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Book an essential skills assessment

We strive to ensure our services meet the highest possible standards and we extend the same standard to those who wish to become licensed drivers within our borough. The essential skills assessment will test you on a range of skills we consider necessary to reach those standards.

This is an important part of the application process in becoming a licensed driver with us, and you must have passed the assessment before you can be issued with a licence.

Should you fail the assessment then you are allowed one re-sit, which must be taken within three months of the first attempt. Applicants who fail on the second attempt will be unable to re-take the assessment for a minimum period of six months.

The assessment will consist of a number of questions and is to be completed in one-and-a-half hours. You may bring your own calculator to the test (not a mobile phone, tablet or any other electronic device with the ability to access the internet), although one will be provided for you. An A-Z will be provided for you to use while sitting the test.

In order to book onto the essential skills assessment, you must have submitted your application for a hackney/private hire driver's licence.

You are advised to familiarise yourself with the contents of the  taxi licensing policy (PDF) [2MB] (opens new window) in preparation for the assessment.

What does the assessment consist of?

The assessment will involve a series of questions about the St Helens area and popular destinations throughout the borough. It will also include questions on licensing regulations, driver and vehicle responsibilities, fare calculations and basic written English to ensure you have the necessary communication skills to be a driver. The test will be broken up into six sections:

  • Local knowledge of the borough
  • Taxi licensing law and standards
  • Journey planning
  • Basic maths
  • Basic English
  • Understanding the use of basic English language.

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Last modified on 31 March 2022