Apply for a private hire operator licence

The private hire regulations have recently changed. You should familiarise yourself with the changes before submitting your application

When you think of private hire operators you usually think of minicab offices on the high street.  However, there are many different kinds of operator including:

  • 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

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. For example, we may decide that issuing a one year licence is appropriate where the applicant is yet to demonstrate they are able to meet the new regulations in the near future.

Where a one year licence is issued, the operator will be given the opportunity to show that they can meet the new requirements. Consideration will then be given to issuing a licence that covers the full five years.

    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.

    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.

    Alternatively, please call us on 0343 222 4444 or email us at to request an application 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 correct fee (payable by credit or debit card)
    • Evidence of planning permission for every proposed operating centre(s)

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

    Types of licence

    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.

    There are two types of operator's licence: 'small' and 'standard'.

    Small - You can use a maximum of two licensed private hire vehicles for bookings.

    Standard - There is no restriction on the number of licensed private hire vehicles you can use for bookings.

    You cannot convert a small operator's licence to a standard operator's licence, so think carefully about which type of licence you require before applying.

    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.*
      • A fixed landline telephone number for bookings. A licence cannot be issued without this.

      *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.

      Further information is available under the Review of 'Shared Venue licence policy' below.


      You will need to pay a fee when you apply for a licence. There are two elements to the total cost of an application.

      Small Standard
      Licence application fee (non-refundable) £838
      Grant of licence fee (five-year licence)
      £1488 £2826

      Shared venue licence information

      PDF 138KB

      Application to add or remove a centre

      More information on adding and/or removing a centre can be found under the existing licensee section.

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