Guidance on Private Hire Operators

Anybody, who in the course of business, accepts pre-booked hirings must hold an operators' licence.

The booking can be carried out by either a licensed Private Hire vehicle or a Hackney Carriage.

Private Hire operators must keep a record of every booking they accept and this record must be available, upon request, for inspection by any authorised Council officer.

Further details regarding being a private hire operator can be found in the Taxi & Private Hire Handbook.

Conditions for a licence

The following is a list of conditions which apply to the issue of a private hire operator's licence:

1. a register of all staff that will take bookings or dispatch vehicles to be kept either electronically or in hardcopy.

2. Operators must ensure that annual Basic DBS checks are carried out on every one included in their register of staff. The certificate numbers of the checks to be recorded in the register of staff so that it is clear which individuals have been checked and when.

3. the results of the DBS checks must be viewed by the holder of the operator’s licence and the time and date that the certificate was viewed must be recorded in the register of staff.

4. in the absence of an operator having their own stricter policy in relation to employing ex-offenders East Herts standards which apply to Operators (as detailed in the “Taxi Licensing Suitability Policy”) must be applied by the operator to all staff in their register and any other individuals that have contact with the public.

5. where booking and dispatch is outsourced operators are required to evidence that the outsourced staff have been vetted to at least the same level as if they worked directly for the operator.

6. Operators must keep legible and complete records of bookings and must: 
i. keep these at the place where they are licensed to operate: and 
ii. make these records available to authorised Licensing Officers upon request.

7. Operators are required to record the following information as a minimum for every booking:
i. the name of the passenger (where this is not available then the details of the hirer should be recorded whether this is an individual, company or other legal entity);
ii. the time of the request;
iii. the pick-up point;
iv. the destination;
v. the name of the driver;
vi. the driver’s licence number;
vii. the vehicle registration number of the vehicle;
viii. the name of any individual that responded to the booking request;
ix. the name of any individual that dispatched the vehicle.

8. where an operator dispatches a public service vehicle (PSV) to undertake a private hire booking they must not do so without the informed consent of the booker/hirer. Such consent must be recorded in addition to the other recording requirements for private hire bookings.

Applicants are required to have a basic criminal record check at the time of application and then annually.

If you wish to apply or renew a private hire operator's licence then please complete our Private Hire Operator application form.