English language requirement

It is essential for public safety that all licensed drivers can communicate in English at an appropriate level. Communicating with passengers to discuss a route, or fare, as well as reading, understanding and being able to respond to important regulatory, safety and travel information sent by TfL is crucial to a driver's role in transporting the public.

From 14 October 2016:
A transitional process will apply to all licence applications received by TfL on or after 14 October 2016: the licence holder must satisfy TfL that they have met the English language requirement by no later than 31 March 2017. Any licence holder that fails to do this may face licensing action

From 1 April 2017:

For applications received on or after 1 April 2017, all applicants must provide evidence that they meet the English language requirement as part of their application before a licence will be issued.

Language requirement

Trinity College London has been confirmed as one of our approved English language test providers. Trinity's ISE I qualification will be accepted by TfL as evidence of meeting the new English language requirement. Information on Trinity, and how you can book the ISE I language test, is available here.

Information on any further providers and how you can book them, will be published on this web page shortly.

Applicants may satisfy TfL of their ability to meet the requirement by providing:

  • A certificate from a test provider appointed by TfL confirming that the applicant's level of proficiency in the English language is at level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: ("CEFR") or above; or;
  • Documentary evidence of a qualification (whether or not the qualification was obtained in the United Kingdom) on the basis of which TfL is satisfied that the applicant's level of proficiency in the English language is equivalent to level B1 on the CEFR or above.

This is our guidance on how to satisfy the English language requirement. You can do this by either sitting the test with a TfL-appointed provider, or by providing satisfactory documentary evidence of your ability to speak, listen, read and write to the appropriate level in English.

A copy of the amended private hire regulations regarding the English language requirement, and a copy of the Equality Impact Assessment is also included:


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