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.
New tax check code
New rules from HMRC mean that if you make an application for a private hire or hackney carriage drivers licence on or after 4 April 2022 you will need to provide us with a tax check code if you are:
- 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
Further information is available at the Government website Changes for taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence applications from April 2022 - GOV.UK.
Renewing a licence
Licence holders will be required to submit and pay for a renewal application online at least 4 weeks prior to expiry of the licence. The standard licence period is now 3 years. The process will require you to upload a copy of your DVLA driving licence and, where applicable, a medical certificate if you have been able to obtain this from your GP. Please read the guidance notes before you begin as they contain important information regarding the DBS application and the DVLA mandate.
The application to renew can be completed below:
Apply to renew a private hire/hackney driver licence
In light of the Covid 19 pandemic and restrictions on face to face contact, a new ‘virtual’ Driver Suitability Assessment is being introduced to replace the English and Knowledge assessments. The Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness training will also now be delivered online.
Before you apply for a licence
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.
- Private Hire and Taxi Driver Application and Guidance Notes (New applicants only)
- Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy (effective from 1 June 2022)
- Driver suitability assessment information
- Knowledge Test of the Bedford Area Syllabus
When you have read the guidance notes, together with the taxi and private hire 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.
Changes to right to work evidence
There will be changes to the way applicants provide their right to work after 6 April 2022. These changes will affect the way in which holders of biometric cards will evidence their right to work. Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders can currently choose to use either the Home Office online service or their physical card to evidence their right to a licence. Up to and including 5 April 2022, licensing authorities can continue to conduct manual checks on physical cards.
From 6 April 2022, Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders will have to evidence their right to a licence using the Home Office online service only. Licensing authorities will no longer be able to accept physical cards for the purposes of a right to a licence check, even if it shows a later expiry date.
More information is available at GOV.UK - taxi licensing guidance.
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 Driver Suitability Assessment.
- When you are confident that you will be able to pass the assessment, you should complete the application form for a private hire/hackney carriage driver. You will also need to complete a DBS application form which will be sent to you by post. Please ensure to read through the guidance notes.
- The completed application form, together with copies of supporting documents (a list of acceptable documents is available here) may be delivered by hand via the letterbox at the Customer Services Centre on Horne Lane. Payment should be made online at the Council’s website.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) awareness training
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Training must be undertaken before a licence can be issued. When we receive your completed application we will contact you to book your place. Payment of the fee must be made online.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, these dates will be published in due course.
The list of licence fees which are applicable are available on our online payment page.
Paying for your licenceYou can pay for your licence on our online payment page here.
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.
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
- CSE Awareness Training Certificate
- Upgrade Fee
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
- Upgrade Fee of £42 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 advance bookings
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.