The Public Carriage Office (TfL) issues three types of PCO license in relation to the private hire trade.
Private Hire Drivers License
This is the license that allows drivers to work and be employed as minicab/private hire drivers in the Greater London area. All minicab drivers need this license so if you want to work as a minicab driver in London then send off for an application. Please note, you will have to fulfill several requirements to get the license but as long as you’re over 21, have held your driving license for for 3 years, in good health and a good honest character then you should be fine. Once you have this license you must ensure that customers can clearly see it when you are working which ensures they know you are a fully licensed driver and you are not an ‘illegal cabbie’.
If you are caught working without a valid License you could face the possibility of not being able to apply for a number of years! So, get legal, stay legal and continue earning an honest living.
Private Hire Vehicle License
The PCO wants to make sure that all vehicles used for hire and reward are in good condition and fit for use, so it is a regulation that all private hire vehicles are licensed and it is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to apply for a licence. This may be you if you own your own car, or it could be the company you work for. If you rent a PCO vehicle from a third party it would the their responsibility but ultimately you have to make sure it’s legal while your behind the wheel. Private hire vehicles must display their licenses in both the front and rear windows.
If you have any questions about the PCO vehicle licence then please use the ‘vehicles’ drop-down in the main menu. If you want to get your vehicle inspected and licensed then call the NSL Call Centre on 0343 222 5555 to book an appointment. It should cost around £114 in total for the inspection and the license.
If you want to run your own minicab office in London and accept pre-booked journeys then you must be licensed by Transport for London (TfL) or risk being prosecuted. There are several types of licenses covering a range of uses. The Operators license is valid for 5 years and must be displayed in a place where the public can view it. To check whether an operator is licensed you can use this online checker.