Hackney Carriage / Private Hire Drivers

Important information →

Tax Checks → With effect from 4 April 2022 HMRC have introduced a new tax check for Local Authorities to ensure licence holders are aware of their tax obligations, and where appliable are registered for tax. Further information is available on GOV.UK (external link).

You will also need to complete a tax check form when you submit an application to the Licensing Team.

Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards → Stage 1 of these standards relating to drivers, operators and local authorities was approved by the Regulation Committee on 3 September 2021. Further information can be found on  Regulation Committee agenda and minutes. The new standards came into effect on 1 December 2021, unless stated otherwise.

Application timescales

We are receiving a high volume of contact / applications at the present time and so our timescales may go beyond what is stated below.  Please do bear with us why we deal with this additional demand.  We would please ask that you do not email us again as this is adding to the delays (5 October 2021).

Under the provisions of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 we are responsible for licensing hackney carriage and private hire drivers who work within the Borough.

The purpose of this licensing is to safeguard the fare paying, travelling public by ensuring that drivers are considered suitable. Drivers of hackney carriage and private hire vehicles are legally required to have a licence.

Application forms and procedures

To apply for a hackney carriage / private hire drivers’ licence you must:

  • Be over 21 years-old
  • Have held a full DVLA driving licence or other European Union licence for at least 12 months
  • Be able to satisfy us you are a fit and proper person to hold the licence
  • Be entitled to work in the UK.

Please note: The application procedure has changed and applications will no longer be submitted in person.

Please ensure that you read through the information / guidance notes in relation to hackney carriage / private hire driver licences thoroughly as they contain important information regarding the application process and what documents are required to make an application. 

Please complete the application form in full, and ensure that all sections are completed. Failure to provide the following documents could lead to a delay in your application.

  • Completed application form
  • Completed medical
  • DBS ID Verification documents
  • Photograph
  • Entitlement to Work document.

Our fees and charges page lists our current fees.

Private Hire drivers are advised to read through and familiarise themselves with the conditions which will be attached to their licence should it be issued.  Hackney Carriage drivers are advised to familiarise themselves with the bye-laws:

New Drivers

If you are a first time applicant for a hackney carriage / private hire drivers licence then as well as completing the application, medical and providing the required documents shown above, you will be required to sit a knowledge test to assess your geographical knowledge of the borough and law and conditions relating to hackney carriage / private hire. A knowledge test information booklet is available to help you pass your knowledge test:

If you fail the test you will be given the opportunity to re-sit the test until a pass mark is obtained. However please be advised that a further test fee will be payable, see  fees and charges.

When booking a knowledge re-test you will require your first reference number which begins KNWL.  Details of this can be found on your knowledge test booking confirmation email.

Renewal Drivers

You are advised to submit your renewal application, at least 60 days before their licence is due to expire.

All Drivers

Criminal Record Checks

On receipt of your completed application and relevant documents a link to an online DBS application will be emailed to you and you must complete the application and pay the relevant fee within 7 days of the receipt of the email.

A list of acceptable documents can be found at ID Verification Documents (external link)

Medical Fitness

To apply for a hackney carriage / private hire drivers’ licence you must satisfy us that you are medically fit to hold a licence, and the Council has adopted the DVLA Group 2 Medical Standards.

A completed medical form is only valid for 4 months from date of the examination. Do not complete your medical until you are in a position to submit your completed application to avoid incurring additional costs.

Entitlement to Work

To prevent illegal working in the private hire and hackney carriage vehicle sector all applicants must now demonstrate that they have the right to work in the UK, regardless of nationality, including British Citizens. A list of acceptable documents to prove your entitlement to work can be found at:

On completion of your application, you will need to email the form and additional documents, to the Licensing Team at  licensing@wigan.gov.uk

What's New

DBS Update Service

The Update Service is an online subscription that allows you to keep your standard DBS certificate up to date and allows us to check the status of your existing DBS certificate without the need for a new DBS application being submitted.  The cost is £13.00 and you can   register here (external link) using the e-reference number of your application or using the completed certificate reference number.  You must register your certificate number within 30 days of the ‘date of issue’ displayed on the certificate.

The Department for Transport have published Statutory Standards for councils on taxi licensing. The Standards recommend that all licensed drivers should be required to evidence continuous registration with the DBS update service to enable the licensing authority to routinely check for new information every six months.  Drivers that do not subscribe up to the Update Service should still be subject to a check every six months.

Failure to subscribe to the Update Service would mean you will be required to complete a new DBS every six months. 

NR3 – Register of Taxi and Private Hire Driver Licence Refusals and Revocations

The Department for Transport Statutory Standards recommend that councils use the National Register of Taxi License Revocations and Refusals (NR3) delivered by NAFN to support effective due diligence. Read full details of the Statutory Standards (external link).

A national register of hackney carriage and private hire driver licence refusals and revocations is now available to local authorities.  The register is to prevent individuals, who fail to disclose previous refusals and / or revocations, being granted a licence in one area when they have been deemed ‘not a fit and proper person’ in another area.

Should your driver licence be revoked or your application be refused then details of this will be recorded on NR3

COVID-19 early outbreak management

Public Health England have produced  guidance for hackney carriage and private hire services on what they should do to manage a possible outbreak. This information provides key steps to quickly identify and contain any potential COVID-19 outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): taxis and PHVs

Actions that drivers, operators and owners of taxis or private hire vehicles (PHVs) can take to protect against coronavirus. (external link)

Change of Address

You must inform the Council by email if you move home, giving details of your new address within seven days of moving.


If you wish to make a complaint in relation to a hackney carriage / private hire driver please contact the licensing team.

© Wigan Council