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See the latest news and get more information regarding coronavirus (Covid-19). Find out more about help for affected businesses and individuals. Please use our online forms, webchat, app and phone number to contact us. Our offices are closed to the public. We have suspended garden waste collections to free up resource for the other collections.


Changes to Hackney carriage/private hire vehicle licensing requirements due to Coronavirus

Please note the following changes:

The government has given an extension of six months for MOTs due after March 30, 2020.

Engineers reports required for renewal of vehicles over four years of age have been deferred for six months after the expiry date of the licence. This is in line with the Government's guidance on MOT changes. Those vehicles being renewed must have their service history/preventative maintenance schedule produced to Holcar Auto Services in the usual way when the vehicle is presented for test. You must ensure your vehicle is kept in a roadworthy condition at all times.

Vehicle tests at Holcar Auto Services: These are continuing on a reduced scale and special arrangements are in place. Tests are by appointment only. Do not attend the garage without an appointment as you will not be seen. You will be advised of the arrangements in place when you ring to book your test. The garage can be contacted on 01900 63939.

Application Procedure

It is no longer permitted to attend customer services for an appointment. Full online applications are to be submitted either with payment made online or over the telephone by card. You must still contact customer services on 0303 123 1702 to arrange for the issue of your licence. Accompanying documentation (with badge/plates) can be posted or put in the letter box (to the right hand side of the front doors) at Allerdale House. Applications will be processed without you having to attend the offices and licences posted to you together with any documents, plates and/or badges.

Taxi licences - private hire and hackney carriage

There are two types of taxi licence: hackney carriage and private hire. We license hackney carriage vehicles, private hire vehicles, their drivers and operators.

Applications for new or renewal driver and vehicle licences are now carried out online.

We will soon be rolling out online applications for other taxi licences. In the meantime, please click on the link below and download the forms.

Appointments for applications

Please note that an appointment can only be arranged when an online application is submitted first. You will not receive an appointment from customer services if you have not submitted an online application.

Licences will not be renewed if you don't bring in your expired plates and badges. Please remember to bring these to your appointments otherwise you will be refused and will have to re-book.

Taxi application appointments are only available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. A small number of appointments will be available on a Friday for emergencies only. Emergencies are defined as replacements for lost or damaged badges/plates and applications in connection with an insurance claim following a vehicle accident.

Appointments for new or renewal badge/plates will be not classed as an emergency and will be given the next standard available date which may be after a weekend. Please ensure that you book your appointment with our customer services team well in advance of your expiry date. We recommend you book two weeks in advance.

Renewal of driver licences in extenuating circumstances

Situations can arise outside the control of a licence holder which prevents them being able to attend the council offices to renew their driver's badge on time.

To facilitate licence holders, the Licensing Committee approved a procedure on October 29, 2019 which can be used providing certain protocols are followed. To enable an applicant to use this system they must advise the licensing authority of their circumstances four weeks in advance and approval to use this process will be considered by the licensing officers in conjunction with the legal department and chair or vice chair of the licensing committee. This system is to be used only in exceptional circumstances. The licence cannot be renewed after it has expired and a badge will not be issued until the applicant can attend the office to have their photograph taken.

If approved, the following procedure must be adhered to:

  • An online renewal application must be made in advance
  • Payment must either be made online or by another person in advance of the licence expiring
  • DBS subscription service must be in place so that it can be checked or an original valid, in date certificate must be supplied
  • In respect of a driver's driving licence, a code must be generated by the DVLA and provided to the licensing authority in advance so that endorsements can be checked
  • A doctor's medical certificate must be provided in advance
  • Knowledge test - if applicable must be passed before renewal
  • Driving assessment - if applicable must be completed in advance
  • In respect of the requirement for a photograph to be submitted, the licence holder must attend the offices within three months of the renewed licence being issued. The badge would be issued at this point and the new photograph attached to the licensing records.

Please note that a licence will not be renewed if any of the accompanying documentation is not up to date or available to be checked. This will result in a new application having to be made which will be deemed as a new licence and if this is not within 28 days of the expiry of the orginal licence, all new documentation will be required.

Download the licence reinstatement guidance document

Key documents for applicants

Applicants should download the following key documents before making an application for a taxi driver licence:

Download the criminal convictions policy

Download the statutory declaration form

Download the medical assessment form

Driver knowledge test

We're now asking all applicants to carry out a knowledge test which covers criteria such as numeracy, safeguarding, Highway Code, policies, local geographical knowledge and disability awareness. It is a mix of multiple choice, true/false and free text answers and includes words and pictures. See notes to applicant  for more details.

You must achieve 70 per cent in each of the six categories in order to pass.

You can attempt to pass the test as many times as possible, though you do have to pay again if you fail.

All new applicants must pass the knowledge test before a licence is granted.

The test is carried out on a tablet at our main offices at Allerdale House in Workington. You will get an email the next day with the result. Please remember to check your spam/junk folders in case the emails are misdirected there. The licensing department will be informed if you pass the test. 

You may wish to view the knowledge test example questions  to get an idea of the kinds of questions you will see during your test.

If you have special requirements or feel you will need assistance to complete the test, please contact the licensing department at your earliest convenience to help us make the necessary arrangements.

Additional information for knowledge test applicants around the signs of child exploitation

Download the Child Sexual Exploitation guidance document

There is a fee of £48 (inclusive of VAT) for the knowledge test which is payable when you book the test online.

Book a knowledge test

Driving assessment

All hackney carriage and private hire driver licences will be issued on the following terms:

  • All applicants for the grant of a new hackney carriage or private hire licence must pass the driving assessment. Any licensed drivers appearing before the Licensing Panel with repeated traffic offences may be required to pass the relevant assessment selected.
  • Existing drivers granted a licence after September 2016 who did not pass a Driving Standards Agency test must pass the new assessment by 15 July 2019. Failure to do so will result in the suspension of your licence.
  • You do not have to take the driving assessment (exemptions) if you are a driving instructor, driving examiner, or hold driving categories D and D1 together with a driver qualification card which is valid for five years and shows that 35 hours of approved training courses have been completed. Evidence is required for all exemptions.
  • Applications that do not comply with the terms and conditions may be considered by the Licensing Panel and the fee may not be refundable. If you are unsure if your application will be accepted on a matter of policy then please

How to arrange the driving assessment?

The assessments are carried out by Green Penny and you can book via their website. All assessments will be carried out in the Allerdale area.

Table of Fares

Taxi (hackney carriage) table of fares (update 1 April 2018)
DISTANCE (Tariff 1)Tariff
If the distance does not exceed 1.6 kilometre (1 mile) for the whole distance320 pence
If the distance exceeds 1.6 kilometre (1 mile) for the first kilometre (1 mile)320 pence
For each subsequent 0.32 (1/5th of a mile) or uncompleted part thereof45 pence
For each period of three minutes or uncompleted part thereof45 pence
(Tariff 2) For hiring commenced between Midnight and 6.00 a.m.PLUS 50% OF TARIFF 1
(Tariff 3) All day on Bank and Public Holidays including Easter Sunday, Boxing Day and any Bank Holidays given in lieu of Boxing Day and to 4.00 a.m. on the day following those listed above. Hirings commenced between 6.00 p.m. and Midnight on Christmas Eve and New Years EvePLUS 75% OF TARIFF 1
Tariff 4) Christmas Day and New Years DayPLUS 100% OF TARIFF 1
For each article of luggage conveyed outside the passenger compartment or the carriage for the whole distance20 pence
For each person in excess of two50 pence
Fouling Charge£50
The above rates of fare are applicable to:*
1. Journeys taken entirely within the Borough of Allerdale.*
2. Journeys ending outside the Borough of Allerdale where no fare or rate is agreed in advance of such journeys between the hirer and the driver.None