If you want to drive either a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle you must first obtain a licence. All hackney carriage and private hire drivers are issued with an identification badge with a photograph on it which must be worn at all times.
We advise members of the public to check that a driver has such a badge before getting into a vehicle. Drivers are licensed for the safety and protection of the public and go through numerous checks before being issued with their licence.
Apply for a licence
You should read the guidance notes [PDF 42KB] before applying. A list of fees [PDF 16KB] is also available to download.
In order to be licensed as a hackney carriage or private hire driver, you must:
- Complete the application form for a hackney carriage/private hire driver
- Hold a current driving licence which is at least 12 months old
- Complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check which shows you have no criminal convictions or you have been determined by the public protection committee to be a fit and proper person. When you first apply to us you will need to provide an email address on your application form - we will then send you a link with your unique username and password to complete your DBS application online. Once your initial check has been done you will then need to subscribe to the DBS Update Service throughout the duration of your licence.
- Pass a medical examination to DVLA Group 2 standard
- Pass our 'knowledge test' of roads and landmarks in Blackpool. The test also includes questions on taxi law and policy, the Highway Code and the safeguarding of children and adults.
- Prove that you have the right to work in the UK. You will need to provide document(s) from the checklist to demonstrate this with your application.
You also need to provide a passport sized photograph of yourself and a second proof of address in addition to your driving licence, for example, a utility bill or bank statement.
Within a year of being licensed you must pass a BTEC / NVQ / VRQ qualification in transporting passengers by taxi or private hire, or other Council approved qualification. Failure to pass such a qualification will result in any renewal application being refused and may lead to existing licences being revoked. This course is available at Blackpool and the Fylde College. Telephone 01253 352352 for more information.
Changes to duration of licences
Applicants currently have a choice of applying for a 1 year or 3 year Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver's licence. From the 1st April 2018 the Licensing Service will be removing the option of a 1 year licence and applicants will only be able to apply for a 3 year licence.
This change has come about as a result of amendments made by the Deregulation Act 2015, one of which was to change the duration of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers' licences to 3 years rather than 1 year. This change should also reduce the administrative burden on the Licensing Service from issuing badges annually which was having an adverse effect on the efficiency of the service.
What does this mean for you?
- New drivers will only be able to apply for a 3 year licence from 1 April 2018.
- Current holders of a 1 year licence which is due to expire from the 1st April 2018 onwards will only be able to apply to renew their licence for a 3 year period.
- For current holders of a 3 year licence there will be no change, however they will not have the option of applying for a 12 month licence once their existing licence expires.
The Licensing Service is available to contact by telephone or to visit in person to the Licensing desk at Blackpool Council's Customer First Centre on Corporation Street between 10.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday.