Vehicle Licence - Apply or Renew

Last updated on: 12-May-2021

Gravesham and Medway council logos

We issue licences for three different types of vehicle:

  • Hackney Carriages (Taxis), which can stand on a taxi rank, be hailed in the street, or be pre-booked; either directly or through a licensed operator.
  • Private Hire vehicles, which can only be used for pre-booked journeys made through a licensed operator.
  • Restricted Private Hire vehicles, which can only be used for contracted school runs through a licensed operator.

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?

Licence type and fee
Licence Type Cost
Gravesham £240 (non-refundable)
Medway £142.50 (non-refundable) plus additional inspection fees*

* See tables of Garage Fees under the Medway applicants section below.

What you need to know

A vehicle can only be used for its intended purposes if both the vehicle and person driving it is licensed by the same authority. This means that if you intend on driving a Gravesham licensed vehicle, you will also need to apply for the relevant Gravesham Driver Licence. Similarly, if you intend on driving a Medway-licensed vehicle, you will also need to apply for the relevant Medway Driver Licence. You can apply for your vehicle and driver licence in any order, but you will need both licences to drive a Hackney, Private Hire or Restricted Hire vehicle.

For Private Hire vehicles, the company or person that private hire work (including restricted private hire work) is booked through must also hold a licence with the same authority. If you are going to work for yourself as a Private Hire or Restricted Private Hire driver, you will need to apply for a Private Hire Operator Licence to allow you to take bookings. Hackney Carriage drivers can take bookings directly without going through an Operator.

Please note that a minimum of two weeks is generally required for processing vehicle licence applications.

The applicant/licence holder of a vehicle licence must match the details on the vehicle registration document. This will be checked and a licence will not be granted should they differ.

Note for existing vehicle licence holders: Failure to apply on time will delay the processing of your application which could result in you being unable to work for a period.

How do I apply/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 Vehicle Licence by using our online form.

Gravesham applicants

Step 1: The Vehicle

You will need to make sure that the vehicle you wish to licence fulfils the requirements of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy (Gravesham). In particular you will need to look at:

  • Appendix A which talks about the vehicle specifications and requirements
  • Appendix C which details the code of practice for CCTV, which is mandatory in all our licensed vehicles

Please note it is the applicants' responsibility to ensure that their vehicle meets our requirements. All vehicles are inspected before a licence/plate will be issued; we cannot licence a vehicle until our requirements are satisfied or issue refunds as a result of vehicles being un-licensable.

Step 2: Documents

Once you have established that your vehicle meets the policy requirements, you will need to check that you have the following documentation* available to submit with your application**:

  • A current insurance certificate for the vehicle with the appropriate type of cover
  • An MOT certificate that is not more than 6 months old when handed in
  • The V5C registration document with the applicants' details as the owner (or the V5C/2 slip or bill of sale along with an alternative proof of ownership until the V5C is available)

*existing licence holders applying to renew a vehicle licence will only need to provide the above documents if they are due.

**applicants using a laptop/computer can attach scanned copies of their documents to their application form, whilst those using a smartphone or handheld device will be able to attach photographs of them.

Step 3: Vehicle Licence Application/Renewal

Once you have completed all of the above steps you can then apply for, or renew, a vehicle licence using our online form.

The form takes approximately ten minutes to complete. You will need to upload copies of the documentation mentioned in Step 2.

At the end of the form you'll be asked to make your payment by credit or debit card.

Please note that you can only apply for or renew one vehicle licence per form.

Medway applicants

Step 1: The Vehicle

You will need to make sure that the vehicle you wish to licence fulfils the requirements of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy (Medway)

Please note it is the applicants' responsibility to ensure that their vehicle meets the council's requirements. All vehicles are inspected before a licence/plate will be issued; we cannot licence a vehicle until all requirements are satisfied or issue refunds as a result of vehicles being un-licensable.

Step 2: Documents and Vehicle Inspection

Once you've established that your vehicle meets the policy requirements, you will need to have your vehicle inspected by one of Medway Council’s Approved Garages. You will need to contact the garage to book your inspection, pay the relevant inspection fee directly to them when you attend, and present the following documentation to the garage at the time of the inspection:

  • A current insurance certificate for the vehicle with the appropriate type of cover. Spouses must not be named on the insurance for Social, Domestic or Pleasure uses
  • The V5C registration document with the applicants' details as the owner (or the V5C/2 slip or bill of sale along with an alternative proof of ownership until the V5C is available)
  • Meter Certificate (issued by Meter Agent when you have meter calibrated)

You will not need to take an MOT certificate with you as one will be issued by the garage as part of your inspection.

The garage fees with effect from 1 April 2017 are:

Garage fees
Garage Service Fee
Annual Inspection £78.85
Annual Inspection Retest (within 10 working days) £39.42
Interim Inspection £39.42
Interim Inspection Retest £18.92
Non-attendance at vehicle inspection Test fee will be charged*

*garage will use their discretion in exceptional circumstances only

Step 3: Vehicle Licence Application/Renewal

Once you have completed all of the above steps you can then apply for, or renew, a vehicle licence using our online form.

The form takes approximately ten minutes to complete. You'll need to upload a copy of the vehicle inspection form issued by the garage.

At the end of the form you'll be asked to make your payment by credit or debit card.

Please note that you can only apply for or renew one vehicle licence per form.

What happens after I submit my application?

Once you submit your application you will receive an automatic email notification confirming your inspection/plating appointment time, date and location.

We will contact you afterwards if there are any outstanding issues that need addressing before your appointment or if we need you to bring any additional documentation with you.

Once the Licensing Officer is satisfied that the vehicle meets the criteria set out in the relevant Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, so long as all application requirements are satisfied, your licence and plates will be provided.

Gravesham plates will be made up and left at the Civic Centre reception, at which point you will be sent a text message to let you know they are ready to collect at your convenience.

Medway plates will be handed to you at your appointment.

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