Taxi licences

Can a taxi or private hire vehicle driver refuse to admit a passenger who is not wearing 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.

The Government recommends that if you're in an enclosed environment and can't maintain social distance you should wear a face covering. 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