Licensing information

Licences issued

Information about the number and type of licence issued will be updated regularly. The following figures cover the week ending Sunday 16 October 2016:

  • Private hire driver licences - 113,632: an increase of 533 on previous week, 636 licences are new.
  • Private hire vehicle licences - 83,709: an increase of 271 on previous week, 762 licences are new.
  • Private hire operator licences - 2,625: a decrease of 6 on the previous week.
  • Taxi driver licences - 24,660, a decrease of 11 on the previous week, 13 licences are new. Of those taxi drivers, 21,341 hold All London licences, and 3,319 hold Suburban licences.
  • Taxi vehicle licences - 21,383: a decrease of 22 on previous week, 12 are new.

Taxi and private hire licensing figures by year:

 Taxis PHV
 Vehicles Drivers OperatorsDrivers Vehicles 
 All LondonSuburban Total
09/1022445 2133435802491428825919149355

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

DBS Update Service

Help avoid delays with your DBS and save money, by signing up to the DBS update service. You can sign up from the date you receive your application reference number to 19 days after your disclosure has been issued.

The DBS update service is an online subscription service that lets you keep your DBS certificates up to date and allows employers to check a certificate online, with your consent. It also means that you don't have to make a separate application for an Enhanced Disclosure as part of your application to renew your licence. Maintaining your yearly subscription to the service costs £13 a year, which is cheaper than applying for a new disclosure every three years. The DBS Update Service will save you time, as further applications and ID checks will only be requested when an update has been made to your disclosure.

You can register online as soon as you have your application form reference number. You can ask for the number when you apply for your DBS check. Or you can wait and register with your certificate number when you receive your DBS certificate. If so, you must do so within 19 days of the certificate being issued.

When you join, you'll get an online account that lets you:

  • Take your certificate from one job to the next
  • Give employers permission to check your certificate online and see who has checked it
  • Add or remove a certificate

Read the detailed guidance for applicants

Important information about DBS update service

  • If you have signed up for the DBS update service you are advised to retain your original DBS certificate.
  • If your certificate is lost or misplaced then you will be required to apply for a new DBS
  • If you change address you will need to inform the DBS update service but you will not be required to apply for a new DBS certificate.
  • If you change your name or have any new convictions, cautions or warnings then you will be required to undertake a new DBS certificate.
  • If you have signed up for the service and you lose your credit/debit card or it expires, you will need to contact the DBS update service to provide your new card details. If the DBS update service is unable to debit your account when required and your subscription is stopped, then your disclosure will no longer be valid.

Claims for loss of earnings due to DBS delays

For loss of earnings due to DBS delays, please email your claim.

Licence fees

All income we receive from licence fees must, by law, be spent on the delivery of taxi and private hire licensing and compliance activities, including:

  • All back office costs and all contract costs
  • Our taxi and private hire compliance activity
  • Contributions toward the cost of dedicated police cab enforcement activity
  • All Knowledge of London exam costs for new taxi drivers

Approximately 70% of licence income comes from the private hire trade.

 Find out more about how we spend our licence fees:

Limiting private hire vehicles and taxis

Currently, if an applicant meets the statutory eligibility criteria, we are legally obliged to issue a licence. It is clear that more must be done to tackle congestion and air quality impacts, especially in central London where PHVs now outnumber taxis during the day.

The Mayor has called on the government to provide further legislative powers for us, so it can cap the total number of PHVs in London. While the government has been reluctant to pursue legislation to cap the number of PHVs, we are currently looking into the impact and feasibility of removing the Congestion Charge exemption for PHVs in central London to address these issues. In addition, and subject to our approval board, we will alter the structure of licence fees paid by operators of different sizes to better reflect the costs of compliance and enforcement activity. This will provide further financial incentive for operators to maximise the efficiency of their operations and minimise the number of vehicles they use across London as a whole.

The Mayor has also secured a commitment to progress separate legislation to enable us to regulate pedicabs, which will help us to alleviate the congestion they cause in central London, particularly in the evening.

It has been suggested that there is a limit on the number of taxi drivers in London, which is incorrect. Previously, we suspended applications for suburban (yellow badge) drivers in three of the nine suburban taxi areas in London because we were conducting a review of suburban taxi services for the suburban action plan 2015. This was at the request of the taxi trade itself. During this period, applicants still had the option to apply for any of the other six suburban sectors as well as the All London knowledge. Now the review is complete we are accepting applications for these three sectors again.


Application volumes for licences - 1,962 applications are awaiting initial assessment. Of those applications, 1,648 are new (20 taxi and 1,648 private hire) and 314 are renewal applications (32 taxi and 282 private hire). Renewal applications are prioritised over new applications.


Calls to Taxi and Private Hire licensing team - 12,021 calls were attempted to the team last week. On average, calls were answered within 3 minute, 58 seconds with an average call lasting for 5 minutes, 31 seconds.


The number of candidates studying the Knowledge of London is currently 1,640 at Stage 3 (down 18 from last week), 676 at Stage 4 (up 4 from last week) and 476 at Stage 5 (up 7 from last week).

Vehicle inspections

Information about first time pass rates is updated regularly. The following information covers the period from 21 August 2016 - 18 September 2016:

  • First time taxi pass rate - 81% pass rate across the 6 inspection centres (against the 81% target)
  • First time PHV pass rate - 81% pass rate across the 6 inspection centres (against the 81% target)

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