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Cambridge City Council

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Apply for or renew a taxi or private hire vehicle licence

You must meet a number of criteria to licence a private hire or hackney carriage vehicle.

Make sure you read our taxi licensing policy and handbook carefully before you apply for a new or renewed licence. Appendix I of the handbook explains the application process, and appendix R contains information about zero and ultra-low emission vehicles.

All new licensed saloon vehicles must be ultra-low or zero emission. This applies to both taxis (hackney carriages) and private-hire vehicles.

  • ultra-low emission vehicles are plug-in hybrid vehicles or extended range electric vehicles (E-Rev) with CO2 emissions less than 75g per km
  • zero-emission vehicles are those that emit no emissions during their operation. These include battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and electric vehicles

Check the private-hire vehicle checklist [PDF, 82Kb] or hackney carriage vehicle checklist [PDF, 94Kb] for more information.

Vehicle process

If you want to licence a new vehicle you must contact us to discuss your application before starting the process. This applies to existing licences or plates. The details of the process are set out below.

Book a vehicle test appointment

  • contact the garage on 01223 458266 to book your appointment. Appointments are available from 6.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

We require all licensed vehicles to be tested at least twice a year.  The first test must be carried out before we grant the Licence (when a Certificate of Compliance will be issued).  For a vehicle to pass, it must comply with both:

  • vehicle mechanical standard
  • vehicle visual standard

You’ll need to provide all details of the vehicle to be tested – registration, make, model and plate number.

Obtaining the vehicle licence

Only once a Certificate of Compliance has been obtained, can the rest of the application process take place. 

  • call the Customer Service Centre on 01223 457888 to book your appointment to obtain your vehicle licence and plates

At the appointment you will need to bring:

For a new vehicle you will also need to produce:

  • the V5 for the vehicle – or the new keeper's slip and a bill of sale if no V5 is available
  • a vehicle type approval certificate – for converted wheelchair accessible vehicles
  • proof of identification

Change of ownership

You can apply to transfer the vehicle licence to another person(s) or add or remove individuals from the licence.

Any individual being added to the licence who has not been licensed by us must complete the following elements before we will accept their application:

You will first need to complete the following documents:

When completed send these documents to

Please read the application form and change of proprietor guidance [PDF, 0.1MB] carefully and ensure you will have all the necessary information and documentation for the appointment.

Once all the above steps have been completed then you will be able to proceed to the change of ownership appointment. A fee is charged for this service.