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Hackney carriage licence

Hackney carriage vehicles are taxis which:

  • can be hailed by a member of the public
  • can pick up people from taxi ranks
  • can pick up people who have pre-booked a journey
  • has 8 seats or fewer

If you drive a hackney carriage, the vehicle must be licensed by us.

You can download an application for the grant of a vehicle licence form or application for the renewal of a vehicle licence. It can take up to 14 days to issue a vehicle licence.

You must return the application with:

  • application fee
  • insurance certificate
  • V5C Vehicle Registration document
  • a valid MOT certificate from any VOSA approved testing station
  • a compliance test certificate issued by one of our nominated testing stations (see application form) within the last 30 days

If your vehicle will operate in the former Taunton Deane Borough Council area, it must:

  • be wheelchair accessible, in accordance with the National Inspection Standards
  • be no more than 7 years old (taken from the day of registration, as shown in the V5 registration document/logbook)
  • have a separate, secure luggage area with room for a minimum of 2 pieces of luggage which are 700mm x 550mm x 200m in size
  • have two passenger doors
  • have seat belts for all passengers

If your vehicle will operate in the former West Somerset Council area, it must:

  • be a purpose built, wheelchair accessible car with side loading wheelchair access and has either achieved National Low Volume Type Approval or has been fully tested to M1 category (such test witnessed by the Vehicle Certification Agency)
  • be no more than 4 years old (taken from the day of registration, as shown in the V5 registration document/logbook) or up to 5 years old, providing the car has done no more than average mileage (calculated at 12,000 miles per year), good bodywork, evidence of full service history
  • does not have a third row of seats with no direct access to them, other than via the row of seats in front
  • have an engine of 1250cc or above
  • have a minimum of 4 doors
  • have seatbelts for all passengers

All new hackney carriage vehicles must:

  • have passenger seats which are at least 16 inches/406mm wide
  • have at least 9 inches/229mm of clear knee room per passenger
  • have driver mirrors on the near and offside
  • be right hand drive only
  • not be a convertible or cabriolet

Passenger carrying vehicles that have nine or more seats must be licensed as a Public Service Vehicle on the Gov.uk website.

The cost to apply for the grant of a hackney carriage vehicle licence is £124.

The cost to apply for the renewal of a hackney carriage vehicle licence is £116.

We’ll issue you a licence when we are satisfied with your application. You’ll get a paper licence and licence plate. You must display the plate on the rear of the vehicle so that can be seen clearly.

The licence will last for one year. We will contact you two months before the licence runs out to remind you to renew it.

Anyone who drives a hackney carriage vehicle must apply for a licence to act as the driver of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.