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Taxi and minicab licence

Important information: new government tax check on licence applications

From 4 April 2022 the government introduced mandatory tax checks through the Finance Act 2021 to confirm that the applicant is appropriately registered for tax.

These new rules differ depending on whether the licence applicant is new or already licensed.

Applicants and licence holders are advised to make contact with HMRC or your accountant should you require any specialist advice around your tax obligations. 
 
Existing licence holder or renewing licence: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has introduced a new tax check that must be completed when any hackney carriage driver, private hire driver and or private hire operator (whether it be an individual licence holder, partnership or a company) renew their licences to drive taxis and private hire vehicles and operate a private hire business in England and Wales.

If a tax check is not completed, the licensing authority will be unable to consider your application to renew your licence and your current licence will expire. This is a requirement from HMRC. 

From 4 April 2022, if a currently licensed driver or private hire operator renews a licence or decides to apply for a licence with a different licensing authority, they'll have to do a tax check. They'll be able to do this online through the digital service. A tax check will be required on each and every occasion a renewal licence application is submitted.

Existing licence holders are encouraged to submit their renewal licence applications at least 8 weeks in advance. This is so the licensing authority can process your application, along with our new legal mandatory responsibility of making tax checks, to ensure your renewal licence is issued before the expiry of your current licence.       

New applicants: from 4 April 2022, if a hackney carriage or private hire driver applicant or a private hire operator applicant is applying for a licence for the first time, they will not need to complete the tax check. However, licensing authorities will ask applicants to read HMRC guidance on what they need to do to be properly registered for tax in the future in order to renew any licence and the driver will need to confirm they have done this.
 
Get ready for your tax checks: HMRC has introduced an online or digital tax check service for drivers and operators to undertake a tax check. HMRC wants people to prepare as early as possible by making sure they're registered to pay the appropriate taxes on their licensed income and to continue to be licensed at the point of renewing your licence. 
 
If you’ve not registered to pay tax on earnings from your licensed trade, you should go to GOV.UK to check if you need to register as soon as possible.

You'll be able to complete this tax check on GOV.UK, through your Government Gateway account. You'll only need to answer a few questions to tell HMRC how you pay any tax that may be due on income you earn from your licensed trade. Sign in or register for a Government Gateway account 

When you’ve completed the tax check, which only takes a few minutes, you’ll get a 9 digit code. You must give this code to the licensing authority. We cannot proceed with your licence application until the tax check is completed and we have received the code. The 9 digit code is only valid for 120 days. If the expiry date of the code has expired, you'll have to get another code.

The licensing authority will only receive confirmation from HMRC that you’ve completed the tax check; we will not have access to your tax account. The check will not include any calculations, it is simply to confirm that someone is appropriately registered for tax.
 
Further information:

Renew your driver's licence

Please don't delay applying to renew your licence. We recommend you apply 6 weeks before your current licence is due to expire.

To apply to renew your Private Hire or Hackney Carriage driver's licence:

  1. Complete the online application form.
  2. If you need to submit a new medical with your application and can't get an appointment with your GP, you can temporarily choose to get your medical from a third-party provider instead of your GP. These companies charge a fee for this service. The third-party must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC).

    The provider will need:
    • A summary of your medical records - you need to get from your GP.
    • A medical declaration form to complete - you can find it on this page.
    • A D4 medical form to take to your appointment - you can get this from your third party provider's website. If you struggle to get this form, please contact your medical provider directly.
  3. We'll process your application then ring you to take payment over the phone. We aim to do this within 5 working days.
  4. If we renew your licence, you can collect it from the office during our opening hours.
Renew your Private Hire or Hackney Carriage driver's licence (opens in a new window)

Approved vehicle standards

The public must be safe and comfortable while travelling in a licensed vehicle. Therefore, we'll only approve applications for vehicles that meet our approved standards.

View our:

Vehicle licence applications

To apply for your first vehicle licence or to renew your vehicle licence:

  1. Complete the online form for either Private Hire applications or Hackney Carriage applications.
  2. We'll contact you to arrange a time to test your vehicle. We aim to do this within 5 working days.
  3. If you fail to attend your vehicle test, it will result in extra fees. It could also result in a long delay for another appointment due to the number of vehicles we're currently testing.
  4. If your licence is granted, you can collect it from the office during our opening hours.
Private Hire vehicle licence applications and renewals (opens in a new window).Hackney Carriage vehicle licence applications and renewals (opens in a new window)

First driver's licence applications

If from the age of 18, you've spent 3 continuous months or more living outside of the UK, you'll need to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct from the Embassy or High Commission in the country or countries in which you lived in or visited. This document must be a certified translation, if the original Embassy Certificate is not in English. The document must also be under 3 months old from its date of issue.

Asylum seekers who hold a Home Office issued application registration document together with a verification letter from the Home Offices Employer Checking Service stating that the named individual is permitted to work in the UK, are exempt from the requirement to submit a Certificate of Good Conduct.

To apply for your first Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver's licence:

  1. Complete the online form below.
  2. We'll ring you to take payment over the phone within 5 working days of receiving your form.
  3. Once you've paid, we'll process your application and arrange an interview for you to bring in your original documents to complete the relevant security checks. This usually takes around 20 minutes.
  4. If your application is approved, we'll arrange a coaching session and test.
  5. If your application is refused, we'll let you know the reasons why and what your options are.
Apply for your first Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver's licence (opens in a new window)

Make a taxi or minicab licence enquiry

Please help us to better manage demand by reading the information on this page to answer your questions.

  1. If you still can't find what you're looking for, please email us your enquiry.
  2. Only contact us about an application after you've waited at least 7 working days from the date you emailed it to us.
  3. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 5 working days but it may sometimes take us longer.
Email lic.applications@rochdale.gov.uk to make a licence enquiry

Transfer a vehicle licence to a new vehicle

To transfer a Private Hire vehicle licence to a new vehicle:

  1. Complete the online form for either a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire licence below.
  2. We'll process your application then ring you to take payment over the phone and arrange an appointment for a vehicle test. We aim to do this within 5 working days.
  3. If you fail to attend your vehicle test, it will result in extra fees. It could also result in a long delay for another appointment due to the number of vehicles we're currently testing.
  4. If your new vehicle passes the test, send a copy of the pass sheet to us by emailing lic.applications@rochdale.gov.uk. Then we'll issue a new vehicle licence to you.
  5. If your new vehicle fails the test, the test centre will tell you the reasons why and we cannot licence your new vehicle. You can write to us to request a refund or you can appeal the decision by writing to Magistrates Court.
Private Hire vehicle licence transfer form (opens in a new window).Hackney Carriage vehicle licence transfer form (opens in a new window)

Change the owner of a licensed vehicle

To change the owner of a licensed Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle:

  1. The licence must have at least 3 months left before it expires.
  2. Complete the change of ownership online form below.
  3. We'll process your change then ring you to take payment over the phone. We aim to do this within 5 working days.
  4. Once you've paid, complete the relinquish interest form below.
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Forms​ and documents to support your application

Private Hire business operator licence

You must obtain the necessary planning permission for your premises​ before applying for a private h​ire operator licence.

Apply for a Private Hire business operator's licence (opens in a new window)

Relevance of convictions​

This document aims to provide transparency concerning the relevance of convictions and other matters.​

Contact

Licensing Unit
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU

Licensing office opening times

Monday

  • New driver – appointments only: 9am–11am and 1.30pm–3.30pm

Tuesday

  • Collection of plates and badges: 9am–11am
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – appointments only: 2pm–4pm

Wednesday

  • New driver – appointments only: 9am–11am and 1.30pm–3.30pm

Thursday

  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – appointments only: 9.30am–11.30am
  • Collection of plates and badges: 2pm–4pm

Friday

  • No face-to-face customer service