Shropshire Council

Renewal of a private hire vehicle licence

Shropshire Council has a duty to ensure that vehicle licence holders are fit and proper persons to hold a licence.  Therefore, prior to licensing, applicants will need to meet certain requirements when applying to renew a private hire vehicle licence.

Applicants are advised to read the relevant sections of Shropshire Councils Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2019-2023 before applying to renew their licence to ensure that both they and the vehicle meet the new criteria that come into effect on 1 April 2019.

What is a private hire vehicle licence?

Private hire vehicles are licensed in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.  Private hire vehicles must not have the appearance of a hackney carriage vehicle (Taxi).

Standard private hire vehicles licensed by Shropshire Council are identifiable as they have external licence plates securely fixed to the outside front and rear of the vehicle usually near to the vehicle registration plates, an internal plate securely fixed in the front windscreen on the passenger side and door signs (side plates) on the upper portion of the front driver and front passenger doors.  For standard private hire vehicles the front and rear licence plates and internal plate show the licence details on a yellow background with the Shropshire Council logo.  The door signs have the licence details on a white background with the Shropshire Council logo.  Please note that Shropshire Council licenced private hire vehicles must not display a roof sign.

When considering whether to apply to renew a private hire vehicle licence you need to have regards to the nature of work that is to be undertaken.  Private hire vehicles cannot be used to ply for hire, stand on any taxi rank, or be hailed in the street.

A private hire vehicle licence will cover a vehicle with up to 8 passenger seats.  A private hire vehicle may only be used where jobs have been pre-booked through a private hire operator licensed with the same authority.  Records of the bookings undertaken by private hire vehicles must be kept by the licensed private hire operator.

Anyone wishing to licence a vehicle as private hire vehicle with Shropshire Council will need to be able to demonstrate, via the application form, that they intend to work for a private hire operator licensed by Shropshire Council.  You may also wish apply to become a private hire operator yourself.  If you require any more information, please contact the office.

For information on how to renew an existing licence, change a vehicle on an existing licence or transfer the licensee on an existing licence, please contact the office.

What are the emissions / age requirements for renewing an existing private hire vehicle?

Existing private hire vehicles must comply with the following when applying to renew a licence:

Fuel

Period

European Emission / Age Standard

Petrol

1 April 2019 to
31 March 2024

Euro 5

Diesel

1 April 2019 to
31 March 2024

Euro 5 / Euro 6 and where the vehicle is less than 10 years old from date of first registration

Full electric

1 April 2021 to
31 March 2024

Any age

Hybrid

1 April 2019 to
31 March 2024

Less than 12 years old from date of first registration

LPG

1 April 2019 to
31 March 2024

less than 12 years old from date of first registration

Further information can be found in Part 3c of the full Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2019-2023.

What are the safety standards for renewing an existing private hire vehicle?

Vehicles must meet the following safety standards as defined by the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP).  In this respect, the Overall Rating must be used.  Where the Overall Rating is not available, the Adult Rating is the relevant standard:

  • All renewal vehicle applications submitted on or after 1 April 2019 are required to be NCAP 5 star.

Visit the Euro Ncap website to find out what the NCAP rating is on your vehicle. 

The NCAP standards do not apply to private hire vehicles that have been specifically constructed or converted for disability access and any M1 (not M2 or N1) vehicle that has been adapted to be a private hire vehicle (and has been accepted by an authorised officer of the council to be licensed only as a private hire vehicle) where:

  • The vehicle has come off the production line as a purpose built wheelchair accessible vehicle there will be a Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) certificate which demonstrates that the vehicle has been constructed to an acceptable safety standard, providing there have been no changes to the layout of the vehicle since the VCA was issued.
  • The vehicle is modified after production, but before first registration, there may be an Individual Approval Certificate (IAC) available, which will demonstrate that the adaptations have been tested by DVSA (VOSA) and are to an acceptable safety standard, providing there have been no changes to the conversion since the IAC was issued. This may be referred to as a Statutory Individual Vehicle Approval.
  • Vehicles that are converted for disability access after first registration have been submitted for a Basic Voluntary IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval). This is the route that vehicles are required to take where there is no VCA certificate or IAC available. Vehicles must be presented to the DVSA for a Basic Voluntary IVA inspection Class P – Personal Import. If the vehicle passes the inspection it will receive a Certificate of Compliance (IVA 6). The Voluntary IVA checks the whole of the vehicle, not only the parts that have been converted and is similar to a very strict MOT test.

If you are considering applying to licence a vehicle that does not have an NCAP 5 star rating and is not a wheelchair accessible vehicle please contact the office for further advice.

In addition the Council will not licence any new vehicle that has, since the date of first registration, been recorded by the DVLA as having sustained structural damage resulting from a road traffic accident (an insurance ‘Write Off’ under the DVLA’s Category S – Structural damage classification for vehicle that has sustained damage after 1 October 2017 or Category C where a vehicle has sustained damage, rendering it beyond economical repair, prior to 1 October 2017). This information can be found in Part 3 – Special Notes of the V5 registration Certificate.  Additional information on the insurance write off categories can be found here.

Further information can be found in Part 3c of the full Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2019-2023.

Application process

In order for your application to be accepted you must ensure that you send ALL of the information listed under 'What will I need before I apply?'.  If any part of the application is incomplete, or the fee not paid, the application will not be processed until such a time as all the information / documentation is provided.  If an applicant fails to provide all the information to complete the application, the application will be rejected.

In order to apply for a vehicle licence you must be the person who is the legal owner of the vehicle concerned and entitled to have the ownership of the vehicle registered under the provisions of Regulation 10 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002 in their own name.  Prior to licensing and thereafter, as required, satisfactory evidence must be produced to demonstrate compliance with this requirement.

What do I do if my licence has expired?

Once a licence has expired it cannot be renewed.  There are no 'days of grace' for licences.  Any renewal applications received after the date of expiry will be processed as a new vehicle application and therefore must meet the new application criteria. 

Once a licence has expired you will not be permitted to use your vehicle for private hire work until such a time as the new licence and plates are in your possession and the plates displayed on the vehicle in accordance with the conditions of licence.

How much will it cost to renew a licence?

The fee payable for this application can be found in the list of fees and charges for the year 2019/2020.

How long will it take to process my renewal application?

Provided you submit a complete application, with all the requested documentation, it is the Councils intention to process all valid renewal vehicle applications within ten working days.  To allow continuous driving an application to renew a licence must be received at least ten working days prior to its expiry.  This allows sufficient time for the application to be processed and for the Council to undertake the relevant checks.

What will I need before I apply?

  • Completed application form (the application must be made by the person who is the legal owner of the vehicle)
  • Unless you are the holder of a hackney carriage and private hire drivers licence or a private hire operators licence issued by Shropshire Council you will need to include:
    • Completed Convictions Form (Please note the Conviction Form is included within the application pack)
    • A basic criminal record disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service. Please note a basic criminal record disclosure will only be accepted by the Council within 12 months of the date of issue from the Disclosure and Barring Service.  Information on how to apply for a basic disclosure can be found here.
  • Fee or a copy of the receipt if paid online. Online payments can be made by clicking here.  Alternatively you can call the Licensing Team on 0345 678 9046 to make payment.  Cheques need to be made payable to Shropshire Council.  You can also visit one of our Customer Service Points or Community Hubs.
  • Evidence of your right to work in the UK in accordance with the Home Office requirements, unless you are the holder of a hackney carriage and private hire drivers licence issued by Shropshire Council on or after 1 December 2016
  • Copy of new MOT issued within the previous 10 working days
  • Copy of a valid certificate of insurance for private hire. Insurance stating covered for public hire will not be accepted for private hire vehicles.  Certificates of insurance or cover notes issued to cover “any vehicle” or “any driver” must be accompanied by a schedule showing all the vehicles and drivers covered by the insurance as detailed in the certificate of insurance.  The proprietor must also obtain information as to any requirement for them to have Employers Liability Indemnity.  If there is such a requirement, it must be for a minimum of £1,000,000.
  • Proof of public liability insurance for a minimum of £5,000,000
  • Where the vehicle is fitted with a mechanically operated ramp, a valid certificate/report confirming the ramp complies with the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (Please note the proprietor is responsible for ensuring that a competent person carries out the necessary checks in accordance with these Regulations.)
  • Where the vehicle is fitted with a non-mechanical ramp, confirmation from the proprietor that the ramp complies with the relevant provisions of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Where fittings are used to secure wheelchairs to the floor of a vehicle, a certificate/report confirming that all the fittings are intact and are free from damage and wear.

Your completed application form and any supporting documents can be submitted to the Licensing Team either by email to taxis@shropshire.gov.uk or by post to the address below.

Do I need to do anything else?

Once an application has been validated and accepted, the Council will, where applicable:

  • Make enquiries through Care First (or equivalent), West Mercia Police (or other relevant force), other local authorities and any other organisation, agency or person that the Council has deemed appropriate to seek information from

These checks will help officers determine whether an applicant can be deemed a fit and proper person, and will help to determine whether the licence is to be granted or refused.

Providing the all above are satisfied, Officers will grant the licence.  In all other cases, the application will be referred to the Licensing Panel for determination.  The applicant will be notified in writing if their application is to be determined by the Licensing Panel.

If my application is successful, what happens next?

Where a licence is to be renewed a member of the Licensing Team will contact you to arrange a vehicle compliance appointment prior to the licence plates being issued.

At the compliance appointment checks will be made to ensure:

  • The vehicle has a full size spare wheel or space saver design wheel and tools to change the wheel OR a contract with a mobile tyre replacement specialist. Please note the Council no longer accepts puncture repair kits
  • The vehicle has No Smoking Signs on display
  • The driver is wearing the Council issued drivers badge ensuring that the licence details and photo are visible
  • The internal ‘Vehicle Copy’ of the drivers badge is displayed ensuring that the licence details and photo are visible to passengers inside the vehicle
  • Where CCTV is fitted, a CCTV operating in this vehicle sign is on display
  • Where the vehicle is sufficiently equipped for the provision of one reference wheelchair, that the driver presenting the vehicle is capable of safely loading and securing the wheelchair into the vehicle (The vehicle, including seating, wheelchair restraint and ramp, will be photographed and the images held on the vehicle record file for future reference)
  • Where the vehicle is wheelchair accessible, a sign confirming the vehicle is wheelchair accessible is clearly displayed
  • Where the vehicle is fitted with a taximeter that the meter seal is intact and the serial number matches the number provided in the meter calibration certificate. Where a meter seal has been tampered with and/or the serial number no longer matches, a new certificate/report to confirm compliance will be required

Providing the checks made at the compliance appointment are satisfactory, the private hire vehicle licence will be issued at that time.  If, however, the vehicle does not meet the required standards, advice will be provided and a further appointment arranged.

How much will it cost?

There is a fee for issuing this document, which is taken when you apply.


Apply now

Download the form, complete it on your home computer, and email it to taxis@shropshire.gov.uk

Download the application form

Download the form, print it out, fill it in and post your application along with the fee if applicable to:

The Licensing Team, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ND

Download the application form