Taxi (hackney carriage)

You must take and pass all tests before you submit an application. Only complete applications will be accepted. Please see information below detailing all requirements.

You’ll need to complete a tax check when you renew your licence as a:
– driver of a taxi (hackney carriage)
– driver of a private hire vehicle (and dual licences)
– private hire vehicle operator

Please note the licensing team cannot answer any questions relating to Income Tax.

Licensed hackney carriages can be hailed in the street or from taxi ranks in the Reading borough area.

Driver licence

A driver’s licence is for the driver of a vehicle. You will also need a vehicle licence for the vehicle itself.

Before you apply:

  • You must sign up to the DBS update service when you apply for your next DBS certificate. Tell us the reference details it gives you. If you have mislaid the reference details, you will have to do a new DBS check.
  • You must sign up for the DVLA online check and provide a check code with your application. The code you give will only be available to us for 21 days.
  • You must pass the driver knowledge and location test, the practical test and the safeguarding training.

Driver’s licence fees

Apply for a driver’s licence

You must apply at least six weeks before your current licence expires (but not before 12 weeks). You cannot drive without a valid licence.

A complete application includes:

Vehicle licence

Vehicle testing

Authorised Testing Centres:
Universal Commercial Vehicles
5 Deacon Way, Reading, RG30 6AZ
0118 942 6666


21-23 Boulton Rd, Reading, RG2 0NH,
United Kingdom
0118 931 1345

You must arrange a test for your vehicle at an authorised test facility. You can then complete an online vehicle licence form.

Apply for a vehicle licence

Age of vehicleFrequency of MOTFrequency of compliance test
Under 3 yearsNot requiredOnce a year
3 to 5 yearsOnce a yearOnce a year
5 years and overTwice a yearTwice a year

Pre-application service

We offer support services for customers applying for a licence for the first time.

  • Pre-application (application form and documents only)
    This costs £98.
    We will give application advice and ensure the application is complete.
  • Pre-application and operator’s site visit/vehicle inspection (application form, documents and 1 hour visit)
    This costs £157.
    This includes:
    • the work covered in the basic pre-application service
    • one hour operator’s site visit and vehicle inspection. If the inspection will take longer than one hour, it will cost a further £98

Vehicle licence fees

Disabled access

All hackney carriage vehicles should be able and willing to carry disabled passengers. The driver of the vehicle has certain legal responsibilities when doing so.

  • To allow the passenger to travel while in the wheelchair and not make any extra charge
  • If the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair
  • To make any necessary steps to make sure the passenger’s journey is safe and comfortable
  • To give the passenger any necessary and reasonable mobility help – this includes:
    • helping them into and out of the vehicle
    • if they want to stay in the wheelchair for the journey allow them to get into and out of the vehicle in the wheelchair
    • load their luggage into and out of vehicle
    • if they do not want to travel in the wheelchair for the journey, load the wheelchair into and out of the vehicle

You have a duty to carry guide dogs, hearing dogs and other prescribed helper dogs. You cannot charge extra for carrying the dog.

You can apply for exemption to this rule if you can show you have a medical condition caused by exposure to dogs. Any driver who we have not granted an exemption to and who refuses to carry such a dog is guilty of a criminal offence.

Refused application

If we refuse or revoke your licence you have a right to appeal within 21 days of the decision. We cannot offer guidance on making an appeal. You should seek independent legal advice.

Last updated on 18/06/2024