Taxi and private hire vehicle licences

Vehicles which are being used as taxis or private hire vehicles must be licensed by us. Before any vehicle is licensed, it will be checked and tested to ensure that it is safe and mechanically sound, and suitable for use to carry paying passengers. These checks will be repeated every year.

For details of how to apply for a vehicle licence, please see our Applying for a vehicle licence page.

There are two different types of vehicle licence available, and which one you will need depends on how you intend to use the vehicle.

Hackney carriages (taxis)

Hackney Carriage licence plateA hackney carriage is the only type of licensed vehicle which may legally call itself a taxi. They can wait on designated taxi ranks to be hired, or can accept bookings by being flagged down or hailed. All hackney carriages in Dacorum must display a roof sign bearing the word "TAXI", and will also display yellow-coloured licence plates on the back of the car (such as the one pictured) and in the front windscreen.

Some non-motorised vehicles, such as horse-drawn carriages or pedicabs, may also be licensed as hackney carriages.

Private hire vehicles

Private Hire Vehicle licence plateA private hire vehicle can only be hired by pre-booking the journey through a licensed private hire operator. All private hire vehicles in Dacorum must display door signs indicating which operating company they are working for, and will also display white-coloured licence plates on the back of the car (such as the one pictured) and in the front windscreen.

A range of businesses may fall under the definition of private hire vehicles, including minicabs, chauffeurs, shuttle buses, courtesy car services, stretch limos and party buses.

Public service vehicles (PSVs)

We can only licence vehicles which carry up to eight passengers as taxis or private hire vehicles. Larger vehicles which are hired out to carry passengers must be licensed by VOSA as public service vehicles. For more information on public service vehicle licensing, please visit the website.

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