Taxi licensing

The purpose of licensing drivers, vehicles and operators is to provide the travelling public with a safe, comfortable journey in cars that are maintained to a high standard and driven by competent trustworthy and medically fit drivers who always behave in a civil and orderly manner.

Applicants for driver licences are required, in law, to be “fit and proper” persons. For this purpose Darlington Council requires applicants to undertake the following:

  • Driving Standards Agency (DSWA) taxi test
  • Medical undertaken to Group II standards at application, then every 5 years from 45 years of age and annually from 65 years of age
  • Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check at application and then every 3 years.
  • Knowledge test which includes questions on licensing legislation, Highway Code, route knowledge. In the case of hackney carriage drivers, taxi ranks and tariffs.

The law requires applicants to have held a full driving licence for at least 12 months.

Applicants who hold licences issued outside of the United Kingdom are required to get a D9 form from DVLA Swansea.

Drivers with points on their licences may be referred to the Council’s Licensing Committee for a decision about their application or licence.

Taxi drivers are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Offences are never “spent” and must be declared. Applicants with convictions may be referred to the Council’s Licensing committee for a decision.

You may find it helpful to discuss any convictions with a member of the Licensing team before making an application. Such discussion will be carried out in private and will remain confidential.

Applicants for operator licences are also required, in law, to be “fit and proper” persons.

For this purpose, if an applicant does not already hold a taxi driver licence the Council requires applicants to produce a police check or basic disclosure that is no older than one month.

All applicants for operator licences must have operating premises within the borough of Darlington.

Applicants for vehicle licences are subject to a range of Council policies. These include;

  • a requirement that a hackney carriage must be red
  • a private hire may be any colour but red.
  • vehicles must undertake testing with VOSA at application and mid way through the annual licence.

In addition there are restrictions on the age of vehicles – currently;

  • all vehicles must be under the age of 3 years at first application
  • cannot be licensed after the 6th anniversary of registration (unless either a purpose built vehicle such as a London Cab) which may be licensed until 10th anniversary of registration.
  • a vehicle that meets the “exceptionally well maintained” criteria which may be given an additional year of licence.

Install our web app.