Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver licence

Any person driving a licensed vehicle must be licensed as a hackney carriage and/or private hire vehicle driver with the Licensing Authority where they intend to work.

Licensing Authorities have a duty to establish whether the applicant is a 'fit and proper' person, so we will take into account an applicant's medical and criminal history when considering their application. View our policies here.

Licensed taxi drivers must also ensure that the vehicle they are using is licensed for the purposes of carrying fare paying passengers. This may be their own car or a fleet car, but it must have either a  hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licence.

Hackney carriage vehicles can be hailed at the roadside or from a taxi rank and do not need to be pre-booked.

Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked for a pre-defined fare via a licensed operator, for whom the driver works. It is an offence for the driver to pick up a fare that has been hailed at the roadside.

Driver specification

All applicants for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Driver licence will need to complete a fitness/knowledge test and attend a safeguarding course, both of which are conducted and managed by Torfaen Training Centre. You must pass this test and attend the course before you can submit an application for the licence.

The knowledge test is delivered over a half day at the Torfaen Training Centre, 25 Springvale Industrial Estate, Cwmbran, Torfaen, NP44 5BA and is split into three sections:

  1. Basic Skills assessment covering literacy and numeracy to nationally recognised benchmark tests

  2. Verbal communication and comprehension – this assesses knowledge of taxi routes, local knowledge and verbal communication skills

  3. Testing understanding of Caerphilly Council’s policies, conditions and vehicle inspection standards. As this is an ‘open book’ element applicants will be provided with all the relevant information on which this element is based.

The safeguarding course will take no more two hours to complete and provides useful information and advice on the protection of children and vulnerable people.

If you are thinking of taking the test and attending the course you must first contact Torfaen Training on 01633 875929 for the necessary information and instructions. You will then need to contact Torfaen training again to book your place.

On the day of the test and the course you will be required to:

  1. Pay the test fee of £60 (Fee as at 1 March 2015) and course fee of £35 (as on 1 August 2016) by cash or cheque only, receipts will be issued on payment.  

  2. Produce two forms of identification, one of which must be a photographic ID. Tests and attendance on the safeguarding course will not be allowed without identification.

  3. Attend at the training centre at least 15 minutes prior to the commencement of the test/course.

On successfully passing the test and attending the course you can then contact Caerphilly Licensing Section to request a licence application pack. You will be required to produce the Torfaen Training Pass Card and certificate when you submit your application.

Medical status

In order that the Council can be satisfied that applicants are fit to drive, they must be medically assessed by a doctor and are required to meet the DVLA Group 2 medical standards.  The doctor will also need to complete a signed declaration to confirm this. 

Licensed drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles are also under a duty to carry passengers with guide, hearing and other assistance dogs and drivers of designated wheelchair accessible vehicles to assist passengers in wheelchairs.  If you have any medical grounds which could prevent you from carrying out these duties, you will also need to submit an application for medical exemption together with a statement of fitness completed by your own doctor.  The Council will then consider whether an exemption notice should be given to the driver.  

Immigration Act 2016 requirements

Licensing authorities are now under a duty to undertake immigration checks on all applicants for hackney carriage and private hire vehicle drivers and private hire vehicle operators

In addition to relevant checks to establish whether a person is a’ fit and proper’ person, local authorities are not able to grant a driver or operator’s licence unless they are satisfied an applicant has the right to remain and work in the United Kingdom.

Whilst local authorities are able to grant such licences to persons who are subject to immigration control and only have a limited time to remain in the UK, they can only be granted for a specified period and that period must end at or before the period of permission to remain. Licences will automatically lapse where the immigration status changes and the licence holder becomes ineligible to lawfully reside and work in the UK. Any person who does not return their licence will be committing an offence

Any applicant for a driver or operator’s licence will be required to produce original copies of prescribed documents to prove their immigration and right to work status.  The Council will be required to keep copies of the original documents they have seen and may check an applicant’s immigration status and share information with the Home Office.

Statutory Guidance to Licensing Authorities’ 


Click here for a full list of licence fees

How to apply

Apply online for vehicle driver licence

Make an appointment

When you have completed the application form and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check disclosure form in full you will need to contact us to make an appointment. We operate an appointment only system so please make sure you contact us before arriving at our offices, otherwise your application will not be dealt with.

Bring all necessary identity documents with you to the appointment together with the DBS fee which is currently £40.00. Documents must include a current DVLA driver's licence, knowledge test pass certificate/card, safeguarding certificate and a medical certificate. You will also need to provide two recent identical passport style photographs. Payment of the licence fee must be made at the time of issue of the licence.

If you were born outside the UK, at the appointment you will also be required to produce a Certificate of Good Conduct for every country you have lived in since the age of 18. These are available from the relevant Embassy. Further information is available on the gov.uk website.

The DBS check will be sent to your home address. Please ensure you produce this to us as soon as possible to avoid any delays in dealing with your application.

Providing you have no offences and are medically fit, your hackney carriage/private hire vehicle driver’s licence will be issued.

If the DBS check or Certificate of Good Conduct confirms that you have been convicted of any offence, however, or if you currently have 4 or more points on your driving licence, you will need to attend a meeting of the appropriate Licensing Committee for determination. We will write to you about this.

It takes 6-8 weeks on average to process an application.

DBS update service

Applicants for DBS checks may take advantage of joining the DBS update service for which there is an annual cost of £13.00. There are advantages in that having paid the initial £40.00 for the check, the applicant may then subscribe to the DBS Update Service either:

(i) within 28 days of completing the DBS Check with the licensing authority, using the form reference number , details of which can be obtained from the licensing section or;

(ii) once you have received the DBS Check, within 19 days of the date of issue displayed on the certificate.

Further details regarding this Service is available on the DBS website at www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service.

The benefits for taxi drivers subscribing to the Update Service, include saving time and money after the first three years, as you would not need to apply for another DBS Check (provided no offences are committed after the issue of the original check) and will not be required to repeatedly attend our offices to renew your certificate.


Licences are issued for a period of up to 3 years and must be renewed if you wish to continue driving licensed vehicles.

Renewal forms will be sent to you in the post several weeks before your current licence is due to expire.

If a DBS check is also due, you will be sent the relevant form which you will need to complete together with your application, before contacting us to make an appointment.  This should be done as soon as possible after receiving your reminder. 

Bring all necessary identity documents with you to the appointment together with the appropriate licence fee (and DBS renewal fee if required). Payment of the licence fee must be made at the time of issue of the licence.

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