Hackney carriage drivers and vehicles

Changes to service → New driver applications

With effect from 30th October 2017 a new process for submitting new driver applications was introduced. Find out more about the application process.

Please note: There is currently over a 6 month waiting period for appointments due to the large number of new driver application requests we are receiving.

A completed medical form is only valid for 4 months. Do not complete your medical until you're close to your appointment date to avoid incurring additional costs.

Under the provisions of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 we are responsible for licensing hackney carriage vehicles and drivers who work within the Borough.

The purpose of this licensing is to safeguard the fare paying, travelling public by ensuring that vehicles are safe, reliable and comfortable and that drivers are considered suitable.

Hackney Carriages

A hackney carriage is:

  • Commonly known as a ‘taxi’
  • Either purpose built 'London style' cabs (often called 'black cabs', but sometimes a different colour) or saloon cars with a sign on the roof stating 'Taxi Wigan Borough'
  • Has a white plate on the rear of the vehicle stating that it is a hackney carriage
  • Can operate from taxi ranks within the Borough or can be 'flagged down' in the street
  • Can only be driven by a driver licensed by us for hackney carriage.

When working a driver must wear his badge where it can easily be seen by members of the public.

It's very important for safety reasons that members of the public do not get into any vehicle that they think is a hackney carriage unless it has the appropriate sign/plate and the driver is wearing the correct driver's badge


It's our responsibility to licence these vehicles to work in Wigan Borough.

There is currently a limit of 136 vehicle licences in the borough.

Before a licence can be issued, vehicles must be tested to ensure they are mechanically fit, safe and comfortable.

The council are required to issue licences for hackney carriage vehicles for any period between 6 to 12 months.

Vehicle Maintenance

We're concerned about the failure rate of licensed vehicles being inspected at the council’s Transport Depot, so to address this issue we have prepared a document for vehicle proprietors.

These guidelines will assist proprietors in ensuring that vehicles remain fit for use at all times when they are licensed.

We also advise you to read through and familiarise yourself with the Hackney Carriage Vehicle Conditions. These will be attached to the licence if issued.

Hackney Carriage Unmet Demand Study

In 2016, the council commissioned an independent survey to assess whether any significant unmet demand for hackney carriage services exists within the Borough. Following the the survey, it was concluded that there was no significant unmet demand for hackney carriage services.


Drivers of hackney carriage vehicles are legally required to have a licence.

To apply for a hackney carriage 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

With effect from 1st October 2015, the council are required to issue licences for hackney carriage drivers for 3 years. Any application made to us from this date, which is subsequently granted, is therefore issued for 3 years, unless any particular circumstances require a licence to be issued for a shorter period. This is as a result of the implementation of Section 10 of the Deregulation Act 2015.

Fees and Charges

Our fees and charges page lists our current fees.

Reductions on vehicle licenses are available for:

  • Applying for a six month licence
  • Wheelchair adapted vehicles
  • Vehicles propelled by LPG (contact us for schedule of conditions)
  • Vehicles showing CO2 emissions reading no higher than 150
  • Ultra low emission ‘plug in’ vehicles.

Application Process

Complete the appropriate application form, and then contact us to make an appointment to submit it.

Please bring your completed application form, appropriate fee and supporting documents to your appointment. Please refer to the guidance notes within each application for further information on the application procedure.

New Driver Application Process

Complete our online form to request an appointment to submit an application for a new hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence.

On submission of a completed request form, you will be contacted with an appointment date and time.

Please note: There is currently over a 6 month waiting period for appointments due to the large number of new driver application requests we are receiving.

A completed medical form is only valid for 4 months. Do not complete your medical until your close to your appointment date to avoid incurring additional costs.

Renewal Driver Application Process

You are advised to submit your renewal application, at least 8 weeks before your licence is due to expire. Please complete the application form in full, and ensure that all sections are completed (failure to do this may result in your application being rejected).

When you have completed the form, you will need to make an appointment, which should now be made online via www.wigan.gov.uk/taxilicensing. When you have booked your appointment online a link to the DBS application will be emailed to you.

On the date of your appointment you will need to go to the Licensing Desk at Wigan Life Centre. If you have not completed the online DBS application, or do not have all the necessary information or documents available with you at your appointment your application cannot be processed. Please see the guidance notes on the application form for further information on the documents required.

Please note: Your licence will not be issued until we are in receipt of a completed DBS check.  Therefore, please ensure that all renewal applications are submitted within a sufficient timescale to ensure your new licence is renewed before the expiry date of your current licence.  Failure to do so may result in you being unable to drive private hire/hackney carriage vehicles until such time as a licence has been issued.


If you wish to make a complaint in relation to a hackney carriage vehicle or driver please contact the licensing team.


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