Apply for a taxi vehicle licence

If you want to use your vehicle as a taxi (hackney cab or private hire vehicle), it must meet certain specifications and be licensed by us. If you wish to drive the taxi, you must also have a taxi drivers licence.

Before you apply

Vehicle specification

To use a vehicle as a hackney cab or private hire vehicle it must meet the following criteria:

  • be under 3 years old from first date of registration
  • any vehicle built to the Metropolitan Carriage Office Specifications must be under five years old from first date of registration (only applicable to hackney cabs, as these vehicles will not be licensed as private hire vehicles)
  • provide at least two doors for passengers to use and a separate door for the driver
  • big enough for the number of passengers the vehicle will be licensed to carry (four to eight)
  • the width of the rear seat must be no less than 48 inches clear of any obstruction such as handles and arm rests
  • the steering wheel should be on the off-side of the vehicle
  • vehicle light transmission levels must meet or exceed the minimum legal levels
  • passengers must be able to get in and out of the side of the vehicle without having to climb over seats or luggage
  • must have a fire extinguisher no older than 5 years from date of manufacture
  • windows must be clear of stickers, with the exception of 'no smoking' signs

Flip-down, forward-facing seats do not count as seats licensed to carry passengers.

Additional requirements for hackney cabs

A hackney cab must also have:

  • a roof light
  • taximeter

Arranging an inspection

If your vehicle meets these specifications, a Licensing officer will need to inspect it before you can apply.

To arrange an appointment, phone the Licensing team on 01303 853660.

If the vehicle is satisfactory, our garage must also test it

You will need to make an appointment with Cheriton Motor House, 01303 275795 or with S&S Motors, Tudor Road, Folkestone 01303 276722

If your vehicle passes the test, the garage will give you a certificate of compliance, which you must include in your licence application.

How much it costs

Taxi vehicle licence fees
ApplicationFee
Hackney cab licence£273
Private hire and operator licence£63
Transfer a vehicle licence£96
Replacement plate£21

Validity

The licence lasts for 1 year. We'll automatically send you a renewal letter before your licence is due to expire.

How to apply

Complete the application form

You'll receive the form after your vehicle has been inspected by a member of our Licensing team and deemed satisfactory. Complete it in and send it to the address on the form, along with:

  • the certificate of compliance from the garage
  • a valid vehicle insurance certificate or cover note, insuring the vehicle for use as a hackney cab or private hire vehicle
  • vehicle log book (V5) or other proof of ownership
  • payment made out to us

You can also pay by credit or debit card by phoning us on 01303 853660.

Private hire and operator licence

If you apply to licence a private hire vehicle, we will also issue a private hire operator licence, allowing you to take private hire bookings. This costs an additional £63 per vehicle.

What happens next?

After submitting your application form and the required supporting information, we aim to process your application in 5 working days.

If we grant a licence, we will send it to you along with the plates for your car.

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