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Hackney Carriage and Private Hire

Guidance for Applicants for a Driver's Licence


Under the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 a Local Authority shall not grant a licence to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle unless:

  1. they are satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a driver's licence, and
  2. the applicant is 19 years of age or over and has held a full DVLA licence for at least 12 months.

The Application

The following forms must be completed in full and submitted to the Licensing Authority with the relevant fee:

Application form for licence to drive

The application must include two passport type photographs and the applicant's DVLA licence. A maximum of six penalty points are permitted upon first application.

Medical Form

The medical form must be signed by the applicant's own GP. There will be a charge by the GP for this medical examination as to the applicant's fitness to hold a hackney or private hire driving licence. Persons who hold a current LGV or PCV driving licence will be required to submit to a medical every three years in line with every other applicant. At 70 years of age the medical requirement will be an annual event.

Driving Assessment

All new applicants for a licence to drive Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicles must pass a driving assessment to ensure that they have a high degree of driving competence. The test lasts for approximately 45 minutes and arrangements for the test, including payment of the fee, should be made directly with a Council approved training provider.  Details are available from the Licensing Team. New applicants may be exempt from the requirement to pass the driving assessment if their DVLA licence entitles them to drive large vehicles, minibuses or buses.

Knowledge Test

All new applicants must pass Eden District Council's Knowledge Test. Arrangements to take the test should be made with the Licensing Team - this can be done at the same time as the criminal records check. The written test, which applicants will be given 30 minutes to complete, consists of five parts: (i) locations and premises; (ii) villages; (iii) routes; (iv) rules and regulations; (v) fares and meter. Applicants to drive private hire vehicles will only be required to take part (iv) of the test.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check

The applicant will be required to obtain an enhanced DBS check from the Disclosure and Barring Service. This check, along with a self declaration, is mandatory for all new drivers and every three years on renewal of licence. In the intervening years, a statutory declaration, completed in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths or a Solicitor, must be provided when renewing the licence. DBS application forms, together with guidance notes, may be obtained by calling the Licensing Team.

Consideration of Convictions

The Licensing Authority will consider all convictions on their merit having regard to its own Statement of Policy (PDF: 42Kb 4 pages) and the advice offered by the Department of Transport Circular 2/92 and Home Office Circular 13/92. A person with a current conviction for serious crime need not be permanently barred from obtaining a licence, but should be expected to remain free of conviction for three to five years, according to the circumstances, before an application is entertained. Some discretion may be appropriate if the offence is isolated and there are mitigating circumstances. However, the consideration should be the protection of the public.

Applicants are reminded that, to operate a private hire vehicle, they must first be licensed as a Private Hire Operator. Before submitting such an application, they must contact the Planning Department with regard to the change of use of the property.

Application Forms

Please note that we are under a duty to protect the public funds it administers and, to this end, may use the information provided in making a licence application for the purposes of preventing and detecting fraud. For the same purposes, it may also share the information with other public bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds. For further information, see the National Fraud Initiative page on our website or contact a member of the licensing team.

Conditions/Guidance notes

Wheelchair accessible vehicles

Licensed wheelchair accessible vehicles list is compiled from our records. If you notice any apparent error or omission in the list, please contact a member of the Licensing Team.

Licensing register

We are required by law to maintain a register containing details of various licences issued. This register can be viewed online or can be viewed at the Town Hall, Penrith during normal office hours.

View Online Licensing Register

If you notice any apparent error or omission in the register, or if you have any query about it, please contact a member of the Licensing Team.

Authorised vehicle test centres

The following vehicle test centres are authorised by Eden District Council to test hackney (taxi) and private hire vehicles.

Name Post Town Telephone No
AB's MOT Test Centre Penrith

01768 867513

Arnold Clark Penrith

01768 861500

Ballantynes Garage Penrith

01768 881223

Chambers Garage Ltd Penrith

01768 863075

Cowperthwaites Garage (Newlands Close)

01768 891188

D & H Auto Care Penrith

01768 891891

Eden Garage Penrith

017683 61212

Frank Allison Ltd Kirkby Stephen

017683 41328

HQ MOT Centre Penrith

01768 862376

Jim Walton (Penrith) Ltd Penrith

01768 864555

Johnstones Garage Kirkby Stephen

017683 71246

Lakeland Commercials Ltd Kirkby Stephen

017683 72627

Mark Johns Motors Kirkby Stephen

017683 71223

NBM Hire Penrith

01768 890030

Ullswater Road Garage Penrith

01768 864546

For further information

  • Contact: Licensing Team
  • Office Hours:
    Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5.15pm
    Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm
  • Email: admin.licensing@eden.gov.uk
  • Telephone: 01768 212148 or 01768 212273
  • Address: Eden District Council, Town Hall, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QF

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