A private hire operator licence is needed for someone to accept or take bookings for private hire vehicles.
One person can be licensed and employ or sub-contract an unlimited number of licensed vehicles.
A licensed private hire driver cannot accept any bookings unless they hold or work for a licensed private hire operator.
Before a private hire operator licence is granted, we must agree that the address where you plan to operate is suitable. They must also meet any conditions that may be attached to the licence as to not disturb the look and feel of the area.
How 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, we must be satisfied that you are suitable (relating to previous criminal convictions, conduct).
From 1 January 2019, Medway Council’s Licensing Service became a shared service with Gravesham Borough Council.
Operator licences are now processed by the shared team, based at Gravesham’s Civic Centre.
How to apply
To apply for a private hire operator licence, you must:
- have premises in the borough of Medway with appropriate planning permission granted
- pass a basic disclosure check by Disclosure and Barring Service
- complete an operator licence application form
- have a completed Statutory Declaration duly sworn before a Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths
- have a current certificate of insurance for employers Liability Policy (only required if employing staff)
- pay the fee
How to check if you have the right planning permission
You will need to contact planning department to get planning permission or written confirmation that planning permission is not required.
If your application is refused
If your application is refused you can appeal to our Licensing Hearing Panel or the Magistrate's Court against the decision within 21 days from the date when refusal was given.
Private hire operator duties
As a licensed private hire operator you must:
- keep accurate records for six months, showing details of the bookings taken and the driver or vehicle taking the booking
- keep records of the details of all vehicles you run and meet the conditions of your licence
- keep the licence of all private hire drivers engaged by you
- keep the licence of all private hire vehicles engaged by you
- keep copies of current insurance for all private hire vehicles you use
- carry out a prompt, efficient and reliable service to the public
- pay the annual renewal licensing fee
- report any conviction (motoring or otherwise) to us within seven days
- report any change of address in writing to us