Doncaster taxi and private hire licensing policy

Taxis have been licensed for more than 150 years – the legislation for hackney carriages pre dates the invention of the motor car dating back to 1847 – and private hire vehicles were first licensed almost 40 years ago.

Current Policy

The new hackney carriage and private hire policy (V10.1) was approved and took affect from the 1st April 2021.

Local standards and conditions has been imposed and updated overtime but vehicle manufacture and the expectations of the travelling public have changed so much that it was felt a complete overhaul was needed.

Doncaster Council has reviewed all its standards and conditions relating to Hackney Carriage and private hire vehicle and drivers. A number of amendments were made to the original proposal due to the publication of the Department for Transport Statutory Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle Standards and a public consultation.

The resulting policy includes details of vehicle standards and conditions, driver conditions and the pre-requisite requirements before a licence will be granted.

Doncaster Council’s Hackney Carriage and private hire policy is a single document setting out all the council’s policies. 

All existing and prospective drivers, vehicle owners and operators are advised to read the policy in full. Key changes to the policy are set out below:

  • All new driver's are required to have held a Driving Licence for 2 consecutive years prior to making an application.
  • Group 2 Medical Certificates are only acceptable when the medical practitioner has had access to the patients medical history.
  • Safeguarding, Knowledge and Practical test assessments are only valid for 12 months when making a new driver application.
  • All applicants (vehicle and driver) who have previously spent an extended period (three or more continuous months) outside the UK are required to provide criminal records information or a 'certificate of good character' from the appropriate embassy.
  • All licensed drivers are required to subscribe to the DBS Update Service to enable the licensing authority to routinely check for new information every six months.
  • A basic disclosure will be required for licensed vehicle applicants (where the applicant is a partnership or company, a Basic DBS will be required for each partner or director). Where the applicant is a current licensed driver they will already have an enhanced DBS.
  • Driver Knowledge Test will now include an oral examination to determine language proficiency.
  • The authority will now utilise tools such as the National Register of Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driving Licence Refusals and Revocations (known as 'NR3').
  • Relevant Convictions Policy strengthened.
  • Private Hire Operators are required to keep a register of all staff who have had a Basic DBS check and any persons with prior convictions are compatible with the operators own policy on employing ex-offenders.
  • Introduction of 'recommended' vehicle specifications for both private hire and hackney carriage vehicles.
  • New Implementation of a 'Penalty Point System' for existing licence holders.

Number of Tests

Age of Vehicle

1 test per year

Up to 4 years

2 tests per year

Between 4 and 7 years

3 tests per year

7 years and over

New drivers

We have changed the procedure so that anyone wishing to become a driver has to have all the pre-requisite requirements e.g. knowledge test, medical, Practical Driving test, Safeguarding Awareness etc in place prior to submission of their application.  At the point of application a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check will be carried out and a decision will be made as to whether the applicant is ‘fit and proper’.

To avoid potential disappointment and expense, anyone who is considering embarking down the road of becoming a licensed driver is strongly advised to first read Appendix 2 of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy which gives guidance on the relevance of convictions before taking any of the required tests and medical.

If you wish to discuss any matter referred to on this page please do not hesitate to contact the licensing office:

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Last updated: 29 March 2021 16:51:53