Applying for a licence
If you wish to drive a Hackney Carriage Vehicle (usually known as a ‘taxi’) or a Private Hire Vehicle (sometimes known as a ‘minicab’) you will need to apply for a Driver’s Licence for that particular category of vehicle. If you wish to drive both types of vehicle, this can be done under the dual Hackney Carriage Driver Licence, however you will need to hold an Operator’s Licence to do this. If you hold a licence for a Private Hire Driver you will not be able to work as a Hackney Carriage Driver. You should think carefully before you apply for your licence, as the licences are not interchangeable. The Council has a wide ranging discretion in the application process, which can vary between Councils. This is especially the case if you have previous convictions or have previously had a licence revoked. If you find yourself in this position then please contact us so that we can assist.
Appealing a decision
Taxi and private hire drivers, operators and proprietors should always give serious consideration to appealing a decision by a licensing authority to refuse, revoke or suspend a licence.
The procedure for doing so is clearly set out in the legislation and licence holders – or applicants who have had their licences refused including applications for the renewal of a licence – have 21 days to lodge an appeal.
In taxi or private hire licensing appeal hearings, the party making an application or bringing an appeal is generally the party on which the burden of proof falls. The only exception to this is where there is specific case law stating otherwise.
The right legal advice and representation is absolutely key to any appeal in relation to a taxi or private hire case. Not only are there certain procedural rules and protocols to follow, licensing appeal hearings are de novo hearings which present another opportunity for a licence holder or applicant to argue their case as if it had not been heard before. It is therefore imperative that you seek the appropriate advice at an early stage.