Private Hire Vehicle Licensing
What is a Private Hire Vehicle?
It is a vehicle constructed or adapted to seat fewer than nine passengers which is made available with a driver for the purpose of carrying passengers, other than a licensed taxi or public service vehicle.
Please note that if a vehicle is designed to carry 9 or more passengers it comes under public service vehicle regulations and guiding while driving is illegal.
Under the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 all bookings undertaken by a London-based driver-guide must be processed by a licensed operator. If the driver-guide does not hold a PHV operator’s licence he or she may not accept bookings directly from clients, only from a licensed operator.
Driving licence regulations came into force on 1 June 2003. London based driver-guides must be in possession of a PHV driving licence.
Vehicle Licences were introduced on 8 March 2004. All vehicles used for private hire must carry a PHV vehicle licence.
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England and Wales
The rest of England and Wales comes under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. As with London, driver-guides need a PHV operator’s licence to accept bookings. They need also a PHV driving licence and PHV vehicle licence. However as the application of this Act can vary from one authority to another there may be rare instances of driver-guides not requiring PHV licences. Under those circumstances written proof is recommended.
Remember, if the vehicle or the driver does not carry the proper licence the vehicle is not insured.
The DGA has been advised that PHV licences are not required if no more that one driver-guiding assignment per day is undertaken.
The DGA has been advised that driver-guides in Northern Ireland do not require PHV licences.
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