Taxi & minicab licence

Local authorities are responsible for licensing hackney carriages, private hire vehicles, drivers and private hire operators.

The latest information regarding taxi licensing in Northumberland, and how this is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Please check the drop down boxes below for the new online renewal application forms and information about renewing your license.
To renew your hackney carriage / private hire drivers licence, please click here which will take you to the new online application form.

As part of the application process, you will need to attach the required documents including your driver's licence, passport, bank statement and council tax bill. 

Please note that you will need to provide proof of payment with your application, therefore you are required to pay the licence fee before you complete the online application form. Payment can be made using the clicking here

If you require a DBS Certificate the fee is £145.00 for one licence or £175.00 for two licences.  

If you are on the DBS update service, the fees are as follows:  
  • One year - £78.00 single licence (£108.00 two licences)  
  • Two years - £112.00 single licence (£142.00 two licences) 
  • Three years - £146.00 single licence (£176.00 two licences)  
If you are on the DBS update service, you will need to take a copy of your DBS certificate to add to the application. If you are not on the DBS update service, you will need to apply for a new DBS.  

You can apply for a new DBS by clicking here.

Organisation reference:  NCCPPL  
Password: NCC 

You will also need to provide us with a DVLA activation code which you can get by clicking here. This code is case sensitive, please record as capital letters or small case letters.
To renew your private hire vehicle licence, please click here which will take you to the new online application form.

The fee for a hackney carriage/private hire vehicle licence is £226.00 or where the vehicle is LPG or bio-diesel £204.00. 

Please note that you will need to provide proof of payment with your application, therefore you are required to pay the licence fee before you complete the online application form. 

Payment can be made by clicking here.  

Please book your MOT/Compliance test at one of the Northumberland County Council garages below: -
  • Alnwick Depot – 01670 624392  
  • Stakeford Depot – 01670 622937  
  • Tyne Mills Depot – 01670 623746  
Should you require any further information, please contact us at licensing@northumberland.gov.uk.
We are now processing new driver applications. Please email licensing@northumberland.gov.uk to book your knowledge test and Child & Adult Sexual Exploitation Training (CASE). Once you have passed the knowledge/locality test a member of the team will send you a private hire and/or hackney carriage drivers application form together with a group 2 medical application to be completed by your GP. Applicants should enquire with their GP as soon as possible as to whether they can access appointments for medical certificates. Licences cannot be granted without satisfactory medical certificates. 

 

Knowledge tests

You will need to pass a knowledge test which is now remote on a one to one basis and conducted via a virtual meeting using either microsoft teams or Google meet. To book a knowledge test please email licensing@northumberland.gov.uk A member of the team will take your payment and book you onto the next available test or at a time convenient to you. Please note there is a short waiting list at present. 

Child & Adult Sexual Exploitation Training (CASE)

As a temporary measure, CASE training is also currently being conducted remotely. To book onto the training please email licensing@northumberland.gov.uk A member of the team will take your payment and book you onto the next available training session. 
Applications are being processed but proprietors should contact the licensing section to discuss. 
 
The preferred contact method with the licensing department is by e-mail: 

Department for Transport (DfT)

Following the Prime Ministers announcement on 22nd September 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) laid a Statutory Instrument in both Houses of Parliament to mandate the wearing of face coverings in taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) in England under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. This regulation has now come into effect.   
  
In line with public transport and retail settings the Regulations gives new powers to taxi and PHV drivers to deny access to a service, and to direct someone to leave a service, if they are not wearing a face covering without a legitimate reason.  If passengers fail to comply, the Police have a power to remove passengers from a service (using reasonable force if necessary), and issue a Fixed Penalty Notice. The requirement only applies when a service is being provided i.e. passengers are not required to wear a face covering when the vehicle is used for personal use. 
  
We always recommended that passengers wear face coverings in PHVs and taxis and moving to mandating this is a reasonable additional step to take to reduce the risk of infection when used alongside other measures. We will also be working with taxi and PHV operators and drivers to ensure that all passengers are aware of the exemptions to this regulation. There are health, age, equalities and other reasons why someone may not be able to wear a face covering. It is crucial that operators and passengers are aware of these exemptions to ensure that everyone can have confidence in using public transport. DfT will publish updated guidance as soon as possible for operators and passengers on travelling safely during the outbreak. The guidance will reflect the latest information about face coverings. I would be grateful if you could share the change and the updated guidance with your licensees.
 
We would also like to take this opportunity to draw your attention a number of assets which DfT are creating to support our stakeholders to communicate this change. The assets will contain messages around how to ensure both drivers and customers are kept safe, as well as messaging on exemptions. They will be made available https://extranet.dft.gov.uk/safer-transport-campaign/ shortly alongside the existing assets we have available. Please do cascade these assets and resources to your members/networks.   
 
The following COVID guidance pages have been updated: 

A hackney carriage is a public transport vehicle with no more than eight passenger seats and is licensed for customers to hire. It may stand at ranks, be hailed in the street by members of the public, or can be used on a pre-booked basis.


Hackney Carriage licensing - Coronavirus updates

Click here to see the latest information about hackney carriage licensing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As a result of local government reorganisation in Northumberland, there are currently six hackney carriage zones:

  1. Alnwick 

  2. Berwick-upon-Tweed 

  3. Blyth Valley 

  4. Castle Morpeth 

  5. Tynedale

  6. Wansbeck 

A hackney carriage licensed in one zone may not be licensed for hire in another in Northumberland, or elsewhere in the country. Relevant bylaws apply to each zone, to control the conduct of both proprietors and drivers.
The law allows a council to require that a hackney carriage is clearly identified through design features. The council has applied standards for hackney carriages to ensure they are:

  • suitable in type, size and design
  • in a suitable mechanical condition
  • safe
  • comfortable

In addition to the above general requirements, the council has exercised its discretion to apply the following standards:

  • clear display of a licence plate provided by the council on the exterior of the vehicle. It must be securely attached to the rear of the vehicle by rivets, bolts or screws, an alternative location may be agreed upon to accommodate the vehicle design.
  • fitted with an approved taxi meter and sealed to the satisfaction of the council
  • clear display of a council-supplied door marker, placed centrally on each of the front doors of the vehicle. The markers are to be securely fixed to the vehicle doors at all times.
  • fitted with a roof sign of a particular size and design. Please see here for more details about Hackney Carriage roof signs.
  • display the vehicle licensing details inside the vehicle in a form provided by the council
  • permit any passenger to communicate with the driver, either directly or through an approved communication system
  • have adequate space for luggage and folded wheelchair
  • each individual seat must be a minimum of 400mm (16") in width. The council may reduce the permitted number of passengers specified by the vehicle manufacturer. The licensing officer will determine this if the seating doesn’t conform, or for other reasons associated with the comfort and safety of passengers.

Applications for a new hackney carriage vehicle licence must demonstrate a vehicle suitable in type, size and construction to carry people in wheelchairs.

 
Annual vehicle fee (including door insignia and plate) £226
Annual LPG fee (including door insignia and plate) £204
Replacement plate £28
Replacement insignias £9 each
 
Private hire vehicles must have no more than eight passenger seats and must be booked in advance through a licensed private hire operator. They cannot be hired in the street.

Private hire licensing - Coronavirus updates

Click here to see the latest information about private hire vehicle licensing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Any vehicle used as a private hire vehicle must be licensed under section 48(1)(a) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, which requires the council to be satisfied that any vehicle is:
  • suitable in type, size and design 
  • not have a design and appearance that may lead a person to believe it is a hackney carriage
  • in a suitable, safe mechanical condition
  • comfortable
In addition to the statutory requirements as set out above, the council has exercised its discretion and private hire vehicles must also:
  • not be fitted with a roof sign of any description. This could lead a person to believe that the vehicle is a hackney carriage.
  • clearly display a licence plate provided by the council on the exterior of the rear of the vehicle. This must be securely attached to the vehicle by rivets, bolts or screws.
  • display a door marker supplied by the council centrally on each of the front doors of the vehicle. The markers should be securely fixed to vehicle doors at all times.
  • display the vehicle licensing details inside the vehicle in a form provided by the council.
  • permit any passenger to communicate with the driver, either directly or through an approved communication system.
  • have a boot or load carrying area with adequate space for the safe and secure storage of luggage. Saloon or estate vehicles should not have this area within the passenger compartment. This area should never interfere with the safe access and exit of passengers and the minimum space required must allow a folded wheelchair to be carried.
If the vehicle is fitted with a meter, it must be properly tested, sealed and approved by the council.
The seating capacity of the vehicle will be determined by the council. Each individual seat must be a minimum of 400mm (16") in width. If the seating does not conform to this, or if the comfort and safety of the passengers is questioned, the council may reduce the permitted number of passengers.
 
Annual vehicle fee (including door insignia and plate) £226
Annual LPG fee (including door insignia and plate) £204
Replacement plate £28
Replacement insignias £9 each
Vehicle transfer between licensees fee £33
 
To issue a licence, the council must be satisfied the applicant is fit to hold a driver’s licence and has been entitled to drive a motor car for at least 12 months.

Driver licensing - Coronavirus updates

Click here to see the latest information about driver licensing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The council’s duty is to ensure that conditions are met, and each applicant must be able to demonstrate this. In addition to the statutory requirements, the council will exercise its discretion and all applicants are subject to additional conditions.

All new applicants for driver’s licences will be required to:
  • pass a test
  • submit a medical certificate
  • provide access to their driving entitlement/endorsements
  • apply for an enhanced disclosure and barring service certificate (DBS) 
  • provide proof of their identity and entitlement to work in the UK
Please click here for a sample list of questions you may get on the Hackney Carriage test

DBS Applications:
We are now offering applicants the opportunity to use an online system to submit DBS applications.

The website address is: disclosure.capitarvs.co.uk/nereo/
The organisation reference is: NCCPPL
Password:  NCC

Please click here for guidance notes on this system.

For specific queries regarding medical issues or criminal convictions, please contact the licensing section for informal advice.
National Register (NR3)

Northumberland County Council has signed up to the national register of revoked and refused hackney carriage and private hire drivers (known as NR3). As such, any driver who has had their drivers licence revoked, or had their application refused, will have their details recorded on this register.

This is being done to protect the public by ensuring that licensing authorities are aware of drivers who have been refused or revoked when determining whether a new licence application should be granted.

If you have had or have your driver’s licence revoked, or a driver’s application refused, your details will be submitted to the NR3 register.

For more information on this matter please refer to our policy on the National Register of Taxi Licence Revocations and Refusals (NR3).
 
Driver annual fee (including badge) £78
Driver fee (two year licence) £112
Driver fee (three year licence) £146
Replacement badge £12
Additional drivers for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire £30
Replacement badge £12
Driver knowledge test (initial test) £23
Driver knowledge test (re-sit) £23
DBS application fee £44
DBS admin fee £23
 
A Private Hire vehicle may only be dispatched to a customer by a person or a company that holds an operator's licence. Such a licence permits the operator to invite or accept bookings for a Private Hire vehicle.

Here you will find information on licensing fees.