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Private hire and taxi vehicle licence

A private hire or hackney carriage vehicle licence is required for any motor vehicle, constructed or adapted to seat fewer than nine passengers, which is provided for hire with the services of a driver for the purpose of carrying passengers. The exemptions to this are public carriage vehicles, wedding cars and funeral cars.

Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked by customers with the vehicle’s licensed operator. Hackney Carriages may be hailed in the street or receive bookings at designated Hackney Carriage Ranks.

With effect from 1 July 2020 the Authority will no longer be extending Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Vehicle licences for 3 months.

Licensees will be required to submit and pay for an application online at least 4 weeks prior to the expiry of the licence. The process will require you to upload a copy of the current V5 document or the V5C/2 (New Keepers Supplement for the vehicle).

Before you apply

Download and read carefully the following documents. 

When you have read the guidance notes and consulted the manual of inspection, and you believe that your vehicle will be able to meet the criteria for a private hire/hackney carriage vehicle licence, you can proceed. 

If having read the documents you need further information please email your enquiry to us at Licensing@bedford.gov.uk

On receipt of the application you will be contacted by the Licensing team and advised of the first available testing slot for your vehicle. You will not be able to book this test via the Customer Service Centre on Horne Lane.

As previously advised all correspondence will be conducted via e-mail.

Pre test 

If you wish to book an appointment to have your vehicle checked before the Compliance Test, please contact the Depot directly on 01234 718048.  Please note the pre-test is an arrangement between the driver and the Depot and is independent of the Licensing authority.  

Renew a private hire/hackney carriage licence 

Renew a private hire/hackney carriage licence 

If you wish to install a temporary protective screen in your private hire/hackney carriage vehicle, please read and complete the following declaration: Protective screens declaration

If you currently undertake a client transport service, please contact the team at client.transport@bedford.gov.uk for additional guidance.

Please also read the information regarding temporary exemption from MOT and advice on keeping a vehicle in good condition.

Further information 

The Council normally requires all private hire vehicles to display a prescribed roof sign, prescribed door signs and a licence plate fitted to the rear exterior of the vehicle. The Council will consider exemption requests from these requirements and the following framework sets out the Council's approach to such requests.

Framework for Consideration of Vehicle Exemption Requests.

Privacy Statement for Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licences

Application to transfer a vehicle licence.

Contact Licensing Team

Email: Licensing@bedford.gov.uk