Hackney Carriage or a private hire driver's licence

Until you have a licence, you cannot, under any circumstances, act as a licensed driver or drive any licensed vehicle. Doing so will make you liable to prosecution.

Prior to the issue of a licence we must be satisfied that you are a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

This involves you taking a knowledge test and the Council checking your driving record, medical record, criminal record (through a DBS check) and immigration status. These are checked in various stages of the process as shown in steps 1 to 5 below.

Please ensure you fall within our policy guidelines before you begin the process. PDF icon to indicate a PDF file Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2020 to 2025

For applicants who have been resident in a country other than the UK we will require an equivalent DBS certificate from that country, please see 5.38 of our policy for full details.

How to apply

(Note -  the below information refers to those applying for a new licence, if you are applying for a renewal of your licence the application process and documentation required is explained on the renewal application form).

To minimise delays in your application process, please follow the steps below in the correct order.

Step one:

Obtain a new driver information pack - this contains all the forms you will need. It is essential that you take time to read these forms and note the conditions on the rear of the driver's licence application. Packs are available to purchase from us at the Civic Centre. You can also access all the forms you require on our Hackney Carriage Private Hire and Operator Licensing forms webpage.

Step two:

You must pass Runnymede's knowledge test before you move on to the next step. Taxi driver's knowledge test

Prior to sitting the knowledge test please ensure you understand our policy, this includes conditions and requirements for drivers and vehicles as well as statutory requirements. It is essential that you use the study guide contained in the information pack to assist you in gaining the knowledge to pass this test.

Step three:

You must pass the Runnymede Safeguarding and Child Sexual Exploitation awareness training, this is an online program and you must have a personal email address in order to carry out this training.

Please contact the licensing section who will provide you with further details and make arrangements for you to take the training.

Step four:

Once you have passed the knowledge test and safeguarding training arrange a medical examination by your doctor using the form supplied by the council. Please note -  we will not accept a medical certificate that is more than three months old.

If your doctor confirms you are fit to drive you can move on to step five.

Step five:

When steps one to four have been completed you can submit your application for a driver's licence and pay the fee. Please note there is no longer any facility to pay by cash or cheque at the Civic Centre.

The fee can be paid  by enclosing a cheque or by asking us to contact you by phone and making a payment with a debit/credit card.

Your application is not valid until the fee has been paid.

You must include the following original documents with your application form:

a) proof of having passed the knowledge test, (this will be in the form of a letter from the council)

b) your medical report

c) your driving licence

d) a current valid DVLA access code obtained from the online DVLA Shared Driving Licence service to allow the licensing authority to check your driving record (or equivalent records if applying with a licence issued by another country)

e) your birth certificate

f) any passports you hold

g) proof of leave to remain/right to work in the UK i.e. a biometric residence permit

h) two recent passport quality (45mm by 35mm) colour photographs these must be full faced i.e. uncovered (without sunglasses, headgear, veil or similar unless worn for a religious or medical reason)

i) for applicants who have been resident in a country other than the UK - an equivalent DBS or certificate of good conduct from that country.

Please note that your application will be rejected if you do not submit the correct fee and the required documents.

Step six:

Once we received a valid completed application we will contact you and make an appointment for you to see a member of the licensing team. At this appointment your documents will be checked and the originals returned to you. We will also start the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) online application process that you will then have to complete.

A separate charge is made for this service. The DBS will then carry out a criminal record check and send your DBS certificate to you. You must then bring your certificate to the council, we will check this and providing you have met all our conditions and requirements a licence will be issued as soon as possible.

Please note it is a mandatory requirement that you subscribe to the DBS update service and give the council permission to view your online DBS record.

A conviction will not necessarily be a bar to your application, if for any reason we require further information or you do not meet our conditions and requirements we will contact you and discuss the matter.

Further information

If you have any questions concerning convictions or motoring offences, see our Hackney Carriage and private hire policy (appendix 'D'), if you have purchased an information pack you will find this is enclosed.

Get in touch about licensing

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can email the service direct.