Taxi licensing

  • With effect from 2nd December 2019, Southport One Stop Shop will only be offering an appointment service for its taxi licensing customers. All taxi licensing customers attending Southport One Stop Shop after this date without an appointment will be signposted to Bootle One Stop Shop and staff there will deal with your enquiry. The delivery of our taxi licensing service at Southport One Stop Shop will be reviewed again on 10th January 2020.

If you are applying to be a new Sefton Taxi Driver you must telephone 0345 140 0845 in order to book an appointment to visit a Sefton One Stop Shop. All subsequent visits to a One Stop Shop can be made without the requirement for an appointment.

Applicants must attend a Sefton One Stop Shop with:

  • Your full driving licence [DVLA, EEC or Northern Irish] or your old-style paper licence. You must have held a licence for at least 12 months
  • 2 other documents from either Group 1 or Group 2 (as described for a Disclosure and Barring Service check)
  • A full list of all the addresses you have lived at in the last 5 years without any gaps
  • Details of your doctor. You will require a DVLA Group II standard medical. This can be completed by your own registered GP or a GP who has access to your medical records (not needed for horse omnibus or pedicab driver licenses)
  • Your fees for the DBS check and DVLA referral
  • The details of the Sefton licensed Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence Holder (Plate Number and address) that you intend to use.

One Stop Shop locations:

  • Bootle - 324 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3ET (Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
  • Southport - Cambridge Arcade, Southport (Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Please note: Applicants are no longer required to provide their own colour passport photograph. We will take a photograph of you during your visit which will be stored and used for licensing purposes only.

All vehicles must be tested for fitness by one of our appointed testing stations including a taximeter accuracy check. The vehicle test standards are provided in the Vehicle Preconditions document.

To apply for a new licence, applicants must attend the Sefton One Stop Shop and provide:

  • The vehicle pass certificate
  • Valid current proof of Public Hire Insurance cover for the vehicle
  • The vehicle registration document (or bill of sale for recently purchased vehicles)
  • The licence fee (this will vary depending on the licence type)

If your application is successful and payment is made the licence and plates will be issued.

When you receive your renewal reminder letter, complete the enclosed application form and put this with the documentation listed above (for a new licence) - including either a cheque or the receipt from the One Stop Shop payment kiosk - in an envelope provided at the reception desk at Bootle One Stop Shop, 324 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3ET (Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Drop off applications may take up to 5 working days to process. You will then be notified when the renewed licence and plates are ready for collection. So please make sure your application is submitted well in advance.

You will also need to return your old internal and external vehicle licence plates when collecting your new plates.



Any horse drawn or pedicab omnibus vehicles are required by law to be licensed by Sefton Council to stand or ply for hire along permitted routes. 

At the present time the only approved routes are within the tourist areas in Southport. These vehicles must charge at separate fares (per passenger).

To apply for a new licence, applicants must contact Sefton Council on 0345 140 0845 and notify us that you wish to apply for a licence.

You will then be contacted by Taxi Licensing who will arrange an appointment with you for your vehicle to be inspected by a qualified examiner.

Once your vehicle has passed it's inspection, you will be required to produce:

  • A valid certificate of relevant insurance cover
  • Your License and Vehicle inspection fees (this will vary depending on licence type)

and for Horse Omnibus vehicles only

  • A valid certificate of fitness issued by a specialist veterinary surgeon, for each horse that is to be used. [Each certificate remains valid for one year.]

If all the above is in order, you will be issued with a vehicle licence.

Any person who wishes to invite or accept bookings for private hire journeys from an address within Sefton is required by law to hold a licence issued by Sefton Council.

To apply for a new licence, applicants must attend a Sefton One Stop Shop with:

  • Planning permission, or a letter from the planning department stating that you do not need planning permission.  Apply for letter online
  • The licence fee (this will vary depending on the number of licensed vehicles that you wish to use at any one time).
  • a Certificate of Incorporation if the application is to be made as a limited company

If your application is successful and the name you wish to use does not resemble another then you will be issued with a licence and a copy of the Private Hire Operator's Conditions.

You will be required to keep records of every journey and are responsible for ensuring that the journeys booked are completed.

We can only issue a Private Hire Operators licence if the premises that you wish to operate from is within the area of Sefton.

One Stop Shop locations:

  • Bootle324 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3ET (Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
  • SouthportCambridge Arcade, Southport (Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)


All Hackney Carriage, Private Hire, Horse and Pedicab Omnibus Driver’s Licences (On application)

Enhanced DBS Check £50.00
DVLA Online Check (currently paper checks only) £5.00
New & Renewal of Drivers licence fee (maximum 3 year) £73.00

All Vehicle Licences

Private Hire Vehicles up to eight years old (12 month Licences) £139.00
Private Hire Vehicles over eight years old (6 month Licences) £81.00
All Hackney Carriages up to eight years old (12 month Licences)* £139.00
Non Metropolitan Hackney Cabs over eight years old (6 month Licences)** £81.00
Metropolitan Hackney cabs between 8-11 years (12 month Licences)* £139.00
Metropolitan Hackney cabs over 11 years (6 month Licences)** £81.00
Horse Omnibuses any age (12 month Licences) £126.00
Pedicab Omnibuses (12 month Licences) £62.00
* includes £30 annual hackney rank levy  
** includes £15 hackney rank levy  

All Private Hire Operator’s Licences

Once Planning Approval has been produced for an Operating premises within Sefton the fee payable depends on the numbers of vehicles to be operated. An applicant can apply for a one year minimum licence or a five year maximum licence. The fees shown are per year. 

Operate 1 to 2 vehicles £32.00
Operate 3 to 50 vehicles £158.00
Operate 51 to 100 vehicles £190.00
Operate 100+ vehicles £220.00

Miscellaneous Fees

Transfer of Hackney Driver licence to Private Hire £19.50
Transfer of Private Hire Driver licence to Hackney £19.50
Transfer of Licence Holder - any vehicle £19.50
Change of Vehicle Registration - any vehicle £19.50
Duplicate Licence (any type) £13.50
Duplicate driver’s badge or internal Vehicle plate £6.50
Duplicate External Vehicle Plate £13.50

Minimum Solicitor & Road Traffic Accident Written Enquiry Response Fees-
If approved for release of data (fee is shown exclusive of 20% VAT)


All prices correct at September 2019. 

Before granting a licence we require applicants to:

  • Undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service check; 
  • Undergo a DVLA Records Referral process; 
  • Pass the handbook-based Knowledge Test (Not needed for horse omnibus or pedicab driver license) Knowledge Tests cannot be booked until 4 weeks have passed since the initial application;
  • Pass a British Driving Society test of competence with horse drawn vehicles (horse omnibus only);
  • Produce a satisfactory Medical Certification from their own registered GP or a GP with access to their medical records (We have adopted the DVLA Group II medical standard) 
  • Achieve the Vocationally Related Qualification in Transporting Passengers by Taxi & Private Hire (VRQ) (New Applicants). Renewal applicants have until 31st December 2015 to obtain either the Vocationally Related Qualification in Transporting Passengers by Taxi & Private Hire OR the NVQ Level 2 in Transporting Passengers by Taxi & Private Hire

If your application is successful you will then be required to pay a Licence fee. This will vary depending on licence type and length.

Sefton Council has a restricted number of Hackney Carriage Licences available (271) which are all currently allocated.

The Council maintains a waiting list for anyone wanting a licence should one become available. You can make an application for a licence at either Bootle or Southport One Stop Shop. Please note that it may be several years before a licence becomes available.

If you have already submitted an application then check your reference to find your position on the list below.

Position on list




















Please complete the online form to report an issue. 

We will investigate and take the appropriate action. If you have provided your contact details we will aim to respond within 15 days of your enquiry.

Private Hire Vehicles

The Council’s current handbook of conditions state that a private hire driver, upon finding any property in his vehicle, should take it to a Police Station within 48 hours or return it to the passenger. Since September 2015, Merseyside Police will no longer routinely accept lost property and it is now the responsibility of private hire operators to deal with enquiries regarding lost property left in vehicles. If you have left property in a private hire vehicle then you should contact the operator as soon as possible.

Hackney Carriage Vehicles

The current byelaws relating to hackney carriages state that property should be taken to a Police Station within 48 hours. If you have flagged down a taxi in the street or used a vehicle at a rank it may not be possible to trace the hackney carriage you have travelled in without recording either the details of the vehicle or the driver. If the vehicle was pre booked you should contact the company or operator you made the booking through as soon as possible.

Sefton Council do not retain any lost property but if you are having difficulty getting items returned then please get in touch by using the online form in ‘how to complain about a Sefton taxi’ and we may be able to help. The current handbook will be updated in due course to reflect the current guidance.”

The Council has adopted Section 165 of the Equality Act which makes it an offence for drivers of designated vehicles to refuse to carry a passenger in a wheelchair unless that driver has a valid exemption.

The current list of designated wheelchair accessible vehicles is shown below along with guidance for drivers on their duties as well as an explanation of the reasonable mobility assistance that is expected. Details on the type and size of wheelchairs that are covered is also contained in the guidance.

Taxi licensing scheme handbook (pdf 368KB)
Taxi vehicle preconditions (pdf 16KB)
Certificate of horse fitness (pdf 24KB)
Designated for the purposes of Section 165 of the Equality Act (pdf 213KB)
Guidance for drivers and wheelchairs (pdf 127KB)

Last Updated on 11 December 2019