Hackney carriage and private hire
Important information - changes for taxi and private hire licence applications from April 2022
The rules are changing if you're an individual, company or any type of partnership applying for a licence as a Taxi Driver, Private Hire Driver or Private Hire Vehicle Operator.
See further details of the licence changes below - you must read this if you are making an application on or after 4 April 2022.
Guidance for applicants for a driver's licence
Under the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and Immigration Act 2016 a Local Authority shall not grant a licence to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle unless:
- they are satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a driver's licence,
- the applicant has held a full driving licence for at least 12 months, and
- the applicant has the right to work in the UK.
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 a passport type photograph and the applicant's DVLA licence. A maximum of six penalty points are permitted upon first application. All applicants must be at least 19 years of age.
The medical form must be signed by the applicant's own GP or a medical practitioner who has access to the applicant's medical records. 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. From 70 years of age onwards, the medical will be required annually.
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 the Council's approved training provider, Blue Lamp Trust. 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.
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) criminal records 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 unless the driver subscribes to the DBS Update Service, in which case a self-declaration will be sufficient as long as the driver has given consent for an online certificate status check to be made. A new DBS check will only be required if an online check reveals that the status of the certificate has changed. 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.
Immigration Act 2016: Provisions to prevent illegal working in the Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Sector
With effect from 1 December 2016, immigration checks are a mandatory part of the licensing regimes for taxis and private hire operators under section 37 and Schedule 5 to the Immigration Act 2016. This means that, as a licensing authority, we are prohibited from issuing driver and operator licences to anyone who is illegally present in the UK or not permitted to work in this sector.
Your right to work in the UK will be checked as part of your licence application. You must provide a document or document combination that is stipulated as being suitable for this check. The list of acceptable documents is below. You must provide the original document(s) such as your passport or biometric resident permit so that the check can take place. The document(s) will be copied and the copy retained by us and the original(s) returned to you. Your application will not be considered valid until all the necessary information and original document(s) have been produced.
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 licensing authority. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.
The Home Office has developed an online right to work checking service, which enables us to check the current right to work of a person who holds either a biometric residence permit (BRP) or biometric residence card (BRC), or who holds online immigration status issued under the EU Settlement Scheme. The system works on the basis of the individual first viewing their own Home Office right to work record and providing us with the ‘share code’ issued to them by the online service to enable us to access their current right to work details.
Changes for taxi and private hire licence applications from April 2022
With effect from 4 April 2022, the rules are changing for any individual, company or partnership applying for a taxi, private hire or private hire vehicle operator licence.
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
you will need to complete a tax check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
- have never held a licence of the same type before; or
- had a licence of the same type that ceased to be valid a year or more before making this application
you will not need to complete a tax check but you should follow the 'confirm your tax responsibilities' guidance.
You must carry out the tax check yourself. You cannot ask a tax agent or adviser to do this on your behalf. The licensing authority will be unable to consider your application to renew your licence if your tax check is not complete. You must undertake the tax check before you submit your application to renew.
See complete a tax check for a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence on GOV.UK for all the information on how to register and undertake your mandatory tax check.
Hackney carriage / private hire application for licence to drive (PDF: 72Kb / 1 page)
Hackney carriage / private hire vehicle application for licence (PDF: 63Kb / 1 page)
Hackney carriage / private hire driver medical certificate (PDF: 77Kb / 2 pages)
Hackney carriage / private hire driver statutory declaration (PDF: 21Kb / 2 pages)
Hackney carriage / private hire driver self declaration (PDF: 62Kb / 2 pages)
Private hire operator application for licence to operate (PDF: 68Kb / 2 pages)
Please note that the Council is 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.
Hackney carriage notice of variation of table of fares (PDF: 203 Kb / 1 page) from 18 April 2022.
Hackney carriage byelaws including schedule of fares (PDF: 240Kb / 7 pages).
Hackney carriage / private hire testing requirements (PDF: 63Kb / 5 pages)
Right to licence check acceptable documents (PDF: 151Kb / 2 pages)
Wheelchair accessible vehicles
Under the Equality Act 2010 ("the Act"), local authorities are permitted to maintain a list of wheelchair accessible taxis and private hire vehicles. Please see our list of wheelchair accessible vehicles designated for the purposes of S165 of the Act. If you notice any apparent error or omission in the list, please contact a member of the Licensing Team.
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 the 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 to test hackney and private hire vehicles. For information on how to become an authorised vehicle test centre, please contact the licensing team.
|Name||Post Town||Telephone Number|
|AB's MOT Test Centre||Penrith||01768 867513|
|Arnold Clark||Penrith||01768 861500|
|Ballantynes Garage||Penrith||01768 881223|
|Castle Garage||Penrith||01768 890030|
|Chambers Garage Ltd||Penrith||01768 863075|
|Cowperthwaites Garage||Penrith||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|
|Intercars of Penrith||Penrith||01768 840111|
|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|
|Sammy Lees Motors Ltd||Appleby||017683 53238|
|Ullswater Road Garage||Penrith||01768 864546|