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Guide to becoming a taxi driver

If you are looking to become a taxi driver in Swansea check our guide to find out what you need to do.

To become a taxi driver you will need to: 

  • pass a basic English literacy and numeracy test (these will be completed at the same time as your knowledge test)
  • pass a knowledge test (each try will cost £29)
  • have the right to work in the UK. Checks may be made with the Home Office
  • fill in an application form.  Application packs are available to download on our Drivers - hackney carriage and private hire page. It contains further information about the tests and extra information you will need to give to us. If you prefer, you can pick up a pack from the Civic Centre

What do I need to do first?

  • download and read the  driver application form (PDF) [2MB] to be aware of the process and detail to study for the knowledge test
  • make an appointment for a knowledge test by calling Taxi Licensing on 01792 635600
  • pay for the knowledge test on the appointment day at the Contact Centre. If you take your test more than once you will need to pay each time
  • when you have passed the knowledge test, you will be given a certificate valid for 12 months
  • make an appointment with your own GP to conduct a medical to Group 2 medical standards. Remember that the certificate from your GP will remain valid for only 28 days
  • if you need a certificate of good conduct you should also apply for this now
  • when all valid documents (outlined in the application pack) have been received, you are ready to make an application for a hackney carriage and private hire drivers licence and your DBS application.  You need to make a specific appointment to send this application by calling the appointment line 01792 637366
  • if the application is granted you will need to pay the licence fee as directed

As part of the application you will also need to submit:

1. DVLA Driving Licence

  • you must have held a full driving licence for at least 12 months
  • it must show your current residential address
  • the photo card licence expiry must be in date
  • a "share my driving licence" code (which can be done when you submit your application)

2. A Group 2 medical form

This form is available on the Drivers - hackney carriage and private hire page. This form must be filled in by your own GP. The cost of getting your GP to complete the form is payable directly by you, the cost varies depending on your surgery.

3. An enhanced DBS disclosure

You will need to phone the appointment line 01792 637366 to make an appointment to complete your DBS application - you will be transferred to the DBS Unit who will give you a username and password to complete an online application form before your appointment.  At your appointment you will need to bring all the relevant documents with you outlined in the DBS guidance document contained within your application pack, the documents will be verified at your appointment and you will pay the DBS application fee which is £44.

The DBS certificate will be sent direct to your home address.  When you gt the DBS certificate, you will need to take a copy to the Civic Centre reception and sign a consent for the document to be copied and kept as part of your application.  You must do this in person.  If on the return of your DBS disclosure you have relevant convictions, you may need to come to a committee hearing to decide your application.  If you have any concerns in relation to a conviction please make an appointment with a Taxi Licensing Officer on 01792 635600 to discuss. 

4. Proof you have permission to lawfully live and work in the UK

All applicants will need to give proof that they have the permission to lawfully live and lawfully work in the UK, regardless of nationality. You will need to provide your passport; or full UK birth certificate together with a HMRC document stating your National Insurance number or a biometric residence permit.  If you do not hold any of the documents mentioned you will need to contact a Licensing Officer to talk about your application on 01792 635600.

5. Passport photographs

  • the photo must be of the applicant
  • facing forward and looking straight at the camera in close up with their face, head and shoulders with a recommended head height (the distance between the bottom of the chin and the crown of the head) between 29 and 34 millimetres
  • with a neutral expression and with the mouth closed (no smiling, frowning or raised eyebrows)
  • with their eyes open and clearly visible), no sunglasses or tinted glasses and no hair across the eyes)
  • free from reflection or glare on glasses and frames must not cover eyes. We recommend that if possible, glasses are removed for the photo
  • showing their full head, without any head covering unless they wear one for religious beliefs or medical reasons
  • with no other objects or people in the photo
  • without shadows on the picture
  • without anything covering the face. Nothing should cover the outline of the eyes, nose or mouth, and not showing any red-eye

Photo size must:

  • be the standard size of a UK passport photo taken in a booth or studio, 45 millimetres high x 35 millimetres wide and not be trimmed down from a larger photograph to the size of a standard passport photograph

Photo quality must:

  • be taken against a plain cream or plain light-grey background
  • be printed to a high quality, such as photos printed by a booth or studio (photographs printed at home are unlikely to be of a high enough quality)
  • be clear and in sharp focus
  • be taken within the last month
  • be in colour on plain white photographic paper, not be torn, creased or marked and not have any writing on the front or back - except when one of the photos needs to certified

6. Pay for the licence and badge

The cost of a licence and badge is £236 (not including the knowledge test and DBS application fee). The licence and badge will be valid for 3 years. (In some cases licences will be granted for a shorter period and a lesser fee will be applicable.)

Where to find us

We are based in the Civic Centre. Taxi Licensing staff are only available during normal working hours (8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm Friday). Appointments are advisable, please phone 01792 635600 to arrange.