It is essential for public safety that all licensed private hire drivers are able to communicate in English at an appropriate level. Drivers need to be able to communicate with passengers to discuss a route or fare, as well as read, understand and respond to important regulatory, safety and travel information sent by TfL.
Since 14 October 2016, all applicants for a private hire driver's licence have been required to be able to communicate in English to a B1 standard.
A transitional process is in place and applicants for new licences and renewals have until 30 April 2019 to provide evidence that they meet the English language requirement. For applications received after 30 April 2019, applicants will have to provide evidence that they meet the English language requirement as part of their application before a licence will be issued.
We are looking to introduce an English language test which is more relevant to the role of a private hire driver, but which remains at B1 standard. For example, including bespoke material with language and vocabulary that directly relates to the role and responsibilities of a private hire driver. We will provide further details in due course.
Uber has withdrawn its appeal, meaning the English language requirement remains in place and is not subject to legal challenge.
This is a list of examples of suitable evidence you can supply to prove you meet the requirement. The list is not exhaustive. The subject of the qualification does not matter as long as it was taught in English.
There are four accredited Ofqual awarding organisations offering GSCEs in England: AQA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC. There are also others for the rest of the UK. Replacement certificates are available from those organisations.
A certified confirmation of results from the relevant awarding body will be acceptable.
There are currently two approved interim English language test providers: Trinity College London and IELTS (International English Language Test System).
Trinity College London's ISE I qualification will be accepted by TfL as evidence of meeting the new English language requirement. Find out more about Trinity, and how you can book the ISE I language test.
IELTS Academic and General Training tests are both accepted by TfL as evidence of meeting the new English language requirement. Find out more about IELTS, and how you can book their tests.
Information on any further providers and how you can book them, will be published on this web page.
Applicants may satisfy TfL of their ability to meet the requirement by providing:
This is our guidance on how to satisfy the English language requirement. You can do this by either sitting the test with a secure 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:
The Private Hire Vehicles (London PHV Driver's Licences) (Amendment) Regulations 2018
The Private Hire Vehicles (London PHV Driver's Licences) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2017
English language requirement: guidance
The Private Hire Vehicles (London PHV Driver's Licences) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2016
Equality impact assessment part 1 of 2
Equality impact assessment part 2 of 2