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Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles

A hackney carriage is a vehicle with no more than eight passenger seats which is licensed to stand at ranks or be hailed in the street by members of the public.

The meter in the vehicle calculates the fares on journeys within the Blackpool boundary.

On journeys outside of the boundary, the driver is able to charge a higher fare.

Private hire vehicles also have a maximum of 8 passenger seats and must be booked in advance by customers through an operator. They cannot be hailed in the street. The insurance for the vehicle will not be valid if the driver takes you without a prior booking.

The number of hackney carriage vehicles operating in Blackpool is limited to 256, with an additional 44 licensed as horse-drawn hackney carriages. There is no limit on the number of private hire vehicles.

Apply for a licence

Complete the application form for a vehicle licence [PDF 105KB] and submit with the appropriate fee, valid insurance and the vehicle registration document (V5) or a bill of sale [PDF 17KB] to prove ownership.

You will need to book the vehicle in for a test at the council depot. It will be issued with a certificate of compliance upon passing.

Once we receive all your documents and the vehicle has passed its test, we aim to issue your licence within 5 working days. For renewal applications, please ensure we receive your paperwork at least 1 week before your licence expires.

Make a change

To change the vehicle attached to your licence complete the application form [PDF 105KB], pay the appropriate fee and provide insurance and the V5 registration document or bill of sale [PDF 17KB] to prove ownership of the new vehicle.

If you are changing the vehicle due to an accident please ensure you complete and return an accident report form [PDF 104KB] within 72 hours of the incident. You will also need to book the new vehicle in for a test at the council depot.

It will be issued with a certificate of compliance upon passing. You can also change the registration number [PDF 32KB]of a vehicle, for example when obtaining a private registration plate, or change details [PDF 131KB] such as the colour of the vehicle.

Applications are normally processed within 5 working days.

Transfer a licence

For applications to transfer a licence into someone else’s name both the buyer and seller are required to submit paperwork to the Licensing Service. Please contact us for further information and to request the application forms.

Applications are normally processed within 5 working days once all paperwork is received from both parties.

Wheelchair accessible vehicles

The Equality Act 2010 specifies that the driver of a wheelchair accessible hackney carriage or private hire vehicle cannot discriminate against a wheelchair user by means of a refusal to carry, charge extra or not provide reasonable assistance to the passenger unless they hold a valid exemption certificate.

The Department of Transport has issued statutory guidance on the requirements. Blackpool Council licensing service has published a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Limousines, chauffeur services and wedding cars

Vehicles including executive hire, chauffeur services, park and ride, private ambulance services and stretch limousines need to be licensed for private hire. Vehicles used solely for weddings and funerals are exempt from licensing. For further advice please contact the licensing service.

MOT requirement

If the vehicle holds a valid hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licence, an MOT is not required if the vehicle has been issued with a certificate of compliance from the council. When taxing your vehicle at the Post Office we advise that you complete the DVLA V112 form to show that your vehicle is exempt from the requirement of holding an MOT.


Licensing service

Municipal buildings, Corporation Street, Blackpool, FY1 1NF
Telephone 01253 478570

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, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Wednesdays 10.00am to 1.00pm.