Apply for a vehicle licence

Once you've been issued with a driver's licence, you must apply for a vehicle licence. It is illegal for a licensed driver to operate without a vehicle licence.

To ensure the safety of the public, we only issue licences to vehicles which meet our safety, environmental and accessibility specifications. 

Licence specifications for hackney carriage taxis

All taxis licensed for the first time must be new vehicles and comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

Download the specification required for vehicles with wheelchair access

Licence specifications for private hire vehicles

All vehicles must meet or exceed the Euro 5 emissions engine standard and Euro NCAP 5-star safety rating.

From 20 January 2022, all vehicles must be upgraded and comply with Euro 6 emissions engine standard. In addition, all vehicles must comply with the following:

  • vehicles should be a four-door saloon or estate car (convertibles and soft top vehicles are excluded)
  • sun roofs will only be permitted if they do not exceed 50% of the roof area
  • engine capacity must be of a minimum 1,300cc
  • minimum seat width must be 41 centimetres per passenger
  • vehicles which could be mistaken for hackney carriages, for example TXII, will not be licensed as Private Hire vehicles.

Licence duration

A driver’s licence is valid for 12 months from the issue date. You must renew your licence  before it expires.

Make sure you send us your renewal application at least 10 working days before the licence expiry date. We need time to process it and carry out the relevant checks.

When you renew your vehicle licence, you will have to present the vehicle inspection certificate that you received from your most recent six-monthly inspection, plus a current valid inspection. 

Failure to present these inspection certificates may delay the renewal process and incur additional surcharges.

Licence fee

The fee for a vehicle licence is £225 per year. 

Apply for a vehicle licence

To apply, you must provide our licensing team with the following:

  • the vehicle registration document
  • a valid MOT certificate, if applicable
  • your vehicle insurance certificate
  • a completed application form.

You must also:

  • pay online for the vehicle licence fee
  • pass a vehicle inspection.

Pay online for your vehicle licence

More information

Our licensing team can advise you on which vehicles comply with the relevant standards and also help you with the application process.

Phone: 01483 755 855