Applying for a Hackney carriage or private hire drivers licence
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Applying for a Hackney carriage or private hire drivers licence

We are responsible for making sure that the taxi and private hire trade in Leeds is operated in a professional manner and that the correct standards of safety and comfort are satisfied by all licensed drivers, vehicles and operators. We licence vehicles, drivers and operators and work to ensure that they meet the specific conditions that are placed upon their licence.

​​It is recognised that those who are licensed by the section are the biggest providers of transport in the evening and night time economy and safe licensing and monitoring of licensed drivers and vehicles contributes significantly to the safety of the travelling public.

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.

If you are renewing your licence please go to the Taxi and private hire trade information page.

How to apply for a licence

There are specific requirements that you must meet in order to progress with an application, please see A guide to obtaining a licence for more information on the criteria.

  • 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 12 months

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.

You must attend the licensing office in person in person between the hours of 8:00 and 11:00 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. 

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.​​​​​​​


Click to expandDo I need to undertake a driving standards assessment (driving test)?


Yes, in order to proceed with a driver licence application you must undergo a driving examination set by one of Leeds City Councils approved supplier, the cost of which will be borne by you.

We will accept pass certificates from any one of the providers listed below, please contact them directly to enquire about cost & availability;

Diamond Advanced Motorists

AA DriveTech​

IAM RoadSmart​​


Click to expandWhy do I need to take an English and maths comprehension test?

​​The English and maths comprehension test was introduced as a result of concerns raised by both the public and the trade, that some licence applicants have difficulty speaking, reading or writing English where it is not their first language. The test is set and run by a recognised training organisation and covers the following key areas:

  • Speaking clearly: giving information
  • Reading signs and documents
  • Writing: transferring information
  • Dealing with fares
  • Basic numeracy and maths skills

You will be assessed on basic reading, writing, speaking & listening skills at ESOL Level 3 and all questions are related to working as a licensed taxi or private hire driver. The test lasts 25 minutes and you will receive a letter through the post advising you of your results. If you do not pass the test, you will be able to attend a Skills for Life Course at the Learndirect centre to support and build your skills.

If you do not attend on the date and time specified, you must re-book another appointment via the Taxi & Private Hire Licensing service and pay the necessary fee.

If you are unable to attend on the date and time allocated to you at your new application appointment, please contact us on 0113 3781570 or email us at to book another appointment. You must give 7 days’ notice if you need to cancel or you will be charged an administration fee to rebook.

Click to expandDo 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 licensed vehicles, we have developed a training package for all drivers. Please see the knowledge test guidance​ which is also available to view and download in the Documents section. ​​​​

Click to expandDo 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.​​​

Group II Medical Report form

Click to expandI 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. For further information on the process please visit our Taxi and private hire licensing DBS check​ page.

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.

Criminal Convictions Policy

Click to expandHow much does it cost?

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

Current prices (PDF 44.3KB)

Click to expandWhy 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 linked guidance which is also available from the documents section.

DVLA Mandate guidace (PDF 71.4KB)

Click to expandI was born outside of the UK, can I still apply for a licence?

Here at the Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Section of Leeds City Council, we receive applications for private hire driver and Hackney carriage driver licences from a range of nationalities.

You must be eligible to live and work in the UK and provide documentary evidence of this. The UK Border Agency has produced a list of documents that will be accepted as evidence. The full list of these can be found in our Guide to Obtaining a Licence. An application will not be accepted if you cannot supply the relevant documents.

If you were born outside of the UK and came to the UK as an adult, you must provide a criminal record check from the country(s) outside of the UK that you have lived in. If you are unable to provide this information, please refer to the ‘Fit and Proper’ Person Assessment policy for UK citizens, UK citizens with limited residency, Non UK – EU Citizens, Non EU Citizens, asylum seekers/ refugees.

If you came to the UK as a child (under the age of 16), you must provide evidence of this.

Please refer to the linked 'Fit and Proper Person policy' which is also available to download in the documents section to understand our requirements.


Fit and Proper Person Policy (PDF 465KB)

Guide to Obtaining a License (PDF 378KB)

Click to expandHow do I renew my driver 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. Failure to renew your licence by the expiry date will result in having to begin a new application process. Further information on the renewal process can be found on our Taxi and Private hire trade information for drivers, proprietors and operators​ page.

Our Address:

Taxi and Private Hire Licensing
225 York Road
Leeds, LS9 7RY
Mon to Thurs: 8am to 3:30pm
Friday: 8am to 3pm

Staff training every 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8:00 - 10:00.​​​​​​

Current prices document (PDF 44KB)

Driver Renewal

To view documents in PDF format you will require the free Download Adobe Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader

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