Hackney Carriage driver's licence

Information on applying to be a Hackney Carriage driver

Anyone who drives a licensed hackney carriage must hold a licence to do so from the borough council, in every circumstance. This is because the vehicle remains licensed whether or not it is hired or available for hire.

Hackney carriages, often referred to as taxis, may be hailed in the street, may stand and ply for hire in the street or can be pre-booked. Their maximum fares for journeys within the borough are regulated by the borough council.

A hackney carriage driver's licence is granted for a period of 3 years.

Apply for a hackney carriage driver's licence

The council’s policy requires that all applicants:

  • he/she has attained the age of 19 years
  • have held a full licence for at least two years
  • have passed a driving assessment to the council’s satisfaction.
  • Be able to prove that you have a right to live and work in the UK.
  • pass the council’s test of their knowledge of the topography of the borough and the responsibilities of a licensed driver
  • provide a medical report certifying that they are fit to a Group 2 standard in accordance with the current DVLA medical standards of fitness to drive
  • consent to an enhanced criminal record disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service
  • consent to a driving history check from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
  • Shall demonstrate they have enrolled onto a BTec qualification for transporting passengers by taxi and private hire vehicle or updated equivalent and shall only be granted a licence for a period of 1 year. On presenting evidence to the licensing office demonstrating they have obtained the qualification, the licence expiry will be extended to the full 3 years but back to the last day of the previous month, but no more than 36 months since the original grant. 
  • Be the subject of a check with the National Anti Fraud Network database on driver refusals, revocations & suspensions of hackney carriage and private hire licences. Any driver suspensions, revocations or refusals will be registered on the NR3 database.
  • With effect from 1st January 2022 all applicants for private hire driver licences will have successfully completed safeguarding training approved by Eastleigh Borough Council within the 3 years preceding the application. 

Please note that if you do not actively pursue your application for six months or more, we will treat it as having been withdrawn. You will need to start again if you later wish to become a licensed driver.

Criminal Records

The licensing team has a responsibility to ensure that licensed drivers are fit and proper persons to hold such licences, given the circumstances of their employment. In order to assist in making such decisions, a check is made with the Disclosure and Barring Service before a licence application is determined, and thereafter on a six monthly basis. Applicants are required to subscribe to the DBS update service and remain subscribed whilst they remain licensed.

The latest information on the criminal record check process can be obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service; their guidance on dealing with disclosure forms and the applicant’s guide will be of particular interest.

Tax Checks

The rules are changing if you’re an individual, company or any type of partnership applying for a licence for a:

  • taxi driver
  • private hire driver
  • private hire vehicle operator

More information is available on our Tax Checks page

Apply for a hackney carriage driver's licence

A fully completed application form must be submitted via email to licening@eastleigh.gov.uk. You will then be booked on to the next available knowledge test. The knowledge test fee of £15.00 must be paid to secure your place. A member of the team will call you to take the payment over the telephone. Each applicant is given 4 attempts to pass the test, they must then take a 3 month break before a further 4 attempts are allowed. You must give 48 hours' notice if you wish to change or cancel a knowledge test appointment, or you will be required to pay the £15.00 again when rebooking. 

Once the knowledge test has been passed an appointment is to be made with the licensing team to complete an application for DBS (fee payable is £38 by debit/credit card only) and DVLA check (fee payable is £5 by debit/credit card only). In order to undertake this part of the process you must be able to conclusively prove your identity to our satisfaction.

You will need to bring the following items with you to the appointment:

  • A full current driving licence that has been valid for two years prior to the date of application.  If new style, plastic card.
  • Proof of identification: Passport or Full Birth Certificate
  • Proof of right to live & work if non-UK citizen.
  • National Insurance number proof, card or correspondence
  • Utility Bill/ Bank Statement showing current address (no more than 3 months old)
  • To book an appointment with a member of the licensing team telephone 023 8254 5376.  

A medical form completed by a general practitioner is required for all new applications and every 5 years thereafter.  On attaining 65 years of age a medical certificate will be required every year. It is suggested this is supplied towards the end of the application process.

Before arranging for this medical report to be completed please read the notes at section C, paragraphs 1,2,3,4 and 5 (Group 2 Medical Standards) of the medical screening notes contained within the documents at the bottom of this page. If you have any of these conditions, you may not be granted a licence. 

If, after reading the notes, you have any doubts about your ability to meet the medical standards of Group 2 as set out on DVLA web site (see note B2 below for website), consult your doctor and/or Optician before you arrange for this medical report to be completed.  In the event of your application being refused, the fee you pay your doctor is not refundable, Eastleigh Borough Council has no responsibility for the fee payable to your doctor. 

In future, if you develop symptoms of a condition that could affect safe driving, you must inform the Council’s Licensing Team immediately.

You can hold both hackney carriage and private hire driver's licences at the same time. 

Criminal or driving convictions will affect an application, however, guidelines apply, and each case is dealt with on its merits (see Guidance notes and conditions below). 

Licence fee £182 (payable by debit/credit card only)

Licensing Team

Members of the licensing team are normally available at Eastleigh House on Monday, Wednesday & Friday each week between 09:00 & 14:00. To submit any applications an appointment must be made before attending the office.