Our role

Regulator

We set regulations and policies for taxi (black cab) and private hire (minicab and chauffeur) services to protect customers, and ensure vehicles are safe, accessible and meet strict environmental standards.

For taxi services, we are also responsible for setting regulated taxi fares and we work with London boroughs to appoint taxi ranks across London.

Policy decisions are subject to public consultations, customer research, and/or engagement with stakeholders, including the taxi and private hire industries.

Licensing Authority

We are responsible for licensing all taxi drivers and vehicles, and private hire operators, drivers and vehicles in London. We also set the requirements for licensing, to ensure that we maintain the highest standards possible in both industries.

All taxi and private hire driver applicants must meet a range of strict criteria to ensure they are 'fit and proper' prior to becoming licensed. Many of these checks are completed every three years upon licence renewal. These requirements include:

  • Drivers must be of good character. To establish this, applicants and existing drivers are required to undertake a Home Office 'enhanced' disclosure and barring service check (formerly known as a criminal records check).
  • Drivers must be medically fit, which means meeting the DVLA Group 2 medical standards. When applying for a licence they will have to undergo a detailed medical examination with a registered practitioner who has access to their full medical history. Medical checks are repeated periodically depending on known medical conditions and the age of the driver.
  • Drivers are required to prove their navigational and route planning skills. However, the standard differs for taxi and private hire applicants.
  • Taxi drivers must study and pass the world-famous Knowledge of London
  • Private hire drivers must undergo a topographical assessment which is designed to test navigational skills and route-planning ability as well as basic geographical awareness of London and its surrounds.

Taxis, private hire vehicles, and private hire operators must also meet a number of requirements in order to be licensed.

Full details of all the criteria required is available on our licensing pages.

Enforcement Authority

We work closely with the Metropolitan and City of London Police services to ensure that drivers, operators and vehicles are compliant with taxi and private hire legislation, regulations and policy. Further information is available on our compliance and enforcement pages.

Strategic Transport Authority

We are responsible for implementing the Mayor's Transport Strategy, which sets out the transport vision for London and details how we will deliver the plan between now and 2031. This includes plans to significantly reduce emissions in the Capital. As part of this, from 1 January 2018 all newly licensed taxis will have to be zero emission capable.

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