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Cambridge City Council

Become a taxi driver

A new applicant is someone who we have never granted a licence to.

Visit our renew a taxi licence page to find out what you need to do to renew your driver's licence.

In order to begin the new driver application process you must first register to take our safeguarding and knowledge test. Only when you have completed all elements can you continue with the application process.

You must:

  • hold a full UK (United Kingdom) or EC/EEA (European Community/ European Economic Area) Driving Licence for at least 12 months, issued to your current address
  • be able to provide evidence that you have the right to live and work in the UK
  • have read and understood our taxi licensing policy and handbook

You are permitted 12 months in total to complete the entire application process, from initial registration of the safeguarding and knowledge test to grant of licence.

If you're applying for a hackney carriage driver's licence, you should know we're currently limiting the number of hackney carriage vehicles allowed to operate in the city and our waiting list is full.

Application process

Step 1: Register to take the safeguarding and knowledge test

Complete the test registration form [PDF, 0.2MB].

Phone us on 01223 457000 to pay the fee – ask for ‘taxi’ when prompted. You can call from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Check the cost of the test on our taxi licensing fees page.

Email the form and receipt to us to complete your application. We will reject your application if you do not send them together.

Step 2: Book your safeguarding and knowledge test

We will confirm your registration by email within two weeks of receiving it and payment. The email will contain links to the online Customer Awareness: Safeguarding, Equality and Protection training course. You must complete this course to pass the safeguarding test.

You will then receive an email confirming that you have been registered with TestReach, who invigilate our online tests. You will also receive two further emails confirming your enrolment to the safeguarding and knowledge tests.

Follow the instructions from TestReach to book a slot for your tests.

Step 3: Attend the safeguarding and knowledge test

Attend the test at time and date booked. You must bring photo ID to each test.

Failure to present valid ID to the invigilator will result in your test being cancelled. You will not be refunded, and you will be required to book another test.

You must watch the training course and then pass both tests before you can progress to the next stage of your application.

You have three attempts in total to pass the safeguarding and knowledge tests. You must pay for each occasion you take the knowledge test. You can retake the safeguarding test free of charge.

If after one year from your registration you have not passed both tests, we will remove your details from our system.

No refunds are given in the event of missed or failed tests, or if you do not pass both tests within a year.

Please be aware, you will be asked to show the invigilator the room where you will be completing your test and also show the desk area to ensure you do not have notes, phones and so on.

Online invigilation IT requirements

To complete the online invigilation tests, please ensure the below IT requirements are met:

  • a laptop or computer running Windows 7+ or Mac OS 10.10+
  • Intel Core i3 (or equivalent)
  • a working webcam, microphone and speakers
  • internet speed of at least 2Mbps
  • we also recommend a screen size of at least 13″ and a resolution of 1024 x 768

Step 4: Apply to become a taxi driver

You can only proceed to the second stage of the application process after you have successfully passed the safeguarding and knowledge test.

Email your contact details to us, and we will contact you to arrange an appointment and take payment.

Step 5: DBS appointment

  • Evidence of eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • Identification for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • Certificate of Good Conduct (where applicable)
  • The fee for the DBS check (£38)

Our taxi licensing policy and handbook provide advice and guidance on the law relating to the operation of Hackney Carriage and private hire vehicles.

Step 6: Submit your application

After your DBS appointment, you will be given a checklist of everything you need to apply. When you have everything ready, submit your application. You must do this within 10 working days of receipt of your DBS certificate.

Your application must include:

Taxi driver test

You will need to successfully pass a taxi driver test with one of the following providers:

You are responsible for arranging a test, and for providing your own vehicle for the test. Please contact the provider for details of charges.

When you have passed a test, bring your certificate to our customer service centre so we can make a copy. Alternatively you can ask the course provider to email a copy of the certificate to us.

Please note that the test certificate will only be accepted if it is dated within 12 months of the completion of all stages of the application process.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

In order to determine whether an individual is 'fit and proper' to hold a licence, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check must be undertaken. The DBS will carry out a range of checks on your application information (which is completed at your DBS appointment) and provide any relevant feedback to us.

You will receive an up-to-date certificate from the DBS which you must present to us as part of your application within 10 working days of receipt.

As part of the mandatory requirements for drivers, you will need to subscribe to the DBS update service. If you’re applying for the first time, you’ll need your DBS application form number – you must do this within 28 days of completing your application. If you have applied before, you can use your DBS certificate number – you must do this within 30 days of it being issued.

When your subscription is confirmed, make a note of your unique ID number and keep it secure. Keep the DBS certificate safe – you will need to provide it to us when we undertake the online check.

Group II medical certificate

You must arrange to have a Group II Medical Assessment, with your own GP or one of our approved GPs.

  • There is a fee for the certificate, contact the individual medical practice for information and prices.
  • Go to our medical certificate page to find out more.

Step 7: Assessment of your application

Only when all required documentation has been received will we assess your application.

Step 8: Licence and badge

  • Your badge and licence will only be issued when you have passed all of the application procedures.
  • There are no exemptions to bypass any the application procedures and once all parts have been completed you will need to pay the licence fee.

Other fees are outlined on our fees for taxi licensing page.

Service related queries

For questions about a service we provide, please use our contact us form