Driver Licence - Apply or Renew

Last updated on: 13-Oct-2021

Gravesham and Medway council logos

We issue licences for:

  • Hackney Carriage (Taxi) drivers
  • Private Hire drivers

We also issue licences for ‘Restricted Private Hire drivers’ which are private hire driver licences with conditions restricting the type of work that can be carried out, e.g. school runs and, in Medway only, executive car hire work. The table below summarises what work each type of licensed driver can do:

Driver Licence Types
Type of work Hackney Carriage Private Hire Restricted Private Hire
Work from a taxi rank (only in the same area as the council that issues the licence) Yes No No
Be hailed in the street (only in the same area as the council that issues the licence) Yes No No
Directly take and carry out bookings Yes No No
Carry out pre-booked journeys through an operator licensed by a different council Yes No No
Carry out pre-booked journeys through an operator licensed by the same council Yes Yes Yes*

* in accordance with the conditions placed on the 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.

How much does it cost?

All driver licence applications in both Gravesham and Medway cost £168.

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:

All Drivers can only carry out work in a vehicle that has been issued with the appropriate licence by the same authority.  This means that if you intend on being a Gravesham-licensed driver, you can only drive an appropriate Gravesham-licensed vehicle. Similarly, if you intend on being a Medway-licensed driver, you can only drive an appropriate Medway-licensed vehicle. If you intend on driving your own vehicle, you will also therefore need to apply for a Vehicle Licence. You can apply for your vehicle and driver licence in any order, but you will need both licences to work as a licensed driver.

How do I apply or renew?

Before applying or renewing you'll need to complete the following steps.  At the final step you'll be able to apply for or renew a Driver Licence using our online form.

New applicants

Step 1: Knowledge Test

You must pass the appropriate Knowledge Test before you can go any further with your application. You can book online by visiting our Knowledge Test page.

It's important to note, after passing the test, if you fail to obtain a driver's licence within two years you will need to re-sit the test.

Step 2: Safeguarding and Disability Awareness Training

All prospective drivers are required to successfully complete Taxi Safeguarding and Disability Awareness Training Classroom Courses. 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 clicking on the links below:

Step 3: Practical Driving Assessment

You are required to complete a practical driving assessment.

All new Hackney Carriage drivers can only licence/drive a wheelchair accessible vehicle. If you are applying to be a new Hackney Carriage driver, you will therefore need to pass the accessibility assessment as well.

You'll need to arrange and pay for your test directly with one of the below approved providers:

You should only proceed to step 4 if you pass your assessment. This is to avoid you having to obtain further Enhanced Disclosure certificates or medical checks (at your cost) if you do not pass the driving assessment, as we will only accept these documents if they are less than 3 months old.

Step 4: Criminal Record History

All new applicants need to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (criminal record) check through the council.

You will be sent the DBS application form, which you will need to complete following the guidance on the front page. This must be returned to the Licensing office by special delivery, with the required original identification documents.

Please pay for your DBS check using our online form. This covers the cost of the check and the council’s processing costs. Please note that your application form will not be sent to the DBS until this payment has been received.

The full list of acceptable documents can be found via the links below. Please note that only original forms of identification can be accepted.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (2013 and 2020) provides that when applying for certain jobs and activities, certain convictions and cautions are considered ‘protected’. This means that they do not need to be disclosed to employers, and if they are disclosed, employers cannot take them into account. Guidance about whether a conviction or caution should be disclosed can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.

Update service

All applicants will also be required to sign up to the update service with the DBS. Visit GOV.UK DBS for further guidance on registering with the DBS update service.

Certificate of Good Conduct

If you haven’t lived in the UK for more than the last 3 years you will also need to obtain a criminal record check from the country(ies) you lived in. This is commonly referred to as a 'Certificate of Good Conduct.' The application process varies from country to country. You will have to apply in the country or to the relevant embassy in the UK. You can find guidance for applying for criminal records checks from overseas at the GOV.UK website
Please note that you will need to request that the Certificate of Good Conduct is issued in English or obtain a certified translation of the certificate.

Step 5: Right to work checks

Your right to work in the UK will be checked as part of your licence application, this could include us checking your immigration status with the Home Office. We may also share information with the Home Office.

You must either:

  • share your immigration status using the Home Office online checking service ‘prove your right to work to an employer’ if your status is compatible with the service, or
  • provide a document or document combination that is stipulated as being suitable for this check.

Where an online check has been carried out, the ‘profile’ page confirming your right to work will be copied and retained by the licensing authority.

Where a manual check is carried out, and you have provided a document(s) set out at Document requirements for Right to Work check you must provide the original document(s). The document(s) will be copied, and the copy retained by the licensing authority. The original document will be returned to you.

Your application will not be considered valid until all the necessary information and any original document(s) have been produced and the relevant fee has been paid.

If there are restrictions on the length of time you may work in the UK, your licence will not be issued for any longer than this period. In such circumstances the check will be repeated each time you apply to renew or extend your licence, if, during this period, you are disqualified from holding a licence because you have not complied with the UK’s immigration laws, your licence will lapse and you must return it to the licensing authority. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

Step 6: Driving History check

All new applicants will need to complete and send off the below D888/1 form, along with a £5 cheque or postal order, directly to the DVLA.  The DVLA will then send us comprehensive details of your full driving history.

D888/1 Form

Step 7: Medical Check

Every driver has to have a full medical check completed by their own General Practitioner, or by a GP that has access to their medical information. You will be responsible for arranging and paying any fee for this.

Your GP will be required to complete the DVLA D4 medical form and a separate declaration confirming that they have access to your medical records and whether you are compliant with the DVLA Group 2 Medical Standards.

Submit this form and the GP declaration when making your Driver Licence application. At the time of your application, your medical form must be less than three months old.

Step 8: DVLA 'check code'

All applicants (i.e. for new licences and renewals), will need to obtain a DVLA driving licence online 'check code' at the time of submitting their application to allow us to check your counter-part. Please visit GOV.UK to obtain your code. You'll need your driving licence number, National Insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence.

The unique code you receive is only valid for 21 days, so you should only obtain this once you are ready to complete the application form below.

Step 9: Driver Licence Application

Once you have completed all of the above steps, you can apply and make payment for a Driver Licence using our online application form. The form takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

You'll be asked to make a payment of £168 by either 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.

Renewals

Step 1: Medical Check

Every driver has to have a full medical check completed by their own General Practitioner, or by a GP that has access to their medical information. You will be responsible for arranging and paying any fee for this.

Your GP will be required to complete the DVLA D4 medical form and a separate declaration confirming that they have access to your medical records and whether you are compliant with the DVLA Group 2 Medical Standards.

Submit this form and the GP declaration when making your Driver Licence application. At the time of your application, your medical form must be less than three months old.

Step 2: DVLA 'check code'

All applicants (i.e. for new licences and renewals), will need to obtain a DVLA driving licence online 'check code' at the time of submitting their application to allow us to check your counter-part. Please visit GOV.UK to obtain your code. You'll need your driving licence number, National Insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence.

The unique code you receive is only valid for 21 days, so you should only obtain this once you are ready to complete the application form below.

Step 3: Criminal Record and Right to Work checks

If you are not already signed up to the DBS Update Service, you will first need to follow the guidance found under Step 4 of the New Applicants section to arrange for a DBS check appointment.

Step 4: Driver Licence Renewal

Once you have completed all of the above steps, you can renew and make payment for a Driver Licence using our online application form. The form takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

You'll be asked to make a payment of £168 by either 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.

Feedback

Was the information on this page helpful?

Let us know