Driver requirements Hackney Carriage and private hire driver licences

Trafford Council will only issue licences to those applicants that it considers to be ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence.

Applicants are expected to act with honesty and integrity throughout the application process, and must therefore fully and accurately disclose any information that is requested. This includes information regarding previous convictions, warnings and reprimands, current investigations and pending criminal proceedings.

There is no statutory definition of what constitutes a ‘fit and proper’ person, however we will take a number of factors into account, and set specific criteria for applicants, when considering a licence application. These factors and criteria are detailed below:

Driving licence

Applications will only be accepted from applicants who are aged 21 years old or older and that have held a full driving licence issued in the UK, the European Community (EC) or one of the other countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) for at least 12 months (please note that the requirement is to have held the full licence for at least 12 months, not 12 months since the date that the driver passed the driving test).

EC/EEC licence

Applicants can drive in Great Britain on a full, valid driving licence. If applicants are younger than 67 when they became a resident, they can drive on their EU licence until they are 70. If they were 67 or older when they became a resident, they can drive on their EU licence for 3 years after that point.

Applicants can exchange their EU licence for a UK licence when they can not drive on it anymore.

Any other country

Applicants can drive in Great Britain on a full, valid driving licence for 12 months from when they became resident. After 12 months they will need to apply for a provisional licence and pass the theory and practical driving tests to drive in the UK.

Driving licence check

The counterpart of the driving licence has now been abolished and endorsements are recorded electronically by the DVAS. In order for applicants to confirm their driving licence record to us they will be required to access their record by logging onto the  GOV.UK share driving licence service where they can generate a “Check Code” which must be supplied with their application. This service is free and should be used by both paper and photo card driving licence holders. We will be unable to process an application until confirmation of the DVSA licence has been supplied.

Motoring offences will be dealt with in accordance with the Authority’s Statement of Policy about Relevance of Convictions. 

Qualifications and skills

Applicants (who are not existing licence holders) that submit their application for a drivers licence on or after the date on which this policy comes into effect will be required to provide evidence of the following qualifications / skills before a licence will be issued:

  • English language standard

English language standard

Applicants must provide evidence of ability in English (speaking and listening) at least to Entry Level 3 standard (as defined in the Regulated Qualifications Framework); or a similar qualification at an equivalent level.

Applicants who have an international qualification must be able to satisfy us that the qualification meets the requirement of English (speaking and listening) to Entry Level 3. UK NARIC ( is the designated UK national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills. We will accept an English Language Assessment completed by NARIC showing the applicant has a qualification equivalent to Entry Level 3 English.

In very exceptional circumstances and where considered appropriate by a nominated officer, an individual assessment may be undertaken to establish the English speaking and listening skills of the applicant. This assessment will be conducted by one of two nominated officers, namely the Regulatory Services Manager (Trading Standards & Licensing) or the Licensing Team Leader It will consist of a conversation of up to 15 mins duration between the applicant and the nominated officer, which will take place at Trafford Town Hall and will be recorded. The applicant will be provided with their own copy of the recording of the conversation. 

We reserve the right to refuse to accept a certificate of qualification as proof of an applicant or licence holder meeting a requirement if it is not satisfied as to the authenticity of the certificate or the quality / reliability of any part of the process that lead to the certificate being issued.

Driver knowledge test

The test will consist of topographical questions about the Trafford area but will also extend across the Greater Manchester region.

The test will also include questions about:

  • disability awareness;
  • safeguarding children and vulnerable people;
  • child exploitation;
  • domestic violence;
  • Road Safety;
  • Basic vehicle maintenance;
  • Customer care / customer awareness;
  • licensing law and the driver conditions;
  • local knowledge;
  • numeracy and literacy.

An application fee is payable by the applicant prior to them undertaking the driver knowledge test.

If an applicant fails the first driver knowledge test then they may retake it at after a period of 6 months from that date at which the first test was taken (subject to the payment of the appropriate test fee). If an applicant fails the second driver knowledge test then they will not be permitted to take the test again until at least 12 months has passed since the date at which the second test was taken (subject to the payment of the appropriate test fee).

The applicant will be provided with an opportunity to undertake the driver knowledge test on three separate agreed dates only within one application process. If the applicant fails the third test the application will be processed and determined.

If an applicant passes the knowledge test the pass will be valid for 12 months. If the applicant fails to start the next stage of the application process within this 12 month period the application will be progressed and determined.

Where an application is processed and the decision is made to refuse the application, the applicant will have a right of appeal against the decision to the Magistrates court. If the applicant chooses to make a new application they will have to restart the process by registering their interest on the online registration form. They will then be placed at the bottom of the waiting list.

Where an application is referred to the Sub-Committee for determination and refused, the Sub-Committee would normally refuse any subsequent application made within 12 months of the date of the previous refusal unless there are substantial material changes in the individual’s circumstances.

Driver induction course 

All applicants will be required to undertake a Driver Induction Course which will include training in safeguarding, child exploitation, domestic violence and disability awareness.

The applicant will be provided with an opportunity to undertake the induction course on three separate agreed dates. If the applicant fails to attend all three induction dates offered without notifying us, the application will be processed and determined.

Medical certification

Applicants must provide a certificate from their own GP or a GP who has access to the applicant’s full medical history. The certificate should state that the GP has conducted a medical examination and reviewed the applicant’s medical history and is satisfied that the applicant meets Group 1 standards of medical fitness. There will be a fee for this examination and certification which is payable by the applicant directly to the GP.

Enhanced disclosure Certification

Drivers are required to provide an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service to the Authority. The contents of the certificate will be assessed in accordance with Trafford Council’s policy on convictions, as detailed in Appendix R, when determining the fitness and propriety of the applicant.

If the applicant has lived outside of the UK during the last 5 years the applicant must provide a letter of good citizenship from the embassy of that country for the period of that residence.

The responsibility is on the applicant to obtain such a document and the applicant remains liable for all associated costs.

We will consider an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate, or equivalent, to be valid for a period of 6 months from the date that it was issued .

We reserve the right to request a new Enhanced DBS check should it consider it appropriate to do so.