Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Licensing

IMPORTANT CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - Due to emergency steps being taken in response to the Covid 19 outbreak, Hartlepool Borough Council has introduced a simplified process for the renewal of driver and vehicle licences. This simplified process will remain in place until it is considered reasonable to return to standard operating procedures.

Drivers can apply for 6 month, 12 month or 3 year licences. Vehicle proprietors can apply for 6 month or 12 month licences.


Vehicles must continue to have a valid MOT and the appropriate insurance.

If you can no longer afford the insurance for your vehicle, a licence will be renewed but will be suspended until the vehicle is insured once again.

All contact with the Licensing Team must be made by e-mail ( or by phone (01429 523354).


The following information is relevant to all existing licence holders and new applicants:

The purpose of licensing drivers, vehicles and operators is to provide the travelling public with a safe, comfortable journey in cars that are maintained to a high standard and driven by competent trustworthy and medically fit drivers who always behave in a civil and orderly manner.

Vehicles that are offered for hire or reward - with the services of a driver included - are generally required to have a licence issued by the local Council. There are two types of licence available - dependant upon how the vehicle is to be used. These are: -

Hackney Carriage (commonly referred to as a 'Taxi') - In Hartlepool all Hackney Carriages must be painted yellow and must have a payment meter installed that measures the distance of any journey travelled and calculates the fare. Hackney Carriages may be 'flagged down' or be found plying for hire at a designated Taxi Rank. In addition Hackney Carriages may be booked in advance but any fare agreed must be no more than the cost calculated by the meter - unless the journey ends outside the borough of Hartlepool.

Private Hire - All private hire vehicles must be booked in advance through a private hire operator. In Hartlepool they may be any colour other than yellow and must display round stickers on each front door stating 'This vehicle must be pre-booked'. Private hire vehicles do not use meters to calculate the cost of the journey but instead the cost should be agreed between the company/driver and the passenger - ideally at the time of booking.

Driver - If you want to drive a hackney carriage (HC) or private hire (PH) vehicle licensed by Hartlepool Borough Council then you must hold a HC/PH driver licence issued by this Council. It's a criminal offence to drive a licensed vehicle without this licence.