Private hire operator's licence

Information on applying for a private hire operator's licence

Private hire operator's licences are required by individuals or firms taking bookings for the hire of private hire vehicles.

The law requires an operator to be licensed by the same authority which licenses the private hire vehicles and private hire drivers working within their control, thus a vehicle licensed by one authority can only ever be driven by a driver licensed by that same authority; both must be subject to the control of an operator licensed by that same authority.

Section 56(1) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 makes it clear that bookings for the services of licensed vehicles are the responsibility of the licensed operator which accepted the booking, even if they are sub-contracted to another operator; from 1 October 2015 the legislation has been amended to permit the operator accepting a booking to sub-contract it to any other operator, wherever they are based, but the liability for the provision of those services remains with the original operator. In this case, the second operator, the vehicle fulfilling that booking and the driver of that vehicle must all be licensed by the same (second) authority.

Private hire vehicles may only be pre-booked, and may not be hailed in the street or stand and ply for hire. Fares for the hire of private hire vehicles are not regulated by the borough council, and must be the subject of agreement between passenger and driver before a journey commences. Such vehicles may only be driven by the holder of a private hire driver's licence issued by the borough council.

The vehicle also has a white and green licence plate on the rear, the details of which are reproduced on a sticker in the windscreen. No Eastleigh Borough licensed private hire vehicle may have a roof sign of any description. Vehicles can be any colour. 

Application forms and guidance are available, including a form to notify the change of address of the licence holder - please note that the operator's licence cannot be transferred to a different licence holder; a new application must be made if the holder of the operator licence changes. An operator licence is granted for 5 years.

You are strongly advised to seek the advice of the licensing team before completing the licence application form.

Before a private hire operator's licence is granted or renewed the applicant must: 

  • Complete and submit an application signed by the proprietor and signed and completed by the applicant with the application fee of £365 (payable by debit/credit card only). 
  •  Satisfy us that they are fit and proper person to be the holder of such licence
  •   Produce the following

(a)   Current driving licence (if new type, plastic card and paper counterpart required)       

(b)   Photographic proof of identity for example: Passport, armed forces identity card, photocard driving licence or some other official form; and

(c)   Proof of current address: for example Utility bill showing current address, council tax bill, rent book, tenancy agreement, bank statement, inland revenue letter, or some other form of official documentation. This list is not exhaustive.

  •  For new applicants you will need to produce a valid passport.  If this cannot be produced you will need to produce a birth certificate. If you hold a non UK passport or birth certificate, you are required to provide proof of your right to work in the UK. 
  •   Produce copies of other supporting documentation e.g. planning permission, articles of association etc.
  •  An appointment must be made for the submission of an application.  Please telephone: 023 8068 810

Application form for a private hire operator's licence

Hackney carriage and private hire policy and conditions

NOTE: Applicants should allow at least 2 - 4 weeks for us to process your application.

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

If you make an application on or after 4 April 2022 you’ll need to complete a tax check if you’re:

  • 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

After you have completed the tax check you will be given a 9-character tax check code.

You will need to give the code on your application to the licensing authority, so they can confirm you have carried out a tax check.

Further guidance can be found here www.gov.uk/guidance/changes-for-taxi-private-hire-or-scrap-metal-licence-applications-from-april-2022

Operator Notification form

As a private hire operator you will be responsible for adding and removing vehicles attached to your licence. You can download the Operator Notification form here.

Licensing Team

To submit any applications, an appointment must be made before attending the office.

Data Protection

Please note that the licensing authority may be required by law to disclose to the appropriate authorities, from time to time, further information relating to applications and licences for the purposes of law enforcement and the prevention of fraud.