If you want to run a business by making arrangements for the invitation or acceptance of bookings for private hire vehicles, you will need an operator’s licence issued to you by Portsmouth City Council. It is an offence to operate vehicle(s) without this licence.

How to apply

You will need to complete an application form which is available by emailing licensing@portsmouthcc.gov.uk 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, details about your company, details of planning permission (if required), and details of all vehicles and drivers you propose to operate. You will also need to allow council officers to inspect your premises and supply us with a table of fares.

There are other forms and documents to support your application along with an information leaflet.

Legal requirement

The main legislation governing the licensing of private hire operators is Part II, Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

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

  • You are a ‘fit and proper’ person to hold an Operator’s licence.
  • You must 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.
  • Your proposed business premises address is in Portsmouth.
  • You will only use vehicles/drivers licensed by Portsmouth City Council when operating in Portsmouth

The 1976 Act does allow for certain activities to be undertaken without the need to hold an operator, vehicle or driver licence. The exemptions from the licensing code are:

  • Using a vehicle(s) solely for weddings
  • Using a vehicle(s) wholly or mainly for the purposes of funerals

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 and signatures of those person(s) authorised to support driver or vehicle applications if not the proposed licence holders.

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

You can renew your licence using our online form.