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Apply for a new vehicle licence

You must have a vehicle licence to operate a private hire or hackney carriage vehicle. 

Application process for a new vehicle

Application Process for Private Hire Vehicle [58KB]


Applications cost

  • £180 for 12 months

The council will consider applications for dispensation from displaying plates in certain circumstances. Please refer to appendix N of the councils  Taxi Licensing Policy [907KB]  for full details. 

If your plates are lost or stolen there is a £10 fee for replacement plates.

How to apply

New Private Hire Vehicle Application [122KB]

Please note that we do not currently have any new hackney plates available.

You will need to complete an application form, and will need to bring the following information in to the council offices:

  • a valid insurance certificate
  • the registration document of the vehicle if it hasn't been licensed before
  • £180 fee for 12 months
  • a valid MOT from an approved MOT testing centre. The MOT must be no more than 1 month old at the time of application.

Vehicle inspections

From 1st April 2017, Water swallows will no longer be carrying out Taxi Tests. 

All vehicle owners will need to obtain an MOT instead of the taxi test (vehicle owners can take their vehicles to any MOT station) and the MOT needs to be presented to the Council. All advisory items listed on the MOT will need to be rectified, evidence that these works have been carried out will need to be submitted along with the MOT certificate before the Authority will issue plates.

Your responsibilities

We will only accept applications that have the appropriate documentation with them. You are responsible for providing any evidence that is requested on the application form, and for making sure that your vehicle has been inspected in the relevant time frame.