New private hire driver's licence

Before we can grant a private hire driver's licence we must be satisfied that the applicant is a 'fit and proper' person, is medically fit and has held a UK driving licence for at least 12 months.

The initial stage of the application requires an enhanced DBS application form to be completed. Contact us to book an appointment. For the initial appointment, you will require three pieces of identification and proof of your right to work in the UK. Your DBS application form will be completed and you will be booked onto the next available knowledge test. You will need to pay for the DBS (£40) and knowledge test (£27).

Any new driver arriving at our offices without an appointment will not be seen

During the initial appointment, your level of spoken English will be assessed.  This will take the form of an informal discussion with the Officer.  If there are any concerns then you will be advised to take steps to improve your level of spoken English.

To assist us in determining the application, the following documents as well as a private hire driver’s application form  (pdf, 274kb)and the appropriate fee, need to be submitted:

  1. Enhanced DBS disclosure application form
  2. Identification for the completion of the DBS form (three required)
  3. Proof of right to work
  4. Current full UK or EU driving licence
  5. Local knowledge test pass, arranged through the Council 
  6. Practical driving assessment pass certificate
  7. Safeguarding Vulnerable People & CSE Awareness Training Certificate
  8. Disability awareness training
  9. Medical certificate (no older than three months)
  10. Eye examination certificate (no older than three months)
  11. Completed DVLA mandate form
  12. Passport-style colour photo which must reflect your current image.

Further details of how to apply can be found in the Application for Grant of a Private Hire Driver’s Licence Guidance Notes. (pdf, 153kb)

Once you have received your DBS certificate back and have all the above documentation, you can submit your application form, original supporting documentation and relevant fee at reception. There is no need to take a ticket. Reception will copy your original documents. The fee can be paid at the payment machines located in reception.

As we will not receive a copy of your DBS certificate, you must provide the original certificate with your application. Reception will take a copy and return the original to you.

Any applicant who has lived overseas for more than a period of six continuous months since the age of 18 will be required to submit a certificate of good conduct or similar document from the relevant embassy before an application will be considered valid. This certificate must be in English and the applicant will be responsible for any fees incurred in obtaining the certificate.


An application will only be considered valid once all the above items have been received. We aim to determine valid applications within 10 working days of receiving them

Online criminal record check

We carry out a 6 monthly criminal record check and require that all licensed drivers are signed up to the DBS online checking service. You must sign up within 19 days of the date of your DBS certificate. Further information will be provided at your initial DBS appointment. 

You must retain your DBS certificate as this will be required to carry out the annual online check of your criminal record.

You must ensure that you are signed up for the DBS online checking service at all times whilst licensed.  Please note that the annual fee for the DBS online checking service is taken via a continuous payment authority from your debit card rather than a direct debit so you must inform the DBS direct if your card details change.  Failure to be signed up to the online checking service will result in the suspension of the private hire driver’s licence.

Right to work

Your right to work in the UK will be checked as part of your licence application. This could include us checking your immigration status with the Home Office and we may otherwise share information with them. You must therefore provide a document or document combination that is suitable for this check.

You must provide the original document(s) indicated in the published guidance such as your passport or biometric residence permit so that the check can take place. The document(s) will be copied with the original returned to you and the copy retained by us. Your application will not be considered valid until all the necessary information and original document(s) have been produced and the relevant fee has been paid.

If there are any restrictions on the length of time you may work in the UK your licence will not be issued for 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 us. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

Practical Driving Test

All new drivers are required to undertake a practical driving test as part of the application process to ensure that you are aware of the hazards of driving.

This assessment is provided on behalf of the Council by Defensive Driver Training and can be booked direct via their website or by calling 01384 442233.

The fee for the assessment is £80 including VAT which is payable direct when booking and will last around 50 minutes.

When booking you will need:

  • Your UK driving licence number
  • Your credit or debit card details
  • Your email address
  • Your full postal address.

The assessment will start at the Council Offices where you will meet your assessor. Details of your booking and of the assessment including what you need to take will be confirmed in an appointment letter.

For the assessment you will need:

  • Your appointment letter
  • Your UK photo card driving licence and printout of your DVSA record or
  • A full British paper licence plus passport.

The vehicle used for the test can be any vehicle, it doesn’t have to be the vehicle you would licence if your application is successful. The vehicle must be taxed, insured and suitable for assessment.  It should have a current MOT and a mirror for the assessor to use.

You can make sure you are prepared for the assessment by reading the latest edition of the Highway Code and Know Your Traffic Signs. There are also sections on private hire driving in The Official DVSA Guide to Driving and The Official DVSA Guide to Learning to Drive. 

More details of what will happen during the assessment can be found on the Defensive Driver Training website.

If you pass the assessment you will be issued with a certificate which must be provided to the Licensing Department as part of your application.