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Taxi and minicab licences

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.

See the fees and charges for 2015 - 2016 (10kb pdf)

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver application forms

Choose the appropriate licence from the list below to start your application.

Hackney Carriage

Private Hire

You'll also need to provide 2 character references from people you have known for 2 or more years on the character reference form (29kb doc)

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 4 stages for this application:

Stage 1

When you are ready to apply come along to a licensing counter drop-in session. Please note: Original documents MUST be produced for every application submitted.

You must bring the following documents to your appointment:

  • A fully completed application form.
  • A fully completed character reference 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.
  • Photocard or paper licence (issued pre 1998) with a DVLA registration code  
  • The Licence fee of £97.90 (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 or payslip.
  • 1 colour passport size photograph of yourself taken within the last month. It should be full face without a hat or sunglasses, taken against a plain cream or light grey background.
  • Original EU/EEA passport (If you do not hold a current EU/EEA passport, you will need to provide evidence that you are entitled to remain in this country indefinitely and able to work).
  • 1 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 are not accepted.

Stage 2 

  • An appointment will be given to you for a Coaching Session: This coaching session is to give you guidance on the Area Knowledge 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 £38.50.
  • Any failed tests will also be subject to a £38.50 re-booking fee.

 Stage 3 

  • Submit the completed medical examination form (68kb doc)
  • 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.

Stage 4

  • You'll need to attend a licensing drop-in counter session to complete the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form with us. The cost of the DBS is £44.
  • Please ensure you bring valid identity documents (160kb pdf)
  • The form will be sent off to the Disclosure and Barring Service for checking. Please note that it may take 8-12 weeks for the DBS to process the form and return it to you.
  • Once received you must contact the office and arrange to produce your DBS form for Enforcement to process.

Change of vehicle and ownership forms

If you have sold your plated vehicle to another licensed driver, please complete the change of ownership and relinquish of interest forms and bring them with the relevant documents (as stated in the form) to a drop-in session.

If you own a plated vehicle and wish to change the vehicle on that plate, please complete the change of vehicle form and bring it with the relevant documents (as stated in the form) to a drop-in session.

If you own a Hackney Carriage plate above the number 100, please contact us before completing any of the forms.

Hackney Carriage

Private Hire

Contact us

01706 924114

Licensing Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU

Licensing counter drop-in sessions.
Monday: 9am-11am and 2pm-4pm
Tuesday: 2pm-4pm
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday:
9am-11am and 2pm-4pm

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