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Private Hire Operator licences

What is a private hire operator, how to apply and pay for private hire operators licence, what other permissions you may need, how to renew/add vehicles to your licence, who regulates private hire operators and what happens if you don't pay for a licence. 

What is a Private Hire Operator (PHO)?

A Private Hire Operator (PHO) licence is required to take all customer bookings and dispatch private hire vehicles to customers.

Licences are issued to an individual/individuals or companies and relate specifically to the address of a licensed private hire office. The licences are not transferable between individuals or to companies or to an alternative address.

If an application is made by a registered company or partnership, all details relating to directors of that company or all partners must be provided in order to determine if the operator is fit and proper to hold such a licence.

All bookings for private hire journeys carried out by private hire vehicles must be taken through the licensed PHO booking office, known as the 'operating base'.

Private Hire Operators can operate from either their home address (1-2 PH Vehicles maximum) or from offices open to the public.

How do I apply for a Private Hire Operators licence?

Before applying for a private hire operators licence, you should read the Private hire and Taxi services policy. 

Private hire and taxi services licensing policy (word 2.4mb, opens in new window)

A PHO licensed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council can only use drivers and vehicles who are also licensed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council: 

Apply online for a new private hire operators licence

To apply for a PHO licence, you will need to submit the following:

  • Firstly, you must email a completed business plan to the following email address, taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk (Once received,  an officer will contact you and advise you to complete the online form, found above) 
  • a complete application form for a Private Hire Operators Licence.
  • £120 application fee
  • £10 fee for each vehicle to be operated and attached to the licence. (i.e. two vehicles would cost £20). Residential domestic properties can only operate one licensed vehicle from their licensed base.
  • a basic criminal disclosure certificate for each applicant (for partnership or company this will include a criminal disclosure check on all partners and directors of the company). The DBS check must be no older than eight weeks at the point of application. you can apply for a basic criminal record check online. For foreign nationals a certificate of good conduct from the relevant embassy is required if you have been living in the United Kingdom for less than ten years.
  • Basic Criminal Disclosure (external website)

  • or if you are an existing licensed driver with the East Riding, you can consent to the use of your DBS online subscription service being checked in replacement for a basic police check.

Consent to use DBS update service for private hire operators application (word 15kb opens in new window)

  • public liability insurance and employers liability insurance where relevant (only applicable if you are applying for a public office or you are employing staff)
  • Two references for each applicant, from professional persons who have known you at least two years, one must be a financial reference to the applicant's suitability to run a private hire operators business from an accountant, solicitor or bank/building society manager.

Incomplete applications will not be processed and will be returned to the applicant. Please note we cannot accept photocopies of your documents unless they have been certified at an East Riding customer service centre.

Please note once a complete application is received it may take up to ten working days for your licence to be issued or the matter may be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination. 

You must operate at all times in compliance with the private hire operator licence conditions as below:

Private hire operators licence condition (word 34kb opens in new window)

Does tacit consent apply?

Tacit consent does not apply to it in the public interest for reasons of public safety and to consider the fit and proper person test, that the authority must consider your application and make relevant checks before it can be granted. 

If you have not heard from the licensing team please contact us:

Email: taxi.hub@eastriding.gov.uk

The target completion date for applications is ten working days.

How do I renew my Private Hire Operators licence?

A renewal application must be submitted to the licensing team prior to the expiry of the existing licence or the licence will lapse. This should be submitted at least 10 days before the expiry date.

If an operator continues to take bookings without a licence they are committing an offence for which they may be prosecuted. It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that they have a valid licence in place at all times.

You can apply online:

Apply online to renew a Private Hire Operators licence

How do I add/remove vehicles on my licence?

You can now add or delete vehicles from your private hire operators licence using the on line application below and a discount is automatically applied when adding vehicles on line:

Change the vehicle details on my private hire operators licence online

A fee of £10 is payable for each vehicle attachment using the on line system.

There is no charge for deleting a vehicle from your licence.

Can I change my licence?

Change of licence holder name/change of trading name

If you wish to change details on your licence you can do so using the online form below.

You can use this form to:

  • Change your personal name or PHO trading name

  • Change your email address.

Apply to change a detail on your licence

If your change of name is due to marriage or divorce, we will require a certified copy of your marriage certificate or divorce papers.

Please note: you cannot transfer your operators licence to another individual or to another operating base. This includes moving from one residential address to another if you operate from your home address. In these circumstances without a valid PHO licence in place all bookings taken would be unlawful.

Who regulates Private Hire Operators?

If you want to report an unlicensed private hire operator or you have a complaint about a private hire operator licensed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council you can contact the licensing team by email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

Unlicensed activities

If any person is found to be taking bookings using a vehicle or driver for the purposes of hire and reward without the correct private hire authorisation in place, East Riding of Yorkshire Council will look to prosecute for the offences.

If a vehicle or driver is used without a licence for private hire work, it may mean their insurance policy is invalidated, and the individual driving the vehicle may not have been police checked. It is also unlawful and a criminal offence.

Breach of licence conditions

If you are found to be non compliant with your licence conditions, the licensing team can consider taking the following actions in line with East Riding of Yorkshire Council's licensing policy:

  • a final written warning;
  • referral to the licensing committee;
  • prosecution;
  • Informal action such as verbal or written warning.
Last Updated: Thursday, 03 May 2018