Hackney carriages can be pre-booked and customers can hail them from the street or from a taxi rank.
If you want to drive a hackney carriage (taxi) you will need:
- drivers licence
- hackney carriage vehicle licence
To drive a hackney carriage in Harlow, both the driver licence and the hackney carriage vehicle licence need to be issued by us.
You can apply for a driver licence if you:
- are 21 years or over
- have held a full UK driving licence for at least a year
To apply for a drivers licence, you need to contact us. We will provide an application form, which you need to complete and return to us along with the fee and supporting documents.
For a drivers licence, the supporting documents you need are:
- your Driving Licence card and online check code to allow us to view your DVLA licence history
- your passport
- your birth certificate
- your National Insurance number
- proof of your current address on two separate utility or credit card bills
- a completed Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application and £44 fee (within 30 days from the date of issue of the DBS certificate, you must sign up to the DBS Update Service at a cost of £13 - if you do not sign up to the Update Service, you will need to apply for a DBS check every three years, at a cost of £64)
- proof of your right to work in the UK (passport)
- a Certificate of Good Conduct, if you have lived anywhere other than the UK for six or more consecutive months in the last five years
- the fee (one year £240, three years £405). This is paid in two parts - £120 must be paid at the initial appointment, £120 on the granting of the licence
Once you have made an application, we will review your documents to make sure you are a ‘fit and proper’ person.
If you have criminal convictions or serious driving endorsements, your application may be referred to the Licensing Sub-committee for a decision.
For more information, read our criminal convictions policy (pdf)
If we do not grant your licence, you can make an appeal to the Magistrates court.
If you are considered ‘fit and proper’, before the driver licence is granted you also need to:
- provide a completed and stamped Harlow Council Group 2 medical certificate. Our preferred medical practitioner is Harlow Occupational Health Service, but you are free to use any registered medical practitioner.
- pass a practical driving test pass certificate. You can book your test at:
- pass the knowledge test
- attend a Child Sexual Exploitation and Disability awareness session
Once these have been successfully completed, we will grant the licence.
Your driver licence will be valid for either one or three years from the date we granted it.
Renew your driver licence
To renew a drivers licence, you need to contact us. We will provide an application form, which you need to complete and return to us along with the fee and supporting documents.
To renew a driver licence, the supporting documents you need are:
- a DBS certificate, less than three years old on the expiry date of the licence you are applying for (if you are using the DBS Update Service, you just need to make sure you have paid your annual subscription fee, we will check your certificate)
- a Harlow Council Group 2 medical certificate - not more than five years old on the expiry date of the licence you are applying for
- the fee (one year £124, three years £295)
You will need to provide a Harlow Council Group 2 medical certificate every five years until you are 65 years old.
Once you are 65 years, you will need to pass a Group 2 medical assessment every year.
Hackney carriage vehicle licence
To apply for a vehicle licence, you need to contact us. We will provide an application form, which you need to complete and return to us along with the fee and supporting documents.
For a vehicle licence, the supporting documents you need are:
- a valid insurance certificate, which must include ‘on risk’ cover for hackney carriage use
- a current MOT and Compliance test certificate for the vehicle, at a cost of £50
- the registration document showing the registered keeper’s name and address or proof of vehicle ownership
- a category M1 vehicle classification approval certificate (where the vehicle is licensed for the first time)
- the fee £298
Once we have checked that your application and paperwork is correct, we will issue your vehicle licence.
Your hackney carriage licence will be valid for one year from the date we granted it.
Renew your vehicle licence
To renew your vehicle licence, you need to contact us. We will provide an application form, which you need to complete and return to us along with the fee and supporting documents.
To renew a vehicle licence, the supporting documents you need are:
- proof of motor insurance
- an MOT and compliance certificate
- the fee £298
We regulate the fare you can charge your customers, and you can check the hackney carriage tariffs (pdf).
Inspections and MOTs
Vehicles less than 6 years old must be compliance tested every year.
Vehicles more than 6 years old must be compliance tested twice a year.
All vehicles require an annual MOT.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles
All hackney carriage vehicles are wheelchair accessible.
Please see the wheelchair accessible vehicles list (pdf) for more details.
Drivers of hackney carriage vehicles have a legal duty to carry wheelchair passengers and passengers with assistance dogs.
The only circumstance when a driver can refuse to take a wheelchair passenger or a passenger with an assistance dog is if they have an exemption notice.
The only grounds for exemption are medical, or that a physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a driver to comply with this duty.