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Taxis and minicabs

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, the 2 types of vehicles licensed - Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles - 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.


Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers licence

First application

To apply for a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire  Drivers Application you must comply with the following:

  • 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's a full 12 months.
  • Are you over 21 years old? Persons under 21 must attend an under 21 interview.
  • Have you any convictions? You will need to discuss any convictions initially with licensing staff and they will advise you or refer you to the appropriate officer.
  • Have you a medical condition? You will need to discuss any medical condition initially with Licensing staff and they will advise you or refer you to the appropriate officer.

There are 4 stages for this application these are:

Stage 1

If you are eligible to apply you must complete and return the following to the Licensing Unit, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU:

  • A completed application form.
  • A completed Statutory Declaration Form (sworn before a solicitor or commissioner for oaths) .
  • Bring both parts of your current ordinary drivers licence for checking.
  • Pay the appropriate fee (cash/cheques are not accepted, payment can be made by card only).
  • Produce proof of your national insurance number.
  • Supply 2 recent passport size photographs.

Please note: Original documents must be produced for every application submitted.

Stage 2
  • An appointment and revision pack will be given to you for a coaching session.
  • Once you have attended the coaching session you will be booked in for an area knowledge exam. It is a 3 part written, multiple choice test.
  • You are allowed 3 attempts at the test, the first is included in the application fee and each further test will require a charge. Once you have passed this test you will be given a medical form to be completed by your own GP.
Stage 3
  • Submit the completed medical examination form.
  • You are responsible for paying the medical practitioners fee.
  • When you hand in the medical form and it has been checked and found to be satisfactory you will be given a vetting form to complete and the relevant fee to pay.
Stage 4
  • Your Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) will be processed and returned to you. Once received you must contact us and arrange to produce your CRB for Enforcement to process.
  • Please note that an 8-12 week delay may occur.

After it has been returned to the office it is checked and if found to be satisfactory a badge and licence will be issued.


Drivers licence application forms

Hackney Carriage

Private Hire


Change of vehicle and ownership forms

Hackney Carriage

Private Hire


Other forms

Contact us

01706 924114

Licensing Counter Opening – Appointments Only. Please call 01706 924114 to arrange an appointment.

Monday: 9am–11.30am and 2pm–4.30pm
Tuesday: 2pm–4.30pm
Wednesday: 9am–11.30am and 2pm–4.30pm
Thursday: 9am–11.30am and 2pm–4.30pm
Friday: 9am–11.30am and 2pm–4.30pm

Licensing Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU