Apply for or renew a private hire or 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.

Changes to right to work evidence

The way applicants provide their right to work changed on 6 April 2022. These changes affect the way in which holders of biometric cards will evidence their right to work. 

From 6 April 2022, Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders 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 - View and prove your immigration status - get a share code.

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 GOV.UK - Changes for taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence applications from April 2022.

Renewing a licence 

Licence holders will be required to submit and pay for a renewal application online at least 6 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. Please read the guidance notes before you begin as they contain important information.

From June 2022 a completed medical form (D4) is required for the following:

  • new applicant for the grant of private hire/hackney carriage drivers licence (irrespective of age)
  • at age 45 (a new certificate must be presented every 5 years) until the age of 65 when the medical assessment must be done annually
  • the applicant/licence holder has a health condition that may impact upon their ability to drive a private hire or hackney carriage vehicle

Download the medical form (which also applies to lorry and bus drivers).

The application to renew can be completed below:

Apply to renew a private hire/hackney driver licence

New applications

To apply for a licence please read all the information below.  

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 (PDFs) carefully before you make your application. 

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

How to apply for a licence 

Apply for a licence by following these steps:

  1. Book the Blue Lamp Trust driver’s assessment through its website Blue Lamp Trust . If you take the test in an automatic vehicle your licence would only be valid for an automatic vehicle.
  2. Book the Blue Lamp Trust safeguarding course through its website Blue Lamp Trust .
  3. Arrange for a medical examination (details of some providers are included in the guidance notes) and completion of the D4 form referred to above.
  4. Revise the knowledge test syllabus (PDF)  which includes the conditions attached to a private hire and hackney carriage driver’s licence. An understanding of these conditions will be required for the Driver Suitability Assessment.
  5. When you are confident that you will be able to pass the driver suitability assessment, you should complete the application form for a private hire/hackney carriage driver.
  6. You may deliver the completed application form, together with the supporting documents by hand via the letterbox at the Customer Services Centre on Horne Lane. Payment should be made online.
  7. Once you have submitted a correctly completed application and made payment, an officer will contact you with the date of the next available suitability test and give instructions on completing the Disclosure and Barring Service process. 

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 authorisation

If you are an existing driver and wish to upgrade the licence to incorporate school transport authorisation then please see the information below. 

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 or Blue Lamp Trust safeguarding 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 as stated on the online payment page

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
  • Upgrade fee as stated on the online payment page

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