Hackney Carriage (Taxi) Driver and Private Hire Driver licences

Who To Contact

Licensing Section
2nd Floor, Yorkon Building
Archway Road
L36 9FB

Telephone: 0151 443 2300

Email: taxi.licensing@knowsley.gov.uk


Submitting a hackney carriage or private hire driver licence application

There are no numerical restrictions on the issue of either Hackney Carriage Drivers or Private Hire Drivers Licences providing the applicants can meet the “fit and proper” test standard and complete all required processes.

All new driver applications will now only be accepted on receipt of a fully completed and accurate Initial Appointment request form submitted to taxi.licensing@knowsley.gov.uk or sent via hard copy through the post to the above address.

For private hire this must include the name of the intended Knowsley-licensed operator.

In respect of applicants for Knowsley MBC private hire driver licences you will be required to declare, on application, that you will only work through Knowsley-licensed private hire operators.
Licensing Office hours for new driver applicants at Huyton are now by appointment only 9.30am-1.30pm Tuesday to Thursday only (excluding Bank Holidays).

Please do not attend the Huyton OSS without an appointment - you will not be dealt with. We will check your submitted initial request form and telephone you on a "number not disclosed" telephone. Please answer the calls as after two unsuccessful attempts to contact you, your application will be lapsed.  
Once you have been given an appointment, if you fail to attend without prior notice then your application will be withdrawn without further notice and you will have to reapply.

You will then receive an email with an application pack which you will need to print off and complete in full, IN BLACK INK for when you should attend the Huyton One Stop Shop to submit the fully completed application form. On attending you will then be given a DBS Disclosure application form to legibly complete IN BLACK INK.

You must complete the forms yourself, you are not allowed to have a friend attend the Licensing Counter to assist you.

Please remember to bring with you, for Licensing and DBS purposes, the following items:

  • Your current DVLA issued driving licence ( you must have held a DVLA/EEC/EEA licence for at least a total of 12 months);
  • Your current passport (if you have one) or your birth certificate;
  • A recent utility bill (less than three months old);
  • The £44 DBS and £5 DVLA fees = total £49;
  • A continuous record of your last five years’ address history without any breaks.
  • Proof of your right to reside and work within the United Kingdom;
  • If you have not resided within the United Kingdom for the last 5 years (excluding short holidays of less than 3 months) then you will need a Certificate of Good Conduct from your last Country of Residence. This must be translated into English and must be brought with you to your initial appointment. If you need a Certificate and have not yet obtained it then please obtain that Certificate before you book an initial appointment.
  • The council policy within the application pack explains how we will carry out our licensing functions in relation to both new and existing hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire drivers, and to outline our criteria and standards.

In order to be licensed by Knowsley Council as a Hackney Carriage (taxi) or Private Hire driver, you must show that you are a fit and proper person. We will therefore require an enhanced level Disclosure and Barring Service [DBS] Disclosure Certificate and a DVLA Driving Record check at the applicant’s expense.

Under Sections 51 and 59 of Part II of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, Knowsley Council shall not grant a licence to drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle:

  1. unless they are satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a driving licence or;
  2. to any person who has not for at least 12 months been authorised to drive a motor car, or is not at the date of application for a driving licence so authorised.

The council’s main consideration at all times when determining applications is the protection and safety of the public.

All driver applicants must disclose all previous convictions and cautions, and also pending matters or concerns regarding vulnerable children or vulnerable adults. For Hackney Carriage (taxi) and Private Hire drivers, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Exceptions Order mean that previous convictions (apart from “Protected” cautions and Convictions) are never "spent" and all matters must always be declared.

In determining whether an applicant is ‘fit and proper’, we will consider, amongst other things, criminal record, driving record, medical fitness, relevant skills, knowledge, experience, qualifications, and previous history and behaviour patterns as a licence holder (if applicable) together with the results of the Essential Skills Assessment [ESA].

If an applicant has previous convictions, it does not necessarily mean they will be barred from being a licensed driver. The definition of what is a fit and proper person is not set in law, but the generally accepted test from Leeds City Council v Hussain is, "Would you allow your son, daughter, mother, spouse or other person you care about get into this vehicle with this person alone?"

If you are a new applicant wishing to drive in Knowsley, you must, after applying for the checks, also complete the Level 2 Certificate in the ‘Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver’ (QCF) before you are licensed to drive. All existing drivers have already completed either the Level 2 VRQ or NVQ in this subject.

This course can be delivered by any externally accredited training provider. Your prospective operator or proprietor will be able to advise you. 

You must also complete before being licensed:

  1. A driver Essential Skills Assessment [ESA] with council officers and;
  2. Submit a Group II vocational standard medical either from the council’s Occupational Health Unit or a doctor at your own G.P. Surgery.

You may now only book your Essential Skills [ESA] Session at the first appointment (before you have received your DBS Enhanced Certificate) if you have declared no convictions at all or if you have no matters which breach the Council Policy.
If you do breach policy due to convictions etc. you cannot book an ESA until a decision as to “fit and proper” has been made via a Chairperson’s Hearing.
To book an ESA, please email taxi.licensing@knowsley.gov.uk with your name, date of birth, mobile telephone number and email address and you will be offered the next available appointment. You must pre-book.sessions, you cannot turn up on the day without a prior booking. Alternatively you can ring 0151 443 2300 for advice.

Currently the Assessments are held at:
The Venue, Westmoreland Road, Huyton L36 on alternate Mondays only between 1pm and 2.30pm. 

The Essential Skills Assessment includes (as of April 2018)

  1. A check of the candidate’s identity via photo card driving licence or passport;
  2. Driver awareness video on passenger safety and the dangers of excess speed;
  3. A presentation on Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults and recommended practice if Child Sex Exploitation [CSE] is suspected;
  4. A six part multi choice assessment paper made up of:
    1. Understanding English based on the CSE presentation - 90% required
    2. Selecting the shortest route using a map - 75% required
    3. Basic calculation of fares and passenger's change - 75% required
    4. An Efficient Use of an A-Z and a satnav to find locations - 90% required
    5. Differences between Hackney Carriage & Private Hire - 66% required
    6. General Motoring and Licensing awareness questions - 90% required

Any candidate who fails any one section completely will “FAIL”

Candidate information

  • You are now only permitted two assessment sessions – no more are allowed.
  • If you “fail” twice you will generally be issued with a Notice of Refusal of a licence as having failed to reach the minimum standard required so the council can be sure that you can safely transport the public.
  • If you are found cheating or suspected of cheating or using a mobile telephone in an assessment session you will generally be issued with a Notice of Refusal of a licence as you will have acted dishonestly and therefore would be considered “not fit and proper”.
  • As three council SATNAV’s are now available no mobile telephone must be in view during the ESA session. Any candidate found with a mobile telephone in use or on show will be removed from the session and marked as a “fail”. This is due to previous candidates failed attempts to cheat.
  • If you do not learn, before the ESA, how to use an A-Z you will fail  

As of 01 April 2018 the 2018-19 driver licence fees are set at:

  • New 1 year Hackney Carriage OR Private Hire driver licence = £45.00
  • New 3 year Hackney Carriage OR Private Hire driver licence = £80.00
  • Renewal 1 year Hackney Carriage OR Private Hire driver licence = £40.00
  • Renewal 3 year Hackney Carriage OR Private Hire driver licence = £75.00