To drive a licensed private hire vehicle in Portsmouth  you must have been issued a private hire driver's licence by Portsmouth City Council. It is an offence to drive a licensed vehicle without this licence.

How to apply for a private hire driver's licence

You will need to complete an application form and provide other information in order for us to process your application. All information received will be treated with respect and in confidence.

  • An application form, as well as other forms and documents to support your application are at the bottom of the page

Legal requirements for private hire drivers

There is lots of different legislation governing drivers. The laws covering the licensing of private hire drivers are contained in Part II, Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

The 1976 Act says we cannot grant you a licence unless we are satisfied that:

  • You are a 'fit and proper' person to hold a driver's licence.
  • You currently hold (and have held) a full driving licence issued by DVLA (or a European Community Licence) for a period of 12 months before making your application to us.
  • You are 18 or over.
  • You have been honest in supplying information to us and must not, under any circumstances, make a false statement at any time to obtain your licence - this is a serious offence.

Information required to apply for a private hire driver's licence

To help us consider your application it is our policy for you to provide a criminal record bureau (CRB) check, a current driving licence or European community licence and written references of support from two people. You will also need to demonstrate a reasonable knowledge of Portsmouth and that you are medically fit to drive.

  • Details of what you need to provide can be found in the private hire driver's licence - information leaflet, see the Documents section below.

Granting or renewing your private hire driver's licence

Once you have provided the correct information we will be in a position to issue your licence, which will expire on 31 January annually. You must also provide the licence fee shown on the application form.

If we refuse to grant/renew, or we suspend/revoke a private hire driver's licence, you have a right of appeal to the Magistrates Court.

Rehabilitation periods for convictions

Having a conviction does not necessarily mean you will not get a licence - the council has adopted policy guidelines on the relevance of convictions which have been discussed with trade representatives.

  • Cases are determined on individual merit, but guidelines on convictions are available in the private hire driver's licence - information leaflet, see the Documents section below.

Local conditions for private hire driver's licence

  • For further information please read the documents below 'Private hire drivers - local conditions of licence' and 'Licensing - conditions of licence and enforcement'

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