To drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle you need to have a taxi driver's licence.
You can apply for a new licence if you have the right to work in the UK and have held a full driving licence for at least 12 months.
If you already have a licence which is about to expire, find out how to renew a taxi driver's licence.
To apply for a new licence you need to:
- pass a taxi driver theory test and attend a safeguarding training session;
- complete a driving assessment;
- pass an enhanced DBS check;
- have medical clearance to Group 2 standards;
- provide two character references (and a Certificate of Good Character from a relevant embassy if required);
- submit an online application, including uploading evidence that you've completed all of the above.
You may be required to appear before our Licensing Regulatory Board if there's any doubt as to your fitness to hold a licence (such as criminal convictions) before we'll issue you with one. If you've previously applied for a licence and had your application refused, or if you had your licence from us revoked for any reason, you can't apply for a new licence for five years.
Licences are available for either a one or three year period.
The fee for a one year licence is £137 and for a three year licence is £221.
You need to pay additional fees to take the taxi driver theory test, the driving assessment, complete your DBS check, and for a medical assessment if this is chargeable.
How to apply
You need to complete each of the steps below to apply for a licence.
Although there's no specific order for completion, we only accept DBS check certificates, medical examination reports and character references dated within three months of the day you submit your online application. For this reason we recommend completing the theory test and driving assessment first, followed by the DBS check, medical clearance and character reference steps.
Please note, due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions we're not currently running the theory test and safeguarding training sessions. This means:
- if you've already passed the theory test and attended the safeguarding training session before 20 March 2020, you can still apply for a new taxi driver's licence
- if you haven't already passed the theory test and attended the safeguarding training session, you won't currently be able to apply for a new taxi driver's licence
We'll update this webpage when this changes and theory tests are available to book.
Theory test and safeguarding training
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions we're not currently running the theory test and safeguarding training sessions. We'll update this webpage when this changes.
If you've already passed the theory test and attended the safeguarding training session before 20 March 2020, you can still continue to apply for a new taxi driver's licence.
If you haven't already passed the theory test and attended the safeguarding training session, you won't currently be able to apply for a new taxi driver's licence until these are available to book again.
You need to complete a driving assessment through either The Blue Lamp Trust or Taxi Driving Solutions.
The Blue Lamp Trust driving tests can be booked online or by phone on 0333 700 0157. Book a driving test online through The Blue Lamp Trust.
KPCOHSP offer the standard taxi assessment as well as an enhanced assessment – this includes a wheelchair exercise. Bookings can be made by phone on 0774 7086142, or text message by texting ‘Taxi Bookings Barnsley’.
You'll receive a certificate after passing your assessment. You need to upload a copy of this when completing your taxi driver's licence online application.
Enhanced DBS check
You need to pass an enhanced DBS check that's been completed by Barnsley Council's DBS checking service. There's a fee for the check to be completed which you'll need to pay when you request the check to be done.
Phone (01226) 773428 to make an appointment to complete your check. You'll need to provide proof of your National Insurance number and address, and have your driving licence and a valid passport (if you have one).
When your check's complete you'll receive a certificate through the post. You need to upload a copy of this when completing your taxi driver's licence online application. This must be within three months of the date on your certificate.
Please note, it can take several weeks for you to receive your certificate. You need to contact the Disclosure and Barring Service if you have any queries or want to track the progress of your DBS check.
You need to meet the Group 2 UK medical standards for driver licensing to be issued with a taxi driver's licence.
To confirm you meet this you need to either:
- print our medical examination report and have this completed and signed by a doctor. The report includes a vision assessment which can be completed by either a doctor or optician. You may have to pay a fee to your doctor and/or optician to carry out your medical assessment.
- hold a valid HGV or PSV licence for which you received medical clearance to obtain.
You need to upload a copy of your medical examination report or your HGV/PSV licence when completing your taxi driver's licence online application. This must be within three months of the date on your medical examination report.
You need to provide two character references from people who have known you personally for at least three years, and who support your application to be granted a taxi driver's licence.
You need to print our character reference questionnaire and have this filled in and signed by both of your referees.
Referees must be a householder or Council Tax payer and either a minister of religion, a school teacher, a lawyer, a bank officer, a senior public official, or other responsible person. Your referees must not be one of your near relatives or anyone who's connected with the taxi trade.
You need to upload a copy of your character reference questionnaire when completing your taxi driver's licence online application. This must be within three months of the date your referees signed your questionnaire.
Certificates of Good Character
You also need to provide a Certificate of Good Character from the relevant embassy if:
- you were born outside of the UK; or
- you've been outside of the UK for a continuous period of eight weeks or more since birth.
If either of these apply, you need to upload a copy of your Certificate of Good Character when completing your taxi driver's licence online application.
When you've completed all of the other steps, you need to fill in our online application and pay for a one or three year licence.
In the online form you need to:
- confirm you've read our:
- upload copies of your:
- proof of right to work in the UK (for example: birth certificate, valid passport or residence permit. If you're not a UK national you may need to provide two forms of evidence; see the list of evidence you can use as proof of your right to work in the UK)
- driving assessment certificate
- enhanced DBS check certificate
- medical examination report (or HGV/PSV licence)
- character reference questionnaire
- Certificate of Good Character (if applicable)
- give us details of any convictions, including motoring offences and if you've ever attended a speed awareness course;
- provide a DVLA check code generated from the GOV.UK website, to share your driving licence information with us;
- upload a photo that will be used on your licence badge that meets the passport-standard rules for digital photos.
If your application's successful we'll email your new licence and post your badge to you. You'll usually receive these within 10 working days. We'll email you if we need any more information to process your application.
If your application's not successful we'll email you to let you know the reason for our decision.
A taxi driver's licence does not allow you to drive a minibus with more than eight seats; you need a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence for this.
You can apply for a PSV licence on the GOV.UK website.
The following documents apply to both new and existing drivers, and cover our licence conditions, code of good conduct and policy for assessing a 'fit and proper person' for a taxi driver's licence.