Private Hire Operator's Licence

A private hire operator's licence is required to enable a person to accept or invite bookings for private hire vehicles.

One person can be licensed and employ/sub-contract an unlimited number of licensed vehicles. However, a licensed private hire driver cannot accept any bookings unless he either holds or works for a licensed private hire operator. An operator may pass a booking to another licensed private hire vehicle operator if they are unable to fulfil that booking.

Members of the public have initial contact with the operator and make the contract with them, even if the operator does not provide the vehicle and/or the driver.

  • How to Apply

    All applicants will be required to provide identification to show their right to work in the UK. In some cases a person’s status will be verified with the Home Office.

    All applicants must also undertake an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Check with Personnel Checks. If the applicant is already a licensed driver with Winchester City Council, then they will already have an enhanced DBS certificate and do not need to reapply to become an operator. 

    Before an operator's licence is granted the applicant must satisfy the Council that the address from which they intend to operate is suitable and, where applicable, satisfy any conditions that may be attached to the licence in order not to disturb the amenity of the area. A Certificate of Public Liability Insurance is required where the public have access to the premises i.e. waiting room etc. However, where no public access or waiting facilities are provided or if you wish to operate your own vehicle from home, this insurance is not necessary. The Public Liability must be up to £5 million. If an operator wishes to operate from a residential address, such as their home, they must ensure that any necessary planning permission has been obtained from the City Council allowing use of the building for this purpose. 

    The application form can be found on the right-hand side of this page. Once the application form has been completed, you need to make an appointment to visit our Offices, bringing with you the following documentation:

    • Certificate of Public Liability Insurance (if applicable)
    • Right to Work identification document
    • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service certificate
    • Evidence of a complaints procedure or policy, for dealing with any customer complaints
    • A list of all vehicles which you will operate under your business
    • Fee of £227 (this can be paid online here)

    Applications will not be accepted without production of the above.

    Once your application has been accepted and the fee has been paid, a licence will be issued.

    We look forward to receiving your application and if you have any difficulty with any of the forms or have any questions, please contact us on licensing@winchester.gov.uk or call 01962 848 188.