Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle licences

Who To Contact

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

Telephone: 0151443 2300


Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, the council has reviewed its licensing processes, specifically all Hackney and private hire licence applications as well as renewals.

As of 5pm on Thursday 19 March 2020, there is no longer access to a Licensing Counter Service. As of August 2020 there is still currently no Licensing Counter Service anticipated in the near future so arrangements have been made for “online via email” processes.

If you need to get a new vehicle licence, or renew or change a vehicle on a licence, then you can only do this by e-mailing Do not duplicate emails or send repeatedly as this causes unnecessary delay to others.

Download and complete the correct form(s) from the list below (Covid-19 Interim Process for existing vehicle licences/ vehicle changes/ New Vehicles) then follow the steps shown. If you do this in advance of the licence expiry, all existing licensees will able to be re-licensed through a new e-mail based service.

We can legally only issue licences for Hackney Carriages (taxis) and Private Hire vehicles if we are completely satisfied that the vehicle in question is comfortable, safe in design and adequately insured.

We can legally only issue licences for Hackney Carriages (taxis) and Private Hire vehicles if we are completely satisfied that the vehicle in question is comfortable, safe in design and adequately insured.
These legal requirements are set to ensure high standards of safety for the general public of Knowsley and surrounding districts.

Before a new vehicle is licensed it must pass a Compliance Test at the council's appointed garage, who will issue a certificate of compliance. The test always includes all current DVSA vehicle test items plus some additional licensing “compliance” requirements.

Currently due to the COVID-19 situation you can only book a Taxi/ Private Hire Vehicle Compliance test through Knowsley Council Online Services or the Contact Centre on 0151 443 2300 - please note if you are booking your first Taxi/ Private Hire Vehicle Compliance test with us, you will need to phone the Contact Centre first on 0151 443 2300.

We will then register you and provide you with a username and password to make all future Compliance Test bookings online.

Renewal Licence Applications for Compliance Tests can be booked 28 days before the expiry of the current licence and, if the vehicle passes and the compliance certificate is submitted to the One Stop Shop before expiry then the “renewal” licence will run from the expiry of the old licence.

Please note that the council now needs to install a “Track and Trace” system as a precaution against persons attending Stretton Way later being diagnosed with Covid 19. As of Monday 27 July 2020, all persons presenting a vehicle for test will be required to provide their name, a valid contact number and vehicle registration on a sheet when passing the keys to the testing technician. This data will only be accessed in the event of Covid 19 being found present after a test event. Regretfully any person presenting a vehicle who refuses to provide contact details will not have the vehicle tested and so no licence can then be issued.

Vehicles attending Stretton Way for compliance tests should also only have one occupant (the driver) and all attendees should observe proper social distancing at all times whilst on council premises. Persons failing to follow the directions of the Service Manager will be asked to leave the facility.

Test Fees:
The current test fees are:
Full Test = £45
Retest = £25
Full Test after abandoned test or appointment not attended  = £45

If a Hackney Vehicle (Taxi) licence is not renewed before expiry then the licence cannot be renewed without the express permission of a Chairperson’s Hearing process. Any such licence that is not then renewed is liable to be will be withdrawn from use until the current target of a maximum demand level of 220 hackney carriages has been reached.

Once a vehicle of either type has passed, you only normally have three working days to licence it. Please note the compliance pass certificate does not exempt from the need to have an ordinary car MOT test. Only the issue of the vehicle licence by the council gives any exemption from the need for a standard vehicle MOT.

Only a named proprietor or part proprietor can apply for and receive a vehicle licence. Should any proprietor wish to have an authorised agent to act on their behalf then an authorised agent authority form must first lodged with the council.

Once a licence has been granted, you cannot surrender the licence and reclaim any part of that licence fee. If, however, you are upgrading or replacing your vehicle and months remain on the old vehicle licence then an allowance may be made against the fee chargeable for full months remaining on completion of the licensing process.

Covid-19 Interim Process for existing vehicle licences/ vehicle changes/ New Vehicles
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, these applications are now being processed through e-mail and scanned document submission process only. Following a satisfactory Compliance Test, applicants must send the electronic passing slip direct to us via

Vehicle Proprietors who wish to renew/replace or licence a vehicle must now download a Vehicle Application Form.

Vehicle proprietors who have had a 3 month licence extension under Covid-19 provisions must also, at least 10 days before expiry, email  and complete the process below. If this is not done then hire and reward work must stop until payment is taken and a further remainder licence has been issued together with a licence plate.

The applicant must fully complete, sign and scan the application form together with the required Vehicle logbook and insurance certificate and e-mail them in one email with all attachments to

You must be sure to include the following in the subject line of your e-mail:

  • Vehicle registration
  • Plate number
  • Plate expiry date
  • Vehicle Test Pass Date

An example email header would be:
A123 BCD, plate number 1234, plate expiry date 30/04/2020, tested 29/04/2020

Applications will be checked by an officer and if complete and satisfactory,  a call will be made from a number withheld mobile and a card payment for the full fee will be taken.

An e-mail licence and cover letter will be sent to the owner (and operator) which must both be carried in the vehicle, displaying the expired plates until such time as the Licensing Service can arrange for the replacement plates to be issued.

Temporary Protective Screens- Covid 19 Situation
In light of the COVID-19 virus and the impact it is having on the private hire trade, KMBC Licensing are happy to work with the trade to enable as many drivers possible to continue working throughout the outbreak, assisting where possible to mitigate the risks to driver and passenger of inadvertently contracting the virus.

In response to requests from the private hire trade, asking if it is acceptable to install protective screen in between the rear passenger compartment and the driver, KMBC Licensing Authority are happy to permit, as a temporary measure, the installation of a protective screen.

However the protective screen:

  • Must not be permanently installed in the vehicle
  • Must not have a solid frame to the screen
  • Must be fitted in such a way so as to ensure no interference with any manufacturer fitted safety devices/features on the vehicle
  • Must be fitted in such a way so as not to affect the structural integrity of the vehicle
  • Must not wrap around the driver seat and create a partition between the two front seats, in addition to the rear cabin area

The film/sheet used MUST be clear and transparent and can ONLY by fitted across the rear of both front seats, creating a partition between the front and rear cabin area of the vehicle.

Process to be followed when wishing to fit a Temporary Screen

If any private hire driver wishes to fit a temporary protective screen in their private hire vehicle they MUST FIRST:

  • Notify the Licensing Enforcement Team of their intention to fit a protective screen by emailing together with;
  • Proof from their insurer that fitting the protective screen will not result in their insurer refusing to cover the vehicle and;
  • An agreement to remove the protective screen within a maximum of 21 days after the current social distancing restrictions relating to COVID-19 have been removed.

The Council is aware that there are a number of protective screen options on the market which are not expensive to purchase. These when fitted, may give peace of mind to the driver and customer alike during this health crisis. It is hoped that by approving such low cost temporary measures drivers will be able to choose to purchase these screen protectors if they so wish. This may provide at least some reassurance that they can continue to work but in a safer working environment.”

Temporary reduction of insurance cover to Social Domestic and Pleasure only
Due to the Covid-19 situation a number of licensees have requested that a facility to notify the council, by email, that the vehicle will not currently be used for hire and reward, due to self-isolation or other reasons can be provided.

Two document links have now been provided at “Downloadable Documents” as below but any such licensee will still remain responsible for having the correct insurance cover for any use of these vehicles at all times.

Before returning to hire and reward work, further hire and reward insurance must be obtained and provided to the council together with a declaration of work.

There will be no Licensing Counter Service for the foreseeable future.

Downloadable documents