Taxi licences

Please view the government advice: GOV.UK - Coronavirus (COVID-19): taxis and private hire vehicles.

Face covering use by transport workers

In England, passengers must wear a face covering when using taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs).

The mandatory requirement for using face coverings does not apply to staff while they are working. The requirement does however apply to staff while they are not working, for example, when travelling to or from work on public transport, or if they enter a shop or supermarket in a transport hub before or after shifts, or whilst on a break.

In any case, face coverings offer some benefits in work situations where social distancing is difficult to manage. For example, when working in passenger facing roles including when providing assistance to disabled passengers.

Public health advice is that staff (including taxi and private hire vehicle drivers) wear a face covering when they are unable to maintain social distancing in passenger facing roles, recognising that there will be exceptional circumstances when a staff member cannot wear a face covering, or when their task makes it sensible (based on a risk assessment) for them not to wear a face covering.

Taxi and PHV drivers are advised to make an assessment of risk as outlined in the transport operator guidance published on 12 May. The acceptance of a booking request by a PHV operator is a decision made based on the operator’s own assessment of risk. Any requirements for face coverings should be made clear to the passenger before the operator accepts the booking. Taxi drivers can use this assessment to determine whether or not it is reasonable to admit a passenger who is not wearing a face covering, considering other mitigations they put in place from their risk assessment. This does not however absolve them of their duties under the Equality Act 2010.

It's important for passengers to be able to identify you as a legitimate driver. Therefore, please be prepared to remove your face covering so passengers can see your identify matches up with your displayed licence badge. This must be done whilst adhering to the current social distancing rules.

Please view our Hackney carriage and private hire COVID-19 update

If you want to run a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle business, you will need to apply for the appropriate licence from the licensing authority you wish to operate in. If you do not know who that is, visit GOV.UK - Find your local council. Separate licences will be required for vehicles, drivers and operating companies.

The purpose of licensing is to ensure the safety of the public, by checking that the drivers are fit and proper, and that the vehicles they drive are safe, suitable and reliable.

If you are renewing your vehicle licence and looking to upgrade your existing licensed vehicle to electric, you may be eligible to a grant. Please read this leaflet Business Energy Efficiency Anglia (BEE Anglia) to see if you meet the criteria.

Find out more:

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Newsletter

Taxi Drivers Forum minutes