Vehicle Licences

Hackney Carriage Change of Vehicle application form 
Private Hire Change of Vehicle application form
Permanent change of private hire vehicle form  
Permanent change of hackney carriage vehicle form
Proprietorship Requisition Declaration form
Private Hire new plate form

The Council must license Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. Only those vehicles that comply with the specification set out in the Council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and whose proprietors are fit and proper, safe and suitable, will be granted a licence. 

Applications must be made by the owner of the registered vehicle.  

Age Limits on Vehicles

In line with the recently published Best Practice Guidance on Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing, the Council will be reviewing its Licensing Policy early in the new year.  If you are intending to replace your vehicle in the next few months and need further information contact licensing.team@colchester.gov.uk.

Hackney Carriage Vehicles 

The Council regulates the number of Hackney Carriage licences it issues; the current limit is 131. The Council commissions an independent specialist every 3 years to carry out a survey to determine if there is any unmet demand in its area.   

As the Council regulates the number of licence plates, applications cannot be made for a hackney carriage vehicle licence.  

When a plate becomes available, it is allocated in accordance with the Council’s approved process. The eligibility criteria and details of the process are set out in Appendix 5 of the Policy, the Hackney Carriage Plate Allocation Policy and Process.

If you wish your name to be held on the Council list in the event that a plate becomes available and a draw is arranged, please email licensing.team@colchester.gov.uk you must include your name, address, and contact number in the email. 

Private Hire Vehicles 

If you would like to apply for a private hire vehicle licence, you will need to go through the following step-by-step application process. 

Step 1 - Check your vehicle meets the Council’s criteria. 

Read the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy and check that the vehicle you intend to licence meets all the vehicle criteria, age and emission standards. 

If you are not sure that your intended vehicle meets the Council’s criteria, we strongly recommend that you contact us to discuss the matter before you commit to purchasing the vehicle.  The Council cannot accept any liability for losses that may arise as a result of the refusal to grant a vehicle licence. 

Step 2 - Complete the application form and upload all the required documentation. 

Please complete the application form and vehicle proprietor declaration and submit these together with the following documentation.
  • Vehicle registration document - the full log book must be presented.  If you do not hold the full log book, the new green registered keeper slip will only be considered if accompanied by a comprehensive bill of sale showing the vehicle type, registration number, purchase details, colour of vehicle, make and model, number of passengers and the date the vehicle was first registered.  
  • A current insurance certificate or cover note showing compliance with part vi of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the use of the vehicle for public/private hire and reward.  Please note that any named person on the policy must hold a Colchester City Council hackney carriage/private hire driver’s badge.  
  • A current MOT Certificate if the vehicle has been registered for one year or more.  
  • Your DVLA driving licence (a copy is not acceptable) the address shown on the driving licence must correspond with that shown on the registration document.  
  • The Garage Inspection Report. If the vehicle is wheelchair accessible an additional report will be supplied by the garage and this should be submitted together with the Inspection Report. 
  • A basic DBS less than three months old when the application is made.  This must be accompanied by a list of all previous convictions, whether or not they are spent, and any other relevant material information. If you have spent six or more continuous months outside the UK, provide criminal records information from the country concerned. Where this is not possible a Certificate of Good Character is required.  
The application form must be accompanied by the following documentation for all parties with a registered interest in the vehicle, as declared on the vehicle proprietor declaration–   
  • Proof of identity - A current passport or birth certificate  
  • Right to work - Evidence that you may legally work in the UK  
  • A basic DBS less than three months old when the application is made.  This must be accompanied by a list of all previous convictions, whether or not they are spent, and any other relevant material information.  
    • If you have spent six or more continuous months outside the UK, provide criminal records information from the country concerned or where this is not possible a Certificate of Good Character is required.  
  • Mandatory Safeguarding Training - Proof of completion of the course.  

Step 3 – Book a garage test for the vehicle 

Call 01206 282520 to make a garage appointment. 

You must take the following documentation to your garage appointment:

  • Vehicle registration document - the full log book must be presented
  • A current insurance certificate or cover note
  • A current MOT certificate
  • Your DVLA driving licence
  • The relevant tariff sheet (for hackney carriage vehicles only) 

The Council’s approved garage is NRG Riverside Westside Centre, London Rd, Stanway, Colchester CO3 8PH.

The vehicle must pass the garage inspection in order to proceed with the application. A garage test is not required if the vehicle is new. 

Step 4  -  Vehicles Exempt from Displaying Plates

If you intend to carry out chauffer driven account work only and require your vehicle to be exempt from displaying its vehicle licence plates, please email the exemption request received from the company on company headed paper to eps.support@colchester.gov.uk.

Step 5 - Payment and issue of licence and plates 

We will call you to take payment over the phone. Once payment is made and the application process has been completed to the Council’s satisfaction, we will issue the licence and accompanying plates to the registered vehicle proprietor.

Vehicle Inspections

In accordance with the Policy, once a vehicle is licensed it is subject to vehicle inspection is as follows:

  • Up to 5 years old  - once during each 12 month licensing period.  
  • 5 to 12 years old - twice during each 12 month period.  
Inspections are carried out by the Council’s approved garage the Council’s approved garage is NRG Riverside Westside Centre, London Rd, Stanway, Colchester CO3 8PH.

The licence holder is responsible for arranging their mid-year test. Failure to complete this test may result in the suspension of the licence.  

The Council together with Essex Police will carry out periodic vehicle checks to ensure that licensed vehicles are being maintained correctly and are complying with the laws of the road and the Council’s licensing conditions.  

Vehicle Licences Renewal  

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicles are licensed for a year.  We will send you an email with instructions on how to renew prior to your licence expiry date.  A link to your renewal form will be included in this email.    

You must complete the renewal process prior to the expiry of the existing licence.  If an application to renew is not made the licence will lapse, and a new application will have to be submitted.  

Vehicle Licence - Changes  

Let Us Know  

You are required to let us know about various changes including:  
  • Surrendering a vehicle licence  
  • Changing your personal details (i.e. name, address or telephone)  
  • Changing your email address  
  • Reporting a new criminal conviction, caution, or motoring offence  
  • Ordering replacement taxi equipment  
Please email eps.support@colchester.gov.uk with details of the changes. 

Please ensure you report these changes in the relevant time frames set out in the Policy.

Change of Owner - private hire vehicle licence 

You can apply to transfer the vehicle licence to another person or to add or remove individuals on the licence.  If there is more than one proprietor name on the vehicle licence, all those named must send separate emails confirming the transfer of ownership.  
 
The application form must be accompanied by the following documentation:
  • Vehicle registration document - the full log book must be presented in the new owners name.  If you do not hold the full log book, the new green registered keeper slip will only be considered if accompanied by a comprehensive bill of sale showing the vehicle type, registration number, purchase details, colour of vehicle, make and model, number of passengers and the date the vehicle was first registered.   
  • A current insurance certificate or cover note showing compliance with part vi of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the use of the vehicle for public/private hire and reward.  The insurance must be in the name of the new owner. 
You must also supply all parties with a registered interest in the vehicle, as declared on the vehicle proprietor declaration– 
  • A basic DBS less than three months old when the application is made.  This must be accompanied by a list of all previous convictions, whether or not they are spent, and any other relevant material information.     
  • A Certificate of Good Character - Six or more continuous months outside the UK, please provide criminal records information from the country concerned. Where this is not possible a Certificate of Good Character is required.     
  • Mandatory Safeguarding Training - Proof that you have completed the training.   
Application cost

Please send the completed form and supporting documentation in pdf or jpg format to eps.suppport@colchester.gov.uk.

We will call you to take payment over the phone. Once payment is made and the application process has been completed to the Council’s satisfaction, we will issue the licence and accompanying plates to the registered vehicle proprietor.   

Private hire change of owner form

Plate Transfer for Hackney Carriage Vehicles   

The transfer of a plate is usually occasioned by the sale of a business.  The Council has no interest in the sale of the business; any agreement between you and a third party in relation to the use of the vehicle is of no concern to the Council and you should obtain your own legal advice.  

The plate however is owned by the Council and remains its property at all times.  

The transfer of the plate to another owner requires the consent of the Council and the following process should be followed –  
  1. Permission to transfer the plate, which is the property of the Council, must first be sought from the Council.  Please put your request in writing to the Licensing Manager at licensing.team@colchester.gov.uk or to the Licensing Manager at Communities, Colchester City Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3WG.  Permission to transfer must be sought by all parties with an interest in the plate (i.e. all people registered with the Council as joint owners).  Where there is more than one owner the request must be signed by all parties and proof of identity will need to be provided (the ID provided will need to prove name, address and signature).  Where the Council is not satisfied with the proof of identity provided it reserves the right to require all parties to attend the Council offices to confirm their agreement to transfer the plate.  
  2. You will receive confirmation in writing of the Council’s decision.  
  3. If the Council has authorised the transfer of the plate you need to call the Contact and Support Centre on 01206 282520 to make an appointment for a hackney carriage plate transfer.  The old and new holder of the plate will need to attend this meeting.  (It is not necessary for all joint holders to be at this meeting except in the circumstances outlined in point 1 above).  
  4. Please bring with you to the appointment the following documentation –  
    • Vehicle registration document - the full log book must be presented in the name of the new holder of the plate.  
    • A completed hackney carriage change of owner form.  
    • The completed letter of release.  
    • A Disclosure and Barring Service certificate dated within 3 months, for the proposed new plate holder if they do not hold a current hackney carriage/private hire driver’s licence.  
    • A certificate of insurance in the new plate holder’s name, with all proposed taxi drivers listed as named drivers.  
    • A PATs certificate if the vehicle holds a disabled plate.  The correct fee (to be paid by credit or debit card).  
  5. Once the application process has been completed to the Council’s satisfaction, it will issue the licence plate. 
  6. There is no right of appeal in the event that the Council refuses the transfer of the plate.
Application cost

Please note – the Council has no interest in the business however if the full vehicle registration documentation is not available the Council will in some circumstances agree to transfer of the plate subject to appropriate proof being provided of the transfer of the business.  Plate holders in this position should expect to be asked to provide a Bill of Sale proving that the proposed new holder of the plate has purchased the vehicle (the Bill of Sale should include full details of the car, the name and address of both the buyer and seller, and should be signed by both parties and dated) and a bank statement showing the exchange of monies.  

Please click here to download the form 
 

Page last reviewed: 9 April 2024