How to apply to licence a hackney carriage vehicle
A 'Hackney Carriage' is more commonly called a Taxi. It will be available for customers to hire, be flagged down or located at one of our appointed taxi ranks:
- Tuesday Market Place
- Blackfriars Street (outside Taste of India)
- Corner of New Conduit Street
- Norfolk Street (Between RSPCA and Rowlinson's)
- Sainsbury's car park (lower level)
Greevegate (opposite the Town Hall)
High Street (near to the Downham Clock)
All vehicles will require a licence. A licence is issued for 12 months. The vehicle will need a roof sign, and must display a white plate on the back. You must not alter the specification, design or appearance of the vehicle without approval from us.
Before you apply
Before you apply, your vehicle must pass a specific vehicle test (along with a VOSA MOT) test carried out by one of our approved testing stations:
- SC Autos (Tel: 01553 777708)
- Leziate Drove Garage Ltd (Tel: 01553 630999)
- AVR (Tel: 01553 766646)
- Bees Motors (Tel: 01366 384109)
- Kerry Motor Services (Tel: 01366 381337)
- Setch MOT Centre (Tel: 01553 813074)
Your vehicle should:
- be less than five years old (less than seven for fully electric vehicles)
- have done less than 100,000 miles
- be wheelchair accessible*
There are exceptions to the above. Further details can be found in the private hire and licensing procedures and conditions booklet, section 3.11 - age requirement.
*(Hackney Carriage plates 1-52 can be saloon vehicles, therefore replacement vehicles for these licence numbers do not have to be wheelchair accessible).
You can apply for a vehicle licence online. You can now track the progress of your application through registering for our My Account service.
You'll be able to view personalised information, including your renewal date and the details we hold for your licence.
Registering for an account is easy and will allow you to securely access our services 24/7.
To apply for a hackney carriage vehicle licence you'll need:
- to have a driver's badge
- to have a right to work in the UK - find out more on our right to licence check page
- a debit or credit card for the fee
Afterwards, you'll need to send us the following supporting documents:
- a vehicle test certificate (from one of the approved testing stations)
- a current insurance certificate and schedule
- your V5 or proof of purchase
The fee is £124 for a hackney carriage saloon, or £133 for a hackney carriage WAV.
For our full fees see our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Fees document. Your fee must be paid before your licence is valid.
Accidents and damage to a vehicle
If you have an accident (regardless of whether there are passengers on board), you must report to this to us. This must be reported within 72 hours.
Please use our report an accident form.
If, as the result of an accident you need to get a replacement vehicle via an insurance company please complete our lease vehicle application.
You'll need to book an appointment with us to bring in the form and the supporting documentation that's asked for.
Change of address
If you change your address, you must tell us within seven days. Please complete our change of name and/or address form.
Transferring a vehicle
If you transfer a vehicle to a new owner the vehicle licence can be passed over to them.
Please complete our transfer form, and provide the supporting documentation asked for. The fee is currently £27.50.
You must display our fares. Please view our current fare charge card.
To issue your vehicle with a Hackney Carriage licence it must be fitted with one of our approved taximeters. The taximeter will set out the charge rate, and cannot be adjusted.
There are a number of other conditions that you need to be aware of, including:
- the number of passengers that are allowed in the vehicle
- the safety equipment that must be present
- how to safely use communications equipment
Please take time to read our conditions booklet. There have been some recent updates to our conditions booklet.
Cameras in vehicles
If you own a licensed vehicle you can, subject to the written approval by us, install and use a visible closed circuit TV (CCTV) surveillance camera in your vehicles. This must:
- face outward and;
- be for insurance purposes only;
- must not record audio sound within the vehicle.
If you wish to have an inward facing camera inside your vehicle you also need written approval from us, and you need to be registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). Please see the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.
Use of trailers
If you need to use a trailer for the transportation of luggage (see conditions booklet 3.73) you're required to attach a specific plate on the rear of the trailer. This must be the same as the vehicle licence plate with the addition of the trailer plate mark. To apply for a trailer plate please complete our trailer application form.