Apply for a Taxi Driver's Licence

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

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • What you need to do to apply for a Taxi 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 of what you need to do before sending your application to us.

To apply for a licence, you need to:

  1. Read the Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing Policy and Conditions
  2. Complete the English Test
  3. Complete the Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver Assessment
  4. Complete the Knowledge Test
  5. Complete the DBS and DVLA Checks
  6. Complete a Group 2 Medical with a fitness to drive form
  7. Complete the application form
  8. Book an appointment with us.

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

Colchester is seeking to promote and enhance its reputation as a safe and vibrant, welcoming and prosperous borough and it recognises the importance of the licensed trade in helping to achieve this. Licensed drivers are both front line ambassadors in promoting Colchester to residents and visitors alike and a vital and integral part of Colchester’s integrated transport strategy.

We recognise that drivers and operators need a licensing service which is dynamic and responsive, capable of adapting to changes in the economy in which they operate and with this in mind we have made a number of significant changes to the policy.

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.

We hope that this revised Licensing Policy is clear and easily understood and reflects the needs of both the trade and the travelling public.

We commend it to you and sincerely believe that it will make a positive difference to all parties.

The 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 Council’s Policy documents and in particular regard should be given to the Penalty Points Scheme and Convictions Policy.

In order to be licensed as a hackney carriage/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.
  • You must supply your licence with the application. Please note - 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. Please note - 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 the determination of whether you are a fit and proper person to hold a licence will be taken into consideration when determining the application.
  • If you have spent six continuous months or more living outside the UK a criminal record check, or equivalent documentation, is required from the country/countries involved covering the relevant period.
  • Have completed, 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. See base of page for full details
  • Have passed the Council’s knowledge test. Please note – 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 and/or private hire drivers’ licence whether with this authority or another local authority. Please note – 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.

Read the full policy here

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.

Please take the time to carefully read through the following documents: 

Step 2: Complete the English test

The English test which you are going to do has been specially designed for hackney carriage/private hire drivers.

Please note: It is important that you complete the English Test before applying to take 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 he/she can see how well you can understand and communicate in spoken English.

This part takes around 10 - 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

Book your test online

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

The cost of the test

The test costs £60.00.


Important information about the test and what you must bring

You need to be at the test centre at least 15 minutes before the test begins.

The tests are held every two weeks on Wednesday at 15:00pm.

Download, read and sign the Terms and Conditions and bring this with you to the test.

Download the Terms and Conditions

Bring with you to the centre an acceptable form of ID: A valid passport or driving license are the two main acceptable forms of ID. A Home Office photo ID card may be acceptable if you don’t have a passport or a driving licence.

Bring with you either a debit/credit card or £60 cash to make payment.


Collecting your results and what you must bring

The results can be collected between 2:00pm and 5:00pm on the Friday of the week in which you do your test.

You must bring with you the same ID you used on the day of the test when you come to collect your results.

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

Step 3: Complete the Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver Assessment

In order to obtain a taxi driver's licence, as a new driver you will be required to undertake a driver assessment at your own expense.

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

The following companies provide the training:

Step 4: Complete the Knowledge Test

What is the Knowledge Test?
In order to obtain your Hackney Carriage/Private Hire drivers licence you will be required to pass a knowledge test. The test involves questions on conditions of licence, local knowledge, Highway Code, safe guarding and maths.

Please note: It is important that you complete the English Test before applying to take the Knowledge Test. 

How must does it cost to take the test?
The cost of the Knowledge Test is £60.00.

Where and when does it take place?
The test takes place on a Thursday morning 9.00am at Rowan House.

How can I book my test?
To book your test please call our Customer Service Centre on 01206 282520

How is the test paper marked?
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.

What happens if I don't pass the first time?
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.

What will I need to do if I have failed the Knowledge Test three times?

If you fail the knowledge test three times you will have to wait 12 months before you can book a further knowledge test. You will then be treated as a new driver and will be required to undertake all the test and other requirements applicable to a new driver.
 

Step 5: Complete the DBS and DVLA Checks

Going forward both new and renewal driver application will need to apply to Personnel Checks both for your DBS and DVLA checks.

Personnel Checks (who carry out the checks) will notify us (Colchester Borough Council) 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 your Enhanced DBS Check & DVLA Check

Step 6: 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 or you can use Cotswold Medicals. The cost through Cotswold Medicals is £61.00 including VAT. 

You must download the following document and have it completed:

Group 2 Medical and Fitness to Drive Form

Step 7: Complete the application form

You will be required to provide documentation evidence that you have completed the correct forms. Once all paperwork has been obtained you will be able to book an appointment with us to complete your application and obtain your Driver's Licence Badge and conditions.

If you have not already provided the following documents to us you must include them with your application: 

  • A copy of your Pass Certificate for your driver's assessment
  • A copy of your Group 2 medical form and a copy of your Fitness to Drive form. 

Download the Taxi Driver's Licence Application Form

Step 8: Book an appointment with us

Please book an appointment with a member of the licensing team by calling our Customer Service Centre on 01206 282520.

Please bring the following to your appointment:

  • Your application form
  • A copy of your Pass Certificate for your driver's assessment
  • A copy of your Group 2 medical form with a copy of your Fitness to Drive form.
  • Please bring your debit/credit card for payment.

View our Licensing fees & charges

Please note: we do not accept cheques or cash.

Your photo will be taken for you taxi driver’s licence and your badge will be issued.

Related Articles