Guide Private hire

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3. Apply for a private hire driver licence

Private hire driver licences are issued for 1 year on first application.  After you've been a private hire driver for 1 year, you have the option to apply to renew your licence for either 1 year or 3 years. 

To be a private hire driver you must either hold a private operator's licence or, work or a licensed private hire operator.

How to apply

Before applying for a private hire driver licence you'll need to make sure that you can meet the conditions of our hackney carriage and private hire licensing policy.

You'll then need to provide us with the below documents.  These can be sent via email to or by post to Blackdown House, Border Road, Honiton EX14 1EJ.

What you'll need to provide

  • A completed and signed private hire driver application form containing:
    • DVLA check code which will let us view your driving licence history online.  The check code is case sensitive so we'll need you to tell us which characters are upper case and which are lower case.   The check code only lasts 21 days before it expires and can only be used once so please do not 'test it out' before providing it to us.
    • your declaration that you know and understand your obligations with regard to HMRC tax and self-assessment, and if you have held this type of licence within the last year, a 9-digit tax check code from HMRC. This is to check that you are registered with HMRC for tax and self-assessment, if necessary, and is now required by all authorities as part of the application process. You’ll need to provide this check code every time you renew.
  • Documents that demonstrate your right to work in the UK.  The Immigration Act 2016 now means that we have to check that all applicants for a private hire driver's licence have the right to work in the UK.  The list of documents that are acceptable can be found at the back of the application form.
  • Your original photocard driving licence.
  • A recent passport sized photograph that is a true likeness of yourself.

What you'll need to do next

The next stage of the application process includes:

  • An enhanced criminal record check known as a DBS check.  We use a company called uCheck to provide these checks.  Please do not obtain your own DBS check independently of our Ucheck process as it will not satisfy our application policy. We will provide you with guidance and we will need to take payment of the £67 fee.  Once you have completed the DBS application online you'll be given a reference number which you'll need to tell us.  You'll also need to provide two forms of identification so that we can countersign your DBS check.  Documents which are acceptable for this include either your passport or original full birth certificate and a bank statement or utility bill which is less than 3 months old.  Once you have received your DBS check back remember to sign up to the DBS update service as this will satisfy the regular 6 monthly criminal records checks we have to undertake, and is the most cost effective method
  • A medical report.  Your GP will need to complete a medical report form to assess your health and certify you as fit to drive a taxi.  You'll be given this form at your interview.  Your GP will charge you for this.
  • A taxi assessment.   You'll need to pass a driving assessment and test.  This assessment is provided by Red One Ltd who are based at Westpoint in Clyst St Mary and bookings can be made either on the Red One Ltd website or by telephoning them on 01392 444773.
  • A knowledge test.  You'll need to pass our knowledge test and the licensing officer will tell you at your interview how you can book this. 
  • If you've ever lived outside of the UK for more than 3 months at a time, you'll need to provide us with a criminal convictions certificate or character certificate from each country you've lived in.

Any fees you have to pay to complete these requirements are non refundable and are paid at your own risk.  We can't consider your application until all of the requirements have been completed.


You'll need to pay a fee to us for your private hire driver's licence.   We will accept a cheque, or you can either pay over the phone, or request a payment link to be emailed to you when you submit your application, that you can use to make payment online with a card.   Please make sure you are aware of how much this will cost. 

Data Protection

Any personal information which you provide will be held and used by East Devon District Council for the purpose of the Licensing Service to process your private hire licence application(s) and administer any licence(s) which are granted. Your information may also be shared within East Devon District Council for the purposes of carrying out our lawful functions. Otherwise your personal information will not be disclosed to anybody outside East Devon District Council without your permission, unless there is a lawful reason to do so, for example disclosure is necessary for crime prevention or detection purposes. Your information will be held securely and will not be retained for any longer than is necessary. There are a number of rights available to you in relation to our use of your personal information, depending on the reason for processing. Further detail about our use of your personal information can be found in the relevant Privacy Notice.

Start the journey

More info about the journey

Before we can consider your application, we'll need to have:

  • your signed and completed application form
  • The application fee.  This can be paid by cheque, cash or card.
  • Your original photocard driving licence
  • A passport photo
  • A document demonstrating your right to work in the UK
  • Two further forms of identification
  • A DVLA check code
  • A criminal records check reference number
  • A medical report
  • A taxi assessment pass certificate
  • A knowledge test pass certificate
  • A criminal convictions certificate or character certificate from any country you've lived in outside of the UK


We can't consider your application until we have all of the documentation we need.  The licensing officer looking after your case will let you know if there is information we are waiting for.

Once we have all of the information we need, your driver's licence will either be granted by a licensing officer or it may need to be considered by the licensing sub committee.  If your application needs to be considered by the licensing sub committee we will let you know and you'll be sent notice of hearing documentation so that you can attend the hearing.