Vehicle and operators Covid-19 guidance
Based on the national and local advice we have received, we are advising you of our steps to delay the spread of the virus COVID-19, and provide you with important information.
The situation is changing daily and we will try and keep you up to date with our services. Please look out for future emails, as they may contain new advice and information.
Current situation: Visits to the office by drivers have increased in the last two days and staff absences (or self-isolating and working from home) have resulted in increased service demands on staff. You are advised to only come to the office if you have to. Changes have been made to the waiting area in WFO to encourage social distancing for the benefit of all.
Whilst it is our intention to keep people licensed and working we have introduced the following actions:
a) All driver assessments and training have been postponed until further notice.
b) We are currently accepting no new driver applications.
c) Enforcement officers are working as normal.
d) Vehicle tests will continue to be booked and tested as normal until further notice.
e) Driver Renewal applications will continue to be dealt with as they are currently.
Further information: We understand that the Department of Transport are putting together information about what financial packages will be available to the taxi and private hire drivers who need to self-isolate. Please conduct self-checks to ensure you are aware of the help the Government have introduced.
We strongly advice any licence holder to self-isolate if they develop new COVID 19 symptoms (temperature over 38C, persistent cough) or if they have an underlying health condition, usually one which requires a flu jab.
We also advise all licence holders to take steps to protect themselves and their passengers, see:
COVID-19: guidance for staff in the transport sector
Stay at home: guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
The Institute of Licensing has also issued guidance to licensing authorities on advice to share with taxi and private hire licence holders
Their conclusion is that a great many people work in the hackney carriage and private hire industries and even more people rely on hackney carriages and private hire vehicles to transport them. Whilst there may well have been a significant downturn in this activity as a result of this crisis, hackney carriages and private hire vehicles will still remain a vital form of transport for many, including to and from hospitals, GPs and to go shopping.
No activity is risk-free: the key is to take all sensible reasonable precautions to protect both drivers and passengers. This includes keeping vehicles in safe condition, and advice to drivers about refusing a passenger who may exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
In addition to holding a licence to operate as a driver, any vehicle you use will also need to be licensed with the Council before it can be used as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.
Before we issue you with a vehicle licence your car will need to undergo a test to assess whether it is suitable to be used as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.
Tests are carried out once a year and every 6 months once the vehicle is over 5 years old. The test is subject to a fee and carried out by our vehicle depot.
All vehicles licensed by the Council must comply with our current
Private Hire and Hackney Carriage Vehicle compliance Testing Standards.
Applying for a vehicle licence
Please complete the relevant application form. Details of the information you need to include with your application including the fee are included on the form.
Operator Licence - Private Hire
Anyone who accepts or invites bookings for private hire vehicles must have a private hire operator's licence. A licensed private hire driver cannot accept a fare unless it has been booked through a licensed operator. The public will make the contract with them even if the operator does not provide the vehicle or driver.
Once you have been granted an operator's licence you can then employ any number of licensed vehicles and drivers, a licensed private hire driver is not allowed to accept a booking unless they hold a an operator licence or work for a licensed private hire operator.
An operator is required to keep a register of all bookings taken, these may be inspected by the Police or the Council at any time.
Applying for an operator licence
Please complete the
application form. Details of the information you need to include with your application are on the form.
Once you have completed the form then please either return it in person to our public desk or post it to our offices.
All accidents must be reported in writing to licensing within 72 hours of the accident. Please complete the
accident report form and return to licensing.
If you wish to see further information on licences granted you can view these on the