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Apply to become a licensed driver or renew your existing licensed driver badge

To drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle you need to be licensed. There are several stages to becoming a licensed driver. You are advised to read our statement of licensing policy beforehand.

Becoming a licensed driver

Stage 1 - the driver must:

  • pass our licensed driver's qualification (new drivers only)
  • pass a practical driving assessment (new drivers only)
  • obtain a completed medical assessment form from their GP
  • be entitled to work in the UK
  • complete a DBS check with the Licensing Authority
  • complete a tax check on GOV.UK*

*Please note: if you're applying for a licence for the first time you will not need to complete the tax check. However, licensing bodies will ask you to read the HMRC guidance on what you need to do to be properly registered for tax in the future and you'll need to confirm that you have done this.

Stage 2 - apply for a DVLA check code

You need to apply for a DVLA check code.

Apply for a check code

The DVLA will issue you with an eight digit alpha numeric code which allows us to check your driving licence.

Stage 3 - complete an application form and pay the fee


As part of the online application form you will be asked to upload scans or photographs of three forms of identification. This must include a copy of both sides of your driving licence which must be in your home address.

We will use the identification to apply for a DBS check on your behalf and the results will be sent directly to your home address.

It is important that you provide the correct forms of identification as part of the application process; failure to do so will result in delays. The DBS check is undertaken by an external agency and can take several weeks to arrive, we have no control over this. It is vital that you apply for the DBS in good time, using the correct identification to prevent any disruption in issuing a Drivers badge.

Stage 4 - driver appointment

Once you have received your DBS certificate in the post you can book an appointment. You must only book your driver appointment once your DBS has been received.

You will need to bring the following documents to the appointment:

  • the three forms of identification you used in the application (stage 3), they must be the original documents
  • DVLA check code (stage 2)
  • evidence to support the requirements listed in stage 1 above, including:
    • certificate licensed driver's qualification (new drivers only)
    • certificate of practical driving assessment (new drivers only)
    • medical form completed by your GP (see note below)
    • be entitled to work in the UK
Book an appointment

Stage 5 - decision to issue a driver's licence

New applications

Following your appointment, your application will be reviewed by a Senior Officer. If granted, your badge will be sent via the post.

Renewal of existing badge

Provided the documents you bring to your appointment are satisfactory, you will be issued with your drivers badge at the appointment.

Apply to renew

Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) compile information on people's criminal records. It is important for us to review this information when considering the grant of a licence to ensure a driver is fit and proper.

We will complete a DBS check on your behalf. We will do this using the three proofs of identification you submit with your online application form. The results of the DBS will be sent directly to you. You will then be required to bring the DBS certificate and the three original documents to the driver appointment.

Licensed driver's qualification

The licensed driver's qualification is compulsory for new drivers. Key elements of the qualification include:

  • driver and vehicle conditions and relevant legislation
  • practical health and safety advice to safeguard yourself and others

To book a place on this course, or for further information please contact:

Practical driving assessment

All new applicants must pass the practical driving assessment. Please arrange your assessment with one of the following providers.

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Medical assessment

You must be declared medically fit to hold a licensed drivers badge (Group 2 DVLA medical fitness to drive standards). Your GP or another doctor with access to your full medical records will need to complete our medical assessment form.

A medical examination must be performed before your licence can be granted and once you turn the age of 45, every six years you must undergo a medical examination. After you turn 65 you must undergo a medical examination every year.

Knowledge test (hackney carriage drivers only)

If you want to drive a hackney carriage you will also need to pass a knowledge test for all zones you wish to work in. There are three zones; Chester, Ellesmere Port and Winsford. Each zone has its own byelaws and a vehicle can only operate in the zone which it is licensed.

You must obtain a dual driver's licence first and then apply to undertake a knowledge test.