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Private hire and taxi driver licence

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.

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 

New applications

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. 

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 licence 

Apply for a licence by following these steps.  
 
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 

Licence fees 

The list of licence fees which are applicable are available on our online payment page. 

Paying for your licence

You 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 (£44)
  • CSE Awareness Training Certificate or book onto the course (£51.25) (non refundable)
  • Upgrade Fee of £42

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 £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 employment
  • Upgrade Fee of £42 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.

GDPR and privacy statements

View the privacy statement for private hire and hackney carriage driver licences