Taxi Licensing

Information to assist with the application for a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire driver's licence and licensing of Private Hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles

Hackney Carriage Private Hire Driver Policy came into force 1 April 2015

Go to the taxi policy .

Making a taxi complaint please follow the link for advise on how to raise a taxi related complaint or concern



Before South Somerset will consider your application for a joint Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire driver's licence you are required to provide us with the following documentation:

  • Full driving licence (including any counterpart);
  • A signed data protection mandate to allow a check of your driving licence;
  • Knowledge Test pass certificate;
  • DSA pass certificate or SSDC equivalent;
  • Completed medical questionnaire;
  • Disability Awareness Course pass certificate;
  • Fully completed DBS application form with supporting documents;
  • Certificate of good conduct;
  • Passport-sized photograph.
  • Documents in support of your right to work in the UK - advice document

All persons driving a licensed private hire or hackney carriage vehicle must be in possession of a current private hire and hackney carriage driver's licence issued by South Somerset District Council. The Council issued driver's badges allow the holder to work in both capacities both as a hackney carriage and/or private hire driver.

A hackney carriage/private hire driver may only be granted a drivers badge if he has held a driving licence for at least 12 months prior to application.

Please note

An SSDC badged driver can only drive a South Somerset District Council plated vehicle. Once an SSDC drivers badge is issued, it does not authorise or permit you to drive vehicles plated with any other authority, to do so is an offence. The maximum fine for this offence is £1000. SSDC will seek to prosecute any offences of this nature.

Knowledge Test

To ensure that those who are providing a hackney carriage and/ or private hire driving service to the general public have a good working knowledge of the area and of the Highway Code all new drivers will be required to pass a test of knowledge which will include questions on:

  • the Highway Code;
  • Hackney Carriage and Private Hire legislation;
  • basic numeracy;
  • English comprehension;
  • routes and directions.

The pass mark is 75% but there is also a requirement that 75% of the questions in each section are answered correctly. The test is made up of 52 multiple choice questions and the applicant will have an hour to sit the test.

The test costs £25 per test sat and can be booked by contacting the Licensing Department on 01935 462131 or 462138. If you do not pass first time you will have to wait two weeks to sit the test again. If you fail on the second attempt you will have to wait a further two weeks to re-sit and if you fail a third time you will have to wait six months before attempting the test again.

Please see links below to assist with the knowledge test

The Highway Code

Discover South Somerset

Knowledge Test Example Questions


All new drivers will require a medical examination by reference to the extant Group II standards of medical fitness applied by the DVLA.

The medical must be undertaken by your own General Practitioner (GP) or your GP's surgery.

A new medical will need to be submitted on initial application and then ever five years on renewal following your 45th birthday and then each renewal following your 65th birthday.

Driving Standards test

Driving Standards Test private hire and hackney carriage assessments.

All new applicants for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers licences will need to pass a Private Hire and Hackney Carriage assessment test .

You can sit the SSDC Taxi Assessment test. For more information, please click here.

Disability Awareness Training

Disability Awareness Training & Wheelchair loading assessment for taxis and private hire vehicles

The licensing authority will require all applicants to submit a pass certificate from a recognised training provider to demonstrate that they have attended a suitable course of instruction in disability awareness, in addition the licensing authority notes that some wheelchair users may require driver assistance to safely enter, travel in and alight from a licensed vehicle. Accordingly, it is the policy of the licensing authority to ensure that those who provide a wheelchair accessible driving service can demonstrate a sufficient level of competence in the (un)loading, security and safety of wheelchair users to a level commensurate with this role.

For these reasons, the licensing authority will normally require all first-time applicants that seek to provide a wheelchair accessible service, to submit a suitable certificate of completion (form WTA10) or equivalent of an enhanced wheelchair (un)loading assessment specifically designed for hackney carriage and/or private hire vehicle drivers by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) (or suitable equivalent). A third party non-refundable fee may be payable for this (or a similar) service.

Please click here for training providers.

Hackney carriage vehicle licence

A hackney carriage vehicle licence (white plate) entitles the holder to work anywhere in the South Somerset District Council area, they may work from the ranks or be hailed on the street. The holder is also entitled to undertake private hire work.

Private hire vehicle licence

A private hire vehicle licence (yellow plate) entitles the holder to work anywhere in the South Somerset District taking pre- arranged bookings only. Private hire vehicles may not work from the ranks or be hailed on the street. All private hire vehicles must also work under a 'Private Hire Operators licence' however an operators licence is not necessary if you are operating a hackney carriage.

All Private Hire Vehicles licensed by South Somerset District Council will be issued two side door panel licenses clearly displaying their Private Hire Status.

Planning permission

When you apply for a private hire vehicle licence then you must apply for a private hire operator's licence at the same time.  Without a private hire operators licence you will not be issued a private hire vehicle licence.

A private hire operator's licence can be purchased for a five-year period.

Operator's licences are not needed to run a hackney carriage vehicle service.



Taxi licensing application forms

Go to taxi licensing application forms.


Taxi policy

Go to the taxi policy .