Taxis and private hire cars

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 pack below.  When you lodge your application you will need to bring your current DVLA drivers licence, along with 2 passport photos and the fee.  You may also need to complete a medical form (please see below).

How the application is dealt with

We try to deal with all application in 4 to 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 45 to 64 are required to go for a medical every 5 years and those aged 65 & over and those who have stated a medical condition require to go for an annual medical. 

Please complete the medical form along with your application form if you are aged 45 & 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.

Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles

If you want a car to be used as a taxi or private hire car 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.

The car needs to be less than 3 years old to apply for this.  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. 

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 vehicle 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 is passed, we will make up 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 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.  However we will write out to you to advise you of your next test date prior to expiry.

Please note that from 1st December 2015 under the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 under commencement No1., the 24 hour contract hire exemption has been repealed. 

Any hire/contract whether it be under or over 24 hours, you are now required to hold a private hire or taxi Operators licence. Funeral & Wedding Cars are still exempt.

Useful documents