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Step by step guide to applying for a Taxi Driver Licence (New applicant)

This guide will inform you on what you need to do to make an application to be licensed as a taxi driver in the Cotswold District area.

We have also designed a downloadable Checklist to help you gather the information you'll need to support in your application. We advise you to use this along with the information below so you provide us with all the information we need for you to make a successful application without delay.

Applications with evidence missing or that are inaccurate take much longer to process because of the need for our teams to follow up with you and request items.

Check your Right to Work in the UK

You will need to prove your right to work in the UK to hold a taxi driver licence. Please view the list of suitable IDs.

  • if you have a permanent right to work within the UK, you will need to bring ID from List A
  • if you have a period of 'leave' you will need to bring ID from List B, Group 1 or Group 2, depending on which group applies to you.

We only need to do this check once if you have a permanent right to work. If you have a period of ‘leave to work in the UK’ we’ll need to check each time your licence is renewed.

You will need to bring your original copies of Identification to the short interview with the awarding Licensing Officer who will check your right to work in the UK and make copies for audit purposes. This is at the end of your application and we will contact you to arrange a date and time. We may be asked to share your information with The Home Office. 

Checklist iconMake a note on your checklist of the identification document(s) you plan to use

Additional Requirements for Foreign Nationals

The DBS Criminal Record Check covers England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. If you are a foreign national or have lived outside of these countries, we must be satisfied that you are a "fit and proper person". We must also take account of any offences committed outside these countries.

If you are a foreign national or have lived outside of England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, please read Section 1.1 of the Taxi and Private Hire Policy. This explains what documents you must submit with your application.

Check your Criminal Record Status

Able to tick ‘I have no criminal record’ on your checklist? In this case, you do not need this section of supporting information.

If you have ticked ‘I have convictions’, you may find that you can still make an application to be a taxi driver in The Cotswold District depending on the conviction. It is very important to know, there are no ‘spent convictions’ when applying for a taxi driver licence.  All convictions must be listed. 

There are some convictions which will bar you from making an application to be a licensed taxi driver. Please go to the following link in our policy to find out more: Hackney carriage and private hire policy  1. Annex 1 Gloucestershire licensing authorities - taxi and private hire convictions policy. Information for applicants and existing licence holders.

If you have convictions which automatically bar you from holding a taxi driver licence, please do not continue with your application. 

Checklist iconMake a note on your checklist of the convictions you have, which do not automatically bar you from making an application to us.

Note: your licence will take longer to check during processing; the team member will need to review your convictions. Your application will also need to go to a Council Committee hearing for a licensing decision.  

Book your Knowledge Test and find out how to prepare well

Book a Knowledge Test Online

You can book and pay for a Knowledge Test online. You are able to do this at any time of the week, day or night, giving you more flexibility. You are also able to rebook if you are unable to make the date, up to 24 hours before the test is due to start. The Booking and Payment facility for knowledge tests also gives you the option to sit a test in a different location to the district you are planning to work in. Tests run in Cotswold, West Oxfordshire and Forest of Dean District Councils, giving you the option of an earlier date or a more convenient location to where you live. You will sit the test paper for the area you are applying to work in. 

What is the test, why do I need one, how do I book???

View full details here

Book your Medical and Vision Assessments - Fit to Drive

You will need to prove that you are medically fit and have a good level of vision to hold a taxi driver licence. You will be transporting members of the public and Cotswold District Council have a commitment to their communities that drivers are safe to drive others. 

Medical and Vision Assessments are needed for a Hackney Carriage/ Dual or Private Hire Licence. You will need a DVLA group 2 medical examination which can be arranged with your GP who has access to your medical records. If your GP is unable to do the vision assessment at the same time (most GPs will do this), you will need to arrange an appointment with an optician or optometrist. There are also private companies that offer an assessment with a qualified doctor. 

Follow the link here to the downloadable medical examination report and guide.

Note: It is rather confusing when you first open this link. It will say ‘Form - Medical Examination Report for a lorry or a bus driving licence (D4)’. Do not worry, this is the right document. You will need the following:

  • Medical examination report for a Group 2  (lorry or bus) 
  • Medical examination report for a Group 2 (lorry or bus) information and useful notes
  • Medical Declaration Form for Cotswold District Council (WODC/FODDC)

Please note: If you wear glasses or contact lenses, it is worth getting a copy of your prescription to take along to your medical assessment and you will need to take along personal identification. Wear your glasses or lenses that you use for driving to the assessment. The guide will tell you more about what to take to the medical assessment. 

You are strongly advised to have an informal discussion with your GP before booking and paying for a formal assessment - you both may be aware of issues on your medical history which may stop you from being a licensed taxi driver. It is worth checking this out before a formal ‘fitness to drive’ assessment. 

Remember to take the Medical Declaration Form for Cotswold District, it must be signed by the doctor doing your assessment at the time and be with your D4 form. Your application cannot be accepted without our Medical Declaration Form. 

Checklist iconMake a note on your checklist of the results of your Medical and Vision Assessments. 

Request an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Check & Join the DBS Update Service

A taxi driver must apply to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring check (DBS check) before they can make an application to hold a taxi driver licence. It is also a requirement to sign up to the DBS update service when you make an application and stay signed up to the DBS update service for the whole time you hold a taxi drivers licence. This must be in place at all times to make your taxi driver licence valid. The Licensing Team will carry out spot checks through the year to make sure that your enhanced DBS is in place. 

This is a check on your suitability to work with the public, in particular vulnerable groups of people. Cotswold District Council has a duty of care to their communities that taxi driver licences are granted to drivers who are a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver licence. 

Note: Further checks are needed if your taxi company is cleared for school contract work.   

Please be aware that if you let your DBS lapse, your licence is revoked, so make sure that the account you use to set up a direct debit which pays for the DBS check each month has funds available.

To apply for an enhanced DBS check online. Enter the following details:

  • Organisation Reference: COTSWOLD
  • Organisation Code: council

When you have submitted the form to the enhanced Disclosure and Barring service, email your reference to ers@cotswold.gov.uk 

You’ll need to send us 3 types of ID to process your application. A full list of the valid ID types is available on GOV.UK. 

You must also sign up to the DBS Online Update Service within 30 days of your DBS certificate being issued. You must send your certificate number to the licensing team. We will suspend your licence if you do not sign up to the Service.

Checklist iconMake a note on your checklist of your DBS code and certificate number.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency - Your UK Driving Licence

You will need to have held a full UK driving licence for 12 months or more. Your licence must show your current home address. Here’s the link to the DVLA licence check reference number section in the GOV.UK website.  https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence 

Note: if your licence doesn’t show your current home address, you need to get your licence updated. It is free unless you want to change your photo (this is currently £14).

Checklist iconMake a note on your checklist of your DVLA check reference number.

Book a Safeguarding Training Course

You will need to take a safeguarding training course prior to licensing. You will also be required to attend a refresher course every three years. The safeguarding course must be with a provider recognised by Cotswold District Council.

The current recognised providers are:-

  • Cheltenham Borough Council, Municipal Offices, Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 9SA. Follow the link to book your place with Cheltenham Borough Council and make the payment.
  • Gloucester City Council, Civic Suite, 3rd Floor, North Warehouse, Gloucester GL1 2EP. Please call 01452 396396 to book your place and make the payment.
  • Tewkesbury Borough Council, Severn Room, Public Services Centre, Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury GL20 5TT. Follow the link Payments - Tewkesbury Borough Council to book your place and make the payment (under type of payment select Licensing and then Safeguarding Training from the drop down lists and insert £40 into payment amount). Upon completion of the payment email your booking reference to licensing@tewkesbury.gov.uk together with your name, badge number (or state new applicant), Licensing Authority (FODDC) and your preferred course date. You will receive a booking confirmation email from the team.
  • Cotswold District Council, Council Chamber, Main Offices, Trinity Road, Cirencester GL7 1PX. Please call 01285 623000 and speak to a customer services advisor to book your place and make payment quoting payment reference R9606 REG002.
  • Forest of Dean District Council, Council Chamber, Council Offices, High Street, Coleford GL16 8HG. Please call 01594 810000 and speak to a customer services advisor to book your place and make payment quoting payment reference R9606 REG002.

The current cost of the course is £40.00 and will take approximately 3 hours to complete.

Upcoming courses

  • Tuesday 16 January 2024 - 10:15 a.m. - Cotswold District Council
  • Wednesday 24 January 2024 - 10:15 a.m. - Tewkesbury Borough Council
  • Tuesday 13 February 2024 - 10:15 a.m. - Cotswold District Council
  • Tuesday 27 February 2024 - 10:15 a.m. - Gloucester City Council
  • Tuesday 5 March 2024 - 10:15 a.m. - Forest of Dean District Council
  • Wednesday 20 March 2024 - 10:15 a.m. - Tewkesbury Borough Council
  • Monday 8 April 2024 - 10:15 a.m. - Cotswold District Council

 

Book a Taxi Driving Assessment Test

You will need to take a Taxi Driving Assessment Test with a provider recognised by Cotswold District Council. The current recognised provider is Diamond Advanced Motorists who offer assessments. You can book your place on their course through the following link https://advancedmotoring.co.uk/taxi-tests/  The current cost is £85. 

Checklist iconMake a note on your checklist of the date when you took the taxi driving assessment test and your certificate details. Keep your certificate information safe. 

Know Your Tax Responsibilities as a Taxi Driver

From 1 April 2022, all taxi drivers have to confirm that they are aware of their tax payment responsibilities on our application form if they are applying for a new taxi drivers licence. The change in this law has come about for taxi drivers (and scrap metal dealers) because of historic cases of tax evasion centred around these trades. 

It is important to make you aware that it is your responsibility to arrange how to pay your tax on earnings and have your arrangements in place from the start of when you are licensed to trade as a taxi driver. You will be asked to show evidence of how you pay your tax on your renewal date. The evidence must cover the year you have been operating, therefore you will be asked to sign the declaration on our application form that you are aware of this requirement. 

You’ll need to complete a tax check when you renew your licence as a:

  • driver of a taxi (hackney carriage)
  • driver of a private hire vehicle (and dual licences)

Complete a tax check on GOV.UK

Checklist iconMake a note on your checklist of the date you read the information on your tax responsibilities. 

National Register of Refusals and Revocations (NR3)

Cotswold District Council has signed up to be part of the National Register of Refusals and Revocations (NR3).  It keeps track of those individuals who have been refused a taxi driver licence or had a taxi driver licence revoked in another area. NR3 helps us as a licensing authority fulfil our statutory duty to be satisfied that a person is a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

If we find a match with an applicant we will contact the licensing authority that recorded the entry for further information. Any information received will only be used in respect of the licence application.

If we revoke an existing licence or refuse a new or renewal application we will automatically record this on NR3.

The information recorded will be only:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • address and contact details
  • National Insurance Number
  • driving licence number
  • decision taken
  • date of decision
  • date decision effective

Information will be retained for 25 years.

Privacy notice

Read our privacy notice for what we do with any personal data.

NR3 policy

Our NR3 policy provides the approach we will take to processing requests by other authorities for further information about entries on the register, and about how we will use further information provided to us. 

You do not have any actions to take for the NR3 check. This is completed by us when we are processing your application, but you must be aware of the register. In particular you need to be aware of how your future actions could lead to refusal or revoking of your taxi driver licence. 

Checklist iconMake a note on your checklist of the date you read the information here on how we use the National Register of Refusals and Revocations (NR3). 

Evidence of English Proficiency 

Asking you to provide evidence of your spoken English is a requirement under our Policy of granting Taxi Driver Licensing in Cotswold District Council. This is to make sure you are able to communicate clearly with your customers and other members of the public as you carry out your taxi driving activities in Cotswold District Council areas. You will need to provide one of the following:

  • GCSE (or equivalent) in a subject such as English Language or Literature
  • A degree in a subject containing substantial English content
  • An NVQ or BTEC in a subject that requires its students to communicate well in English

If you are unable to supply one of the three types of evidence listed above, please take an English Proficiency Test. The certificate for this type of test is another option. Follow the link to the govt.uk list of accepted providers of the English proficient test. You will need to book, pay for and pass the test. 

Checklist iconMake a note on your checklist of the evidence you are using for your evidence of English Proficiency 

The Taxi Driver Licence Application Form

You will need all your evidence for each section of the form to hand when you are completing the application. If you have completed the checklist, you will have each item ready and it will save you time. 

This application form is used for:

  • New applicants wanting a Taxi Driver’s Licence to drive in Cotswold District
  • Drivers wanting to renew their taxi drivers licence to drive in Cotswold District
  • Drivers wanting to apply for a dual licence (HC/PLV) where they currently hold just a PLV licence

Advice to help you complete your Application Form

Complete the application carefully using the evidence you have gathered on your checklist. Double check all your entries. We recommend that you ask another person to do a final check for you. 

You will need:

  • A recent passport size photo 
  • A cheque made payable to Cotswold District Council
    OR a direct debit card to make a payment over the phone by calling customer services on 01285 623000 or through our online facility.

Your Payment Options and Sending Your Application to us

Application online?

Complete all the form sections, make payment with a direct debit card when asked by our payment system.  Make a note of your payment receipt number on the application form next to the fee . Move to the next screen  which will guide you to attach your application form, your checklist (optional) and other supporting evidence. Make a copy of your passport sized photo (scan or take a photo on a mobile phone and send to yourself as an image. Attach when requested by the system. Finally check back through the checklist that you have included all items. You will receive and automatic message to let you know we have received your payment and application securely. 

Application by post?

  • Download a copy of the application form and print out
  • Complete all the form sections in black ink
  • Make payment by calling 01285 623000 with a direct debit card
  • Make a note of your payment receipt number on the application form next to the fee. Alternatively send a cheque with your paper application form made payable to Cotswold District Council (Please do not send in post dated cheques; this will delay your application)
  • Include your photo and all evidence documents
  • Post your completed application to the above address with your photo, payment and evidence. 
  • Check back through the checklist that you have included all items.

Application in person?

  • Download a copy of the application form and print out
  • Complete all the form sections in black ink
  • Make payment by calling 01285 623000 with a direct debit card.
  • Make a note of your payment receipt number on the application form next to the fee. Alternatively include a cheque with your paper application form made payable to Cotswold District Council. Include your photo and all evidence documents (Please do not use post dated cheques; this will delay your application).
  • Bring your application to reception at Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester. Gloucestershire. GL7 1PX.

No printing option? We are happy to print a copy of the application form for you and send to your home address or place at our front desk in reception at Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester. Gloucestershire. GL7 1PX ready for you to pick up in person. Just call 01285 623000 to request this.

What happens now your Application is with us?

Application arrives with us

Your application will be electronically or manually date stamped when it arrives safely with us. We will let you know when we have received your application. 

Application is checked for completeness

A member of our team will open on screen (if your application is in paper format, we will scan it in so we can then work on it online) and carry out a number of checks to pre-validate your application form. This just means making sure that all the items we have asked for are there.

If there is anything missing, the team member will call or email you and list what they need from you so that they can send your application onto a Licensing Officer to assess. You can see the benefit of getting all your information ready before you make an application: complete applications move quickly to the next stage. 

Licensing Officer Assessment

From your ‘complete’ application entering the assessment process it will take five working days or less to reach a Licensing decision. 

The decision can be:

  • Licence is granted
  • Licence needs more supporting evidence 
  • Licence application evidence means it needs to go to the licensing committee (there is normally some unusual aspects to your application for this to be needed) 
  • Licence is not granted - you will be told of the reasons for this decision. 

We will let you know what is happening at this stage.

Meeting with the Licensing Officer

A Licensing Officer will need to meet you at the final stage of granting your licence. This is to carry out the checks for them to confirm that you are a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold a taxi driver licence in the Cotswold District Council area. This is part of our statutory duties. It is also an opportunity to ask questions and it is helpful to check you know what happens when you come to renew your licence.  

The Licensing Officer will contact you to arrange a short meeting with you. We may be asked to share your information with The Home Office to prove your right to work in the UK, you will need to use either: Your UK passport or provide your Right to Work passcode.

What to expect when your Licence is granted

You will receive a set of licence plates depending on which taxi driver licence you have applied for: 

Private Hire (You can drive only Private Licensed Vehicles as a Taxi Driver)

Hackney Carriage (You can drive only Hackney Carriage Taxis as a Taxi Driver)

Dual Licence (This means you can drive both Hackney Carriage Taxis and Private Hire Licensed Vehicles)

You will get information in your pack to show you where you must display your badge on your vehicle and on your person to follow the terms of your licence. Your plates will show your vehicle registration, make and colour of your car. 

The Licence plate pack is posted out to you at your home address. We will contact you to confirm your pack is ready to be posted out. Please allow for three working days for the pack to reach you in the post. Please do not come into the council offices speculatively and ask for your pack. The items are made using specialist equipment.

Congratulations on achieving your new taxi driving licence to operate within the Cotswold District Council area, when this is awarded!  We understand that it may have felt like a lot to do. The good news is that the renewal process will be more straightforward and is based on the evidence completed by you for your first licence. 

It is important to note, that when you are licensed as a person to drive in the Cotswold District Council area, you will need to get your vehicle licensed too if you are self-employed. If you drive for an operator they are responsible for the vehicle checks on a car you drive for them. 

Welcome to the community of Licensed Taxi Drivers working in the Cotswold District Council area, on becoming licensed.