Apply for a private hire operator licence

Licensing requirements changed on 1 July 2024 

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

There are many different kinds of operator including:

  • A minicab office on a local high street
  • Those who only cater for social events such as prom, hen and stag nights and corporate events
  • One person operations offering a chauffeur service
  • Individuals whose principle work is as a tour guide
  • Operators who only do contract work, for example school runs for a local council

Whatever type of private hire service you intend to provide you will need to be licensed by us before you start operating. Anyone who receives payment for taking bookings or supplying drivers for hire without an operator's licence is breaking the law and may be prosecuted.

DfT Statutory Standards - Changes to licensing requirements from 1 July 2024  

The Department for Transport (DfT) introduced new Statutory Standards in July 2020 to enhance passenger safety for taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) services. In our Improving Safety for Taxi and PHV Passengers consultation  we set out our proposed changes to taxi and private hire licensing requirements to further improve taxi and private hire passenger safety. 

TPH Notice 05/24 sets out the changes to licensing requirements from 1 July 2024.   

 The changes that apply to PHV operators are listed below.

Licensee self-reporting  

All licensed PHV operators must inform us of any arrest and release, charge, caution or conviction within 48 hours. This includes all driving offences resulting in penalty points on a DVLA driving licence. 

The requirement applies to all of the individuals who are associated with a PHV operator's licence. 

Report any arrest and release, charge, caution or conviction, including driving offences, within 48 hours.

You can also report by email to

Guidance for private hire operators on the requirement to notify TfL of police involvement within 48 hours.

Overseas criminal checks  

The requirements for when a Certificate of Good Conduct (CoGC) must be provided have changed.    

All new and renewing applicants for private hire driver licences will need to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct (CoGC) when they have lived in a country other than the UK for one or more continuous periods of three months or more in the last 10 years.  

Periods of extended holiday are included. A CoGC from every relevant country declared in the application form will be required to cover any such period. 

Contact the Operator Licensing team at to request the London Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) operator's licence Living Abroad Details form. 

PHV operator booking and dispatch staff  

All PHV operators must maintain a register of booking and dispatch staff, obtaining a basic DBS check for each individual.  

PHV operators must also provide a copy of their policy on employing ex-offenders with their PHV operator licence renewal application. 

PHV operator booking records  

We have revised the current booking records guidance. The following information must be recorded in the booking records held by every PHV operator:   

  • The name of any individual that responded to the booking request  
  • The name of any individual that dispatched the vehicle  
  • The PHV licence number of the driver carrying out the booking 
  • The vehicle registration mark of the vehicle used to carry out the booking   

Operator upload requirement

Following amendments to the private hire regulations, as a licensed private hire operator you are required to provide us with the details of the vehicles and drivers you have used to fulfil private hire bookings, or have had available to you to fulfil bookings on a weekly basis. We will use the information provided for data analysis. 

Each Monday, all operators are required to provide the relevant data for the previous week. When the Monday is a Bank Holiday, the data can be provided on the next day. 

To support you in providing us with the relevant data, it is important that you read and fully understand the "Operator upload guidance notes" document before you begin. Submit your weekly upload, beginning by registering online

Approved templates have been provided for you to upload your vehicle and driver data as per the conditions of your licence. ‎You will need to enter the private hire driver and vehicle details as they appear on the private hire driver and vehicle paper licences. 

Contact us at if you have any questions or require assistance. 

Private hire operators' contracts with passengers - regulation and guidance   

Following a judgment given by the Divisional Court on 6 December 2021, all London PHV operators are required to contract directly with passengers to provide the journey that is the subject of a booking. 

We have made a regulation to raise awareness that London PHV operators are required to contract directly with passengers to provide the journey that is the subject of a booking. 

Regulation 9(14) of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) (Operators' Licences) Regulations 2000 states: 

"The operator shall enter into a contractual obligation as principal with the person making the private hire booking to provide the journey which is the subject of the booking and any such contractual obligation must be consistent with the 1998 Act and these Regulations." 

We have also published guidance to assist London PHV operators in relation to considering whether their terms and ways of working need to be changed to ensure they are compliant.  

The guidance looks at what operators' responsibilities are when they contract with passengers, how the law applies in practice (whether or not they have written contracts) and what TfL is doing to help ensure compliance. The guidance will be kept under review and may be updated from time to time. 

We have also revised our guidance on operating model changes to reflect the new requirement and guidance above. The guidance also now requests operators notify TfL of any operating model change at the earliest opportunity and no later than 28 days before the operator plans to introduce the change. 

Voice contact requirement - guidance

Operators are required to make a person available for passengers to speak to during operating hours, and when a journey is being undertaken. This can be at the operating centre or any other premises with a fixed address in London or elsewhere. We call this the voice contact requirement. 

As a licensed operator, you will need to confirm your intended hours of business and when you will be offering bookings. We will require evidence showing how a person will be available for the passenger to speak to during these times. Please consider how you will achieve this for night work and weekends when your office may not be open. 

We will check that the facility is in place as part of any compliance check made during the duration of your licence. 

To support you in providing us with the relevant information, it is important that you read and fully understand the "Voice contact requirement guidance for private hire operators" document. 

Contact the operator licensing team at if you have any questions or require clarification. 

Notifying us about a serious complaint or driver dismissal 

If you have to dismiss a driver because of his or her unsatisfactory conduct in connection with the driving of a PHV you must, as a condition of your licence, notify TfL in writing of the name of the driver and the circumstances of the case within 14 days. 

Form PHV/105 is available for this purpose. 

You can also use our PHV/105 form to notify us of any serious complaints that you receive about a driver that is currently working for or has worked for you. To support you in providing us with this information, it is important that you read and fully understand the "Guidance on reporting crime" document should you need to report a serious complaint or concern. 

Please return the completed form to or: 

London Taxi and Private Hire 
PO Box 177 
Sheffield S98 1JY 

Operator handbook

Our operator handbook contains important information for licensed operators. All licensed operators are strongly advised to review the material and refer to the guide as and when necessary. It contains useful information and advice on a range of important subjects including legislation and licensing requirements.

Licensing requirements and policies

Where appropriate, when there are changes in licensing requirements, we will review the licences already granted. Wherever possible, we will apply any new licensing policies immediately.

You can also contact the Operator Licensing team at if you have any questions or require clarification.

Before you begin

To support the completion of your application, it is important that you read and fully understand the Private Hire Operator - Licensing Guidance Notes (PHV/102) before completing the forms. The PHV/102 notes provide important guidance relating to:

  1. Key definitions in London PHV legislation
  2. Who the operator is
  3. Fit and proper person criteria
  4. Operator drivers
  5. Exemptions
  6. Operating centres and offices
  7. Fees and how to select the correct tier
  8. Duration of licence
  9. Record keeping requirements

In addition, there is further information in the PHV/102 notes relating to:

  1. The Private Hire Operator application forms
  2. How your application forms will be assessed
  3. A checklist to use to submit your application
  4. Next steps

We have the statutory discretion to decide how long an operator's licence should last, up to a maximum of five years, based on the circumstances of each individual case. We take into account all the circumstances of an application, including the possibility of future regulatory changes, when considering the length of any licence issued.

How to apply

Once you have read the guidance notes and believe that you can meet all of the required criteria, you can request an application pack by emailing us at

You will be asked to provide some personal details in order that we can create an account for you and issue you with the required pack. 

An application pack contains the following items:

  • A covering letter with details about the application process
  • A PHV/101 application form;
  • A PHV/103 personal declaration form; and
  • A PHV/108 operating centre information form

To submit an application to us, it must contain

  • A completed PHV/101 application form
  • A PHV/103 personal declaration form completed for each individual associated with the application
  • A PHV/108 operating centre form completed for every operating centre
  • The full application fee for the appropriate tier, based on the number of vehicles available to you at any one time
  • Evidence of planning permission for every proposed operating centre(s)

How much will my application cost?

We have introduced changes to the structure and level of fees for London private hire operators. These changes are to ensure that we cover the costs of regulatory, licensing and enforcement activities associated with private hire operators, including both pre- and post-licensing costs and to ensure that the fees reflect the regulatory, licensing and enforcement costs generated by operators of different sizes.

The licence fee comprises two parts:

  • an application fee: applicants must pay the application fee, in full, when submitting their application. There is no option to pay the application fee by instalments and applications are not processed until full payment has been received. The application fee is non-refundable. 
  • a grant of licence fee: If their applications are successful, operators with up to 20 private hire vehicles (PHVs) are required to pay the licence grant fee in full before a licence can be issued.

This is the fee structure, along with associated fees:  


You will need to pay a fee when you apply for a licence, depending on the expected size of your operation.

Number of
5 year fee (£) Licence fee as an
average annual cost (£)
Application Grant of licence Total
0-10 400 1,600 2,000 N/A
11-20 1,200 4,800 6,000 N/A
21-50 3,800 15,200 19,000 3,040
51-100 6,000 24,000 30,000 4,800
101-500 30,000 120,000 150,000 24,000
501-1,000 70,000 280,000 350,000 56,000
1,001-10,000 140,000 560,000 700,000 112,000
10,001+ 580,000 2,320,000 2,900,000 464,000

* The grant of licence fee due will be the fee at the time the licence is issued.

Which tier?

We are asking applicants to confirm the number of PHVs which they will have available at any one time. This should be for the duration of the 5 years (or shorter period) from the point of the licence being granted. Applicants should consider any changes to the number of PHVs which will be available to them during this period.

We will discuss any applications received with you at the time of submission. We will offer support and guidance by providing an opportunity to discuss the application at the pre-licensing inspection stage and again prior to any grant of licence fee being taken.

If you have any questions prior to submitting your application, please contact us at

Send completed applications to:
Transport for London
London Taxi & Private Hire
PO Box 177
S98 1JY

Premises and planning permission

Before you apply for a licence, you must have:

  • At least one 'operating centre' in London. This is the premises where you will take bookings. Your operating centre could be an office, a unit in the high street or your home address. For addresses outside Greater London, you must obtain a licence from the local council
  • Proof of planning permission or a certificate of lawful use for your proposed premises from your local authority. Where planning permission isn't required, you must provide written confirmation (email or letter) from the local authority. The document must be clearly linked to the address of the proposed premises. Any breach of planning legislation could lead your council to take enforcement action against you
  • If the operating centre's primary use is for another business, you'll need to provide further information about the operating centre

We are currently carrying out a review of our policy on shared venues' private hire operator licences. Until this review is carried out, applications to add a shared venue may not be accepted. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. However, where the proposed centre is shared with a third party which provides a separate service and public access for the purposes of that service, the application is unlikely to be accepted: a typical example would be a nightclub or bar.

Other factors which will be taken into consideration include the type of service offered, when the service is available and the way in which the two services will operate together. Please note we will not be able to confirm whether a proposed centre will be impacted prior to the application being made.

Licensing process

Initial assessment 

Upon receipt of the application we will carry out an initial assessment to ensure all forms have been completed correctly in full and any additional documents have been provided where appropriate. We will, where needed, contact the applicant to confirm receipt of the completed application, to explain the licensing process and to answer any questions the applicant may have at this stage. We will also explain the fee structure for operator licences and request confirmation of the size (tier) of operator licence required. In order for the application to progress to the next licensing stage, the appropriate application fee will need to be paid in full.

Detailed analysis

Following the initial review, we will carry out a detailed analysis of the application materials. The analysis will confirm whether the applicant is compliant with relevant legislation, licensing and regulatory requirements. We will also establish the nature of the service that is proposed.

For more complex applications, such as a new, novel or ridesharing service, as set out in our policy paper, there will be discussion and correspondence on the operating model and system infrastructure.

We may also carry out a technical review of the applicant's system infrastructure.

During this stage we will also consider a number of factors to determine that the applicant is fit and proper.

The applicant's licensing history will also be considered (if applicable).

This is an iterative process where we will engage with the applicant to fully understand the proposed solution and to request relevant documentary evidence. This may include face-to-face meetings to allow the applicant to present its proposed solution.

Compliance inspection

As part of the application it will be necessary to carry out a physical inspection of the proposed operating centre. This will be carried out by Compliance Officers who will confirm that the premises complies with local planning conditions.

This stage provides an opportunity to explain to the applicant its record keeping obligations e.g. bookings, drivers, vehicles, insurance, complaints, etc. We will also confirm that the applicant has appropriate systems and process in place to ensure records are kept correctly.

If the applicant is licensed an authorised officer of Transport for London can, on request and at any time, inspect the records maintained by the operator.

During the inspection we will check the information provided in the application is correct. It will establish that the applicant can meet all licensing requirements including, but not limited to, the need to provide the customer with a booking confirmation, complaint handling processes, which booking channels are available for customers and whether appropriate back office functions are in place.

This stage also provides an opportunity for the applicant to understand the role of a Compliance Officer and what checks they can undertake and why.

This stage will culminate in a final report, that alongside other materials provided during the initial assessment and detailed analysis stages, will be considered by the licensing team as part of the final determination.

Final determination

Once all the information is available, we will carry out a full review of all the information available to determine whether a licence should be issued. At this stage we will also consider the duration of the licence and whether any conditions should be imposed.

We will then communicate our decision to the applicant. If a decision is made to grant a licence, the applicant must reconfirm the size (tier) of the licence and pay the appropriate grant of licence fee.

A licence will then be issued. The operator cannot begin to operate until they are in receipt of a physical licence and have it displayed in the operating centre.


A typical application can take up to 16 weeks to process, depending on the circumstances. Applications relating to new, novel or ridesharing services that require further information to determine the suitability of the application can take significantly longer to process.

Renewing your licence 

Your operator's licence lasts for five years unless we have advised differently. You will need to apply for a new licence before your current one runs out and will receive a pre-renewal reminder six months before your current licence runs out.  

We will automatically send you a re-licensing pack approximately four months before your current licence runs out. It is important that you submit the renewal application forms as soon as you can. Any delay may affect your application being assessed and affect your ability to continue trading. 

The current licence is only for use by the specified holder of that licence until its expiry date. If a new licence has not been obtained by that date, the business will have to stop trading. 

How to renew your licence 

Once you've received the renewal application form from us: 

  • Read and fully and understand the "Operator licensing guidance notes (PHV/102)" document, which is available on our policy page. The PHV/102 contains vital information about the application and renewal process
  • Complete each application form and sign the declarations in each enclosed application form 
  • Make sure you send in the completed application forms, all supplementary evidence and the necessary fees with your submission or your application may be rejected
  • Separately, return your old licence to us within seven days of it expiring

Contact us at if you have any questions or require assistance.

When can I expect a decision to be made? 

A typical application can take up to 16 weeks to process, depending on the circumstances of each application. Applications requiring further information to determine the suitability of the application can take significantly longer to process. We will inform you should this be the case with your application. 

Please note the following: 

  • If you do not wish to renew your licence, please confirm this to us in writing as soon as you are aware
  • Please note: It is important that you submit the renewal application forms as soon as you can. Any delay in submission may affect your application being assessed and affect your ability to continue trading. If you fail to do so, you may lose your entitlement to work as a London private hire operator

Receiving your new licence 

Should your application be successful, we will send you your new licence shortly before your current one runs out, as long as there are no problems with your application. 
Your new licence will start from the day after the expiry of your existing licence providing that we are able to make an immediate decision. 

Reporting changes in circumstances 

Operator licence type changes 

The application and grant of licence fees payable by operators are determined by the number of vehicles an operator has available to carry out bookings. This number is specified on all licences issued after 3 October 2017. If this applies to you, and you expect to have more vehicles available than the permitted maximum, you will need to apply for a new licence. You may be entitled to a refund for a proportion of the grant of licence fee for your existing licence. 

Alternatively, if you expect permanently to have fewer vehicles available than the permitted maximum on your licence, you may apply for a new licence. In some circumstances this may mean that a refund of a proportion of the grant of licence fee is payable. 

Refunds are calculated based on the number of whole months remaining on the licence at the point at which the licence is surrendered (and a new licence issued), for which a licence fee has been paid. In both of these cases you should contact us at to discuss in the first instance. 

Other details changes

You should notify us about any changes you intend to make to your operator licence. This includes: 

  • Changes to the type of services you will be offering to customers , the way you intend to take your bookings and/or any other facilities you are looking to offer. Read more detailed information about this requirement
  • Changes to any of the people who are currently associated with the licence, for example if you want to add new, or remove existing, people from the licence. This would be in relation to the nominated representative for the licence, directors or partners
  • Telling us if you no longer wish to be a licensed operator
  • Where you need to add new people to the licence, each new person will need to obtain and complete a PHV/103 Personal Declaration form. This form should be requested and returned to us for assessment prior to the named person being associated with your licence

You can obtain a PHV/103 Personal Declaration form by contacting us at  

Licence variations 

You may only accept private hire bookings at the operating centres specified on your licence. You must submit a licence variation application (PHV/106) if you wish to: 

  • Move your business to a new operating centre. We refer to this as you wanting to 'change' your existing operating centre to a new one
  • Trade from an additional operating centre. We refer to this as you wanting to 'add' a new operating centre to your licence
  • Stop trading from one, but not all, of the operating centres on your licence. We refer to this as you wanting to 'remove' an operating centre from your licence
  • New centres will need to be inspected and approved by us before being permitted to be added to your licence

To apply to vary your licence, you will need to submit: 

  • The correct fee (payment by bank transfer (BACS))
  • A completed PHV/106 variation application form

You can obtain a PHV/106 variation application form by contacting us at

Variation fees 

  • Change an existing operating centre: £300
  • Remove an operating centre: £50
  • Add an additional operating centre: £300

Your completed PHV/106 form and payment will need to be returned to: 

London Taxi and Private Hire 
PO Box 177 
Sheffield S98 1JY