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Private hire operator licence

What is a private hire operator licence?

A private hire operator licence is required to enable a person to accept or invite bookings for private hire vehicles.  One person can be licensed and employ/sub-contract an unlimited number of licensed vehicles. However, a licensed private hire driver cannot accept any bookings unless he either holds or works for a licensed private hire operator.

Before a private hire operator licence is granted, the applicant must satisfy the Council that the address from which they intend to operate is suitable and, where applicable, satisfy any conditions that may be attached to the licence in order not to disturb the ambience of the area

How do I qualify for a private hire operator licence?

Anyone who wishes to accept bookings for hire must hold a private hire operator licence.

Before a licence can be issued the Council must be satisfied that the applicant is a 'fit and proper' person (relating to previous criminal convictions, conduct, etc.).

How do I apply for a private hire operator licence?

You must:

  • have premises in the borough of Medway with appropriate planning permission granted
  • pass a standard check by Basic Disclosure Scotland
  • complete an application form
  • a completed Statutory Declaration duly sworn before a Solicitor/Commissioner for Oaths;
  • a current certificate of insurance for employers Liability Policy (only required if employing staff).
  • pay the fee.

How do I check to see if I have the right planning permission?

Applicants must contact the Council's planning department to obtain planning permission or written confirmation that planning permission is not required.

What can I do if my licence application is refused?

You can appeal to the Council's Licensing Hearing Panel or the Magistrate's Court against the Council's decision within 21 days from the date on which notice of refusal is given.

What obligations do I have when my licence is granted?

As a licensed private hire operator you must:

  • maintain accurate records, for six months, that show details of the bookings taken and the driver/vehicle which carried out the booking
  • maintain records of the particulars of all vehicles operated by you and ensure compliance, at all times, with the conditions of your licence
  • retain the licence of all private hire drivers engaged by you
  • retain the licence of all private hire vehicles engaged by you
  • retain copies of current insurance for all private hire vehicles engaged by you
  • carry out a prompt, efficient and reliable service to the public
  • pay the annual renewal licensing fee
  • report any conviction (motoring or otherwise) to the Council within seven days and
  • report any change of address in writing to the Council.


For more information contact Licensing Unit by telephone: 01634 337108  or by email: licensing@medway.gov.uk

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR