English language requirement

Licensing requirements changed on 1 July 2024 

Find information and guidance in our notice on the new requirements (PDF 196KB).

Transitional arrangements

The English Language Requirement (ELR) was introduced in London in 2016.

Transitional arrangements are in place to allow existing licensees  time to comply. These arrangements are set out in TPH Notice 01/23.   

Anyone who applied for a new PHV driver's licence on or after 1 April 2023 is required to take and pass both the English language speaking and listening test and SERU assessment before they can be licensed.

Drivers must satisfy the ELR by taking and passing a speaking and listening test and the SERU assessment is used to assess their reading and writing skills.

Speaking and listening test

The speaking and listening test consists of a 15-20 minute conversation.

The assessment will be undertaken at a TfL Driver Assessment Centre via a secure video or telephone link to our service provider, PeopleCert. 

Please see PeopleCert's website for more information about the test and what to expect on the day. All applicants are advised to review this information prior to sitting the test. 

Reading and writing assessment

TfL will use the SERU assessment to assess an applicants' reading and writing skills.  

The SERU assessment is based on information contained in the PHV Driver's Handbook, which is intended to ensure applicants have the appropriate understanding of safety, equality and regulatory requirements that apply to London PHV drivers. 

For more information on the SERU requirement and our online assessment guide, please visit: tfl.gov.uk/tph-seru.

Cost of assessments

The speaking and listening test costs £36 when taken for the first time and £16 for a re-sit.

The SERU assessment costs £36 when taken for the first time and £16 for a re-sit.

Reasonable adjustments

TfL can provide a range of reasonable adjustments that are tailored to the individual to ensure that assessments are carried out in a fair and consistent manner.

If you have a disability or condition which means you will need adjustments to be made at your assessment then you will be invited to provide us with a brief outline of the condition and documented evidence from a relevant professional.

Contact us on tphdriverassessments@tfl.gov.uk

Help in preparing for your assessment

There are lots of free resources and courses available online to help people improve their English skills and you may want to make use of these before taking the assessment. 

Some colleges offer English courses for people on a low income, or who are in receipt of benefits such as Job Seeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. 

Some councils also offer free English courses or advice on courses and support available. Check on the National Careers Service website or call 0800 100 900 for classes in your area.

There are also a number of free online resources, including Skillswise by the BBC.

If you are disabled you may be entitled to support or a grant to help with the cost of the assessments or obtaining medical information through the Access to Work programme. 

Exemption guidance

Our exemption guidance document contains information on exemptions for the English Language Requirement. 

If you feel you have a disability or a condition which exempts you from taking the assessment, please see our exemption guidance for more information.