Taxis and private hire

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Applicants are required to have read the DBS Enhanced Check Privacy Policy before making an application and applicants will be asked to declare they have read and understood how the DBS will process their personal data on their application form.

The council strongly encourages all licensed drivers to sign up to the DBS update service as it makes the driver renewal process easier.

Please read and download the Revised Code of Practice for Disclosure and Barring Service Registered Persons prior to your application.

Please see our Licensing Partnership Policy statement on the secure storage, handling, use, retention and disposal of Disclosures and Disclosure Information.

All applications for a new licence or licence renewal will automatically be checked on the national register of revocations and refusals (NR3). You can find out more information on our NR3 page.

Before applying

On this page you will find information you require to either renew or apply for a taxi, vehicle or operator licence. We have a statutory duty to licence all:

  • hackney carriages
  • private hire vehicles
  • operators
  • drivers

These powers are granted under two acts. The Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1976.

If you are planning to be a taxi driver, you should read through our Licensing Policy. This will give you information on what you can and cannot do, and what you are entitled to as a driver.


Find our current fees on our hackney carriage and private hire fees page.

Apply for a new licence

Before you start

To apply for a hackney, private hire or dual driving licence you must:

  • have held a full UK driving licence or acceptable non-UK driving licence for at least a year
  • have passed our test

Before taking the test

You must provide evidence demonstrating your right to work in the taxi and private hire sector.

If you do not provide evidence, you cannot take the test.

The test

You need to correctly answer questions on:

If you're applying to be a hackney or dual driver you'll also need to know the byelaws.


The Bank of Routes is only a sample of the routes that may come up in the test. It doesn't have all of them. It is your responsibility to ensure your knowledge of Maidstone is broad enough to pass that part of the test. We encourage you to read through our frequently asked questions, study a map or local A-Z.

For the period 1 December 2021 to 3 May 2022 it has been agreed that the routes and streets element of the test will be removed for all new private hire driver applicants.

Booking the test

Contact Sevenoaks District Council on 01732 227001, make payment of £35 and then email your receipt to our Licensing Team. One of our Licensing Officers will contact you to confirm the date and time of your test. If you fail the test three times you will not be allowed to resit the test again for six months. This is to give you more time to develop your knowledge to the level needed to pass the test.

Each test has 63 randomly picked questions except for private hire applicants for the period between the 1 December 2021 to 3 May 2022. To pass you must score 100% in the compulsory category and 80% in all the other categories except for private hire applicants who must score 100% in the compulsory category, 90% in the highway code category and 80% in the remaining categories.

Information booklet - hackney, dual and private hire knowledge test

After the test

After successfully completing the test you will need to complete the following:

Apply for a new taxi licence

You will need to make an appointment with us to complete your DBS application, please email us to request an appointment.

If you're applying for a hackney or dual licence you'll also need to take a wheelchair test with:

We check that all drivers are medically fit, have a thorough knowledge of Maidstone and are fit enough to hold a licence. We also check all licensed vehicles on a regular basis to make sure they are safe. All licensed vehicles have a licence plate which must be fixed to the back and drivers are given a photographic ID card which must be worn at all times while driving.

How long does the licence last

New licences are issued for three years. We can issue a yearly badge in the first year of applying if requested. Yearly licences can also be given on medical grounds.

Renew your taxi licence

Existing licensed drivers must apply to renew their licence a minimum of 14 days before it expires. Not doing so may mean you have to apply as a new applicant instead.

You must give us your completed medical examination within six weeks of making your renewal application.

To renew your licence you will need to complete the following:

You can apply online using our online application form.

Renew your taxi licence

You must also make an appointment with a member of the licensing team to complete the following:

Once you're ready to make your application please email or call 01622 602000 to make an appointment to meet with an officer.

How long does the licence last

Licences may be issued for up to three years depending on your immigration status and/or medical history. Each application is dealt with on its own merits.

Apply for a vehicle licence

Before applying for a licence, you must read our Taxi Licensing Policy and Our licence fees.

Please note: A temporary change to policy at the 13 October 2022 licensing committee. A pilot scheme was agreed for a period of 12 months only which allowed an increase to the maximum age for new hackney carriage and private hire vehicles from three years to four years, with a maximum mileage restriction of 60,000, also for private hire vehicles can be licensed for up to eight years.

You will also need to supply your:

  • vehicle registration document/log book (V5C)
  • insurance certificate
  • your insurance must allow you to apply for either a taxi driver or private hire operator licence

Your vehicle will need to be booked in for a compliance test. To book this contact Johnsons Garage on 01580 890378 Or Marshams Garage and MOT Centre on 01622 200100.

Apply for a licence

How long does the licence last

New licences are issued for one year, and are renewed yearly.


Tariff one

This tariff applies from 6am to 12am.

Distance travelled Time travelled Fare head
The first 550 metres (601 yards) The first 2 minutes and 30 seconds of waiting time £3.20
Every additional 115 metres (125 yards) Every additional 28 seconds of waiting time 20p

On 24 December and 31 December up to 6pm tariff one applies.

Tariff two

Distance travelled Time travelled Fare head
The first 550 metres (601 yards) The first 2 minutes and 30 seconds of waiting time £4.80
Every additional 115 metres (125 yards) Every additional 28 seconds of waiting time 30p

For hirings between midnight and 6am and all day Sunday and Bank Holidays 50% above tariff one rate except where tariff three applies. From 6pm to midnight on 24 December and 31 December tariff two applies.

Tariff three

Distance travelled Time travelled Fare Head
The first 550 metres (601 yards) The first 2 minutes and 30 seconds of waiting time £6.40
Every additional 115 metres (125 yards) Every additional 28 seconds of waiting time 40p

For hirings between midnight 24 December and 6am on 27 December tariff three applies and midnight on 31 December and 6am on 2 January 100% above tariff one rate.

Extra charges

For vehicles hired by more than two passengers, an extra 10p per person will be charged.

Fares for time

If a Hackney carriage is hired by time the fare will be agreed with the customer at the time of the hiring.


Apart from extra charges covered in the tables above, drivers are not allowed to charge more than the fare displayed on the taximeter.

Contamination fee

An additional £50 will be charged if a passenger or animal has soiled or fouled in a hackney carriage during the journey.

Apply for a private hire operator licence

If you want to provide pre-booked work for example airport transfers, hen/stag nights etc, you'll need a private hire operator licence.

If you're planning to run the business from home, you may also need to apply for planning permission. For more information about planning, visit our Planning for Business pages.

Before applying for a licence, you must read our Taxi Licensing Policy.

Apply online

Before making your application you must read the DBS enhanced check privacy policy

If you already hold a current taxi driver licence you can make the application without this.

How long does the licence last

New licences are issued for one year and are renewed yearly.

Apply for a private hire licence

Other ways of applying

Apply by post

You will need to download our guidance notes to drivers and fill in the private hire, hackney carriage or dual driver licence application form and send it to:

Licensing Partnership
PO Box 182
TN13 1GP

Apply in person

Please call 01622 602000 to book an appointment to see one of our Licensing Officers in The Link in King Street. They will also be able to answer any queries that you may have about your application.

Reporting an accident

The vehicle licence holder must report any accidents to us within 72 hours using the accident report form. This will ensure we can check that the vehicle is safe for people to travel in.

It is a legal requirement that the proprietor of the vehicle submits this form - not the driver. The proprietor will require information from the driver of the vehicle at the time to complete the details of the accident.

If you knowingly or recklessly make a false statement or omit any material information on this form, you may be prosecuted and your licence may be revoked.

This report does not remove the responsibility of the driver to report an accident to the police as required by the Road Traffic Act 1988. There is also a  requirement for the driver/proprietor/operator to notify us of any criminal proceedings arising out of the accident.

If you require a temporary vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired, you will be provided the link to pass onto your insurance provider once your accident report form has been submitted.

Report an accident

Temporary replacement vehicle licence

The licensing authority will issue a licence for temporary replacement vehicles if a licensed vehicle is being repaired after an accident or incident. A licence may also be issued if a vehicle is deemed unsuitable to carry members of the public.

The following procedure should be followed by the vehicle licence holder:

  • if the licenced vehicle is not suitable for work purposes, the hackney carriage/ private hire plate should be removed
  • photos of any damage should be taken
  • an accident report form should be completed and photographs should be provided
  • a Licensing Officer will contact you within 3 working days to confirm if the vehicle licence has been suspended
  • details will be provided to allow you to obtain a temporary replacement vehicle - this email must be forwarded onto your insurance provider

The remaining process is completed between the insurance provider and the Licensing Hub Team. You will be contacted by your insurance provider and advised of the date your temporary plate can be collected. The replacement vehicle is usually provided at the same time.

The following procedure should be followed by the vehicle suppliers:

Prior to submitting the application please ensure:

  • the replacement vehicle is similar in type and class or better than the damaged vehicle
  • the vehicle cannot be licensed by another authority at the same time
  • the replacement vehicle is under 4 years old and under 60,000 miles
  • you have checked that the licensed driver has completed and submitted an accident report form to the licensing authority

In order to start the process of obtaining a replacement plate you must complete the online application for a temporary replacement vehicle and make the necessary payment. Please upload the following documents with your application:

  • V5 registration document
  • full schedule of insurance cover
  • letter authorising the use of the vehicle to the licensed driver/client
  • hackney carriage vehicle meter calibration certificate - the approved table of fares is on the councils website
  • if the vehicle has been modified an IVA certificate must be supplied

You must then contact one of the approved garages to book a vehicle compliance test. Approved garages include:

When booked, please contact the Licensing Hub Team to confirm the date of the compliance test. They will then agree a date for when the vehicle will be presented for plating and handover to the licensed driver/client.

Please remind the licensed driver or client that they must hand in their existing plate in order to receive the replacement plate.

The replacement vehicle may continue to be used for up to one year. It must be surrendered when the licensed driver or client’s original vehicle is returned to the fleet. If the vehicle is used for more than 6 months then a further Vehicle Compliance Test will be required. The vehicle owner will be notified a month in advance.

The licensed driver or client will need to return the replacement plate in order to receive their original plate.