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

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

Legal requirements

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.

Granting or renewing your 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.

You can renew your licence using our online form.

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 information leaflet.

Local conditions

For further information please read Private hire drivers – local conditions of licence