Taxi and private hire licensing for applicants

This section should be read by anyone wishing to apply for a taxi or private hire driver's licence which will enable them to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle licensed within Spelthorne Borough Council.

If you are a member of the public wishing to find out about taxi and private hire licensing and how to make a comment or complaint please visit our Taxi and private hire licensing page for the public page.

Do you qualify for a taxi or private hire driving licence?

To qualify for a licence application you must:-

  • have held a full, current DVLA driver's licence for at least three years
  • hold a pass certificate for the Blue Lamp Trust's Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Assessment Test
  • be subject to an enhanced Criminal Records check through the Disclosure & Barring Service
  • pass a medical examination to Group 2 DVLA standard
  • pass tests on the geographical area, licence conditions, English and numeracy
  • have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom

Age limit

You must be at least 21 years of age to hold a taxi or private hire driver's licence with Spelthorne Borough Council. There is no upper age limit. However, drivers who are over 65 must undertake annual medicals.

Driving Licence

You must have held a full driving licence (not a provisional licence) for at least three years.

Your driving licence must be produced at the time of your application. The Council will check licence details with the DVLA, Swansea and you will need to give us your consent to check this via the Government's online system.

Practical Driving Assessment

Please book your driving assessment with the Blue Lamp Trust

Equivalent assessments will be considered - contact the licensing team.

Driver Safeguarding Awareness Training

Due to their unique position, PH & HC drivers can play an important role in safeguarding children or vulnerable people at risk of abuse. Training in safeguarding can help you spot the signs of a person who may be at risk. The training is a requirement set by all Surrey Councils and is provided by the children's charity Barnardo's. There is an £18 fee for the training and it can be access via the this link You must have a valid personal email address in order to take the training and be able to print your test certificate (which you should then forward to licensing@spelthorne.gov.uk). You must not undertake the course unless you agree to your personal data being processed by Barnardo's.

Disclosure and Barring Service

You will need to make an appointment with a Licensing Officer to complete an enhanced DBS disclosure application. You will need to bring with you at least two forms of identity, your National Insurance number, and a list of addresses you have resided in during the last five years (with dates).

More information about the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) can be found on the Gov.uk website

The DBS will then send you a copy of the disclosure certificate; this can take up to eight weeks to be processed. You must then show your certificate to the licensing department. The application will be determined subject to the Convictions Policy guidelines adopted by the Council.

Contact the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) by telephoning 0870 909 0811and quote your customer reference number for enquiries regarding the progress of your application. Alternatively, the progress of your DBS application can be tracked online by visiting https://secure.crbonline.gov.uk/enquiry/enquirySearch.do

Once you have received your disclosure certificate from the DBS you may wish to subscribe to their online service at a cost of £13 a year. This will allow you to keep your criminal record certificate up to date

Right to work in the UK

Immigration Act 2016: Provisions to prevent illegal working in the private hire and taxi sector of the economy

With effect from 1 December 2016, immigration checks became a mandatory part of the licensing regimes for taxi and private hire vehicles, under section 37 and Schedule 5 of the Immigration Act 2016. The new provisions mean 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.

Applicants for driver and operator licences must submit one of a number of specified original documents which show that they are in the UK lawfully and permitted to work as a private hire or taxi driver, or as an operator.

If an applicant produces a specified document indicating they have no restriction on their ability to live and work in the UK, they will not have to undergo a further check. If however a licence holder has limited permission to be in the UK, we are required to undertake an immigration status check each time they apply to renew or extend their licence.

If an applicant's immigration permission to be in the UK is time-limited to less than the statutory length for a driver or operator licence, the licence that we issue cannot be for a duration that exceeds this period. Any time limits on an applicant's permission to be in the UK will be indicated on their biometric residence permit or passport.

If the holder of a licence breaches UK immigration laws and commits an offence or receives a penalty, this will be grounds for us to review, suspend or revoke a licence. If the Home Office cuts short or ends a person's immigration permission (referred to as curtailment or revocation), any licence that a person holds which was issued on or after 1 December 2016 will automatically lapse. In these circumstances, the holder of the licence must return their licence to us.

Wherever possible, Spelthorne Borough Council's Licensing Team will require applicants to provide their passports. In situations where this is not possible, applicants may provide alternative documentation as specified by the Home Office. The full list of acceptable documents are annexed to this document

Previous Convictions

You MUST disclose all unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings held against you. This includes motoring offences.

If you have previous convictions your application may be referred to the Council's Licensing Committee for determination. You will be invited to attend the meeting to speak in support of your application. The Committee will then decide whether they consider you a 'fit and proper person' to hold a licence.

Medicals

DVLA Group 2 Medical standards are required for drivers and these assessments must be carried out by your GP or a doctor who has full access to your medical records. The form is here

The medical examination will be carried out in accordance with Group 2 requirements recommended by the Medical Commission for Accident Prevention. The publication recommends that taxi drivers (meaning both hackney carriage and private hire drivers) together with emergency ambulance and emergency police drivers should be required to meet Group 2 standards.

Applicants for a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver's Licence will be required to undertake a medical at the following times:

  • on initial application
  • every five years up to the age of 65, at the age of 65 medicals will be required annually without an upper age limit
  • if a driver is diagnosed with a medical condition which may affect his or her driving ability at any time, the Council may require either more frequent medical checks and/or supporting evidence from medical specialists or consultants

Knowledge Tests

You will need to make arrangements with the Licensing Officer to take a knowledge test. Tests are normally held about once a month at The Council Offices in Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames.

A fee is payable to undertake the knowledge test. If you fail the examination a retest fee will be incurred. No more than three tests can be taken in any 12 month period.

You will also require:

  • a completed driver application form
  • a passport sized photograph to be scanned for use on the driver's badge to be issued if the application is granted
  • the correct licence fee, see Taxi Licensing Fees below, cheques should be made payable to Spelthorne Borough Council

Application requirements

Application forms

Taxis

Taxis operate on a meter tariff controlled by the Council. Details of the  and taxi rank locations are available.

For any journeys starting and finishing inside the borough, the meter must be used. For any journeys starting or finishing outside of the borough, the metered fare applies unless the fare has been agreed before the journey starts.

If you have any questions or comments on taxi or private hire matters please feel free to contact the Council's licensing section.