Guide Private hire

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4. Apply for a private hire vehicle licence

Private hire vehicle licences last for 1 year and must be renewed annually.

How to apply

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

Please note that our vehicle age policy states that on initial licensing as a private hire, a vehicle shall not be more than 5 years old from the date of first registration.  This means that if you apply to licence a vehicle which is more than 5 years old, the application can't be automatically granted by an officer and will have to be considered by the licensing sub committee who may grant of refuse the application.  The purchase of any vehicle is at your own risk. We recommend that you provide details of the vehicle to us via email to prior to purchase, so that we may carry out an initial check.

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

What you'll need to do

Apply online by clicking on the blue Start button below.  You will need to have the following documents ready to upload:  

  • The current vehicle registration certificate (V5) for the vehicle showing yourself as the owner
  • A completed original vehicle inspection report form.  The form will only be accepted it is has been printed on double sided and is stamped with the garage's official authentication stamp
  • A current insurance certificate or cover note (to be a minimum of £1,000,000).  This must show the vehicle registration number, the name of any persons insured to drive the vehicle and must specify that the vehicle can be used as a private hire vehicle.
  • The following photographs:
    • A photograph of each side of the exterior of the vehicle
    • Photographs of the interior of the vehicle showing the front area of the vehicle in one photo and the rear area in another
    • At least one photograph of the fire extinguisher and first aid kit in the vehicle
    • At least one photograph showing no smoking signs adhered to the vehicle

If your vehicle is more than 3 years old you'll need to make sure it has a valid MOT.  We will check this online.

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.

If you are not able to apply online using the Start button below, you can download, complete and sign a private hire vehicle application form, and send this to us along with the documentation above to or by post to Blackdown House, Border Road, Honiton EX14 1EJ.


You will need to pay a fee for your hackney carriage vehicle licence.  If you apply online using the Start button below, you will be required to pay using a debit or credit card when you submit the application.  Otherwise, we will accept a cheque, or you can either pay over the phone, or request a payment link to be emailed to you, 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 signs clearly displayed inside the vehicle

If any of these are missing, the officer won't be able to issue your licence. Privacy Notice.

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

  • a completed application form
  • the application fee.  This can be paid by cheque, cash or card.
  • insurance certificate
  • vehicle registration document (V5)
  • vehicle inspection report

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 vehicle 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.