.
  • have passed the Council’s English test and supplied proof of having done so to the Council. The Test is carried out by Colchester English Study Centre (CESC). This assessment is to be completed at your own expense.
  • have passed the Council’s knowledge test. The test comprises questions picked at random from the Council’s driver and vehicle conditions, place locations, shortest routes between two points, the Highway Code, tourism and basic arithmetic. The test paper will be marked immediately and you will advised of the outcome; the Adjudicators decision is final and no discussion of individual questions will be entered into. If you don’t pass the test you will be permitted two further attempts at a minimum of fortnightly intervals when a further fee per test will be payable; these re-tests must be completed within three months of the initial application being made/test being taken. A different question paper will be selected for each test re-sit. Failure to pass the knowledge tests after 3 attempts will deem the applicant unsuccessful. If you re-apply after failing 3 knowledge tests you will be treated as a new driver and will be required to undertake all the tests and other requirements applicable to a new driver.
  • declare if you have previously held a hackney carriage or private hire drivers’ licence whether with this authority or another local authority. As an existing driver, if you allow your licence to lapse you will be treated as a new driver and will be required to undertake all the tests and other requirements applicable to a new driver. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have booked the necessary appointments and have the necessary paperwork to enable you to complete the renewal process before the expiry date of your existing licence.

Other policies and conditions you must follow

 

In addition to the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, you should read the following documents.

 

Step 2: Complete the English test

The English test has been designed for hackney carriage and private hire drivers.

You will complete the English test before the knowledge test.

It consists of two parts:

1. The written paper

 

In the written paper, you will be tested on your knowledge of language. You will also have to write two short paragraphs.

This paper takes an hour.

 

2. The speaking test

 

In the speaking test, you will have a conversation with the examiner, so that they can see how well you can understand and communicate in spoken English.

 

This test takes 10 to 15 minutes.

To pass the test, you need to show that your English is at least at B1 level (Intermediate on the Common European Framework) in all three parts of the test. That is, the language, the writing and the speaking. You need to score 60% in the language part to be at B1 level.

How to book an English test

 

Tests are held every two weeks at the Colchester English Study Centre on Wednesdays at 3pm.

The English test costs £60.

To book your test, use the form below and select the ‘Taxi Driver – Language Examination’ option.

 

Book your test online

You can also book by calling the Colchester English Study Centre on 01206 544422 or emailing info@cesc.co.uk.

What to bring to the English test

 

You should arrive at the test centre at least 15 minutes before the test begins.

 

Download, read and sign the terms and conditions and bring this with you to the test.

Download the Terms and Conditions

You will also need to bring:

  • an acceptable form of identification, including a valid passport or driving license. A Home Office photo ID card may be acceptable
  • a debit or credit card or £60 cash to pay for the test

Collecting your results

 

The results can be collected between 2pm and 5pm on the Friday after you take your test.

 

You must bring the same ID you used on the day of the test.

A copy of your results will also be sent to Colchester Borough Council.

Step 3: Complete the knowledge test

You must pass a knowledge test to get a hackney carriage and private hire drivers licence.

You will complete the knowledge test after you have completed the English test.

The test involves answering questions on the council’s conditions of licence (found in the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy), local knowledge, the Highway Code and simple mathematics.

How to book a knowledge test

 

Tests are held every two weeks at the Colchester English Study Centre on Wednesdays.

The knowledge test costs £60.

 

To book your test, use the form below and select the ‘Taxi Driver – Knowledge Test’ option.

Book your test online

You can also book by calling the Colchester English Study Centre on 01206 544422 or emailing info@cesc.co.uk.

What to bring to the knowledge test

 

You should arrive at the test centre at least 15 minutes before the test begins.

 

You will need to bring:

  • an acceptable form of identification, including a valid passport or driving license. A Home Office photo ID card may be acceptable
  • a debit or credit card or £60 cash to pay for the test

Collecting your results

 

The results can be collected between 2pm and 5pm on the Friday after you take your test.

 

You must bring the same ID you used on the day of the test.

A copy of your results will also be sent to Colchester Borough Council.

What happens if you fail the knowledge test

 

Applicants who fail the test will be allowed two further attempts at a minimum of fortnightly intervals. You must pay a fee for each test.

 

Re-tests must be completed within three months of the initial test.

Applicants who have failed to pass the knowledge test after three attempts must wait one year before reapplying.

The adjudicators decision is final and your result will not be discussed.

Step 4: Complete the safeguarding training

You must take safeguarding training at your own expense.

The training will be in line with the previous DVSA HC/PH test.

Training is provided by the Blue Lamb Trust

 

Step 5: Complete the hackney carriage and private hire driver assessment

You must take a driver assessment at your own expense.

The test will be in line with the previous DVSA HC/PH test.

The following companies provide the training:

Step 6: Complete the DBS and DVLA Checks

Going forward both new and renewal driver application will need to apply to Personnel Checks for your Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) checks.

Personnel Checks will notify us regarding the DVLA checks and will email a simple 'Yes' / 'No' in relation to your DBS (Criminal Record) check.

If 'Yes' then your application can progress. If 'No' then the Licensing Team will request to see the DBS document sent to you. This may or may not affect you application.

Apply for an enhanced DBS Check & DVLA check

Step 7: Complete a Group 2 medical with a fitness to drive form

As drivers you will be required to provide the Local Authority with a group 2 medical to determine whether you meet the criteria set out in the ‘Medical Aspects of Fitness to Drive’ Group 2 standard and been found to be medically fit to hold a licence.

This should be carried out by your doctor. You also can use Cotswold Medicals or D4 Drivers.

You must download and complete the Group 2 Medical and Fitness to Drive form.

Group 2 Medical and Fitness to Drive form (PDF, 1.18MB)

Step 8: Complete the application form

Download and complete the form ‘Application for a driver’s licence to drive both hackney carriage and private hire vehicles.

Download the Taxi Driver's Licence Application Form

Step 9: Make an appointment with us

Once you have successfully completed all of the above steps, email EPS.support@colchester.gov.uk or telephone 01206 282520.

You will then be contacted by a member of the team with further instructions on the documents you need to provide and details of the online meeting you will need to attend in order to complete your application.

 

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