Information on the licences and policies you should be aware of a taxi driver.

Changes to hackney carriage vehicle policy

On 27 July 2021 the Public Safety and Protection Committee agreed numerous amendments to our existing policies.

In line with the Department for Transport Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards all licensing policies were incorporated into one policy document called the pdf Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2021-2026 (1.16 MB) .

Limit on the number of hackney carriages

The Public Safety and Protection Committee agreed on 28 February 2017 to impose a limit of 795 on the number of licences issued. 

Once the limit of 795 is reached no further licences will be issued, even if you have already purchased a vehicle.

If you want to apply for a new hackney carriage vehicle licence you should contact the Licensing Team first to check if there are vehicle licences available.

Private hire and hackney carriage documents

  pdf Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy (1.16 MB) .

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

How do I licence a new vehicle?

To apply for a vehicle licence go to:

Apply for a vehicle licence

The apply for a vehicle licence page has the instructions, policy documents and application form for applying for  a vehicle licence.

How do I transfer my vehicle?

If you sell or transfer your vehicle you must inform us in writing within 14 days, stating the name and address of the person you have sold the vehicle to. You are advised to ensure that the plate is changed to the new owner.

The new owner will need to bring the documents below to:

Citizen Service Point at 100 Temple Street, Bristol BS1 6AG or

Post to Licensing Team (100TS), Bristol city Council, PO Box 3399, Bristol, BS1 9NE

bring the following:

  1. Vehicle log book
  2. pdf Application form completed by existing proprietor (259 KB)
  3. Application form completed by proposed proprietor
  4. Original certificate of insurance
  5. pdf Fee (148 KB) (please note these change each April)

What do I need to do if I have an accident in my vehicle? 

You are required to inform us in writing by close of business on the following working day of the accident.

What do I need to do if I lose my plates?

Your plates should be securely fixed to the exterior of the vehicle at all times. However should you lose your plates duplicates are available from the licensing office on written request. pdf Fees apply (148 KB)  (please note these change each April).

Use of Bus Lanes

The Licensing Team produce a list of all current licensed vehicles in Bristol. This list is given to Parking Services, and means where taxis are permitted to use Bus Lanes, these vehicles will not receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

Please note this list contains only the vehicles licensed by Bristol City Council.

If your vehicle is licensed with a different Authority and you receive a PCN in Bristol, you will be required to appeal the Notice with Parking Services directly. You can do so by sending a copy of your paper licence to

City centre traffic flow for taxis

The traffic flow for taxis in the city centre is different than for unlicensed vehicles. 

Our pdf taxi movements map (258 KB)  shows:

  • where Hackney carriages can drive in the city centre
  • where private hire vehicles can drive in the city centre