As a result of changes to the law made by the Government in the Immigration Act 2016, from 1 December 2016, anyone applying for grant or renewal of a Hackney carriage or private hire driver's licences or private hire operator licence, must have the right to work in the UK. The Council must check that this applies to every applicant before issuing or renewing a licence.
Before you apply
If you want to be a driver of hackney carriages or private hire vehicles licensed in the Borough of Bedford you must have held a DVLA driving licence for at least 12 months. You then need to apply for a private hire/hackney carriage driver licence.
Please download and read the following documents carefully before you make your application. These are also available at our Customer Service Centre.
- Private Hire and Taxi Driver Application and Guidance Notes
- Private Hire Driver Conditions
- Taxi Driver Conditions
- Knowledge Test of the Bedford Area Syllabus
- Conviction and Character Policy for Hackney Carriage, Private Hire Drivers and Operators
When you have read the guidance notes, together with the convictions and character policy, and you believe that you will be able to meet the criteria for a private hire/hackney carriage driver’s licence, please proceed with your application. If having read the documents you need further information please email your enquiry to us at Licensing@bedford.gov.uk
How to apply for a licenceApply for a licence by following these steps.
- Book the Blue Lamp Trust driver’s assessment either through their website Blue Lamp Trust or by telephone on 0333 7000157. Note, if you take the test in an automatic vehicle your licence would only be valid for an automatic vehicle.
- Revise the knowledge test syllabus and the private hire and/or Hackney Carriage Driver conditions (above) (depending on which type of licence you are applying for). An understanding of these conditions will be required for the English assessment.
- When you are confident that you will be able to pass the English and knowledge assessments, you should complete the DBS application (this can be collected at the Customer Service Centre) and read through the guidance notes (for all new applicants and those whose DBS certificate has expired). If you are applying to renew a licence, and you have registered with the DBS update service, please complete the exemption request form and provide the documentary evidence requested. The exemption request must be submitted and approved by the Licensing Team before you submit a renewal application.
- Take the application form and fee, together with all original supporting documents to the Customer Service Centre. (a list of acceptable documents is available here) Please note, the fee must be paid by card or cheque, cash is not accepted.
- Your application and documents will be checked and verified by a Customer Services Advisor who will also book your place for the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness training and the English and Knowledge tests. (You are required to bring photographic ID with you on the day of your English and Knowledge Tests). Please note, errors with the application will result in rejection, so please ensure you have completed the application correctly, and bring with you all supporting documentation.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) awareness training
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Training must be undertaken before a licence can be issued. You must book your attendance on the course and pay the fee as detailed above.
The next CSE training sessions are:
- 31 March 2020 – Bedford
- 30 April 2020 - Luton
- 28 May 2020 – Dunstable
- 30 June 2020 - Bedford
New/renewal of private hire or taxi driver's licence:
- 1 year licence £117
- 3 year licence £351
- 1 year licence £137
- 3 year licence £411
New/renewal dual private hire and taxi driver's licence:
- 1 year £126
- 3 year £378
- 1 year £146
- 3 year £438
Extending single driver's licence to dual driver's licence - £41
Knowledge test - £41
Knowledge test cancellation - more than 24 hours notice - no charge
Knowledge test cancellation - less than 24 hours notice - £41
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) awareness course - £50
Replacement badge/licence - £41
Change of name/address/licence details (per licence) - £41
Paying for your licenceYou can pay for your licence at the Customer Service Centre, once your completed application has been checked and verified by a Customer Service Advisor. Please note, the fee must be paid by card or cheque, cash is not accepted.
School transport authorisations
All new driver applications will incorporate School Transport. If you are an existing driver and wish to upgrade to incorporate School Transport authorisation then please see the information below. All applicants must fill in the new application form which is available from the Customer Service Centre.
Existing Private Hire or Hackney Carriage drivers who wish to upgrade their licence to include School Transport Authorisation, must provide a written request and be able to provide the following:
- Pass certificate for English test
- Pass certificate for Knowledge test
- Pass certificate for DSA or Blue Lamp Trust driver's assessment
- Enhanced DBS application (This form needs to be collected form the Customer Service Centre) (£44)
- Produce a CSE Awareness Training Certificate or book onto the course (£50) (non refundable)
- Upgrade Fee of £41
Driver licence upgrades
Private Hire Drivers who wish to upgrade their licence to include the Hackney Carriage Driver's licence (Dual Driver) must provide a written request and be able to provide:
- Pass certificate for DSA wheelchair test or PATS certificate to include module B2 (assisting passengers who travel in wheelchairs)
- Details of the Hackney Carriage Proprietor who will be offering employment
- Upgrade Fee of £41 if the PHD licence was for one year. If PHD licence was issued for more than one year the fee will be calculated pro rata.
Hackney Carriage Drivers who wish to upgrade their licence to include the Private Hire Driver's licence (Dual Driver) must provide a written request and meet the following criteria:
- Details of the Private Hire Operator who will be offering employment
- Upgrade Fee of £41 if the TXD licence was for one year. If TXD licence was issued for more than one year the fee will be calculated pro rata.
Exemption from carrying dogs
For those drivers with medical conditions that would be aggravated by carrying assistance dogs, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 makes provision for licensing authorities to grant exemptions on medical grounds only and to issue drivers with a Certificate of Exemption.