Driver Taxi Licence

By licensing and regularly checking the drivers, operators and vehicles, the council is able to ensure that the public are offered as safe a service as possible.

Following a consultation process between 1 November 2017 and 5 January 2018, a new taxi licensing policy was approved by full cabinet and will come into effect on 1 April 2018.

A knowledge test will be compulsory from 1 April 2018 for all new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers, and only those passing the test will be granted a licence. This is to ensure that all drivers have a good understanding of the area, places of interest, English and arithmetic. 

South Cambridgeshire District Council's licensing service issues licenses to allow the operation of a private hire service within the district as defined under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the Town Police Clauses Act 1847.

South Cambridgeshire District Council issues two types of licences for drivers, a Hackney Carriage driver licence and a Private Hire driver licence. These are two separate licences and therefore if any person wishes to hold both a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver licences they are required to submit two separate applications.

The Public Register of Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers is now available.

Private Hire Driver

Private hire vehicles can only undertake pre-booked work. Almost all vehicles in the South Cambridgeshire district are private hire, as the district does not contain taxi ranks. The licence allows the licensee to undertake pre-booked work through an SCDC licensed operator. This licence is normally valid for three years

Hackney Carriage Driver

Hackney Carriage taxis can apply for hire only within the South Cambridgeshire district but can undertake pre-booked work from anywhere. The licence allows the licensee to drive a Hackney Carriage taxi only. This licence is normally valid for three years.

What is the cost of a driver taxi licence?

  1. Grant - £220.00
  2. Renewal - £120.00
  3. Fee for knowledge base test for drivers  - £50.00
  4. Replacement badge - £10.00

*Criminal Records Check - £53.90

*DVLA Mandate - £8.00

*These charges are to be added to your application fee for Grant or Renewal. The Criminal Records Check fee is subject to change as the Council does not determine this fee.

How to apply for your taxi licence

Driving Licence

All applicants for a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licence must have held a DVLA approved licence for at least 12 months.

All applicants must complete a DVLA Mandate.


It is essential that licensed drivers are in good health as they are expected to carry passengers’ luggage, will drive on the road for longer periods than most car drivers, and may need to assist disabled passengers. The council must be satisfied that the drivers it licenses are sufficiently fit to undertake the tasks expected of them.

The DVLA, The Royal Society of Medicine and the DfT recommend and consider it best practice for licensed drivers (hackney carriage and private hire) to be subject to the DVLA group 2 medical requirements. The DVLA group 2 medical is a recognised national standard developed by DVLA for bus and lorry drivers

To ensure that public safety is protected, the council has chosen to adopt this best practice and to require all new and renewal applicants to obtain and submit a group 2 medical report with their application for new licences and renewals.

The medical form must be completed, signed and stamped by a doctor. The medical must be less than three months old when presented at the application appointment.

Driving Skills Assessment

All new applicants must have successfully completed a driving skills assessment. We will accept certificates that are less than one year old from the following bodies:

AA DriveTech

Telephone: 03453 731 360

Diamond Advanced Motorists

Telephone: 020 8253 0120


Telephone: 0121 248 2099

Institute of Advanced Motorists

Telephone: 0300 303 1134

Note – all charges for these tests are set by the relevant bodies and are subject to change without any prior notification, and are out of the control, of South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Proof of Right to Work

The council has a statutory obligation to ensure that applicants have the legal right to work in the UK prior to issuing a licence. The issuing or refusing of licences will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Act 2016

All applicants must provide proof of right to work at time of application. We will only accept original documents. Please see attached for the Home Office Employers Right to Work checklist.

Certificate of Good Character

Applicants who have not been resident within the British Isles for a full and continuous five years, but with permissions to undertake Hackney Carriage or Private Hire work will be required to submit a certificate of good character signed and stamped by the relative Embassy or Police (as required by individual countries).

The certificate must be translated into English and delivered as part of the application and will only is accepted if less than three months old at time of submission.


All drivers will be required to take part in a safeguarding course as set out by the council in order to obtain a recognised certification.

Knowledge test

Once all of the above is completed you can contact us at to book an appointment for the knowledge test. The knowledge test is for both new Private Hire and Hackney Carriage applicants. The knowledge test is a one hour test, under exam conditions. In order to pass, you must achieve minimum pass rates in each of the following categories:

  • General (7 from 10 questions)
  • Points of Interest (7 from 10 questions)
  • Numeracy (7 from 11 questions)
  • Conditions (6 from 8 questions)
  • Highway code (7 from 10 questions)
  • Road signs (6 from 8 questions)
  • Shortest routes (2 from 3 questions)

The cost of this test is £50.00 payable at the time of booking.


Once the applicant has passed the knowledge test we will require the following original documents to complete the application:

  • The DSA driving test pass certificate (new applicants only – must be less than 12 months old)
  • Completed application form
  • Completed medical form (PSV,HGV current drivers maybe exempt)
  • Completed DVLA mandate
  • Proof of Right to Work
  • Application fee
  • DVLA fee

What is the charge for the licence?

  1. Grant - £220.00
  2. Renewal - £120.00
  3. Fee for knowledge base test for drivers  - £50.00
  4. Replacement badge - £10.00

*Criminal Records Check - £53.90

*DVLA Mandate - £8.00

*These charges are to be added to your application fee for Grant or Renewal. The Criminal Records Check fee is subject to change as the Council does not determine this fee.

DBS Certificate

Applicants are required to produce an original Enhanced DBS certificate for the application to be considered. The certificate should be dated within one month from issue at the time of submission. Checks should be other workforce – Private Hire Driver and the barred checks should be adults and children.

An online check for an Enhanced DBS check can be carried out at out by our officers at the time of appointment. The fee is payable online by card at the time of application will be £53.90 (subject to review).

In order to process the DBS (criminal record checks) online, you will need to provide the following original documentation at the time of submitting the application:

  • Valid Passport
  • Current DVLA Driving licence
  • Proof of National Insurance number
  • 1 x Passport photograph

Two different proofs of name and addresses from the following list:

  • Credit card, bank or benefit statement (less than 3 months old)
  • Utility bill (not mobile phone bill) (less than 3 months old)
  • Council tax or Mortgage statement (less than 12 months old)
  • P60 or P45 statement (less than 12 months old)

DBS Update Service

If you have subscribed to the DBS update service you must bring in the original DBS certificate.  We will not be able to complete the check without this certificate. 

All new and renewal drivers will as part of their conditions of licensing with South Cambridgeshire District Council have to register with the update service from GOV.UK.  Failure to do so will result in either refusal or revocation of the licence.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) update service lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up to date online and allows employers to check a certificate online.

You must register online  within 14 days of getting your certificate.  Registration lasts for 1 year and costs £13 per year (payable by debit or credit card only).

Contact Details