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Applying for a Hackney carriage or private hire drivers licence

By becoming either a Hackney carriage (taxi) or private hire driver you can play a part in delivering safe, reliable and integrated transport to everybody who lives, works or visits Leeds.

Application forms to become a taxi or private hire vehicle driver are available to download from the Documents section of this page, along with the relevant guidance notes. You can also telephone or email the taxi and private hire licensing section and ask for application forms to be sent to your home address or call in person and ask for the necessary application form.

Information about prices can also be found in the 'A guide to obtaining a licence' document within the Documents section of this page.

There are specific requirements that you must meet in order to progress with an application, please see the drop down headings on this page for more information on the criteria. In addition:

  • you must 21 years of age to be a Hackney carriage driver
  • you must have held a full DVLA, Northern Ireland or European Economic Area (EEA) state driving licence for at least three years
All licences are issued for a period of 12 months. Once strict criteria are met, you may be eligible to apply for a 3 year drivers licence. Please refer to the guide to obtaining a licence and our three year licence policy which are available to download from the Documents section.

You must attend the licensing office in person to make an appointment to begin the application process and pay the fee (via cash, debit card or cheque). All cheques should be made payable to Leeds City Council. Please see our guide to obtaining a licence for a full list of our fees. 

You will be given a half hour slot with a licensing officer to process your application. Missed appointments may result in an administrative fee being applied.

Applications remain valid for a period of 12 months. If you do not pass and complete all of the required tests within this time period, your application will be cancelled. The fee is non-refundable.​​​

Do taxi and private hire drivers need to pass a knowledge test?

All licensed taxi drivers in Leeds must have an in depth knowledge of the road network and places of interest in the city. You will need to be able to demonstrate a range of route finding skills such as map reading and route selection, which allow you to plan a journey.

As part of Leeds City Council’s commitment to increasing the level of professional service offered to the public using private hire vehicles, we have developed a training package for all private hire drivers. Please see the ‘private hire knowledge test guidance’ which is available to view and download from the Documents section.

Do I need to prove my medical fitness?

Taxi and private hire drivers are professional drivers carrying passengers for hire and reward. Because of this, if you apply to be licensed, we will ask you to prove your medical fitness by having a group 2 medical examination with your GP.​

I have a conviction, will this prevent me from getting a licence?

The Council must be satisfied that the drivers it licenses are safe, honest and trustworthy – ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence. 

Every applicant must have a criminal record check before they can have a licence.  This is done by asking you to get an enhanced criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service. We will also look at your driving licence to see if you have any driving convictions.

Having a driving or criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent you from becoming licensed - it depends what the conviction was for, the sentence imposed and how long ago it was.

It is very important that you read and understand our policy on driving and criminal convictions before you apply. ​

How do I renew my licence?

It is your responsibility to ensure that your licence is renewed before its expiry date: a completed renewal form must be submitted in person at the Taxi and Private Hire Section prior to your current licence expiring. You can find the renewal form in the documents section.

In order to proceed with the renewal, you must:
-Ensure your renewal form is stamped and signed by your Operator
-Produce your current Private Hire vehicle disc
-Produce a valid Certificate of Insurance covering the use of Hire & Reward
-Produce the current MOT certificate as applicable
-Produce a current tail lift certificate as applicable
-Produce the Registration document (V5C)
-Pay the applicable fee payable by cash, debit card or cheque, made payable to Leeds City Council.

Please refer to the separate guidance document ‘Extension to Age Criteria’ which is available in the Documents section of this page if you wish to licence your vehicle beyond 7 years of age.

IMPORTANT - If you do not renew on time the vehicle will be treated as a ‘new’ application and you will need to go through the same procedure as that specified for the grant of a licence.  If the vehicle is over 5 years old, the licence would not be granted as per the Age Criteria condition.

How much does it cost?

A full list of fees and prices are available within the 'Current prices' document which can be found in the Documents section on this page.

Why do I need to pay £5 for a DVLA mandate?

The paper counterpart to your DVLA licence is no longer valid & these are no longer issued by the DVLA.  We must have access to your licence history and we do this by asking you to sign a mandate to access your DVLA records online.  Please refer to the guidance in the documents section.

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