Public Carriage Office (PCO) issues three types of licenses to the private hire trade.
· The Operators Licence – This license is issued to the minicab company that operates by accepting pre-booked journeys to carry one or more fare paying customers.
The private hire operator must display their licence at their place of business.
This licence must be displayed in a place where it is easily visible by the public.
If the business has an office or a shop front where the members of public can go to and make a booking then they ideally should also have a taxi office public liability insurance cover in place as well.
· Private Hire Vehicle Licence – This licence is issued to ensure that all vehicles used for hire and reward use have been tested and fit for this use.
In London private hire vehicles display the licence on both the front and rear windows of the vehicles. The expiration date is visible on these licenses.
Customers should query any vehicle that does not have a valid private hire licence.
Before the vehicle is issued with a licence, a private hire insurancecertificate or covernote must be produced to ensure that the correct insurance cover is in place.
· Private Hire Drivers Licence – For minicab drivers to obtain a private hire licence most licensing authorities have implemented some form of knowledge tests.
Also the driver is checked with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) for any criminal convictions or cautions.
Once the licensing authority is satisfied the driver is a ‘fit and proper’ person, they will then issue a licence.
Any customer can ask to see this licence before commencing their journey.
It is a condition of the licence that it must be clearly displayed whilst they are using their vehicle for hire and reward use.
Drivers of Licensed Vehicles must be Licensed
It is an offence to employ an unlicensed driver Section 46 LG(MP)A
Every driver of a private hire vehicle must be licensed by the District Council Section
The driver must be a fit and proper person Section 51 LG(MP)A
The Diver must be medically fit to drive a private hire vehicle Section 57 LG(MP)A
All drivers must display the badge provided when driving a private hire vehicle for the
purpose specified in a position so as to be plainly visible Section 48 LG(MP)A
except if the vehicle if to be used in connection with a wedding, funeral or the vehicle
is carrying written permission by the Council that the plate need not be displayed
Section 75 LG(MP)A
On revocation or suspension of the drivers licence, the badge must be returned to
the Council on demand Section 61 LG(MP)A
Production of Licences
Licence holders must produce the licences to an authorised officer or police
constable if requested to do so Sections 50, 53 and 56 LG(MP)A