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Apply for a taxi or private hire licence

How to apply for a taxi driver's licence

We are responsible for making sure that the taxi and private hire trade in St Helens is operated in a professional manner and that the correct standards of safety and comfort are satisfied by all licensed drivers.

There are specific criteria that you must meet before a licence can be granted:

Please read our taxi licensing policy (PDF) [2MB] (opens new window) before making your application.

Pre-application

Before you can submit a new application for a Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Drivers Licence, you must complete these requirements.

Step 1: Submit an application for an Enhanced DBS Check

Please email taxilicensing@sthelens.gov.uk and provide your full name and address to request a DBS application pack which will then be sent to you by first class post. Once you have completed the DBS application you must contact us to book an appointment and we will check over your application and supporting documentation (see below). If everything is completed correctly, then the payment will be taken to cover the cost of your check.

The documents you must bring with you to your appointment are:

  • DVLA driving licence (held for at least 12 months)
  • Current UK passport or UK birth certificate (if your passport was issued outside of the UK or Republic of Ireland, then a certificate of good character will be required from the relevant embassy if you have not lived in the UK for a minimum period of five continuous years before making your application (in English))
  • National insurance number (either the number card, official national insurance number letter from the DWP or the national insurance letter obtainable from the government gateway website)
  • Council tax bill (current year), bank statement or utility bill (no older than three months)
  • Applicants who are not UK nationals by birth or by naturalisation must also produce a Home Office check code in order for us to check your right to work status. You must also produce your residency permit if you have been issued with one.
  • Completed DBS privacy policy declaration form (PDF) [117KB] .

Note: All documents (including your DVLA driving licence) must be in your current address. These are the requirements of the DBS and not the Council. We are   unable to process your DBS application without these.

DBS certificates are valid for a period of 2 months from the date that they're issued.

Step 2: Complete the Essential Skills Assessment and Safeguarding Course

At the same time we contact you to make payment for your DBS application (following the completion of step 1) you will be booked onto the essential skills and safeguarding course and payment will be taken for this also.

Step 3: Obtain a Group 2 Medical Assessment from your G.P. or Medical Practitioner who has access to your medical records.

The Group 2 Medical Assessment form which you must take to your appointment with your G.P. or Medical Practitioner can be downloaded here. (PDF) [578KB]

Medical assessments are valid for a period of 2 months from the date they're completed. Only pages 1 and 2 of the medical assessment need to be returned to us.

Step 4: Once you have received your DBS certificate you must register with the DBS Update Service.

You must retain proof of your subscription to the DBS update service.

Step 5: Book an Appointment

Once you have registered with the DBS update service, obtained a group 2 medical assessment, and completed the essential skills assessment and safeguarding course, you must contact us by email at taxilicensing@sthelens.gov.uk, providing your full name and address to book an appointment to submit the following documentation:

  • DBS certificate
  • Proof of your DBS update service subscription
  • Completed group 2 medical assessment
  • Essential skills assessment and safeguarding course certificates
  • Recent colour passport-sized photograph (The photograph must include your head & shoulders and be taken with a white/pale background).

The appointment will take place at the following address: Taxi Licensing, St Helens Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens, WA10 1HP.

Submit an application for your licence

Once you have successfully completed the pre-application steps you can now apply for a Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Drivers Licence. We will email you with the link to the online application form to apply. When submitting your application, you must also provide the following:

Please note that upon submission of your application you will be contacted to make a payment of £25.00 which enables us to check your application. This fee is non-refundable. You must ensure that you check your application and supporting documents carefully, prior to submission, or you will be required to submit a further new application.

The £25.00 fee is per application submitted and will be deducted from the payment for your licence at point of issue (excluding any previous payments made for incorrect submissions).

Providing that your application is satisfactory and there are no instances that would trigger a referral to the Licensing & Environmental Protection Committee in line with our policies you will receive your licence within 5 working days.

Tax checks

From 4 April 2022, in order to submit an application for a taxi driver's licence, you will need to complete a tax check if you're:

  • Applying for the same type of licence you previously held, that ceased being valid less than one year ago.
  • Applying for the same type of licence you already hold with another local authority.

Read more information on how to complete a tax check.

 You will not need to complete a tax check if you have:

  • Never held a hackney carriage / private hire driver's licence with us or any other local authority before.
  • Held a hackney carriage / private hire driver's licence with us or another local authority but it ceased to be valid at least one year (or more) before making this application.

If you do not need to complete a tax check, you will need to complete one on renewal should you be granted a licence.

Vocationally recognised qualification (VRQ)

New applicants will now be given the option to begin work as a licensed driver before completing the VRQ training. You will need to complete the training and provide the certificate of qualification within the first six months of the licence or it will be suspended. For applicants who live in the Liverpool City Region, there is funding available for this course through Unite the Union. For further information please contact Tommy McIntyre on the following details:

Unite Taxi Education, Marybone Youth Centre, Addison Way, Liverpool, L3 2EW

Telephone: 0151 236 7645

Email: thomas.mcintyre@unitetheunion.org

 

I have a conviction; will this prevent me from gaining a licence?

We must be satisfied that the drivers who obtain licences are 'fit and proper' (safe, honest and trustworthy). 

Having a driving or criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being granted a licence. It depends on what the conviction was for, the sentence imposed and how long ago it was. For more information, please see our convictions policy (PDF) [314KB] (opens new window) .

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