Private Hire Operators Licence

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Any person who wants to work self employed driving a private hire vehicle must first obtain a private hire operator’s licence from the local authority.

If an employer holds a private hire operator’s licence this allows employees to drive private hire vehicles without obtaining their own private hire operator’s licence.

This applies to anyone who plans to take pre-bookings for the carriage of passengers in licensed private hire vehicles.

An application for a private hire operator’s licence does not constitute a grant of planning permission to operate a business from the premises that you intend to use as a booking office. Please advise the Planning and Building Control Department as to the intended change of use of a property.

Licensed operators must keep a record of all bookings in a suitable log book, which includes:

  • the date of the booking
  • the date of the required journey
  • the time and point of pick up, the destination
  • details of the vehicle used and its driver
  • any additional remarks

Private hire operator's licences are subject to private hire operator conditions.

How to apply

Apply for a Private Hire Operator Licence

Once completed, the form must be returned to Licensing Service, together with a basic criminal record check (if not a licensed driver), a current certificate of insurance for Public Liability Insurance (if a booking office is to be used) and the appropriate fee. 

Applicants must ensure that the Criminal Records Disclosure is not more than one month old at time of application. A Criminal Records Disclosure is required for each applicant, director or partner.

The criminal conviction certificate is a basic Criminal Records Disclosure.  A Basic Disclosure certificate can be obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Any enquiries regarding this should be directed to the Disclosure and Barring Service - email or telephone on 0300 020 0190.

Operator licences are issued for 5 years. Operators must apply to renew their licence before the expiry date. 

Forms will not be accepted by email or online transmission. Applications must be submitted in hard copy together with associated documentation.


You can view the full list of taxi licence fees here.  Please send your application to your nearest licensing office detailed below.

Office addresses

West Cornwall

Licensing Services
Cornwall Council   
Dolcoath Avenue
TR14 8SX

Tel. 01209 614440

Central Cornwall

Licensing Services
Cornwall Council
Chy Trevail
Beacon Technology Park
PL31 2FR

Tel. 01726 223433

East Cornwall

Licensing Services
Cornwall Council
Chy Trevail
Beacon Technology Park
PL31 2FR

Tel. 01208 893346

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