Skip to content

Licenses for Taxi's and Private Hire

A revised Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle, Operator and Driver Licensing Policy has now been approved, which includes the Licensing Authority’s practices and procedures.

Differences in Taxi's and Private Hire vehicles

We regulate two types of transport.  These are private hire vehicles and hackney carriages (taxis).

The difference between taxis and private hire vehicles and how they can operate is: 



  • carry passengers who have hailed them in the street or from an authorised rank.
  • Taxis can also be pre-booked. 
  • All taxis must be licensed by the Council

Taxi's can only operate in a particular zone. The zones reflect the boundaries of the previous district and borough councils within Cornwall. This will not change unless Cornwall Council decides to amalgamate the zones, this is subject to consultation. 

Private hire vehicles

  • cannot be hailed in the street
  • cannot sit on taxi ranks
  • must be booked.

These vehicles also have to be licensed by the Council. Unlike taxis, they are not restricted to operating in certain zones and are free to operate across the whole county. 

Guidance for passengers and how to make a complaint about a taxi/private hire driver, vehicle or operator.  

Please view the licences below. Please note that you need a separate licence for both the vehicle and the driver of the vehicle:

Hackney Carriage taxi and Private Hire Vehicle licence

You will need to apply for this licence to drive a taxi or a private hire vehicle

Hackney carriage and private hire driver licence

Drivers of both taxi's and private hire vehicles will need to apply for this licence. 

Private hire operators licence

You will need this licence if you are self employed and driving a private hire vehicle.

Omnibus - Horse drawn carriage licensing

Information on Horse drawn carriages and other carriages. 

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Use our contact us form

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service