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Taxi vehicle licenses - private hire and hackney carriage

Applications for licences, both new and renewals, are now made exclusively online through the Council’s Licensing Portal. 

We strongly advise that you submit your application and evidence well in advance, with a minimum of two weeks prior to your renewal date or the date you are aiming to start using the vehicle.

We will only consider an application when the online form has been submitted, all required evidence has been submitted and full payment has been made for the appropriate charge. 

You cannot Licence a vehicle as both a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle, you must choose the one most suited to your business and to align with the Driver Licence you have applied for.

There is no need to an appointment to process an application for either new or renewed vehicle licences.

Apply Online

Please read the points below prior to your application to ensure the vehicle will meet the required standards and you are able to provide all necessary evidence and checks.

To ensure that all vehicles operating within the area are in exceptional condition and remain safe for the use of the general public, we have an age limited for vehicles to be granted new licences, and a requirement for regular testing of the vehicle.

Prior to a licence being granted, all vehicles must be tested for suitability to operate as a taxi/private hire by the councils authorised testing centre – AWS. They are located at Solway Road on the Clay Flats industrial estate in Workington. You must contact them directly to book an appointment for this test by calling 01900 702863. Please note that no other garage or MOT centre is authorised to carry out these tests. 

Where a vehicle will turn four years of age during the course of its licence, and for every licence granted thereafter, it must be submitted for a Vehicle Test every four months, from commencement of licence, to show continued suitability to operate as a taxi. It is your responsibility to ensure these tests are completed every four months, and in line with your plate renewal dates. Please note you may only present tests 28 days in advance of the due date of your test, e.g. grant, 4 month test or renewal date. Vehicles not tested in accordance with this policy will be suspended and/or revoked. 

Vehicle tests are only valid for 28 days. The date of grant or renewal must fall within this 28-day window.

Vehicle Age Policy

You must prove you are the registered owner of any vehicle you are attempting to licence. This must be done by providing your V5C certificate or, in the case of a recent purchase, the new keeper slip. It is important to note when presenting the new keeper slip that you must present the V5C certificate to the council when you receive it from the DVLA.

Get a vehicle log book (V5C)

Hackney Carriage Vehicles older than 1 year must present a valid MOT upon presentation for licencing, while Private Hire Vehicles must present an MOT after three years of age. You will also be required to submit evidence of your MOT on a yearly basis thereafter. Duplicate copies of your MOT can be obtained from

Check the MOT history of a vehicle

You must present your Certificate of Insurance for your use of the vehicle as a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire Vehicle. This must clearly show that the vehicle intended for use as a taxi is insured to be used in the manner of the licence you are applying for, that the driver is fully insured and that no exclusions apply to the policy which prevent its use in this manner. 

For whole fleet policies, the council must be satisfied that your policy covers all vehicles and/or driver operating under this policy.

Payment for your application must be received before a member of the team will begin to process your paperwork. You can make this payment with your debit/credit card by calling 0300 373 3730 and selecting the options for Allerdale and Licensing.

Please note: do not accept payment by cash or cheques.

Fees & Charges Document

When applying for a renewal you must return your existing plates to the council - for a standard renewal, you may present these to the council when collecting your new plates. Where plates have been suspended you must return these to the council immediately. No work will be undertaken towards reinstating the vehicle until these are returned to Allerdale House in Workington.

Please review the Vehicle Advertising policy when making your application. New vehicles will only be considered where they abide by the rules set forth within the policy.

Vehicles wishing to advertise on their vehicle will need to make the relevant application and payment as outlined within the policy. Please contact if you require further guidance or assistance. 

Vehicle Advertisement Policy

  1. The penalty for knowingly giving false information in relation to this application is a fine on summary conviction not exceeding £5,000.00. 
  2. The attention of applicants is drawn to the above conditions of application. 
  3. If you intend to run a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire business from a Council/Housing Association house you will need to obtain the Housing officer’s consent to do so.  This consent will also be required regarding any increase in the number of vehicles you intend to use.
  4. Depending on the scale of your business i.e. number of vehicles, you may need planning permission prior to commencing your business or increasing the number of vehicles.  You must check with the Planning Department, Cumberland Council, Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria. CA14 3YJ or Lake District National Park Authority, Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, Kendal. 
  5. Please note that the vehicle safety pass sheet issued by AWSL Motor Services, Workington is valid for 28 days only.
  6. Your attention is drawn to the fact that, supplied information is to be stored on computer.  You therefore have certain rights to view the information. Such request must be made in writing and a fee of £10.00 is payable.  Your rights are set out in the Data Protection Act 1998.

Your licence for either Vehicle or Driver licence are dependent upon your compliance with the Conditions of Application, Terms & Conditions and Byelaws set forth by the Council to operate within the Hackney Carriage trade. Please review the attached document carefully prior to completing your application.

Hackney Carriage - Terms, Conditions & Byelaws

Your licence for Vehicle, Driver or Operator licence(s) are dependent upon your compliance with the Conditions of Application and Terms & Conditions set forth by the Council to operate within the Private Hire trade. Please review the attached document carefully prior to completing your application.

Private Hire - Terms & Conditions


Please also read the advice and guidance from the police on safeguarding. 

Safeguarding Advice


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