Find out how to apply for a new hackney carriage or private hire driver licence.

Who can apply

You can apply to become a taxi driver if:

  • you're over 18 years old
  • you've held a full DVLA driving licence for at least 12 months, or a licence which you're able to convert

If you're not sure, contact the licensing team.

DBS, Medical and DVLA Checks

You'll need to complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring service check, to make sure you don't have a criminal history that would stop you from operating as a driver.

You'll also need a medical examination which confirms that you're fit, healthy and able to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle.

You'll need to complete a DVLA mandate, to allow us to check your driving licence with the DVLA to show us your driving licence history.

Criminal and driving convictions

Having a criminal or driving conviction doesn't necessarily prevent you from becoming a taxi or private hire driver. If you have convictions, read the pdf Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy (1.16 MB) to see what it says about your type of conviction.

If you have a conviction, you can still apply for a licence. Your application might need to be considered by the Public Safety and Protection committee to decide whether you're fit and proper to have a licence.

Applicants for taxi and private hire driver licences are exempt from the provisions in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. You must declare:

  • all convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings
  • any out of court penalties such as:
    • a formal warning
    • community resolution
    • restorative justice education
    • awareness courses
    • community protection warnings and notices
    • fixed penalty notices
    • speed awareness courses

You must declare these even if they're spent or expired.

We may also take into account any other offending behaviour we're made aware of, either:

  • through your previous licensing history, or
  • information provided by other agencies, such as other licensing authorities and the police

Taxi driver tests and certificates

You'll need to complete a knowledge test, to show your knowledge of Bristol. There are different pass marks for hackney and private hire applications.

Normally, you'd also need to complete a DVSA advanced driving test and the Gold Standard course. These are not currently running.

You can find out more on our taxi driver tests and certificates page.

Safeguarding training

You'll need to complete our safeguarding training. You don't need to complete this before you can have a licence. You'll need to complete it by your first renewal.

If you haven't completed the training before we issue your first licence, we'll only be able to licence you for one year.

Other checks

You'll need to:

How much it costs

The cost of a one year licence is £128.50

You'll also need to pay a £23.50 application fee.

There are additional fees for the various checks and tests you need to complete.

pdf See our full list of fees (159 KB) .

How to apply

You can apply online. You can upload any documents at the same time.

You will not be able to complete a DBS check or a knowledge test until you've submitted an application.

You can upload documents relating to your application at a later date by using our contact form.

If you want someone else to discuss your application or licence with us on your behalf, you'll need to give us written permission.

Apply for a new hackney carriage driver licence 

Apply for a new private hire driver licence 

You can apply for a one, two or three year licence, depending on when you're due any more checks.

If you want someone else to discuss your application or licence with us on your behalf, you'll need to give us written permission.