Private hire vehicle licence

Coronavirus (COVID-19): change to service

On advice from the government regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have suspended new driver applications and medicals, current licences will be extended by 6 months. 

See further information about changes to services.

All private hire vehicles must be licensed unless exempt by legislation.

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 defines a private hire vehicle as:

"any motor vehicle adapted to carry less than nine passengers and which is provided for hire with the services of a driver to carry passengers, but which is not already licensed as a Hackney Carriage (taxi) or as a public service vehicle (bus or coach)".

The only exemption from this legislation is where the transport is provided solely in connection with a wedding or a funeral (section 75).

If you have any questions please contact us on 01202 262202.

Minimum requirements

Vehicles must:

  • be less than 5 years old at the date of first licensing
  • possess a valid road fund licence
  • be clean and tidy, inside and out
  • carry a fire extinguisher which is within the manufacturers' recommended replacement date and in a clean and usable condition
  • carry a first aid kit with a full set of contents, preferably kept within a waterproof or sealed bag
  • carry a spare wheel and the tools to change it or a tyre reinflation kit if the vehicle is constructed without the provision to carry a spare wheel
  • have fully operational windows
  • have seatbelts in good condition and working order


  • roof lights, if fitted, must be working and attached directly to the gutter or roof-rack retaining bolts, lights attached to roof bars or their brackets will not be allowed
  • a taximeter, if fitted, will be tested

How to apply

To apply for this licence:

We are unable to accept this form by email because it must have a signature. Please print the form, sign it and return it to:

Environmental Services
Unit 1
Newfields Business Park
2 Stinsford Road
BH17 0NF


Applicants must supply:

  • insurance certificate which provides for private hire and reward
  • V5 vehicle registration document
  • MOT certificate if vehicle is over 1 year old 

If you need assistance to complete the application forms, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.


Vehicles must:

  • undergo a visual inspection by our taxi licensing officer
  • if over 1 year old, must have a valid MOT certificate


The licence fee is £153 per year.

Page last updated: 16 April 2020
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