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Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing

Notes for Applicants for Hackney Carriage and/or Private Hire Driver Licences

Please read these notes prior to applying to take a Knowledge Test.

1.  Applicants must be over 21 years of age, must have held a full driving licence for at least 12 months and have a right to work in the United Kingdom.  They must also be adjudged by the Council to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

2.  A knowledge test must be passed.  The test costs £25.00.  Guidance notes will be provided for your test once a booking is made.  On passing the knowledge test all necessary application forms will be sent to you.

3.  The following must be supplied and the necessary checks will be carried out:  

  • Complete application form *
  • Valid DVLA photocard driving licence
  • 2 recent passport-size photographs
  • Evidence of your right to work in the United Kingdom
  • Disclosure & Barring Service check *
  • DVLA Driving Licence check
  • Medical check *

*fee applies

4.  Disclosure & Barring Service Check: This check will be repeated every 3 years. Should your work include school contract work please be advised that we are unable to carry out a check suitable for this type of work.

When submitting an application for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver’s licence you are required to declare any convictions or cautions you may have.  Convictions, whether 'spent' or 'unspent' under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as amended) will be taken into consideration.  The information you give will be treated in confidence and will only be taken into account in relation to your application.  You should be aware that the licensing authority is empowered, in law, to check for the existence and content of any criminal record held in the name of an applicant.  Information received from the DBS will be kept in strict confidence while the licensing process takes its course and will be retained for no longer than is necessary.  The disclosure of a criminal record or other information will not automatically debar you from gaining a licence unless the authority considers that the conviction renders you unsuitable.  In making the decision the authority will consider the nature of the offence, how long ago and what age you were when it was committed and any other factors which may be relevant.  Northants County Council adheres to the DBS Code of Practice.  If you wish to have a copy of this please contact Human Resources.

You are required to complete the Disclosure & Barring Service form provided by the Council and ensure you have the relevant documentation.  After making an appointment you must bring the DBS form into the Council with your application for officers to complete as part of your Drivers Licence Application.  You must read the form thoroughly to

The DBS only issue their certificates to applicants and you will need to present the original certificate to the Council as soon as you receive it.

You may wish to use another countersignatory other than the Council to have your DBS form countersigned (i.e. in order to do school contract work), however, your certificate must be an enhanced level of DBS check and a countersignatory must tick the boxes “are you entitled to know whether the applicant is barred from working with children” and “are you entitled to know whether the applicant is barred from working with adults”.  Should another countersignatory be used, their DBS forms must be provided to you.  The Council forms can only be countersigned by this office. 

Visit GOV.UK for full information regarding DBS checks.

5.  DVLA Driving Licence check:  A check will be carried out with the DVLA of the authenticity of your driving licence - please note your DVLA licence must show your current address.  This check will be repeated every 3 years.

6.  Medical check: A doctor will need to examine you and complete a DVLA Group 2 Medical.  Information can be found at GOV.UK.  An appointment will be made with Kettering Borough Council’s occupational health advisers once the correct payment has been received.    

7.  Please ensure that all questions on the application form are answered fully in order to avoid any delay in dealing with your application.  Incomplete applications will not be processed.

8.  The licence fee payable on application is set by the Council and may be revised from time to time.  

9.  A Hackney Carriage / Private Hire driver’s licence will remain in force until the expiry date stated on the licence, unless suspended or revoked by the Council.  The licence will be subject to conditions.

10.  Any person aggrieved by the refusal of the Council to grant a licence, or by any conditions attached to it, may appeal to a Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of notification by the Council.

The information provided in your application may be shared with other agencies for the prevention and detection of fraud.