Guide Private hire

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2. Apply for a private hire operator licence

Private hire operator licences are issued for 1 year on first application.  After you've been a private hire operator for 1 year, you have the option to apply to renew your licence for either 1 year or 5 years. 

How to apply

Before applying for a private hire operator's 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 operator's application form containing:
    • 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 in the past 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 operator'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.
  • 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 on how to begin your check 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

If a vehicle proprietor or private hire operator does not already hold a hackney or private hire driver licence, that person will have to provide a basic DBS certificate no less than 1 month old.


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.
  • A document demonstrating your right to work in the UK
  • Two further forms of identification
  • A criminal records check reference number

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 operator'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.