Taxis and private hire cars

Drivers hands on steering wheel

Drivers

If you want to drive a taxi or private hire car you will need a taxi driver's licence. 

How to apply

You will need to complete the application form.  When you lodge your application you will also need to submit your current DVLA drivers licence, a passport photo, a form of photographic ID, evidence of your Right To Work in the UK (if applicable) and the fee.  You may also need to complete a medical form (please see below).  The driver and operator application checklist can be found here.

Download the driver application form

Download the driver and operator application checklist

 

How the application is dealt with

We try to deal with all applications within 6 weeks.  A copy of your application will be sent to the Police. 

If you are aged 45 or over you are required to go for a medical.  We will arrange this for you and the cost of the initial medical will be met by East Lothian Council.  Anyone aged 45 to 64 years is required to go for a medical every 5 years and those aged 65 years and over (and those who have stated a medical condition) require to undertake an annual medical. 

Please complete the medical form included with the drivers application form if you are aged 45 years and over, or if you have a medical condition. 

If you are granted a licence, this covers you to drive East Lothian taxis and private hire cars.  The licence lasts for one year and it is your responsibility to make sure you apply for a renewal before the expiry date. 

From 2 October 2023, applicants applying to renew their licence are required to provide an HMRC tax check code.

Complete a tax check for a taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence

 

Illuminated taxi sign on top of cab.

Vehicles

If you want a car to be used as a taxi or private hire vehicle then you need to apply for a vehicle operator's licence.  The difference between a taxi and private hire car is that a taxi can pick up passengers from the street and park in taxi ranks but a private hire car must be pre-booked.

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles need to be less than 3 years old to apply for this.  Zeor Emission vehicles need to be less than 4 years old.  Any person driving the car including the operator will need a Taxi Drivers Licence. 

 

What you need to do to apply

You will need to fill in an application form and also produce a current MOT certificate with at least 11 months remaining, the vehicle registration document and insurance certificate along with the fee.  The application checklist can be found here.

The licence lasts for one year and it is your responsibility to make sure you apply for a renewal before the expiry date.  

Download operator application form

Download the driver and operator application checklist

 

How the application is dealt with

We will send a copy of your application form along with copies of the other documents to the Police.  The Police have 21 days to respond and if the application is cleared by them, then we will arrange a test date for the vehicle to be tested by East Lothian Vehicle Plant Maintenance.

If your vehicle passes it’s inspection, we will make plates to be fitted on the front and rear of your car and if it is a Private Hire car, you will also receive private hire pre-booked signs to be fitted to the driver and front passenger doors.  The licence lasts for one year and it is your responsibility to make sure you apply for a renewal of licence before the expiry date. 

 

Sign on side of building saying 'taxi office'

Booking Offices

The definition of booking office is the use of premises for the carrying on of a business which consists to any extent of the taking of bookings, by any means of communication, from members of the public for the hire of a relevant vehicle.   You will be required to display a site notice outside the premises (21 days) when you lodge your application.

Download the booking office licence application form

Download the booking office site notice

Download the booking office compiance notice

 

Licence Fees 2022/2023

Private Hire Cars

Driver (1 year) £149

Grant of Private Hire Car Licence (1 year) £405

Early Renewal & Replacement £405

Renewal & Replacement £405

Replacement or Substitute vehicle £141

Replacement Plate (Front) £32

Replacement Plate (Rear) £35

Replacement Brackets (Front) £32

ReplacementBrackets (Rear) £35

Replacement Drivers Badge £29

Replacement Door Sign £31

Grant/Renewal of Trailer £149

 

Advertising:

Internal £18

External £60

Superside £72

Full Livery £90

Duplicate Licence £29

Variation £69

 

Taxi Booking Offices

Grant (3 years) £252

Duplicate Licence £29

Variation £69

 

 

Taxis

Driver (1 year) £149

Grant of Taxi licence (1 year) £405

Early Renewal & replacement £405

Renewal and Replacement £405

Replacement or Substitute vehicle £141

Replacement Plate (Front) £32

Replacement Plate (Rear) £35

Replacement Brackets (Front) £32

ReplacementBrackets (Rear) £32

Replacement Drivers Badge £29

 

Grant/Renewal of Trailer £149

Wheelchair Exemption Certificate £29

 

**Please note: licence fees are non-refundable**