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Guidance for new Hackney Carriage drivers

Before you can apply for a Hackney Carriage driver’s licence, you will need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure
  • Cheshire West and Chester Licence Drivers qualification
  • DVSA Practical Assessment
  • Medical Assessment
  • Pass the knowledge test

The above requirements may take several weeks to complete. You should ensure you complete these before applying for your dual Hackney Carriage and private hire drivers licence. The dual licence allows Hackney Carriage drivers to also drive a private hire vehicle.

Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau, compile information on people’s criminal records. It is important for the Council to review this information when considering the grant of a licence to ensure that an applicant is fit and proper.

All applicants must submit to a criminality check and provide an ‘Enhanced Disclosure’ along with their application. 

Further information regarding the Disclosure and Barring Service can be found on the Gov.UK website.

Cheshire West and Chester Licensed Drivers qualification

The Cheshire West and Chester Licensed Driver qualification is a compulsory for new drivers applying for a licence. Developed by the Council and West Cheshire College it forms part of the BTEC 'Transporting Passengers by Taxi and Private Hire'.

Key elements of the qualification include:

  • driver and vehicle conditions and local bye laws
  • key locations and tourist information
  • customer service
  • equality and diversity
  • passenger safety and carriage of luggage
  • route planning
  • legislation and enforcement issues
  • practical health and safety advice to safeguard yourself and others

To book a place on this course, or for further information please contact West Cheshire College on 01244 656555.

DVSA practical assessment or equivalent

All new applicants must pass the ‘Standard Driving Assessment’ portion of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) taxi driving test. This can be done directly through the DVSA or with an approved ‘DIAmond’ qualified assessor.

Medical assessment

Before you can be licensed to drive a Hackney Carriage vehicle, you must be declared medically fit to do so. Your GP will need to complete the Council’s Medical Assessment form.

The examination must be performed by your own GP or by another Doctor at the same practice.

A Medical Examination must be performed before your Licence can be granted and every six years following your 45th birthday. After your 65th birthday you must undergo a medical examination every year. 

Pass the knowledge test

Hackney Carriage drivers are required to complete a topographical knowledge test for the zone in which they wish to drive.

There are three Hackney Carriage zones; Chester, Ellesmere Port and Winsford. Each zone has its own byelaws and a vehicle can only operate in the zone for which it is licensed.

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