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Types of licences available

We grant licences for individuals to drive and operate taxis and private hire vehicles.

To ensure the safety and comfort of the public, we must ensure that licence holders meet and maintain the required standards and comply with legislation, local byelaws and licence conditions.

There are five types of licence that either a hackney carriage (taxi) or private hire driver/proprietor may need to be able to work within the borough of Boston.

For drivers:

For vehicles:

Any potential applicants must first read the Driver Enquiry Pack which can either be collected from the main reception desk at the Municipal Buildings or can be posted by calling 01205 314214 and providing a name and address.

All applicants must attend, by appointment only, at the Municipal Buildings to discuss the application process. At this time an application pack will be given to the applicant.  However, the following information gives a brief overview of what to expect when applying for the different types of licence.

The maximum number of passenger seats that we can license is 8. Anything over that number is classed as a Public Service Vehicle and licensed by the Vehicle & Operator Standards Agency (VOSA).

Driver licences (taxi and private hire)

Any person who drives a licensed vehicle must hold a licence to do so. Both licences (driver and vehicle) must be issued by the same authority.

We will not grant a driver licence unless we are satisfied that the applicant:-

The law requires any applicant for a driver licence to have held a full UK driving licence (or legal equivalent) for at least 12 months. We will not normally regard the applicant to be sufficiently mature or experienced unless he/she has held a full licence for at least TWO years.

DBS check - the legislation provides that local authorities with responsibilities under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, may require applicants to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The DBS Disclosure is made against government records and the Police National Computer (PNC).  We require these checks to be made every three years.

Medical examination - all applicants making their first application must submit a certified medical certificate. A certificate will then be required every six years thereafter unless an applicant's medical condition warrants examination on a more regular basis. An applicant aged 65 years or over must undergo the medical examination every year. The examination must be carried out by a medical practitioner who has full knowledge of the applicant's medical history on the forms supplied by us.  Completed medical forms can only be accepted up to six weeks from the form being signed by the medical practitioner.

Application form - all applicants must complete an application form. As well as the general information required (name, address, date of birth etc) under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions)(Amendments) Order 2002 an applicant must declare ALL CONVICTIONS (no matter how old - even if they are spent).

DVLA check - a DVLA check form is attached to the application form. All applicants must complete this whenever they apply for a grant or to renew their badge. An applicant must bring with him/her their driving licence. For more information on holders of European Community (EC) or one of the other countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) licences, please refer to the leaflet EC/EEA Driving Licences in the related documents list at the end of this page.

Passport photos - two passport photos must also be provided.

Immigration Check - from the 1 December 2016 new legislation from the Government came into force and requires all private hire/hackney carriage drivers and operators to have an immigration check before a new or renewed licence can be issued.  The new provisions mean that driver and operator licences must not be issued to people who are illegally present in the UK, who are not permitted to work, or who are permitted to work but are subject to a condition that prohibits them from holding such a licence.  Further information about this check will be provided at the appointment. 

Comprehension test - all first time applicants must undertake a comprehension test which consists of: reading out loud a short passage in english, completing a written receipt and three mathematical questions.

Safeguarding training - All new drivers and drivers applying for renewal of their licence are required to complete the Licensing Authority's on-line safeguarding awareness training.  There is no cost for this training but certificates must be provided to taxi licensing before a licence can be issued or renewed.  Guidance notes on how to register, log on for training and print certificates will be provided. 

Once all the information has been received/returned (from DBS and DVLA) the licensing section will check the documentation and make any other enquiries deemed necessary to determine if the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a driver licence. If everything is OK, the applicant will be issued with a private hire badge. If he/she wants to change to a hackney carriage badge the following applies.

The applicant must pass a 'knowledge test'.

The knowledge test is in three parts:-

  1. Six questions which relate to hackney carriage legislation.
  2. Two topographical (shortest route) questions (both journeys will start at the same point and finish at the same point but one journey is shorter).
  3. Twenty multiple choice questions regarding the location of places within the boston borough council area. Seventeen or more of these questions have to be correctly answered.

If the applicant passes this test then a hackney carriage driver licence is issued - this allows a driver to work both as a private hire and hackney carriage driver.

The knowledge tests are held once a month and a list of dates will be provided at the initial appointment.

Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle licences

Please note - Interim arrangements are in place at present with regard to MOT tests.  Please contact Taxi Licensing for further information.

Private hire vehicles must not pick up passengers under any circumstances without a prior booking made by the hirer direct with the operator for which the vehicle works. Failure to do otherwise is an offence and may invalidate the vehicle's car insurance cover.

Therefore, private hire vehicles must not wait near taxi ranks without reasonable cause, as to do so may be construed as acting as a hackney carriage vehicle and plying for hire. Furthermore, any gathering of more than two private hire vehicles could be perceived as forming a rank and could lead to prosecution for plying for hire. The practice of passengers booking fares with the driver who relays the booking information to the operator over the vehicle's radio constitutes plying for hire. The driver must not act as the 'go between' under any circumstances.

Once a vehicle is licensed as a taxi or private hire vehicle, every driver of that vehicle, whether it be used for business or pleasure, must possess the appropriate current hackney carriage/private hire driver licence.

Hackney carriages (taxis) may be hailed from a taxi rank, can ply for hire on any street or be pre-booked. All licensed taxis must display a roof sign, a "for hire" sign in the front windscreen and have a boston borough council licensed vehicle plate fixed to the rear of their vehicle. A taxi meter must also be fitted which has been set to display a fare not exceeding the maximum fare rate set by the council. This taxi meter must have been tested for accuracy and sealed.

To apply for a vehicle licence the following is required -

If this is a renewal then the licence plate (attached to the rear of the vehicle) will be required - this will be exchanged for an updated plate.

Once all the above is received by the licensing section a licence and plate is then produced. This licence is renewable annually.


Boston borough council regulates the maximum fares charged for journeys in hackney carriages ONLY. Fares for private hire bookings are not regulated and should be agreed at the time of booking. An example of the current tariff sheet is shown in related documents listed below.

Vehicle plates

Every licensed vehicle will display a plate in a visible position below window level on the rear of the vehicle.

The council produce their own licensed vehicle plates that identifies the licence number, vehicle make/model, number of passengers it can carry and an expiry date.

Private hire operators licence

Section 55 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 provides that no person shall act as an operator of private hire vehicle(s) without first obtaining a licence from the council.

A private hire operators licence lasts for five years.  In line with the council's Policy and Guidelines relating to the relevance of convictions, applicants for a private hire vehicle operator licence, who do not hold a hackney carriage/private hire driver badge with this authority, will be required to present, at their expense, the result of a current and up-to-date Basic Disclosure check from Disclosure Scotland.

For more information as to what a private hire operator must/must not do whilst holding a licence please refer to the related documents list shown below.


Related documents

Size Name
[37kb] Byelaws Taxi byelaws
[247kb] Hackney Carriage Guidance Booklet - 2017 - V.4.1 Hackney Carriage Guidance Booklet
[227kb] Private Hire Guidance Booklet - 2017 V.4.1 Private hire guidance booklet
[27kb] Private Hire Operators Private hire operators
[34kb] Fees & Charges 2017-18 Taxi fees and charges 2017/18
[37kb] Meeting the Needs of Disabled Passengers Meeting the needs of disabled passengers
[36kb] MOT Test - Hackney Carriages MOT test information - hackney carriages
[33kb] MOT Test - Private Hire MOT test information - private hire
[25kb] Trailer Information Trailer information
[22kb] EC and EEA Driving Licences Information regarding EC and EEA driving licences

The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.