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Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Licences

Licences for hackney carriage or private hire vehicles

A licence is required before any vehicle can be used for taxi or minicab work.

Any person licensed as a hackney carriage or private hire driver person will need to have a licensed vehicle in order to complete fares.

Licences are issued for up to one year.

Licensing a vehicle Toggle accordion

Vehicle requirements

All vehicle requirements are detailed within our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licencing Policy. These can be found within in the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licencing Policy. You can view the Policy further down this page.

Vehicles will be tested for suitability against our policy, and all licensing decisions are taken in consideration of our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy

When we first license a vehicle it must be less than five years old from the date of first registration.

At first application – Vehicles must meet or exceed Euro 5 emissions standards (From 01/04/2022 vehicles must meet or exceed Euro 6 emissions standards at first application.) 

Identification Plate

The identification plate issued by us bearing the number of the licence granted in respect of the vehicle shall be permanently fixed on or above the bumper on the outside of the offside rear of the vehicle, in such a position that it shall be clearly visible from the rear of the vehicle and the proprietor/driver shall not wilfully or negligently conceal it from public view whilst the vehicle is being used for hire. Our decision on this is final.

Vehicle ownership/Dual Plating

Vehicles which are currently licensed by another licensing authority will not be licensed by us.

Licensing a non-wheelchair accessible vehicle as a hackney carriage under grandfather rights

If a non-wheelchair accessible vehicle is currently licensed as a hackney carriage vehicle then you are permitted to transfer that licence to another non-wheelchair accessible vehicle. If you fail to renew this licence on time, you will lose your grandfather rights.

Tinted Windows

The windows of a vehicle to be licensed as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire are required to let at least 60% of light through. Any vehicle that does not meet the above criteria will not be licensed. An exemption to this condition is for executive vehicles with a plate exemption.

Limitation of Numbers

We do not currently have a limit on the number of hackney carriages which may be licensed within the District and we have no intention of introducing one, unless evidence of ‘no significant unmet demand’ can be provided. The cost ofany ‘unmet demand’ survey would need to be borne by the existing licence holders.

No powers exist for licensing authorities to limit the number of private hire vehicles that they licence.

Vehicle Testing Toggle accordion

In order to comply with our vehicle testing requirements a vehicle must obtain a current MOT pass certificate and a current Certificate of Compliance pass certificate from our nominated testing facility. The Certificate of Compliance certificate must be dated no earlier than one calendar month prior to the licence commencement date.

Vehicles that are less than one year old will be exempt from producing a current MOT pass certificate and Certificate of Compliance.

All vehicles will be subject to annual testing requirements (MOT and Compliance Test) until they reach seven years old. Once a vehicle reaches seven years of age it will be subject to six-monthly Certificate of Compliance tests. Each application for a grant or renewal of a vehicle licence must be accompanied with proof of testing requirement compliance.

The licence of any vehicle which fails its testing requirements will be automatically suspended until such time as the vehicle has been re-examined and the necessary pass certificates obtained. We, or our nominated testing facility, may retain the vehicle licence plate until such time as the inspection requirements are met.

Certificate of Compliance (COC)

All vehicles will be subject to annual testing requirements (MOT and Compliance Test) until they reach seven years old. Once a vehicle reaches seven years of age it will be subject to six monthly

Certificate of Compliance tests. Each application for a grant or renewal of a vehicle licence must be accompanied with proof of testing requirement compliance.

The proprietor shall make arrangements direct with the authorised garage and be responsible for paying the fee for the test.

MOT advisories

With public safety being a significant objective of this Policy, we expect licensed vehicles to be of the highest possible standard. Accordingly, any MOT advisory relating to tyres or brakes must be rectified before a licence is granted. We also reserve the right to extend this requirement to other MOT advisories where we deem it necessary for the protection of the public.

In addition to the above testing requirements, we will undertake our own programme of inspections between formal testing dates. These tests will be undertaken at any other location within the District as advised by a licensing officer, with the aim of ensuring that vehicles maintain the high standard of testing throughout its licence period. In the event of any concern in relation to mechanical vehicle safety, the vehicle will be referred to our nominated testing facility for a formal assessment. Where the testing requirements would not be met, the officer may either agree a period of time for rectification and reinspection, or suspend the vehicle until such time as the testing requirements would be met

Our nominated testing facilities are:

MOT - Any testing facility currently registered with the Department for Transport to undertake MOT testing.

Certificate of Compliance - Undertaken by:

a) Gold Crest, 165 Camp Road, St Albans Tel: 01727-832835

b) Guildford Road Motors, 20 Guildford Road, St Albans Tel: 01727-830884

c) John Gordon Motors, 117 London Road, St Albans Tel: 01727 855096

d) M Wilson Motor Repairs, Unit 9-10 Campfield Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 5JA Tel: 01727 830539

e) Motown, 279 High Street, London Colney, Herts AL2 1EU Tel: 01727 824196

f) Drive Thru MOT Ltd- Unit 13, North Orbital Commercial Park, Napsbury Lane, St Albans, AL1 1XB 01727 858300

g) D.P. Motors, 13-15 Sutton Road, St Albans, AL1 5JQ 01727 83667

h) MAC Testing Ltd, Unit 1 London Road Business Park, 222 London Road, St Albans AL1 1PN 01727 868599

Applications Toggle accordion

New Vehicle applications

All applications must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Vehicle MOT
  • Vehicle Certificate of Compliance certificate(s)
  • Copy of vehicle insurance with the provision for hackney carriage or private hire work
  • Vehicle Logbook (V5)
  • Meter calibration certificate (if applicable)

Basic Disclosure

We also require a basic disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service with every vehicle application. Certificates must be issued in the full name of the relevant individual and must have been issued no earlier than 3 months before the date on which the application is made. If you are already a licensed with St Albans Council you do not need to complete a basic disclosure.

Meter calibration certificate

A meter calibration certificate, confirming that the meter has been set to our tariff, must be provided for new hackney carriages.

Please email all of the above to licensing@stalbans.gov.uk

Once received we will contact you to book a vehicle inspection appointment.

Vehicle Renewal

The process to renew your licence is now fully electronic and will require you to send scanned or photographed documents to us via email.

You will need access to an email account

Vehicle licence applications must include:

  • A completed and signed copy of the Vehicle application form (which can
  • be found below)
  • Make the payment for the renewal fee (£300 resident, £360 non-resident).
  • Electronic copy of the Insurance Certificate
  • Scan or photograph of the V5 logbook
  • Scan or photograph of the COC (including 6 monthly if required)
  • Copy of your MOT
  • Photos of the vehicle – this will include photos of the outside and inside of the vehicle. Including of the no smoking signs, wheelchair access a metre (where applicable)

At renewal – From 01/04/2022 vehicle licences will not be renewed in respect of any licensed vehicle that does not meet or exceed Euro 5 emissions standards. From 01/04/2025 vehicle licences will not be renewed in respect of any licensed vehicle that does not meet or exceed Euro 6 emissions standards.

Once a application has been received we aim to have your application processed within 5 working days.

Transfer of vehicle

If you wish to transfer a vehicle on your licence please ensure the vehicle meets the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licencing Policy vehicle requirements. Once this is the case you will need to submit a complete application (with the same documents needed for a new application). Once this has been received we will contact you to arrange a vehicle transfer

Transfer of ownership

You have a legal obligation under Section 49 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1976 to notify the licensing authority of a transfer of ownership (sold the vehicle). The notification must be in writing sent within 14 days of the transfer. If you are buying a licensed vehicle you must apply to transfer the licence into your name within 14 days of the vehicle purchase- please note that along with the documents required above, you will also be required to provide a letter from the previous owner confirming the sale of the vehicle.

Changing the vehicle registration number to a cherished number plate

To change your vehicle registration number to a cherished plate you will need to provide documentation form the DVLA authorising the change and the amended insurance certificate. You will also need to pay the fee for the internal and external number plates.

Replacement Plates

If you lose your licence contact the Licensing Team for replacement. Please note that there is a fee for issuing a replacement licence or plate.

Plate Exemption Criteria 

In order to apply for a plate exemption you will need to read the plate exemption guidance and complete the application form which is available upon request.

Tacit Consent

Tacit consent does not apply. We must grant your application before you can start operating.

 

Application information Toggle accordion

Application form

You can download the application packhere.

Payment

You can make payment for your applicationhere.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy Toggle accordion

The Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy was adopted by the Licensing & Regulatory Committee on 26th January 2021. This came into effect the day after, on 27th January 2021.

Our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy brings all our existing guidelines, standards, licensee requirements and information together in one place, as well as updating our approach as a result of changes to national guidance; the DFT Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards.

The policy can be found here.

The Equality Act 2010 Toggle accordion

Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010 imposes duties upon the drivers of designated vehicles when dealing with disabled passengers travelling in wheelchairs or a person who wishes to be accompanied by a disabled person in a wheelchair. Those duties are set out in Section 165(4) as follows:

  • to carry to passenger whilst in the wheelchair;
  • not to make any additional charge for doing so;
  • if the person chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair;
  • to take such steps as are reasonably necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort; and
  • to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.

Section 165(7) of the Act creates an offence where the driver of a designated taxi or private hire vehicle fails to comply with a duty imposed upon them under the section. This is punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding scale 3 on the standard scale (currently £1,000)

Section 166 of the Act makes provision for licensing authorities to issue exemptions to drivers where they are satisfied it is appropriate to do so:

  • On medical grounds; or
  • On the ground that the person’s physical conditions makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the person to comply with those duties.

A driver will only be exempt therefore if an exemption certificate has been issued and notice of exemption issued by the Council is exhibited on the vehicle in the prescribed manner. There is currently 2 driver(s) with an exemption(s).

Vehicles shown on this list are known to be capable of carrying a wheelchair of maximum size 120x70cm and max combined weight (passenger and chair) of 300kg. Some may be capable of carrying larger or heavier wheelchairs. However, this will be at the discretion of the driver.

If you feel that a driver has acted unlawfully by refusing to carry you please email licensing@stalbans.gov.uk the following details:

  • vehicle make
  • plate number (found on the rear of the vehicle)
  • if possible, the driver’s badge number.

Please note that the vehicles listed on the documenthere are those which can carry a person who remains seated in their wheelchair.

The contact list which includes Hackney Carriage Drivers that can be contacted directly by customers who require a Wheelchair Accessible Taxi has been revised; you can find the list here

If you are a driver of a Wheelchair Accessible Taxi and you would like to be placed on the list, 01727 819264 or email licensing@stalbans.gov.uk

 

Passengers with assistance dogs

Every licensed taxi and private hire vehicle is required to carry assistance dogs with their owner, and it is a criminal offence for a driver to refuse to do so. It is also an offence for a private hire operator to refuse to take a booking because it involves carrying an assistance dog, or for drivers or operators to charge a higher fare for carrying an assistance dog.

This duty applies to assistance dogs trained by charities affiliated to Assistance Dogs UK, or other similar UK or overseas organisations. It also applies to dogs that have been trained by their owners to carry out this role.

A small number of taxi drivers may hold exemption certificates. These exempt them from the legal duties due to a medical condition. Any such drivers must display an official notice, issued by us, advising of this

Licensee's responsibilities Toggle accordion

Vehicle owners must comply with their conditions and hackney carriage owners must also comply with the byelaws. All licenses are issued subject to standard licence conditions which can be found in our Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy.

If you lose your licence contact the Licensing team for replacement. Please note that there is a fee for issuing a replacement licence or plate.

Whilst licensed, vehicle licence holders must notify us in writing of any change of name; postal address; email address or telephone number within 7 days of the change taking place.

Accidents Toggle accordion

Any accident must be reported within 72 hours, which you can do by emailing: 

Licensing@stalbans.gov.uk

Please keep in mind this involves damage that happens to your vehicle which does not involve another vehicle.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Fees Review 2022 - closing 17/06/2022 Toggle accordion

Our hackney carriage and private hire fees are being reviewed.

The fees are being reviewed as they have not been reviewed for some time and we need to ensure that the fees reflect the actual costs incurred. In addition the Government Standards have also been included within the new fee structure. You can view the proposed changes in the document below.

The consultation period commenced on Friday 6th May 2022 and will continue for 6 weeks ending at midnight on Friday 17th June 2022.

This is your opportunity to raise any issues you may have or contribute information for the Licensing and Regulatory committee to consider.

All responses, during the consultation period, will be considered. A summary of all responses will be included in the report to Elected Members during the committee process. The final determination will be made by the Elected Members.

Please note that where responses include personal details in the body of the response this information may be subject to publication or disclosure.

How to respond

Please send your comments on the policy and/or the proposed changes by email to: licensing@stalbans.gov.uk. The deadline for receipt of comments by email is 17th June 2022 at 23:59.

You can also send comments by post to Licensing Section, Community Services Department, St Albans City and District Council, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Herts, AL1 3JE to arrive no later than 17th June 2022.

Contact Details
Licensing Service

St Albans City & District Council, Civic Centre, St Peter's St, St Albans AL1 3JE
Tel: 01727 819264

Licensing@stalbans.gov.uk