Apply for a new taxi driver's licence

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.

New licences

To apply for a new licence you need to:

  • pass a taxi driver theory test and attend a safeguarding training session. (Please read the theory test guidance and taxi and private hire licensing policy before booking your test.)
  • 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. (As part of this you'll need to upload evidence 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 applied for a licence before 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 for the taxi driver theory test, driving assessment, 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 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.

Theory test and safeguarding training

You can book a taxi driver theory test online. The fee for this is £65.

The test lasts for 70 minutes and takes place in the IT suite at Library @ the Lightbox in Barnsley town centre. If it's the first time you've sat the test you'll also need to attend a safeguarding training session on the same day. The safeguarding session takes place at Barnsley Town Hall. You can view our safeguarding presentation before the session if you want to do this.

If you fail the theory test you'll have to:

  • pay the fee again if you want to re-sit the test
  • wait at least six months before re-sitting the test if you've already failed it three times within a 12-month period.

Preparing for your theory test

The theory test is made up of 80 questions split into five sections. You need to correctly answer at least 12 questions in each section to pass the test. Most of the questions are multiple choice. For these you need to choose the correct the answer from the four possible ones given.

Before attending your test you should prepare by reading the:

Attending your test

You must bring a form of photo ID, such as a driving licence or a passport, to the test and safeguarding training session. If you don't bring this you won't be able to sit the exam or complete the training. You won't receive a refund of your booking fee due to this.

Please wear a face covering when attending, and bring your own drink if you think you may need one.

Booking your test

You can book your test using our online form below.

The £65 fee for the test is non-refundable, and there's an additional fee if you need to change the date of your test after you've booked it. (This additional fee is £35 if you change your booking four days or more before your test date, or an additional £65 if it's three days or less until your test date).

Please make sure you've read the theory test guidance and other supporting documents to prepare before you book your test.

If you can't attend after booking your test due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you're unable to attend your test after booking as you're self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you should contact us online before your test date and we'll refund your booking fee.

If you don't contact us before your test date to let us know you're self-isolating, you won't receive a refund for your booking. If you want to attend another test you'll need to book and pay again.

Driving assessment

You need to complete a driving assessment through The Blue Lamp Trust or Taxi Driving Solutions. These are external companies and you should only contact them to book a driving assessment.

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.

Email to request an appointment to complete your check. At your appointment you'll need to provide proof of your National Insurance number and address. You'll also need 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 also need to sign up for the DBS Update Service when you apply for a taxi driver's licence, so we can access your DBS information. If you don't sign up for the DBS Update Service your application may be refused. You'll also fail our six-monthly DBS checks and your licence may be suspended or revoked.

Medical clearance

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 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 report.

Character references

You need to provide two character references from people who have known you personally for at least three years. Both people should 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,
  • school teacher
  • lawyer
  • bank officer
  • senior public official
  • 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 have, from the age of 10 years old, spent six continuous months or more living outside the United Kingdom.

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.

Online application

When you've completed all of the other steps, you need to fill in our online application. You'll also need to pay for a one or three year licence.

In the online form you need to:

  • confirm you've read our taxi and private hire licensing policy

  • confirm you agree to us checking your information against the national register of taxi licence refusals and revocations (NR3)

  • 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

  • confirm your tax responsibilities by either:
    • confirming you're aware of your tax registration obligations (Pay As You Earn, Self Assessment and/or Corporation Tax obligations) if you're applying for a taxi driver's licence for the first time. You can also do this if you've previously held a licence but this ceased to be valid over a year ago; or
    • providing a tax check code generated from the GOV.UK website if you've previously held a taxi driver's licence that ceased to be valid less than a year ago. You can also do this if you already hold a taxi driver's licence with another licensing authority.

  • 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 daysWe'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.

Minibus licences

A taxi driver's licence does not allow you to drive a minibus with more than eight seats. To do this, you need a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence.

You can apply for a PSV licence on the GOV.UK website.