Taxi and Private Hire Licensing
The whole licensing process is designed for the safety of the public by ensuring that the vehicles we license are safe, reliable and efficient and that the drivers we license are deemed 'fit and proper'.
Driver, Vehicle and Operator licences are issued by Erewash Borough Council. This enables the Council to control and monitor Taxi and Private Hire licensing within the Erewash area, to provide safety for passengers through regular checks on drivers and vehicles, and to respond to any complaints from service users.
Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Driver's Licence
We issue a combined licence enabling drivers to drive both types of licensed vehicle. It is our duty to ensure that the licensed drivers are suitable and the application process includes consideration of driving and criminal convictions. For information on applying to be a Taxi driver please refer to Taxi Licensing - Becoming a Taxi Driver, or see Guidance Booklet - Drivers.
Driving tests, criminal record checks, knowledge tests and medical checks are all undertaken for each applicant to ensure that our licensed drivers are of an acceptable standard.
Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle Licence
There are two types of vehicle licence, a Hackney Carriage licence and a licence for Private Hire vehicles.
The main difference between the two types of vehicle is that a Hackney Carriage can be flagged down and can wait at designated taxi ranks whereas a Private Hire vehicle must be pre-booked by telephone or personal call.
What is a Hackney Carriage?
- A Hackney Carriage can stand and wait on an authorised taxi rank
- It will display a yellow plate to the front and rear of the vehicle
- It can ply for hire or be hailed by prospective passengers in the controlling district
- It must be driven by a licensed Hackney Carriage Driver at all times whether or not the vehicle is working
- Ilkeston and Long Eaton zone Hackney Carriages must have a fare meter and illuminated roof ''for hire'' sign.
What is a Private Hire vehicle?
- It must be pre-booked with a licensed Private Hire Operator
- It will display a white plate on the front and rear of the vehicle
- It cannot stand on a rank and cannot ply for hire
- It must not operate independently from a Private Hire Operator
- A Private Hire vehicle must be driven by a licensed Private Hire driver
- There are no regulations with regard to fares in Private Hire vehicles but it is advised that the cost of hiring should be agreed prior to the journey commencing.
Both types of vehicle are subject to mechanical testing and all vehicle documents are checked including appropriate insurance prior to the licence being issued.
What is the Taxi Fare?
The Council's Hackney Carriage Vehicle tariff of fares can be downloaded. If you have any queries regarding any of the Council's fees please contact the licensing section using the details above.
Private Hire Operator's Licence
An Application Form for a Private Hire Operator's licence is required to enable a Private Hire vehicle to be despatched to a customer. Anyone that runs a private hire vehicle must either be attached to a Private Hire Operator or have an Operator's licence themselves.
Any company running only hackney carriage vehicles do not require a Private Hire Operator's licence.
'Operate' has been defined in the act as follows: "Operate" means in the course of business to make provision for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for a private hire vehicle'.
For further information on how to obtain a Private Hire Operator's Licence please see Section 4 in Guidance Booklet - Vehicles.
Changes to Legislation - Equality Act 2010 - Transporting wheelchair users and assistance dogs
The Equality Act 2010 places licensed drivers under a legal duty to transport wheelchair users and assisstance dogs as required. Further details are outlined below.
Accessibility for wheelchair users in licensed vehicles
Section 165 and section 167 of the Equality Act 2010 came into force on 6th April 2017 and aims to prevent discrimination against wheelchair users by hackney carriage and private hire drivers.
Section 167 of the Equality Act 2010 provides Licensing Authorities with the power to make a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles so wheelchair users are made aware of the accessibility of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles within the Borough of Erewash.
Drivers of hackney carriages and private hire vehicles designated by the licensing authority as being wheelchair accessible must comply with the requirements of Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010, unless they have been issued with an exemption certificate (see below).
The duties under section 165 are:
- to carry the passenger while in the wheelchair
- not to make any additional charge for doing so
- if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat to carry the wheelchair
- to take such steps as necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort
- to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.
Mobility assistance is defined as:
- to enable the passenger to get into or out of the vehicle
- if the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, to enable the passenger to get into and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair
- to load the passenger’s luggage into or out of the vehicle
- if the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, to load the wheelchair into or out of the vehicle.
It is an offence for a driver of a wheelchair accessible vehicle not to comply with the above duties. Any failure to comply with these duties will be treated very seriously and may result in prosecution and/or referral to the Drvers' Licensing Panel for consideration of their private hire driver’s licence.
Section 166 of the Equality Act 2010 allows the Licensing Authority to exempt drivers from the duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs if they are satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on medical grounds or because the driver's physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for him or her to comply with the duties.
Any driver of a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle on the designated list may submit a request for an exemption from the section 165 duties by completing the application form below and undertaking a medical examination. Medical evidence from the driver's own doctor will be required in support of the application. If ta driver obtains an exemption from these requirements then a 'Notice of Exemption' must be displayed on the front windscreen.
Medical Exemption Application Form - Equality Act 2010
Taxis are those available for immediate hire from ranks within the Erewash District. Any private hire vehicles can be pre-booked via the operator (Subject to availability). It may be advisable to contact the operator before booking to see whether a vehicle satisfies your requirements if you think your wheelchair may exceed the average dimensions of a 'reference' wheelchair'.
The regulations regarding the carrying of assistance dogs
Sections 168 to 171 of the Equality Act 2010 deal with the carriage of guide dogs and other assistance dogs in England and Wales and came into force on 1 October 2010. Prior to 2010 similar provisions had been contained in the Disability and Discrimination Act 1995.
The Act requires drivers to carry guide dogs (and other assistance dogs) at no extra cost. Furthermore, the driver or operator must not treat the assistance dog owner less favourably because of their impairment.
A driver can apply to be exempt from this requirement, but only if they have a genuine medical condition and this is supported by sufficient evidence. Under such circumstances the council may exempt the driver from the requirement to carry assistance dogs. If an exemption has been issued to the driver then a Notice of Exemption must be prominently displayed on the front windscreen.
Medical Exemption Application Form - Equality Act 2010
A guide to 'Assistance Dogs in the UK' (produced by Transport for London) provides a brief summary of the different types of assistance dogs and how to identify them.
If you are a member of the public wishing to make a complaint under the Equality Act 2010 please contact the licensing authority using the number at the bottom of the page.
Equal Opportunities Monitoring
Erewash Borough Council is actively committed to treating all customers with dignity and respect regardless of race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief. We would like to know who our customers are to check that everyone in the Borough is accessing the services they are entitled to and that no-one is is discriminated against unlawfully. Please take a short time to download and complete the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form. All information will be treated as confidential and all questions are voluntary. This will help us to ensure that our services are fair and accessible to all. Please return the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information or advice about Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing can be obtained from the Licensing Department:
Erewash Borough Council
The Civic Centre
Tel: 0115 9071113
Fax: 0115 9071121