Private Hire Operators Licences
Anyone who accepts or invites bookings for private hire vehicles must have a private hire operators licence.
A licensed private hire driver cannot accept fares unless it has first been booked through a licensed private hire operator. A licensed private hire driver is not allowed to accept bookings unless they hold an operator licence or work for a licensed private hire operator.
The council will not grant a private hire operator licence unless it is satisfied that the licensing conditions will be adhered to and that the address where the operation is based is suitable for such an activity.
One person can be granted an operators licence, and can then employ or subcontract any number of licensed vehicles. Private Hire Operators based at a domestic premises are usually restricted to operating no more that 2 licensed vehicles where these would be kept at the base/premises.
As the operator of a private hire base, you will be responsible for the day to day management of the business. As such you are personally responsible for complying with the licence conditions.
As a private hire operator you may have a considerable number of drivers working via your base at any one time.
To enable you to make sure the drivers operating via your base are correctly licensed, you are required to ensure that the following details are held for each driver and vehicle operating:
- a copy of the current Combined Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Drivers Licence
- a copy of the current Private Hire Vehicle Licence
- a copy of the valid Certificate of Insurance
- a copy of the current MOT Certificate
The documents/records should be made readily available, and surrendered if required, to any authorised officer of the council or police officer at any time during operating hours. You should ensure that the driver produces his/her documents before he/she commences work for you and the documents are updated when required.
Note: You have overall responsibility for any activities undertaken by drivers/proprietors working via your business.
Applying for an Operator's Licence
To apply for a private hire operators licence you need to contact the Licensing team to arrange an appointment to process your application. They will send you the appropriate application form.
When attending your appointment, you must bring with you the following documentation:
- the completed private hire operators application form
- a recent passport style photograph of the licence holder and one of the nominated manager(s)
- one form of photographic identification
- the current application fee
- 2 references
- valid planning permission or planning exemption
- valid public liability insurance (premise risk only)
- a valid radio communications licence (if applicable)
Failure to attend with all of the required documents will cause a delay as your application will not be accepted.
All applications for Operators Licences are heard and determined by the Licensing and Regulatory Sub-Committee.
The council will refuse your application or take enforcement action in relation to an existing licence if:-
- the premises nominated does not have valid planning permission or proof that an exemption has been issued, or there is a breach of planning conditions
- the nominated premises are not located within the area covered by South Staffordshire Council
- you are not in day to day control of the business
- you have ever previously held a private hire/hackney carriage licence that has been revoked or refused
- you lack knowledge of the private hire trade and are unaware of the licence conditions
- you have not produced all documents/information requested by the Licensing Officer
- you have exhibited behaviour which in the opinion of the council is inconsistent with that expected of a licence holder
- the full fee has not been paid
- you have not kept adequate booking registers/driver and vehicle documentation as requested by the council
We may suspend, revoke or refuse to renew your licence if you are in breach of any of the conditions/legislation relating to the licence.
Note: Once licensed, you will have overall responsibility for any activities undertaken by drivers/proprietors working through your business.
Details of private hire operators licensed by South Staffordshire Council are available to view via our public register.
Telephone: 01902 696804