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.

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.  Prior to the adoption of the new standards the council consulted widely and took into account any representations that were made.  A number of amendments were made to the original proposal arising out of comments made by the trade.  For example, we will now consider Hackney Carriage vehicles which allow either side or rear entry for wheelchair passengers

The resulting policy includes details of vehicle standards and conditions, driver conditions and the pre-requisite requirements before a licence will be granted.  The policy also sets out the council’s position of not limiting the number of hackney carriage licences it will issue. 

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.

In addition to the decision not to limit the number of hackney carriage vehicle licences the main changes brought in by this Policy are as follows:

  • All driver licences will be issued for up 3 years duration.
  • All operator licences will be issued for up to 5 years duration.
  • No minimum age for drivers other than statutory requirements.
  • All drivers and operators must undertake safeguarding awareness. 
  • All new drivers must pass the relevant knowledge test, practical driving test, medical etc. prior to submission of their application.
  • Driver criminal records checks to be required every three years.
  • A Group 2 standards medical is required, valid until age 45 (or minimum of five years whichever is greater) and every five years thereafter.
  • The introduction of a voluntary dress code.
  • Vehicle specification expanded to allow a greater variety of vehicles to be licensed e.g. vehicles that allow side or rear loading of wheelchair passengers and MPVs with an additional row of seats
  • No minimum number of seats and no minimum engine size for vehicles.
  • The vehicle testing regime.

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:



Other links 

Last updated: 10 May 2024 10:19:40

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