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Taxi Driver Licences

Driver licences

A licence is required before any person can drive a New Forest Hackney Carriage (taxi) or a Private Hire Vehicle. (A New Forest licence will also be required for the vehicle). All journeys carrying passengers in a Private hire vehicle must be pre-booked through a New Forest District licensed operator.

New Forest District Council issue dual driver licences which permit the holder to drive either a Hackney Carriage (taxi) or a Private Hire Vehicle. However the conditions that apply to each type of vehicle must be complied with at all times. Licences will be issued for a maximum period of 3 years.
 

How to apply for a Driver Licence

This is a two stage process, but you must be at least 21 years of age and have held a full DVLA, Northern Ireland or European Economic Area (EEA) state driving licence for at least 2 years

Stage 1

You must first pass the New Forest District Council Driver Knowledge test which is held under classroom conditions at the Council's office in Lyndhurst.

The test consists of four parts;

  1. Geographic knowledge of the New Forest area including the particular driving hazards which are unique to the Forest (grazing animals, speed restrictions etc). Applicants must also have a good knowledge of the location of local pubs, health centres, shopping areas and ferry terminals;

  2. Questions on the Highway Code;

  3. English and numeracy;

  4. Rules and regulations of being a licensed driver

  5. Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults who may be passengers.

                                You MUST study the information below before taking the test. 

If you would like a hard copy of the Driver Knowledge Application pack, please click here Application Request Form to complete an online request or send an email, giving your full name and postal address, to drivertest@nfdc.gov.uk and a copy will be sent to you by Royal Mail. 

When you have revised all question areas, you may book a test by completing the booking form in the application pack and return it to Licensing Services by post or by email.

The payment of £37.00 is required before a test date can be allocated.

Stage 2

Once you have passed the Council's Driver Knowledge Test you will be sent the Driver application form and guidance notes for you to complete.

You must bring the actual documents (not copies) below to our offices, where we will photocopy them and progress the application. Applications will not be accepted without them.

  • The completed application form,

  • Your DVLA driving licence card showing your current address,

  • DBS application form to request an enhanced level check,

  • Relevant documents to support your DBS application,

  • DBS application form to request an enhanced level check,

  • 2 colour passport type photographs taken within the last month,

  • Completed DVLA mandate,

  • The fee,

  • Details of two referees on the referee form.

The Medical form need not be completed at this stage. You may wait until the necessary checks have been returned to us. Alternatively you may provide an HGV or PCV licence as proof of medical fitness.

Please be aware that we normally allow approximately 6 weeks from receipt of your application for return of DBS checks.

Contact Details:
Licensing Services
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court
Lyndhurst
SO43 7PA

If you have any queries please refer to the FAQ (Frequently asked questions below) or e-mail licensing@nfdc.gov.uk

FAQs

Q1 What is the difference between a taxi (hackney carriage) and a private hire vehicle?

A hackney carriage can be hailed from the street, can operate from taxi ranks and can also be pre-booked if required. It must have a fitted taximeter, roof light and a fare table displayed in the vehicle. The plate on the rear of the vehicle is yellow with the vehicle details printed on it.

Private hire vehicles licensed by NFDC can be any colour and have a white plate on the rear that contains the licence number. They cannot be hailed from the roadside and must be booked through an NFDC operator. Private hire vehicles can operate without a meter as a journey is a matter for agreement between the operator and the hirer. However some private hire vehicles do have meters fitted.

Q2 Why can't a private hire vehicle pick me up from the street?

A private hire vehicle is not licensed to ply for hire on the street, it must be booked through a licensed operator in advance of the journey who is obliged to keep records so that in the event of a problem the driver can be traced. Where the driver picks up illegally this would, in most cases, invalidate the vehicle insurance and therefore put the public at risk.

Q3 Can I drive in another area?

Only if you hold a driver licence with that authority. The operator and vehicle must also be licensed with the same authority that you are licensed with. Please note that we do not permit vehicle licences to be concurrently licensed with another Council.

Q4 I live outside the New Forest District, can I be licensed as a driver?

Yes, your home address will not prevent you from obtaining a licence, but you must drive a New Forest plated vehicle and obtain your work from a New Forest District Council licensed Operator.

Q5 Why does it take so long to get my DBS check back and how can I chase this.

The DBS are very busy and as such have asked all applicants to allow them at least 60 days to carry out the DBS check. The application cannot be checked before this time period is up. Once your application has been outstanding for 60 days, the DBS can be contacted and you may request a fast track. Once you have applied you will have been sent an acknowledgement letter from licensing services from the detailing you reference number. You will need this if you wish to contact the DBS regarding the status of your account the DBS can be contacted on 0300 200 190. You can also visit www.gov.uk/guidance/track-a-dbs-application to see an online progress check of your application. You will be required to provide your date of birth and form reference number. We would strongly urge you to apply for the update service once you receive your latest DBS.

Q6 What is the update service and how do I sign up?

The update service is a service provided by the DBS where applicants can sign up to keep their criminal record check up to date. This means that that from the date you sign up using a valid and current DBS certificate (within 30 days of your certificate being issued) the DBS will update any new information about the applicants criminal history.

Registration costs £13 per year

Once you sign up, any person or organisation that you allow, can check your DBS. If no information has been added to the certificate it will state 'No new information has been added' if there is new information, it will state 'Please request new certificate'.

If you end your subscription before your next licence you will be required to complete the DBS again.

Once signed up to this service you will be able to use the same certificate for multiple applications should you need to. Please keep your DBS certificate safe as this will need to be shown when making an application.

Please be advised NFDC have no influence on the time it takes to process a DBS check and cannot help you with questions surrounding the application. If you wish to contact the DBS please note they will only speak to the applicant.


If you have any difficulty with any of the forms or have any questions, please contact us.

Contact Details:
Licensing Services
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court
Lyndhurst
SO43 7PA

Tel No: 023 80285505

E-mail: licensing@nfdc.gov.uk

Updated: 4 Jul 2018
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