Private hire vehicles
A private hire vehicle must be pre-booked through a licensed private hire operator office before a member of the public can use it for a journey.
These vehicles may not apply for hire from a rank or be flagged down in the street.
The guidance notes below set out the pre-licensing requirements for private hire vehicles and describe the process involved. As a wide range of vehicles may be licensed for private hire, some are wheelchair accessible and some are not.
Before you apply
We issue a single licence for drivers, which allows them to drive either a hackney carriage or a private hire vehicle.
We have a duty to ensure that licences to drive hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are only granted to applicants who are ‘fit and proper’.
In order to establish whether applicant is a 'fit and proper person' to be a licensed driver we require:
- an enhanced criminal record check (formerly CRB, now DBS - Disclosure and Barring Service)
- a medical examination
- a topographical knowledge test of the city of Leicester
- a practical driving test specifically aimed at taxi driving. Please see details below.
- a spoken English assessment
- the applicant must have held a full British or EU driver's licence for at least 12 months.
- a check all applicants’ immigration status. Details of acceptable documents are available on the Home Office website.
Private hire operators
All private hire vehicles must be operated from an official private hire office licensed by us. Planning permission may be required for new operators' offices - contact our planning department for more information.
The application form for a private hire operator's licence is available below, together with the guidance notes.
Apply for a taxi operator licence
You can apply for a taxi operator licence using the quick link at the top of this page.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Applicants must also complete an application form for a criminal record check via the DBS. When applying for a new taxi driver’s licence you will be sent a temporary link to the online DBS service that will expire after 14 days. Once you have submitted your DBS application, you will need to bring documents to prove your identity to the Customer Service Centre for verification.
- Find out what documents you will need to provide - GOV.UK
- View our policy on how we use or share information with third parties
DBS checks are repeated every three years, and existing licence holders will be sent a form in advance, or can complete a form at their licensing appointment.
We now have three companies to provide the practical driving assessment. You can take the assessment with any one of them, as they are all working to the same standards. You need to make arrangements for your assessment directly with the company that you choose, including payment of a fee at the time of booking.
Please use the links below to get in touch with a company:
Defensive driver training
IAM road smart
Junction 17 Defensive Driver Training Ltd
Once licensed, all drivers are required to complete an awareness course on child sexual exploitation within three months of their licence being granted.
The cost of this will be met by Leicester City Council for existing drivers but new applicants will be charged an additional £20 when they first apply for a taxi driver’s licence.
You can apply to renew your hackney carriage or private hire vehicle licence online by using the form at the top of this page. This form can also be used for new vehicles. You will need to sign up for an account and then select the form on the list of forms available. You will need to upload copies of your MOT, Vehicle Inspection Sheet, Insurance and V5 Logbook. You will then be directed to make a payment.
Once received the Licensing Team will process your application and your licence will be emailed to you. Your plate will then be posted directly to you from our supplier once the order has been sent to them to process – this may take time to come through to you so please be patient.
Six month inspection
You can also book your six month test online at: Book your test online.
The inspection must be carried out no earlier than 14 days before the due date, and no later than the due date.
Change of vehicle/transfer of vehicle licence
If you need a change of ownership or change of vehicle, do not use this form please email email@example.com for more advice.
It is important that you apply to renew your licence well before your existing licence is due to expire. You can apply to renew your hackney carriage/private hire driver licence using the quick link ‘Apply to renew hackney carriage/private hire driver licence’ at the top of this page.
You will need to sign up for an account which will save your personal details for any future applications, as well as enabling you to access other online council services.
You will need to upload images of your DVLA driving licence (both sides) and details of the DVLA Check Code that you have received from the DVLA.
If you need a medical, the form must be completed by the applicant’s registered GP or a doctor within that surgery. If this is not possible you must contact the licensing authority for advice.
Annual renewals for diabetic drivers
A form needs to be filled in by your (driver’s) registered GP for renewal applications. It needs to be printed, fully completed, stamped by the GP and returned to:
- Licensing Authority, Leicester City Council, Phoenix House, 1 King Street, Leicester, LE1 6RN or submitted with the driver’s renewal appointment.
Print the Annual renewal form for diabetic drivers (PDF).
If your licence expires after 4 April 2022, you will be required to provide us with a code that will enable us to check with HMRC that you are registered for tax purposes – more information can be found at New rules on tax checks.
After submitting your application to us
- Once we have received your application, you will receive an automated email telling you that we will check your application.
- We will then send you a further email confirming how long you can have a licence for and what other checks need to be carried out, for example, DBS Check/Medical/Diabetic report. The second email will contain a link to make the correct payment and allow you to upload any other documents that we need from you.
- Davis licence check have now been appointed to undertake the DVLA checks on our behalf. You will receive a separate email from this company asking you to complete a mandate form which will allow us to access your DVLA record directly. This email will come to you after you have applied to renew your licence. The mandate will be valid for three years and means that we will not require you to obtain a code yourself from the DVLA for any further checks during this three year period.