Taxis and Hire Cars Licensing


Coronavirus Safety Tips for travel within Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles

The Essex Resilience Forum has produced a downloadable poster for Coronavirus safety tips for drivers and passengers. We have made both posters available to download if you would like to display them inside of your vehicles.

All licensed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers have recently been sent correspondence from the Council advising of the change in service provider relating to carrying out checks on their driving licence. 

The new service provider as advised in the communication is called Licence Bureau. 

Licence Bureau have been contracted to perform checks all drivers licences at a minimum of once every six months and have replaced the previous provider that the Hackney Carriage Office used, which no longer trades. 

Licence Bureau will contact drivers and ask them to click on a link to complete a declaration online giving them permission to contact the DVLA to conduct a check of the driving licence and share the information with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. 

We can confirm that any genuine email sent from Licence Bureau will always end

This requirement of the licence conditions of a Hackney Carriage or Private Hire driver with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. 

We have had some concerns regarding who Licence Bureau are and how they use the information you provide to them. The Licence Bureau has provided a 'Drivers FAQ Guide' for you to read regarding their services. 

If you would like a copy of the Drivers FAQ Guide then please email us with your full name and badge number and a copy will be sent to you. Drivers who have already registered their email address with the Hackney Carriage Office will be sent this automatically

Please note:

If you do not have an email address or you are using a shared email address we will be contacting you via letter to complete a postal declaration to send to Licence Bureau. 

Electric Charging

You can find out how much you could save on your taxi running costs, including fuel, licence and servicing by switching to an Electric Taxi (e-Taxi). You will be eligible for a trial of an e-Taxi, plus for priority in any future heavily discounted e-Taxi rental programs. Your support will help us make sure the e-Taxi charge points are placed in the most convenient places for you and your fellow taxis drivers. Electric Blue will provide you with a confidential report on your journeys and a no obligation quote for replacing your existing taxi with an e-Taxi. There will be no information provided by Evolve to the Authority which could identify any vehicle that takes part in any trial.

Types of Licence:

  • Hackney Carriage Vehicle (Taxi) is a vehicle that can use the ranks, be flagged down or obtain bookings by telephone from a radio control
  • Private Hire Vehicle vehicles are not permitted to use the ranks and cannot pick up a member of the public by being flagged down. All fares have to be pre-booked normally by telephone
  • Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence Restricted is the same as a Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence and requires the same forms, but does not require a Topography Test. This licence is for individuals that wish to carry out airport runs, theatre nights and general out of town bookings at an agreed fare in advance of the journey and at the time of booking
  • Operator Licence for Fleet Vehicles. Companies that run a fleet of vehicles and wish to take private bookings (i.e. airport and theatre runs) you must have a Private Hire Vehicle Drivers Licence and your Vehicle must be licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle. All three licenses must be with the same licensing authority

Requirements for Hackney Carriage (Taxi) and Private Hire Car Drivers Licence applications:

  • You must be over 21 year of age and have held a UK or E.U. licence for three years
  • You will have to pay for a Group 2 Medical examination with your own GP
  • You will need to take a Topography Test (knowledge of roads, streets and routes) and a Driving Test
  • We require that a police check be carried out through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • We require three references

When all these forms are completed they are to be returned with the relevant fee. An appointment must be made with the Hackney Carriage office for an informal interview.

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