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You will need a hackney carriage licence if you own or drive a hackney carriage (taxi).

Customers can hire hackney carriages from designated taxi ranks or hail them on the street.

If you are going to be the driver of the taxi, you will also need a driver licence.

The same authority needs to issue the hackney carriage vehicle licence and the driver licence.

To operate in Chelmsford, both of the licences need to be issued by us. 

When you licence your vehicle for the first time or replace it, it must: 

  • be side loading
  • be less than a year old
  • be first registered in your name
  • be black in colour
  • be wheelchair accessible
  • pass a mechanical inspection
  • comply with Euro 6 emissions standards
  • be fitted with a correctly calibrated taximeter

To apply for a hackney carriage licence, you need to:

  • complete the online application form
  • complete a basic DBS check for each owner (unless you already have a driver licence and have signed up to the DBS update service) 
  • provide the supporting documents (we've listed these below)
  • pay the application fee of £543

Supporting documents

For a new hackney carriage licence, the supporting documents you need are:

  • a completed proprietorship requisition form
  • proof of a completed basic DBS check
  • a copy of the certificate of your insurance cover, which much include cover for public hire
  • a mechanical inspection certificate
  • a certificate and details of a fitted taximeter
  • a bill of sale (if the vehicle is on order)
  • a copy of your registration document (V5)

You need to submit the supporting documents to us within the online application form.

What happens next

Once we receive your application, we will:

  • acknowledge it within three days
  • contact you to take the fee, if you have chosen that option
  • check that your application and supporting documents are correct
  • arrange to view the vehicle (if necessary)
  • notify you of our decision within five working days after you have submitted your application and met all requirements
  • issue your licence

Your hackney carriage licence will be valid for one year from the date we granted it.

You need to apply for a new licence every year, before the current licence expires.

To renew your hackney carriage licence, you need to:

  • complete the online application form
  • complete a basic DBS check for each owner (unless you already have a driver licence and have signed up to the DBS update service) 
  • provide the supporting documents (we've listed these below)
  • pay the renewal fee of £382

Supporting documents

For a hackney carriage licence renewal, the supporting documents you need are:

  • a completed proprietorship requisition form
  • proof of a completed basic DBS check
  • a copy of the certificate of your insurance cover, which much include cover for public hire
  • a mechanical inspection certificate
  • a certificate and details of a fitted taximeter
  • a bill of sale (if the vehicle is on order)
  • a copy of your registration document (V5)

You need to submit the supporting documents to us within the online application form.

What happens next

Once we receive your renewal application, we:

  • may arrange to view the vehicle
  • will notify you of our decision

The application fee for a hackney carriage licence is £543.  The cost to renew a licence is £382.

You can pay by phone or bank transfer. 

We don't store your payment details when you contact us to make a payment. You will need to have your card details available each time you contact us to make a payment.

By phone

You can pay the application or renewal fee by calling our Licensing team on 01245 606606.

By bank transfer

You can pay by bank transfer. Our bank details are:

  • Account name: Chelmsford City Council
  • Sort code: 60-05-13
  • Account number: 55600018

You need to include the vehicle licence number (for example, HC001) as the reference when you pay by bank transfer. 

Your vehicle needs to:

  • have an initial mechanical inspection, and then one every six months
  • pass an MOT after one year, and then annually

You can book a taxi inspection or MOT for your vehicle at our Freighter House test centre.

You should get your vehicle checked before submitting it for inspection.

Hackney carriage or private hire vehicles must meet Euro 6 emissions standards if:

  • your vehicle remains licensed past 31 March 2024
  • your vehicle is being licensed for the first time
  • you replace your current licensed vehicle after 31 March 2020

Euro 6 is a set of standards introduced by the European Commission to reduce harmful pollutants from vehicle exhausts.

You can request replacement items for your hackney carriage.

If you replace your taxi or private hire vehicle due to accidental damage or major repairs, you need to tell us. You will also need to pay the fee of £91.

When replacing a vehicle on a hackney carriage licence, the supporting documents you will need are:

You need to submit the supporting documents to us within the online application form.

We will only issue the new licence if we receive your application and supporting documents.

We regulate the fare you can charge your customers, and you can check the amounts.

We have adopted a tariff of charges set by a taximeter. Taximeters are electronically chipped and no longer require manual calibration.

A specialist service calibrates the mechanism against a current list of charges and you then receive a certificate.

You can get a taximeter calibration and certificate via Andy Ashton by calling 07973215655 or by emailing andyashton@ntlworld.com.

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Last updated: 21 September 2022