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Craven District Council

Applying to be a Taxi Driver or Renewing an Existing Licence

Information on how to apply to be a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver and how to renew your existing licence

To drive a licensed Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle you need to obtain a driver's licence. We are responsible for licensing Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles and drivers. Licences are issued to make sure the service provided to the public is safe and reliable. Applications can only be made by way of appointment with a member of the Licensing Team. 

Becoming a Hackney Carriage Driver

A Hackney Carriage is more commonly called a taxi. If you have a licence for a Hackney Carriage, you can ‘ply for hire’. This means you can park on a taxi rank or be hailed by passengers on the street.

To drive a Hackney Carriage, you need a Hackney Carriage driver’s licence.

Becoming a Private Hire Driver

A Private Hire Vehicle, sometimes called a minicab, cannot ply for hire or pick up passengers from a taxi rank. Journeys with a Private Hire Vehicle must be pre-booked, usually with an operator via a cab office, telephone call or a mobile app.

To drive a Private Hire Vehicle, you need a Private Hire Vehicle licence.

You can have a licence to drive both a Private Hire and a Hackney Carriage (this is known as a Combined Driver's Licence).

See the page Taxi Vehicle Licence for how to obtain a licence for the vehicle which you intend to drive.


Applying for a licence

To be eligible to hold a licence for either a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage, you must:

  • Be over 21 years of age
  • Have held a full (not provisional) UK driving licence for 5 years or more. If you have an EU or EEA licence, then you will need to obtain a UK counterpart document.
  • Be able to prove you have a right to work in the UK.


If you are using your own vehicle, it must be less than 7 years old at the point of application.

The application also includes other checks. You must obtain:

  • An Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check (previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau or CRB check)
  • A Group Two Medical Check from your doctor.


You will also need to let us know about any relevant convictions or cautions for both motoring and non-motoring offences.

You must register with HMRC via Government Gateway so that you pay tax on your income. 

You must be registered with the DBS online update service. You will need to maintain this subscription for as long as you are licensed with Craven District Council.

You must take a Safeguarding Assessment test. This is a short test held at the Council offices.

You must take a Driving Test from the Blue Lamp Trust.

You will need to prove you have a required standard of English. This could be a formal school qualification such as GCSE.

You will also need to sit Knowledge Tests which are held at the Council offices.  In order to pass the Knowledge Tests you will need a good understanding of:

  • the Highway Code; as well as
  • Craven District Council’s Rules and Regulations for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing, as set out in our Taxi Policy which can be found at the bottom of this page. 

Click the following links to read more about the processing of applying for a driver's licence and about the Knowledge Test process.

Steps to obtain a Driver's licence

Guidance on the knowledge test


Costs and fees

New Hackney Carriage Driver Application fee

A new Hackney Carriage Driver application costs £265.90

This includes:

  • £66 DBS Check 
  • £12 DVLA Data Protection Mandate (this lets us check your details with the DVLA)
  • £14.07 Knowledge Test fee


Other costs

  • £87 driving test fee to the Blue Lamp Trust
  • £18 safeguarding assessment fee
  • There may be a charge for the Group Two Medical. This charge is decided by your doctor’s surgery.
  • Subscription to DBS online update service


New Private Hire Driver application fee

A new Private Hire Driver application costs £243.38

This includes:

  • £66 DBS Check
  • £12 DVLA Data Protection Mandate (this lets us check your details with the DVLA)
  • £14.07 Knowledge Test fee

Other costs:

  • £87 driving test fee to the Blue Lamp Trust
  • £18 safeguarding assessment fee
  • There may be a charge for the Group Two Medical. This charge is decided by your doctor’s surgery.


Applying for a licence

The application process takes between 1 to 3 months. The full application process must be completed within 3 months.  Whether you wish to become a licensed Private Hire, Hackney Carriage of Combined driver, the process is the same.

Making your application

If you are eligible to hold a licence you should:

  1. Apply for an Enhanced DBS check online via North Yorkshire County Council Employment Services
  2. Complete the application forms 
  3. Complete the DVLA Data protection mandate
  4. Confirm you have your supporting documents
  5. Register with HMRC via Government Gateway to ensure you are properly registered to pay tax. See more about this here.
  6. Remember to sign up to the Online Update Service within 14 days of issue of your DBS certificate

Visit us

When you have completed the application, you must:

  1. Contact Licensing to book an appointment for us to review your application
  2. Attend your appointment with your supporting documents and application form

Application accepted in principle

Once we have seen your application and supporting documents, we will either accept your application in principle, or reject it.

If we accept your application in principle, you will be advised to:

  1. Book a Group 2 Medical Check from your doctor
  2. Ask your doctor to complete the Group 2 Medical Certificate and return this to us
  3. Book a practical driving test assessment with the Blue Lamp Trust and take the test
  4. Book a Knowledge Test with us and take the test.

You must pass these tests within three months of receiving your DBS certificate. If you don’t you will need to start the process again. It is advised that you do not complete your medical or enhanced driving test until we have accepted your application.

Rejected applications

If we reject your application on the grounds that you are not a fit and proper person to hold a licence you can appeal to a Magistrate’s Court.


Renewing your licence

To renew you licence, you must contact the Licensing Department to make an appointment, we are unable to accept applications without an appointment. Arrangements should be made for applying no less than 4 weeks prior to the expiry of your licence. If for any reason you require a new DBS check then you should apply for this 12 weeks before the expiry of your licence.  

Hackney Carriage Driver licence renewal

Renewing your Hackney Carriage Driver licence costs £173.83 for 3 years or £109.58 for 1 year.  If you are age 65 or over, you can only renew for one year.

You may need to pay for a medical check and DBS check as well. We will tell you if you need to do this. Every 3 years you will be required to complete a new mandate and pay £12.

Private Hire Driver licence renewal

Renewing your Private Hire Driver licence costs £151.31 for 3 years or £88.06 for 1 year. If you are age 65 or over, you can only renew for one year.

You may need to pay for a medical check and DBS check as well. We will tell you if you need to do this. Every 3 years you will be required to complete a new mandate and pay £12.

Combined Driver licence renewal

Renewing your Combined Driver licence costs £212.83 for 3 years or £149.58 for 1 year. If you are age 65 or over, you can only renew for one year.

You may need to pay for a medical check and DBS check as well. We will tell you if you need to do this. Every 3 years you will be required to complete a new mandate and pay £12.


CCTV in Licensed Vehicles

Please note, since 1st January 2022 Taxi Cameras (CCTV) are mandatory in all licensed vehicles in Craven. Please see our webpage CCTV in Hackney and Private Hire Vehicles for more information on the required specification and known suppliers.


Tax Check Code

From 4th April 2022 new HMRC rules come into force regarding checks which we as the Licensing Authority must carry out on drivers. From that date, if you don't obtain a Tax Check Code prior to your renewal, we will not be able to renew your driver's licence. Further information can be found on our website here