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Taxi licensing and fees

Taxi (Hackney Carriages) and private hire licensing

We are the Licensing Authority for all Hackney Carriage (taxi) and private hire operations within Swale Borough Council.

Hackney Carriage (taxi) vehicles, can stand on a taxi rank or be hailed from the street.

Private hire vehicles, must be booked prior to the journey.


Wheelchair accessible vehicles

We maintain a designated list of wheelchair accessible taxis and private hire vehicles that we licence. The list contains both the vehicle and driver contact details, and is provided for the purposes of Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010.

You can download a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles.

How to apply for a licence

You can download our guide to becoming a taxi driver (PDF 40kb), including fees and the necessary checks.

You must:

Application process

It's recommended that you make an appointment for your medical examination and apply for your DBS check once you know that you've passed the street knowledge test.

For more information about the street knowledge test, you can download Appendix G of Swale's Hackney Carriage and Private Hire policy (PDF 492kb).

What happens next 

You'll receive an invitation letter to take the street knowledge test.

Street knowledge test

For help preparing for the street knowledge test, you download our Safeguarding guide for Taxi service (PDF 644kb).

Further information is available from Swale's Hackney Carriage and Private Hire policy (PDF 496kb).

Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.

For more information on how the DBS handles and processes your information, you can download the Disclosure and Barring Service Standard/Enhanced Disclosure Applicants Privacy Polcy (PDF 292kb).

Fees and charges

Dual Driving Licence (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire)

Dual Badge for 1 year for medical or over 70 years of age £50.00
Dual Badge for 3 years £150.00
Initial Knowledge Test £25.00
Resit Knowledge Test £25.00
Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) search fee £44.00 every three years or £13.00 per year if signed up to the DBS online service
Dual Driver Badge replacement £10.00

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle Licence

Vehicle Licence for 1 year £290.00
6 monthly check for when vehicle is between 5 and 10 years old £60.00
Plate fee which is non-refundable £50.00
Licence and plate for temporary hire vehicle £40.00
Replacement plate £15.00
Change of ownership of the licensed vehicle £35.00
Change of a vehicle on an existing plate £80.00

Private Hire Operator Licence

Private Hire Operator Licence valid for 5 years £430.00

Additional Costs

Change of Address £10.00
Replacement Paper Licence certificate £10.00

You can pay in the following ways:

Please ensure you quote badge or plate number.

Cheques should be made payable to Swale Borough Council, but they must have the following information written on the reverse:

Paying for a licence

To pay for a Taxi licence, you'll need:
  • Your licence reference number

To pay for a Taxi licence, you can use our Taxi licence payment form.

Using another vehicle

If your vehicle can't be used because it's been taken off the road or involved in an accident, you can apply to use another vehicle temporarily.

To temporarily use another vehicle, you'll need to complete the vehicle licensing process above and pay £40.

If your application for a temporary vehicle licence is successful, you will receive a temporary licence for one month.

You will only need to pay for another temporary licence if you need to continue using the vehicle.

You can pay for a temporary vehicle licence online.

What happens next

You will need to book an appointment and do the following:

Please note that we are unable to see you without an appointment and should you miss you allocated time you will need to make a further appointment. This enables us to keep to schedule so that all customers are seen in a timely manner.

The documents you will need to be aware of and answer questions on include:

Once the knowledge test is passed, you will be required to have a medical examination.

Policy and Appendices

Vehicle inspection

Information and complaints

If you have reason to complain about a taxi/and or driver you can contact us

Any complaints will be fully investigated by a licensing officer. Where possible, the complainants name and address will not be disclosed to the taxi driver, however on occasions this may not be possible.

Latest news

A group was brought together between July and August 2017, by the then Minister of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Jonh Hayes CBE MP. The group's task was to considering evidence relating to the adequacy of current taxi and private hire vehicle licensing authority powers, as set out in legislation and guidance, making recommendations for actions to address any priority issues identified, specifically:

You can download the report (PDF 82kb).

Taxi and private hire plates

information and application on how to apply for taxi and private hire plates.
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