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Applying for a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licence

To use a vehicle as a hackney carriage (taxi) or private hire vehicle within Dacorum, you must be granted a vehicle licence by us. This page sets out details of how applications can be made, and how we will consider and determine applications for licences.

Pre-licensing criteria

To ensure the suitability of vehicles for use as taxis or private hire vehicles, they must meet the criteria set out in our  Taxi and private hire licensing policy (PDF 1.4MB). Before applying for a licence, you should check that the vehicle you intend to license satisfies these criteria. 

In particular, any new hackney carriage must be able to safely carry passengers in wheelchairs, having been designed and built for this purpose (existing licensed saloons and MPVs may be replaced with a non-wheelchair vehicle, providing the licence has been continuously maintained for non-accessible vehicles).

After-market modifications to vehicles are not permitted, unless they have been formally approved through an IVA test at a DVSA test station (known as a 'voluntary basic IVA test').

If you are considering a vehicle that does not comply with the above criteria, we strongly recommend that you contact us to discuss your options before you make a commitment to purchase the vehicle. We accept no liability for losses arising as a result of the refusal of a licence application.

Applying for a licence

Maintaining the licence

Once the vehicle has satisfactorily completed both parts of the test, and we have seen evidence of an appropriate insurance policy, a licence will be issued allowing the vehicle to be used for up to 12 months as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle, as applicable. We will also issue a set of licence plates which must be displayed on the vehicle at all times.

While the licence is in force, the licence-holder must inform us in writing of:

  • any change to their address,
  • any accidents or incidents involving the vehicle, or
  • any change to the details of the vehicle (an administration fee is payable for changes relating to personal number plates, or the vehicle's colour, structure or capacity).

Licence-holders must notify us if they sell the licensed vehicle (the new owner will also be required to apply for a new licence in their own name, using the above application form). It is not possible to sell or retain the 'plate' (licence) on its own - it must be transferred to the new owner with the vehicle to which it relates.

If it becomes necessary to change the vehicle which is licensed during the period of the licence (for example, if the vehicle is damaged in an accident), any replacement vehicle will be required to go through the process set out above. A lower fee will be payable if the licence-holder wishes to substitute the vehicle for the remaining period of the previous licence - otherwise the full application fee will be payable, and a 12-month licence will be issued.

Renewal applications can be made prior to the expiry of the licence, following the same process and application form as set out above. If a renewal application is not made before the expiry date, the licence will lapse and any continuation rights will be lost.

Vehicles over 10 years of age will be required to undergo a second MOT and Compliance test half way through the licence period. The licence-holder will be responsible for arranging this test directly with our test station, including payment of the appropriate test fee. Failure to complete this test may lead to suspension of the licence.

Vehicles may be periodically stopped and inspected by licensing officers or the police, to ensure that they are being maintained correctly and are complying with both road laws and our licensing conditions.

More information

For more information on applying for a vehicle licence, please call 01442 228225 or 228487, or email licensing@dacorum.gov.uk.