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Private hire operator licence

A private hire operator is someone who takes bookings for private hire vehicles.

If want to run private hire vehicle business, you must get a private hire operator licence from us.

You can collect an application pack from our offices at Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton, or West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, or use our general enquiries online form if you want your pack posted. It can take between 6 and 12 weeks to issue your licence.

We’ll only grant you a licence if we believe you are a 'fit and proper' person, taking into account:

  • your driving licence history
  • your criminal history
  • your general character
  • where you live
  • where you plan to run your business
  • any other information which we feel is relevant

You’ll also need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application form, unless you are already licensed with us as a taxi and private hire driver. For information on how to fill out this form and the identification we will need to check, visit the website.

As well as the application and DBS form, you must pay an application fee. The cost to apply for the grant of a private hire operator licence is £212 or to renew the licence it is £209. If you are already licensed with us as a hackney carriage/private hire vehicle driver, the cost to apply is £196 or to renew the licence it is £193.

You must contact us to arrange an appointment when you’re ready to submit your application. You’ll have to provide us with at least three documents proving your identity. This is a requirement of the DBS process. We’ll let you know the types of document we can accept. We won’t accept your application if you haven’t brought enough ID, can’t pay the fee or haven’t filled in the forms.

We’ll send off your DBS form when we get your application. It can take 2-10 weeks to get the results. You can track your Disclosure on the Disclosure and Barring Service website using your DBS form reference number.

We’ll issue your licence once we get the DBS results and are satisfied with your application. It will last for 5 years. We’ll contact you about two months before it runs out to remind you to renew it.

Apply for a licence to act as the driver of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.