Hackney Carriages and Private Hire
Hackney Carriages are vehicles which ply for hire from ranks or may be hailed in the street and, together with their drivers, must be licensed by the Council. The number of Hackney Carriages licensed by the Council is currently restricted to 46 with one licence currently available to persons wishing to license a purpose built, side loading wheelchair accessible vehicle less than one year old.
Private Hire Vehicles are booked in advance by telephone or other means and operated from a base instead of a rank or plying for hire. There is no limit upon the number of Private Hire Vehicles that may be licensed and as at November 2018 approximately 200 vehicles were licensed by the Council.
Vehicle licences are annual unless the vehicle is more than six years old in which case a six month licence will be issued. Driver licences normally last for three years although annual licences are available. Private Hire Operator licences are issued for five years but again there is the option of having annual licences. Extensive conditions apply to all licences. Driver licences are subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and DVLA checks to assist the Council in assessing whether or not an applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a licence. Vehicles are subject to an inspection at the Council’s Environmental Service Depot in Andover. Both Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles can be licensed to carry no more than 8 passengers. Vehicles with a carrying capacity of 9 or more passengers will need to be licensed by the Traffic Commissioners (Department for Transport).
Application forms for all types of licence can be downloaded from this web site (see documents on this page).
Applicants for a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Driver's Licence will need to complete the appropriate application form including a medical form for all new applicants and a Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure form. Please note that the Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure form is unavailable electronically and can only be obtained from the Council's offices. Applicants for a new Driver's Licence will be required to sit a written knowledge test to ensure the applicant is familiar with the geography of the Borough and the licensing conditions. Applicants will also need to provide documentation proving that they have the right to work in the United Kingdom in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Act 2016. Details of suitable documentation can be found in the document entitled 'Right to work' (see documents on this page). For information on the application process see the Licensing Guidelines on this page.
What does the evaluation process involve?
Applications for vehicle licences will be processed and granted assuming all necessary documentation is in order and the vehicle has satisfactorily passed the compliance inspection. For a driver licence to be granted the applicant must have passed a Group 2 medical, not be disqualified from driving or have a criminal conviction which in the view of the Council means that the applicant is not “a fit and proper person” to be licensed.
Will Tacit Consent apply?
No. However we aim to process all applications as quickly as possible. With regard to driver applications, a licence will not be issued until a satisfactory response has been received from the DVLA and the Disclosure & Barring Service and in extreme cases, it can take up to eight weeks for the latter organisation to submit a response. If you have not heard from us within six weeks of submitting an application please contact us.
Can I make my application online?
Due to the extensive range of supporting documentation that is needed it is not possible to submit on-line applications. Application forms are available on this website. Once completed, the application together with any supporting documentation and the fee can be submitted in person to a Customer Service Advisor, without the need for an appointment at either the Andover or Romsey offices. Please note that the Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure form cannot be downloaded and can only be obtained from the Council offices.
What can I do if my application fails?
Applications may be refused. You will be advised if this happens, and in such a case will have the right of appeal to the local Magistrates’ Court.
A right of appeal to the local Magistrates’ Court exists against any conditions imposed on any licence.
How can I make a complaint?
If you have a complaint against a driver or an operator, we would advise you first to contact that person. If that does not work, please contact us. Please note we will only investigate complaints if they are submitted in writing or via email.
Further information on central government proposals and policy for taxi licensing can be obtained from the website of the Department for Transport (see link on this page).
Information on proprietors/operators with licensed wheelchair accessible vehicles appears in the List of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles. The inclusion of any details here is not an endorsement of any particular proprietor or operator by the Council.
For more information, contact the Licensing Section:
Legal and Democratic Service
Telephone: (01264) 368013/368023