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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 Private/Public 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 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.
  • Have you any convictions? You will need to discuss any convictions initially with Admin 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 with initially the Admin staff and they will advise you or refer to the appropriate officer.

There are four stages for this application:

Stage 1 

If you are eligible to apply, you must call the Licensing Team.

Call 01706 924114 Option 1 to book an appointment 

Bring the following to your appointment:

  • A completed in full 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.
  • Full ordinary UK driving licence (Complete).
  • The Licence fee of £95.90 (please note we are unable to accept cash or cheque payments, payment must be made by credit/debit card).
  • Proof of National Insurance Number, ie a National Insurance card/Payslip.
  • One colour passport size photograph of yourself which must be identical, full face without a hat or sunglasses, taken on a white cream or pale background.
  • Original EU/EEA* Passport (*If you do not hold a current 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 (eg gas, electricity, bank statement, credit card statement) which must not be more than 3 months old. Mobile phone statements NOT accepted.

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

Stage 2 
  • An appointment will be given to you for a Coaching Session: This coaching session is to give you guidance on the AK Test, Private/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 £37.70.
  • Any failed tests will also be subject to a £37.70 re-booking fee.
 Stage 3 
  • 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 £44.00 is payable.
Stage 4
  • The vetting form will be sent off to the Criminal Records Bureau for checking. Please note that an 8-12 week delay may occur.
  • Your CRB will be processed and returned to you. Once received you must contact the office and arrange to produce your CRB for Enforcement to process.

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

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