Hackney Carriage Driver's Licences

A licence is required before any person can drive a hackney carriage (taxi). A Hackney Carriage is defined as a licensed vehicle that can ply for hire on authorised taxi ranks and can be flagged down in the street.


Before a licence is granted the applicant must satisfy the Council that:

  • he/she is a fit and proper person to hold a licence;
  • he/she is medically fit;
  • he/she has attained the age of 21 years;
  • he/she has held a full driver's licence (not a provisional licence) granted to the applicant under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1972 authorising him/her to drive a motor car for at least twelve months prior to the date of the application;
  • he/she can demonstrate adequate knowledge of the local area.

New applicants are required to pass a taxi driving assessment with the Blue Lamp Trust. Information for the Blue Lamp Trust can be found on www.bluelamptrust.org.uk and click on ‘Driver Training’, ‘Business Driver Training’, ‘Taxi Driver Assessments’.

Once the application form has been completed, you need to make an appointment to visit our Offices, bringing with you the following documentation:

  • the completed application form
  • your DVLA Driving Licence (original - not a photocopy)
  • your passport or birth certificate
  • your National Insurance number
  • two utility bills issued in the last 3 months as proof of your address
  • fees - currently £112 initial fee*, renewal £83. Plus £44 for DBS check.

* Please note, initial application fees must be paid by credit/debit card or cash.

Applications will not be accepted without production of the above.

How to Apply

Please contact the Licensing office on the contact details below to make an appointment to see a Licensing Officer to start the application process. Upon production of the forms at the licensing office, you will be asked to complete a form to enable us to check with the Discolsure and Barrign Service (DBS) for any records held against you. You will also be asked to complete a DVLA form to ensure that the driving licence you produce is the most recent issued and that there are no current motoring convictions on your licence. Please be aware that we normally allow approximately up to 8 weeks from receipt of your application for return of these checks as this is the average time that they take.

Applicants who were born outside the UK and have lived in the UK for less then 10 years will also be required to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct from their embassy or home country.

All identification documents will be scanned and sent to the Home Office for verification.

Once your application has been accepted and the fee has been paid, an appointment will be made for you to sit a test of local knowledge of the area. The knowledge tests are held on one date per month, usually the last Thursday of the month.

Please note: If an applicant has not fulfilled all of the above criteria within 12 months of submitting their application, the application shall be refused.

Knowledge Test

As stated above, the knowledge tests are held on one date per month, usually the last Thursday of the month. Please note that when being asked to describe a route it must be the shortest route, not using the motorway.

If you fail the test three times, you will have to wait a period of no less than 6 months from the date of the third test before taking another test. All re-tests will incur a fee of £29.

There are 4 sections to the knowledge test. The sections are set out as follows:

Section A
Winchester (including Littleton and Kings Worthy). To complete this section you will need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the roads and buildings in the area that a customer may ask you to take them to. Examples of buildings are, churches, schools, wedding venues, conference venues, pubs, etc. It will consist of 20 questions that will ask you to describe the route you would use, naming the roads you would travel along.

An example of a test question for Section A is:

  • Describe the shortest route from The Broadway to St Annes Close naming the roads you travel along on the journey.

Section B
Winchester district (a map of which is found below). To complete this section you will need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the main roads and buildings in the whole of the district that a customer may ask you to take them to. Examples of which can be found in Section A. It will consist of 15 questions that will ask you to describe the route you would use, naming the roads you would travel along.

An example of a test question for Section B is:

  • Describe the shortest route from Winchester Railway Station to Waltham Chase naming the roads you travel along on the journey, avoiding the motorway.

Section C
Numeracy. This section will consist of 5 basic numeracy questions asking what change may be given when a fare is paid.

An example of a test question for Section C is:

  • The fare on the taximeter amounts to £4.20, the passengers gives you £20.00. How much change should you give them?

Section D
General knowledge questions. This section will consist of 10 questions asking what action you would take in different situations or scenarios that may arise while driving or plying for hire and/or who you would contact. You will also be asked about the items you are required to keep in your vehicle at all times. All applicants should familiarise themselves with the legislation under Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, Part II.

An example of a test question for Section D is:

  • You are travelling on the motorway to Heathrow Airport carrying two adults and their two young children. One of your tyres suffers a puncture, what do you do?

Each section must have a pass mark of 80% to pass the test. If, for example, you get 80% in sections A, B and C and 70% in section D, you have failed the test.

Once you have successfully passed the knowledge test and met all of the criteria for the above to become a licenced driver, you will be required to have a driving knowledge test with a Licensing Officer to satisfy the Council that you are a competent driver and you have the knowledge of the City whilst you are driving.

If you have any difficulty with any of the forms or have any questions, please contact us by email licensing@winchester.gov.uk or telephone 01962 848 188 or 848 179.