If you want to provide a service for a customer to book a private hire vehicle, in person, by phone, app or website, you must obtain a private hire operator licence.

A Private Hire vehicle can only be dispatched to a customer by a private hire operator that holds a private hire operator licence.

All bookings for private hire journeys carried out by private hire vehicles must be taken through the licensed Private Hire Operating booking office, also known as the 'operating base'

If you intend on driving a licensed vehicle, you will need to apply for the relevant Driver Licence.

If you intend on driving a currently unlicensed vehicle, you will need to apply for the relevant Vehicle Licence.

Contact requirements

All applicants must supply an email address and mobile number on which they are readily contactable. You'll need to provide these when submitting your online application.

Medway applicants who require advice on setting up an email account can obtain assistance in any Medway library

Please check your 'junk' or 'spam' mailboxes to ensure that you don't miss any emails. If you do find any emails from us in these folders, please mark them as 'safe' so that future emails are sent to your inbox.

Duration of licence

The standard duration of an Operator Licence is five years; one year licences are discretionary. If you wish to apply for a one-year licence, you will need to provide strong justification in your application form for consideration by the Licensing Officer.

How much does it cost?

Operator licence fees
Licence Cost
Private Hire Operator Licence - one year, up to five vehicles £211.00
Private Hire Operator Licence - one year, over five vehicles £418.00
Operator - up to 5 vehicles - 5 years £626.00
Operator - over 5 vehicles - 5 years £1247.00

What you need to know

You will be applying for a licence in either Gravesham or Medway, and will need to meet the relevant criteria set out within each council’s respective policy:

Safeguarding Training

All Operator Licence holders are required to successfully complete the Taxi Safeguarding Training Classroom Course. Please note, due to social distancing, these courses are currently being delivered via Zoom by the Blue Lamp Trust.

You'll need to arrange and pay for your test directly by visiting the Blue Lamp Trust Taxi Safeguarding page.

This must be completed by the 1st September 2021, you will need to email a copy of your certificate to licensing@gravesham.gov.uk.


You need to submit your application to the borough that the provision for booking is made in. This may be where the ‘operating base’ is, for example:

  • If your ‘operating base’ is in Northfleet you should apply to Gravesham Borough Council.
  • If your ‘operating base’ is in Rochester you should apply to Medway Council.

In the case of internet only private hire operators, then provision for bookings may be in another borough and, if so, that is whom you need to apply to.

How do I apply or renew?

You can apply for or renew an Operator Licence by using our online form. It takes about 10 minutes to complete.

You can apply as an individual, as a partnership, or as a company.

At the end of the form you'll be able to pay by debit or credit card.

What happens after I submit my application?

Once you submit your application you will receive an automatic email notification confirming receipt.

We will contact you afterwards if there are any issues that need addressing.

Once the Licensing Officer is satisfied that you meet the criteria set out in the relevant Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, so long as all application requirements are satisfied, your licence will be granted and sent out in the post.