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Hackney carriage and private hire driver licences

Please note, during the Covid-19 pandemic, our processes have substantially altered for many of our licensing functions – please email for details.

The Council has a responsibility to ensure that drivers of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are fit and proper persons to hold such licences.

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Licences are only issued by the Council after the driver has been checked to ensure he/she:

  • Has a valid driving licence
  • Has the right to live or work in the UK
  • Is a fit and proper person

In support of a completed application form the applicant will have to provide Licensing Services with the following:

  • A current full driving licence. All drivers must obtain a 'check code' from the DVLA. This is in order for the Licensing Service to see their full driving licence online. (Please see 'How to apply' section for more information on how to do this).
  • Evidence of any previous criminal conviction, spent or unspent. The disclosure being acquired by the Licensing Service from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Details of how to apply for this is included in our Statement of Practices, Procedures and Guidance. This also has information on the process involved and the identification documents required.
  • Applicants who have spent time living abroad in the past 5 years. These may be required to provide a certificate of good conduct from their country of residence. Please contact the Licensing Service for more information
  • A satisfactory medical form. This should be completed by a medical practitioner with access to the applicant's medical records.
  • The appropriate fees.
  • One passport size photograph.

Please read our Statement of Practices, Procedures and Guidance.

1. Please read through the Statement of Practices, Procedures and Guidance. Once you have read this it is advisable to complete the DBS application as soon as possible. The DBS application must be completed online. You must then arrange an appointment to submit the application in person to the Licensing Service. This should be submitted together with the appropriate identification documents and fee. The Licensing Service will then submit the DBS application. (As long as the appropriate documents have been provided at the appointment.) We have to wait for the DBS result to be returned to us. This is before we are able to determine whether a driver licence can be issued. It can take up to 4 weeks, sometimes longer, to receive the DBS check.

2. The Licensing Service must see a driver's full driving licence and this can now be done using a free online system from the DVLA.

To obtain a ‘check code’ the applicant can use the following link:

The check code can then be supplied to us and we can check the applicants driving licence online.

The driver will need to provide their postcode / National Insurance and driving licence number to obtain the check code. Please note this code is only valid for 21 days. It is advised that applicants obtain the check code BEFORE attending their appointment.

3. Applicants must then arrange for the completion of the application and medical forms. These should be returned to Licensing Services with the passport size photograph.

4. When the DBS check is received along with all other documents required, the application for a driver licence can be determined.  Licences are issued for a three year period. This is unless it is considered appropriate in individual circumstances to issue for a lesser period.

Licence holders are responsible for ensuring that a renewal application is made well in advance of the existing licence expiring. Applications can be made up to 3 months in advance of the expiry date of the licence. 

This involves:

  • completing a renewal application
  • obtaining a 'check code' from the DVLA. (This is in order for the Licensing Service to see your full driving licence online)
  • paying the appropriate fee

Drivers are generally required to also provide a new DBS check and a medical examination report every three years.  In some individual circumstances these may be required more frequently. 

Where an individual fails to apply for the renewal of the licence in time and their licence to drive expires then an offence will be committed if they drive a licensed vehicle.  Driving can only resume once a further driver licence has been issued by the Council. The Council does not issue temporary driver licences.

We would advise all drivers who are renewing their licence to contact the Licensing Service at the relevant area office. Please use the contact details below to check what documents they will need to provide:

  • East Cornwall (Bodmin): 01208 893346
  • Central Cornwall (Bodmin): 01726 223433
  • West Cornwall (Camborne): 01209 615055

DBS application

Login information: Organisation Reference – LICENSING, Password – cornwallcouncil.

We recommend that you refer to the DBS - Ebulk Applicant Guide before starting the process. You may also wish to read this update guide if you intend to drive for the Council's Passenger Transport Unit.

Licence application

Only the DBS application can be submitted online. All other forms (grant or renewal) cannot be accepted online or via email. These must be submitted as a hard copy together with associated documents.

If the officer is not able to issue a licence then a subsequent appointment may be required. Alternatively, the application may be referred to the Council’s Miscellaneous Licensing Committee for a decision on the application.

You can view the full list of taxi licence fees.

View our current licensed driver registers below: