Private Hire Driver's Licences

A licence is required before any person can drive a Private Hire Vehicle. Private Hire Vehicles cannot ply for hire in the street or at taxi ranks. Journeys must be pre-booked, normally by phone, via an app, or in person at a cab office.
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;
  • he/she has the right to work in the UK

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
  • fees - currently £117 initial fee*, renewal £86.

Your application will not be accepted without production of the above. 

New drivers will also be asked to undertake the following processes. We advise drivers to begin these processes after their initial appointment with a Licensing Officer, as we do not wish applicants to incur unnecessary costs should their application be refused for any reason. 

  • A Driving Assessment - New applicants are required to pass a taxi driving assessment with the Blue Lamp Trust.
  • A Criminal Records Check - All new and existing drivers and required to obtain an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check from Personnel Checks. Once the driver has received their enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service certificate, they must supply it to the Licensing Department. If any driver is unable to apply online for their enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service certificate using the online service, please contact the Licensing Team on 01962 848 188.
  • Safeguarding Training - All new drivers are required to undertake safeguarding training course with a provider approved by Winchester City Council. Please contact the Licensing Department to discuss attending a safeguarding training course. 
  • A Medical Assessment - All new drivers are required to undergo a medical assessment with a medical practitioner to ensure that they meet the criteria for Group 2 vocational drivers licence. The medical practitioner undertaking the assessment must have full access to the patient's medical records. IMPORTANT: A medical report must be seen by the licensing authority within 28 days of its issue. For the reason, we strongly advise drivers not to undergo their medical assessment until all other criteria have been met. The Medical Report form is available to be downloaded on the right-hand side of this page. 

Documentation proving that the above processes have been undertaken must be seen by the Licensing Department prior to the issue of a Licence. 

* Please note, application fees can be paid online here under 'Miscellaneous Payments', or at the payment kiosk in the Main Reception at City Offices. 

  • How to Apply

    You must make an initial appointment to see a Licensing Officer and make your application. You can contact the Licensing Office on 01962 848 188 to make your appointment. New applications will not be accepted via post or email.

    Upon production of the required documents at your appointment, you will be provided with information on how to obtain an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate, a Blue Lamp Trust Driving Assessment Certificate, Safeguarding Training and a Medical Report Form. A Licensing Officer will also check your DVLA driving licence online, to ensure that information supplied on your application form is consistent with that held by the DVLA.

    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 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.

    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. In certain circumstances, a Private Hire Driver may not be required to sit the knowledge test; for example, if they primarily undertake journeys outside of the Winchester District, such as airport runs. 

    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. You will need to contact the Licensing Department on 01962 848 188 to book your place on a knowledge test.

    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, you will be given the opportunity to re-take at a later date; you must contact the Licensing Department if you wish to re-take the rest. All re-tests will incur a fee of £30.

    The knowledge test is an electronic test and is made up from multiple choice questions in 9 categories. The categories are as follows:

    1. Identify missing roads from routes within Winchester – you must name a missing road following the shortest route within Winchester, e.g. what road is missing from the following shortest route when driving from The Broadway to Simonds Court? The Broadway, High Street, Eastgate Street, Friarsgate, Upper Brook Street, and St George's Street, Jewry Street, ______ , Worthy Road, Russell Road , Chaundler Road.
    2. Identify buildings that you would pass on a route – you must name the road that particular buildings may be found on, e.g. Which road is the Winchester Police Station on when driving the shortest route from Winchester Kebab House to Thurmond Crescent?
    3. Identify missing roads from routes in the surrounding district – starting at Winchester train station you will need to identify the missing road following the shortest route to a destination in the surrounding Winchester district, e.g. What road is missing from the following shortest route when driving from Winchester Railway Station to West Meon? Station Road, Station Hill, City Road, North Walls, Union Street, Eastgate Street, High Street, Bridge St, Magdalen Hill, Alresford Road, A31 Petersfield Road, A272, South Downs Way, Wheely Down Road, _______, Church Lane, West Meon.
    4. Identify where buildings are located – you will need to be able to identify the roads that certain buildings are located on, e.g. which road is Twyford Surgery on?
    5. Identify which is the correct route – you will need to identify the shortest route between two named destinations, e.g. which is the shortest route from Peter Symonds College to The Royal Hampshire County Hospital?
    6. Identify the location at the end of the route (for the City centre, Littleton and Kings Worthy) – starting at Winchester train station you will need to identify the road in the City you would arrive in when following a route described, e.g. What will be the destination when you start a journey at Winchester Railway Station, and follow the route: Station Road, Gladstone Street, Sussex Street, Romsey Road, St James' Lane, St Cross Road, St Swithun Street, Symonds Street, Great Minster Street, and turn right?
    7. Identify the location at the end of the route (for the surrounding district) – starting at Winchester train station you will need to identify the area of the district you would arrive in when following a route described, e.g. Which village will you arrive at when you start a journey at Winchester Railway Station, and follow the route: Station Road, Gladstone Street, Sussex Street, Andover Road, Andover Road North, Christmas Hill, Downs Road, Wrights Close, first left?
    8. Numeracy – you will need to be able to calculate how much change a passenger would receive, or how much a fare would be, e.g. the fare on the taximeter amounts to £6.20, the passenger gives you £10. How much change should you give them?
    9. Hackney Carriage and Private Hire policy and conditions / legislation – you will need to be familiar with the current Council Policy and Conditions of licence as well as the relevant legislation for Taxi licensing, e.g. what is the minimum legal limit for tyre tread depth?

    For each question there will be 4 possible answers and you will need to choose one answer from all the options available. You will need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the roads and buildings in the Winchester district (including the City Centre, Littleton and Kings Worthy, and the surrounding district) that a customer may ask you to take them to. Examples of buildings are, churches, schools, wedding venues, conference venues, pubs, historic landmarks etc. All applicants should familiarise themselves with the legislation under Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, Part II, as well as the Council’s current Policy and conditions of licence.

    Copies of the current Policy and conditions of licence and a map of the district can be found on the right-hand side of this page.

    You must bring your DVLA driving licence with you when you attend the test. You will be unable to take the test without this.

    The pass mark for the Private Hire knowledge test is 50% in each section to pass the test. If, for example, you achieved 50% in 3 of the sections and you achieved 40% in 1 of the sections, then you will have failed the test.

    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.