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 is a 4 stage application process.
If you're eligible to apply, you must call the Licensing Team to book an appointment.
Original documents MUST be produced for every application submitted.
You must bring the following to your appointment:
- A fully completed application form.
- 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 of £108 (please note we're unable to accept cash or cheque payments, payment must be made by credit or debit card).
- 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 do not 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.
- An appointment will be given to you for 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 in for an Area Knowledge Test.
- Any cancellations for coaching or Area Knowledge Tests will require 48 working hours notice, or will be charged for at £39.30.
- Any failed tests will also be subject to a £39.30 re-booking fee.
- Submit the completed medical examination form.
You are responsible for paying the Medical Practitioners fee.
- If you need to be referred for any further assessment with regards to Group II Driving Standards, an appointment will be made for you to attend our medical advisors, Mediscreen, at a cost of £155 per appointment. If screening is necessary, a further cost of £58 is payable, and you will be responsible for any further cost which may be incurred as a result of contacting your GP.
- When you hand in the medical form and it has been checked and found to be satisfactory you will be asked to complete a vetting form and a fee of £44 is payable.
- The vetting form will be sent off to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for checking.
Please note that it may take 8-12 weeks for the DBS to process the form.
- Your DBS will be processed and returned to you. Once received, you must contact the office and arrange to produce your DBS for Enforcement to process.
Relevance of convictions
This document aims to provide transparency concerning the relevance of convictions and other matters.