Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver
Initially, applicants need to apply on the appropriate application form. The licence is issued under an Act of Parliament called the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and is valid for three years. To get a driver's licence the Council have to determine whether or not you are a "fit and proper person" under the terms of the Act. This involves a series of tests and checks being carried out with various organisations so that the Council can determine your application fairly and consistently. Should there be issues arising from these checks, the application is referred to the Licensing Committee to consider. The checks and tests that we carry out are as follows:
As part of the application process Pembrokeshire County Council has introduced a Local Knowledge Test.
All applicants will be expected to pass the Local Knowledge Test as part of the application procedure prior to being issued with a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Badge.
A fee of £49.00 is payable prior to the day of the test. Only applicants who have paid the fee in full, may sit the exam.
If you wish to book a place please contact the Licensing Team via firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigration Act 2016
With effect from 1 December 2016, the Immigration Act 2016 prevents people without lawful immigration status and the right to work in the UK (referred to as Right to Licence) from holding a hackney carriage or private hire driver licence or a private hire operator licence.
The Licensing Team are required, by law, to carry out face to face checks with ALL licence applicants to ensure that licences are not issued to any person who does not have the correct ‘right to work' documentation.
The new legislation relates to private hire/ hackney carriage vehicle drivers and private hire operators.
All applicants, new or renewal will need to make an appointment with a Licensing Officer to bring along original documents as required by the Home Office.
All documents provided will be photocopied and a copy retained by the Licensing Department.
Where there are no restrictions on the right to work in the UK, ‘Right to Licence' checks on subsequent renewal applications will not need to be repeated.
A full list of acceptable documents for a ‘Right to Licence' check is available on-line at Right to work checklist (opens new window)
If there are restrictions on the length of time you may work in the UK, your licence will not be issued for any longer than this period. In such circumstances, the check will be repeated each time you apply to renew or extend your licence. If, during this period, you are disqualified from holding a licence because you have not complied with the UK's immigration laws, your licence will lapse and you must return it to the Council, failure to do so is a criminal offence.
IF YOU DO NOT PROVIDE US WITH SUITABLE DOCUMENTATION YOU WILL NOT, BY LAW, BE ABLE TO RENEW OR APPLY FOR YOUR LICENCE.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
All hackney carriage/private hire driver applicants MUST apply for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
The check involves a search of your individual criminal record to establish whether or not you are safe person to drive members of the public, some of which may be vulnerable, elderly, or infirm. The DBS is a central organisation that deals with all checks of criminal records for the Council.
Please refer to our convictons policy - Guidance on suitability of applicant - Convictions Policy
All applicants will be required to undergo a medical examination, known as a Group 2 medical, which must be carried out by your own doctor. Certain medical conditions may mean that you are not capable of driving professionally and it is important that the Council know about such problems to ensure the safety of the public. Drivers under 65 year of age must undergo a medical every 3 years; drivers 65 years old and over will require an annual medical.
You will need to provide the following items:
- Application form (with all sections completed)
- Two passport photographs
- A medical certificate from your own GP
- Enhanced DBS certificate – issued within the last 3 months by Pembrokeshire County Council
- A copy of both sides of your driving licence photocard (the licence must have been held for at least one year)
- DVLA licence check code
- Proof of ‘Right to Work’
- Application fee - £240 /3 year licence
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
The current designated list of wheelchair accessible vehicles licensed by Pembrokeshire County Council is available below:
Section 165 and Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) came into force on 6th April 2017.
Section 167 of the Act provides the Licensing Authority with the power to maintain a list of wheelchair accessible taxis (hackney carriages) and private hire vehicles.
Any driver of a taxi (hackney carriage) or private hire vehicle which has been designated as being wheelchair accessible must comply with the requirements of Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010, unless they have been issued with an exemption certificate.
The duties under Section 165 are:
To carry the passenger while in the wheelchair;
Not to make any additional charge for doing so;
If the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat to carry the wheelchair;
To take such steps as necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort;
To give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.
Mobility assistance is defined as:
Enabling the passenger to get into or out of the vehicle;
If the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, enabling the passenger to get into and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair;
Loading the passenger’s luggage into or out of the vehicle
If the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, loading the wheelchair into or out of the vehicle.
It is an offence for a driver of a wheelchair accessible vehicle on the designated list not to comply with the above duties. Any failure to comply with these duties will be treated seriously and may result in prosecution and/or referral to the Licensing Sub-Committee for consideration of their hackney carriage/ private hire driver’s licence.
Section 166 allows the Licensing Authority to exempt drivers from the duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs if they are satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on medical grounds or because the driver's physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for him or her to comply with the duties.
Any driver of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle on the designated list may submit a request for an exemption from the Section 165 duties by completing the relevant application form. Medical evidence will be required in support of the application.
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle
To get a vehicle licensed you must first decide whether the vehicle that you are going to drive is to be a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle. A private hire vehicle can only be used for pre-booked journeys and a Private Hire Operator licence is also needed. Hackney carriage vehicles are able to take bookings and can also use taxi ranks.
You will need to fill out the appropriate application form and present the following in support of your application:
- The Registration Document - you will need to produce the original so that a photocopy can be taken.
- Insurance Certificate/Cover Note - your original document must be produced so that a photocopy can be taken. The insurance must be for driving a taxi/private hire vehicle and cover must start, at the latest, from the date and time on which the vehicle is being tested.
- Meter calibration certificate.
- The full fee - until you have paid the appropriate fee in full you will not be able to book your vehicle in for a test.
How do I get an appointment for my vehicle to be inspected?
Once all your documents and payment have been received and are in order a member of the Licensing team will arrange an appointment for you to attend the council’s MOT centre. Appointments are subject to availability and are beyond the control of the Licensing team.
How long does the process take?
The Licensing Team will deal with your completed application as quickly as it can, normally within 28 working days.
Private Hire Operator
If you intend to operate private hire vehicles, then you will need to apply to become a Private Hire Operator.
The following documentation is required to accompany your application:
- Completed application form
- Fee £692
No application can be processed until the appropriate fee has been received
Planning consent is not a pre-requisite for your licence, but you must ensure that you obtain the proper planning permission from the local authority. Please contact Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning department for advice on this matter.
It should also be noted that if your property is Council owned then you need to apply for landlord consent from the local authority. This is not a pre-requisite for your licence but it is a condition of tenancy that anyone wishing to operate a business from a Council owned property must obtain the relevant permission.
The time scale for determination of the licence will be 28 days without objections and 42 days with. These time-scales are set down as performance indicators within the department’s performance plan.
All matters relating to your application are confidential and will not be discussed with anyone other than those directly involved in the processing of your application.
If you have any comments or questions please ring 01437 764551.
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing
Covid 19: Information to taxi and private hire licensees
COVID 19 - Supporting customers with sight loss – taxis and minicabs
We issue licences for Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles as well as private hire operator licences and dual drivers licences.
You are advised to read the relevant guidance to ensure you are able to meet the application requirements before submitting your application.
FAQs asked about Taxi Licensing
What is a private hire vehicle?
A private hire vehicle can only be used for pre-booked journeys and a private hire operator licence is also needed. Private hire vehicles cannot use taxi ranks.
What is a hackney carriage?
Hackney carriage vehicles are able to take bookings and can also use taxi ranks. Hackney carriage vehicles must be fitted with a meter.
What is a private hire operator?
If a vehicle is licensed as private hire, then a private hire operator’s licence is required. Please see the How do I become a Private Hire Operator page.