Apply for a private hire vehicle licence
Private hire vehicles (PHVs) may only be pre-booked in advance through a licensed operator. Licensed PHVs are identified by signs on the side of vehicle which give details of their licence number and a red licence plate on the rear. Vehicles must not be the same colour as a hackney carriage, or have a roof sign. Fares are not regulated and should be agreed at the time of booking. A taximeter may be used, if one is available.
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Licences for PHVs will only be granted to vehicles that meet the.
Applying for a licence
To apply for a private hire vehicle licence, you will need:
correct licence fee, payable by credit or debit card
valid certificate of insurance covering the passenger for hire and reward and third party risks
vehicle registration document V5 (necessary to prove the details of the vehicle) or new owner tear off slip
proof of ownership (Bill of Sale)
hire purchase agreement (if your vehicle is on hire purchase)
MOT test certificate (required when three years old)
HPI report (for vehicles that are pre-owned)
European whole vehicle type approval certificate
mechanical test certificate passed within the last month. You can book your vehicle in online at Woking Road Depot (see our MOT testing page)
certificate showing the meter (if fitted) has been calibrated and sealed.
Renewing a licence
To renew your private hire vehicle licence, you will need:
correct fee, payable by credit or debit card
certificate of insurance covering the passenger for hire and reward and third party risks, valid for the date the licence is due to start
vehicle registration document V5
MOT test certificate (required when three years old) valid for the date the licence is due to commence
mechanical test certificate, passed within the last month.
Once the vehicle is licensed as a private hire vehicle, it may only be driven by a driver holding either a private hire driver's licence or a dual hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence issued by the Council, even when the vehicle is off duty.
The vehicle must also maintain its appearance as a private hire vehicle at all times, including displaying any signage and plate.
In order to be considered for plate exemption, the work you carry out must be exclusively or primarily chauffeured private hire work. This means that you provide the chauffeur and vehicle to a business or person, and the display of a licence plate may affect the dignity or security of the persons you are carrying.
To apply for plate exemption, you will need:
- a letter from you detailing why you should be exempt
- letters from clients demonstrating the vehicle is required for chauffeured work and why the display of a plate (and door signs) would be detrimental to the client
- three months of booking records for all operators the driver works for, demonstrating that the vehicle is primarily used for chauffeured work (for new applications, three months of booking records must be provided after the plate exemption has been given).
- invoices for each named client who has supplied a letter in support of your application for the same period as the booking records (for new applications, three months of booking records must be provided after the plate exemption has been given
It is expected that at least 80% of the booking records supplied should be for the named clients who have supplied letters, as supported by the invoices supplied.
The booking records must comply with the booking records of the associated operator licence, namely:
Prior to each journey, the operator shall record the following information:
- a) date and time and location of pick-up
- b) name of passenger
- c) contact details of passenger
- d) the destination
- e) time at which the booking was made
- f) time at which the booking was allocated to the driver
- g) plate number and badge number of the vehicle and driver undertaking the booking
- h) price quoted for the booking
- i) time that the booking was completed
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure the records you supply are clear, legible, and include all of the above information. Failure to do so will result in your application being delayed or refused.
Please note that if your request is granted, you are required to carry the vehicle plate and letter of dispensation in the vehicle at all times. The internal plate must be displayed in the windscreen on the passenger side at all times.
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.
Apply for a private hire vehicle licence