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Mayor of London

Apply for a private hire operator licence

When you think of private hire operators you usually think of minicab offices on the high street.  However, there are many different kinds of operator including:

  • Those who only cater for social events such as prom, hen and stag nights and corporate events
  • One person operations offering a chauffeur service
  • Individuals whose principle work is as a tour guide
  • Operators who only do contract work, for example school runs for a local council

Types of licence

Whatever type of private hire service you intend to provide you will need to be licensed by us before you start operating. Anyone who receives payment for taking bookings or supplying drivers for hire without an operator's licence is breaking the law and may be prosecuted.

There are two types of operator's licence: 'small' and 'standard'.

Small- You can use a maximum of two licensed private hire vehicles for bookings.

Standard- There is no restriction on the number of licensed private hire vehicles you can use for bookings.

You cannot convert a small operator's licence to a standard operator's licence, so think carefully about which type of licence you require before applying.

Before applying for a Private Hire Operator's licence, you should download the operator's licence guidance notes below.

Premises and planning permission

Before you apply for a licence, you must have:

    • At least one 'operating centre' in London. This is the premises where you will take bookings. Your operating centre could be an office, a unit in the high street or your home address. For addresses outside Greater London, you must obtain a licence from the local council
    • Proof of planning permission or a certificate of lawful use for your proposed premises from your local authority. Where planning permission isn't required, you must provide written confirmation (email or letter) from the local authority. The document must be clearly linked to the address of the proposed premises. Any breach of planning legislation could lead your council to take enforcement action against you
    • If the operating centre's primary use is for another business, you'll need to provide further information about the operating centre. Please see our guidance notes for more information on this
    • A fixed landline telephone number for bookings. A licence cannot be issued without this


      You will need to pay a fee when you apply for a licence. There are two elements to the total cost of an application.

      Licence application fee (non-refundable)£838
      Grant of licence fee (five-year licence)

      How to apply

      Once you have read the guidance notes and believe that you can meet all of the required criteria, you can make an application to be licensed.

      Application forms and guidance

      The application pack contains:

      • A covering letter with details about the application process
      • A PHV/101 application form, a PHV/103 personal declaration form and a PHV/108 operating centre information form (see below)

        Your application must contain:

        • A completedPHV/101 application form (below)
        • PHV/103 personal declaration formcompleted for each individual associated with the application (below)
        • PHV/108 operating centre formcompleted for every operating centre (below)
        • The correct fee (pay by banker's draft, bank or building society cheque, credit or debit card)
        • Evidence of planning permission for proposed operating centre(s) 

        Send completed applications to:

        Transport for London
        London Taxi & Private Hire
        PO Box 177
        S98 1JY

        Your operator's licence lasts for five years. You need to apply for a new licence before your current one runs out.

        Apply for a renewal or variation.