Changes from September 2021
We have implemented some changes to encourage new drivers into the trade.
New drivers may now apply for a 1 year licence at a cost of £90 instead of the 3 year licence.
The initial £25 fee for the knowledge test has been waived and will now only be charged if you take the test more than once. We've also postponed the requirement to complete the 3 day BTEC/NVQ/RVQ whilst we review our processes and procedures to improve our service delivery. We are planning more improvements as well, so please do get in touch with us if you would like to become a licensed driver.
If you want to drive either a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle you must first obtain a licence.
Drivers are licensed for the safety and protection of the public and go through numerous checks before being issued with their licence.
All drivers are issued with an identification badge with their photograph which must be worn at all times.
Apply for a licence
Applications should be submitted using our online form. You will need a valid email address, credit or debit card to make payment online. We would strongly advise reading the guidance notes at the beginning at the beginning of the application form before completing and submitting your application.
In order to be licensed as a hackney carriage or private hire driver, you must:
- Complete the application 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, £50 fee, 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
Identification and right to work documents can be uploaded as part of the application process (see guidance for a list of acceptable documents).
You also need to provide a photograph of yourself (see guidance for requirements).
For renewal applications that require a DBS check, please ensure we receive your paperwork at least 6 weeks before your licence expires.
Duration of licence
Applicants have the choice of applying for a 1 year licence (new drivers only) at a reduced fee of £90 which includes the first Knowledge Test or a 3 year Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver's licence. (£250 new/£225 on renewal).
Changes for taxi and private hire licence applications from April 2022
The rules are changing if you're an individual, company or any type of partnership applying for a licence as a:
- Taxi driver
- Private hire driver
- Private hire vehicle operator
If you make an application on or after 4 April 2022 you'll need to complete a tax check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you're:
- Renewing a licence
- Applying for the same type of licence you previously held, that ceased being valid less than a year ago
- Applying for the same type of licence you already hold with another licensing authority
You will not need to complete a tax check and you should follow the confirm your tax responsibilities guidance if you have:
- Never held a licence of the same type before
- Had a licence of the same type that ceased to be valid a year or more before making this application
You must carry out the tax check yourself. You cannot ask a tax agent or adviser to do this on your behalf. If a tax check is not completed, the licensing authority will be unable to consider your application to renew your licence.
You can find all the information you need on how to register and undertake your mandatory tax check at: GOV.UK - Changes for taxi, private hire and scrap metal applications from April 2022.
The tax check must be undertaken before you submit your application for renewal.
First-time applicants must give confirmation on their application form that they are aware of the guidance about their tax obligations and have read and understood the requirements which can be viewed at GOV.UK - Confirm your tax responsibilities when applying for a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence. If you do not confirm that you are aware of the guidance, you will not be issued with a licence.
The licensing service is available to contact by telephone between 10.00am and 3.00pm Monday to Friday or visit in person by appointment only at the licensing desk at Blackpool Council's Customer First Centre on Corporation Street .