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Become a taxi driver

A new applicant is someone who has never been granted a licence by Cambridge City Council.

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 valid driving licence which you have held for 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 twelve 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

To register for the safeguarding and knowledge test you must:

Step 2: Book your safeguarding and knowledge test

When your registration and payment have been received, we'll contact you within 10 working days to invite you to a test session.

If you attend on the scheduled date, contact us as soon as possible to rearrange.

We reserve the right to cancel any session where the minimum number of attendees is not met or where staff are unavailable. If we do cancel a session we'll offer you an alternative date at no extra charge.

Step 3: Attend the safeguarding and knowledge test

The session is comprised of three elements:

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

You will only need to pay to take the training course once. If you would like to take the course again then the standard fee will apply.

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 a year from your registration you have not passed both tests then, your details will be removed from our system.

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

Step 4: Apply to become a taxi driver

Only when you have successfully passed the safeguarding and knowledge test can you proceed to the second stage of the application process.

You will need to make an appointment with the customer service centre on 01223 457888 in order to do this.

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 (£44)

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 three 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 taxi@cambridge.gov.uk.

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 serviceIf 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.

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