Taxi & private hire licensing

Personal information we hold

  • Name
  • Contact details (postal address, telephone number, email address, etc)
  • Date of birth
  • DVLA or overseas driving licence details
  • Photographs
  • Referees' details
  • Certificate of good conduct (where required)
  • Employment history (where required)
  • Proof of identity
  • Country of origin and/or nationality
  • Proof of right to work in UK
  • National Insurance Number
  • Details of Knowledge of London, topographical, driver skills and English language assessments/qualifications
  • Completed medical forms and any supporting medical information from general practitioners or specialists
  • Vehicle Registration Marks (VRMs) and Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs)
  • Outcomes of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
  • Outcomes of Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) database checks
  • Details of traffic or other criminal offences
  • Complaints made about drivers or operators
  • The licence and/or badge number issued to you or your vehicle by TfL

The details of any payment cards used to pay for a licence application or vehicle inspection fee are encrypted and stored in accordance with payment card industry data security standards.

Obtaining and using your information

TfL has a statutory duty to regulate the taxi and private hire trades in London under the London Hackney Carriages Act 1843 and Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998. This legislation covers the licensing of taxi and private hire drivers, taxi and private hire vehicles, and private hire operators. TfL needs to collect and process your personal information to carry out this function and fulfil our legal obligations.

Most of the personal information we hold is provided by you in your licence application and the supporting information you include with it.

We may need to verify the right to work status of licence applicants, and in the case of private hire operators, all of the individuals named on the operator licence. Where necessary, we will do this by verifying your information with the Home Office and/or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

If you apply for, or renew, a private hire driver licence, you may be required to demonstrate a certain standard of English language competence. If you already have a qualification, TfL may verify this with the relevant educational establishment or examination board.

In some circumstances TfL may require you to complete a Secure English Language Test (SELT) with an external provider from a list of approved/nominated colleges. As these organisations are independent of TfL, you should read and understand their privacy policy and terms and conditions before booking a test. TfL may contact the provider to verify your SELT result.

TfL may also verify other information about you or your vehicle during the period that your taxi, private hire or operator's licence is valid. This is to ensure your continuing fitness to hold your licence. You can read more about this in sharing your personal information.

Private Hire operators may be required to provide us with details of all drivers and vehicles registered with them at specified intervals. From time to time we may also ask operators to provide us with details of customer complaints they have received. This may include personal information about drivers as well as customers.

Different departments within TfL share information about taxi and private hire licensees and vehicles as part of our on-street compliance and enforcement activities. It will also be used to support road safety initiatives and activities to reduce casualties and collisions on London's roads.

Taxi and private hire customers and members of the general public may provide us with personal information about licensees when contacting us about the service they have received. This may include information posted via social media feeds.

The police may inform TfL if you are arrested or charged with a criminal offence. This is known as Common Law Police Disclosure. We may use this information to decide whether it is appropriate to suspend or revoke your licence.

We may send you updates from time to time on issues relating to the licensing and operation of the taxi and private hire trades in London via email service messages and newsletters. We will only send you information about TfL's offers and promotions if you choose to receive it, and you will be able to change your marketing preferences at any time.

We will not pass your personal information on to any other organisation for marketing purposes without your prior consent. We do not sell or rent personal data to third parties for any purpose.

If you telephone TfL, your call may be recorded for training and quality purposes. If you contact us by email, we will check that your contact details are up to date and amend our records where necessary.

Occasionally TfL may use aggregated, depersonalised taxi and/or private hire licensing data to carry out research and analysis, for example, to assess the effectiveness of road or passenger safety initiatives. Individuals cannot be identified using this data.

Please note that TfL does not make any taxi or private hire licensing decisions based solely on the use of automated systems, databases or computer applications.

Length of time we keep information

We retain personal information related to taxi and private hire vehicles, taxi and private hire drivers and private hire operators in accordance with a defined disposal schedule. The periods for which information is retained are considered reasonable to enable us to undertake our statutory and regulatory licencing functions. Below is a summary of some of our standard retention periods:

Type of informationDefault retention period
Personal file for a taxi or private hire driver Seven years after the expiry of a licence 
Unsuccessful taxi or private hire driver licence application Seven years from the date an application is declined 
Personal file for a private hire operator 11 years after the expiry of a licence 
Unsuccessful private hire operator licence application 11 years from the date an application is declined 
Information relating to a taxi or private hire vehicle inspection  Four years after an inspection takes place 

Keeping your information secure

We take the privacy of our licensees very seriously. We have a range of robust policies, processes and technical measures in place to control and safeguard access to, and use of, personal information associated with taxi and private hire licensing.

Sharing personal information

TfL has contracts with a number of third party service providers that support the day-to-day operation of our licensing services.

We may also enter into specific information sharing arrangements with partners such as local authorities where it would support our statutory functions. Any information sharing is managed in accordance with relevant privacy and data protection legislation.

TfL also shares personal information with, (and receives information from) a number of other organisations as part of the licensing process and to ensure an individual's or vehicle's ongoing fitness to hold a licence once issued. Such organisations may include the police, DVLA, DVSA, Home Office, DWP, MIB, and local authorities. Any information sharing is managed in accordance with relevant privacy and data protection legislation.

Every two years, TfL is required by law to disclose information about licensed taxi and private hire drivers to the Cabinet Office as part of the National Fraud Initiative. We will publish a Taxi and Private Hire Notice to inform licensees just before each of these data disclosure exercises takes place.

Where you have authorised a third party to undertake a vehicle inspection on your behalf, we may share or request other information about you and/or your vehicle with them where necessary for the inspection process.

Some limited licensee information may be made available to the public where relevant legislation requires or permits it and publication is in the public interest. Examples include licensee names and associated badge or licence numbers, together with the status and expiry dates of those licences. We may also publish information about individuals who have had their licence revoked for illegal touting. TfL will never publish the home addresses of any taxi or private hire licensee online, or in a publicly available register.

Aggregated, depersonalised data and statistics may be shared with a number of external stakeholders who have a role in supporting taxi and private hire enforcement and compliance in London. These include the City of London Police, Metropolitan Police Service and trade bodies which represent the taxi or private hire industry in London. Individuals cannot be identified using this data.

In some circumstances, disclosures of personal data to the police (and other law enforcement agencies) are permitted by data protection legislation, if they relate to the prevention or detection of crime and/or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders. Before any such disclosure takes place, the police are required to demonstrate that the personal data concerned is necessary for them to carry out a proper investigation. Each police request received by TfL is dealt with on a strictly case-by-case basis to ensure that any such disclosure is lawful and carried out in accordance with relevant guidance issued by the Information Commissioner's Office.

Overseas processing

TfL and its service providers do not currently process any personal information relating to taxi and private hire licensing outside the United Kingdom.

Your information rights

If you would like to receive copies of the personal data TfL holds about you in connection with taxi and private hire licensing, please visit Access your data.

If you have specific concerns about the way TfL handles your personal data, you can contact our Privacy and Data Protection team at privacy@tfl.gov.uk.

You are also entitled to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the independent regulator responsible for upholding information rights. You can find more information on the ICO website.

Privacy notice: drivers and operators

Transport for London (TfL) its subsidiaries and service providers will use your personal information (including any references to your health, ethnic origin, nationality, or previous criminal convictions), for the purpose of assessing your application, administering the licensing regime, and equal opportunities monitoring. We will also provide you with information relating to the licensing and regulation of taxi and private hire services in London. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of data protection legislation.

Your name, badge/licence number and the status, start/expiry date of your licence may be made available on request or on a register for public inspection. If you have licensed a vehicle, the vehicle registration mark, licence number and expiry date may also be made available in the same way.

We may share your information with, or receive information from, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Home Office Immigration Enforcement, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), local authorities and other relevant organisations, including private hire operators, for the purposes of assessing your application or continuing fitness to hold a licence. In certain circumstances, TfL may also share your personal information with the police and other agencies for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime.

Information obtained by the police about criminal offences committed by taxi/private hire drivers or operators, may be disclosed to TfL and used by TfL to refuse, suspend or revoke a taxi or private hire driver, operator or vehicle licence. TfL may inform the police of any decision to refuse, suspend or revoke a licence. Information about drivers whose licence has been revoked following a conviction for touting may be published on the TfL website for a period of up to 11 months.

Your name and contact details may be disclosed to an external research company to conduct research amongst licensees on TfL's behalf. This research will be related to TfL's responsibilities for licensing, regulation, and integration between taxis/private hire services and other elements of the transport system. Your details will not be used for any marketing or other research activities without your specific consent.

Privacy notice: vehicle inspections

Transport for London (TfL), its subsidiaries and service providers will use your personal information for the purpose of administering the licensing and inspection regime for taxis and private hire vehicles. We will also provide you with information relating to the licensing and regulation of taxi and private hire services in London. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of data protection legislation.

TfL may share or receive information relating to yourself, your vehicle, and/or your vehicle insurance with a number of other organisations including the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Home Office Immigration Enforcement, Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), local authorities and private hire operators for the purposes of assessing your application or continuing fitness to hold a licence.

You may appoint a third party to manage the vehicle inspection process on your behalf, and where this is the case, you understand and agree that:

  • They may provide information about you and/or your vehicle to TfL for the purpose of the vehicle inspection
  • They may receive the results of any validation checks carried out at TfL's request
  • TfL may share or request other information about you and/or your vehicle with them where necessary for the inspection process
  • In certain circumstances, TfL may also share your personal information with the police and other law enforcement agencies for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime.
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