We're responsible for regulating the number of taxis or Hackney Carriages in the borough. We do this through a licensing scheme which also ensures that taxis are safe and suitable and that the charges are fair.
Similar controls are in place for private hire vehicles or minicabs and their drivers.
In Rochdale borough, the 2 types of vehicles licensed, Hackney Carriages and Private Hire, are easily distinguished from each other by the fact that Hackney Carriages are either purpose built 'London style' black cabs, or white saloons with a roof sign.
The basic difference between the 2 vehicles is that Hackney Carriages can be 'flagged down' on the street or at a rank and Private Hire Vehicles must be pre-booked through an operator. If a Private Hire driver accepts a fare off the street without it being pre-booked, they are liable to prosecution. It's also important to note that anyone taking a journey in a Private Hire vehicle which has been flagged down is not insured for the journey.
Driver and vehicle licence application forms
Change of vehicle and ownership forms
Private Hire business operator licence
Please note that you must obtain the necessary planning permission for your premises before applying for a private hire operator licence.
How to apply for a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage driver's licence
To be eligible to apply for a Private Hire or Hackney Carriage driver's licence you must comply with the following conditions:
- You must have held a Current Full Ordinary Drivers licence (not a Provisional) for a FULL 12 months. You are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply unless it is a full 12 months.
- Are you over 21 years old? Persons under 21 must attend an 'under 21' interview. Please advise the admin staff of your age and they will assist you.
- If you've had any convictions, you'll need to discuss them initially with our admin staff and they'll advise you or refer you to the appropriate officer.
- If you have a medical condition, you'll need to discuss them initially with our admin staff and they'll advise you or refer you to the appropriate officer.
If you're eligible, there's a 4 stage application process.
Original documents MUST be produced for every application submitted.
If you're eligible to apply, you must call the Licensing Team to book an appointment.
You must bring the following to your appointment:
- A completed application form from the section above.
- A completed Statutory Declaration Form (sworn before a Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths). Alternatively this can be done with us for an additional fee.
- Your full ordinary UK driving licence (complete).
- The licence fee. The fees and charges document in the other forms section above details all fees.
- Proof of National Insurance Number, such as your National Insurance card or payslip.
- One colour passport size photograph of yourself taken within the last month. It should be full face without a hat or sunglasses, taken against a plain cream or light grey background.
- Original EU/EEA* passport. If you don't hold a current EU/EEA passport, you will need to provide evidence that you are entitled to remain in this country
indefinitely and able to work.
- One recent utility bill stating your name and address, for example a gas, electricity, bank statement or credit card statement, which must not be more than 3 months old.
Mobile phone statements are not accepted.
After your interview:
- We'll arrange an appointment for you to attend a coaching session. This coaching session is to give you guidance on the Area Knowledge Test, Private or Hackney Conditions and Byelaws and Customer Care.
- Following the coaching session, you will be asked to book an Area Knowledge Test.
- If you want to cancel your coaching or Area Knowledge Test, we require 48 working hours notice. If you don't give us this notice, we'll charge a fee. This can be found in the fees and charges document in the other forms section above.
- If you fail, you can book another test. This will require a re-booking fee. The cost of this fee can be found in the fees and charges document in the other forms section above.
Once you've passed the Area Knowledge Test:
- Submit the medical examination form. You can find this in the other forms section above.
You are responsible for paying the Medical Practitioners fee outlined on the form.
- If you need to be referred for any further assessment in relation to Group II Driving Standards listed on the form, we'll make you an appointment with our medical advisors, Mediscreen. This costs £155 per appointment. If you need to have a screening, you'll need to pay a further cost of £58 as well as any other costs which you may incur as a result of contacting your GP.
- If your medical shows your health is in line with the required standards, you'll move on to stage 4.
Once you've passed the medical examination:
- You'll need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form. We'll give this to you after your medical. You'll need to submit this to us along with any supporting documents and the DBS fee of £44.
- Once you've given us your form, we'll give you a DBS reference number. You'll need to use this number to sign up for the DBS update service. You can speak to us if you're unsure how to do this.
- Your DBS certificate will only be sent to you. So when you receive it, you'll need to show the original to us as soon as possible.
- You'll also need to show us evidence that you've signed-up to the DBS update service. Once you've done this, we'll give you your licence and badge.
Relevance of convictions
This document aims to provide transparency concerning the relevance of convictions and other matters.