Taxi licensing - hackney carriage vehicles

Find out how to apply for and renew a hackney carriage licence.

A hackney carriage vehicle is used for the carriage of passengers for hire and reward.

Only hackney carriage vehicles can ply or stand for hire. A hackney carriage vehicle can be hailed by passengers on the roadside, it can stand on a rank to await the approach of passengers and it can be pre-booked by telephone.

Unlike private hire vehicles, a meter must be engaged during a journey in a hackney carriage vehicle. Once set, the regulated fare is the maximum amount which can be charged. A lower amount can be charged, but not a higher amount. If there is no agreement, the metered rate applies.

A driver does not have to accept a fare or journey outside the district.

A vehicle licensed as a hackney carriage vehicle continues to be a hackney carriage vehicle at all times and must therefore always be driven by a driver licensed by the same authority. The only exception is if it is being tested by an engineer. 

New and renewal applications may be made in respect of any suitable vehicle under the age of 10 years.  The age of the vehicle will be determined from the date of first registration as stated on the vehicle registration document.

No age limit will be applied to Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, but they must have European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval. This will be shown on either the vehicle’s V5 registration document, additional chassis number on the vehicle or by a Certificate of Conformity.

No licence application will be granted unless the vehicle has passed the test to the satisfaction of the appointed garage.

 Download the Hackney Carriage Vehicle inspection form (pdf / 174 KB)

No hackney carriage vehicle will be granted a licence if it is licensed in another district due to the problems of meeting the variance in conditions applied in different districts and the enforcement of those conditions in cases of non-compliance, such as signs, suspensions or revocations.

All applicants will be required to sign a declaration as part of their application that the vehicle will be used predominantly within North Yorkshire.

Hackney carriage approved garages

Any DVSA-accredited MOT testing station in the North Yorkshire Council area. You must download the  vehicle inspection form (pdf / 174 KB) and provide it to the garage carrying out the testing.

If your vehicle is already licensed by Harrogate please check with the Harrogate licensing team, as you may have already paid for your test upfront. If so, you should have your vehicle tested at Simon Graeme Auto Service Centre, Grayston Plain Lane, Hampsthwaite, Harrogate, HG3 2LY.

Preferred garages

In Scarborough – council in-house testing. You can book online via our MOT services page.

In Craven – Midgley Motor Cars, Airedale Business Park, Keighley Road, Skipton, BD23 2TZ.

What will it cost?

A hackney carriage vehicle licence will be issued for 12 months: 

New vehicle application £365
Renewal application £295
Change of ownership £55
Change of registration £55

At present the licence fee for both new and renewal applications in respect of wheelchair accessible vehicles has been waived.

Find out more about taxi fees and fares.

How do I pay?

You pay directly to the MOT garage if you live in the Selby area.

You can pay online if you live in the Hambleton area.

For all other areas, contact us to pay in person or over the phone, please note we do not accept cash payments.

Whichever payment method you use, please use your licence number if renewing or the full registration if not and your full name as the reference and let us know you have paid.

Required signage for all hackney carriage vehicles

At all times whilst licensed, a hackney carriage vehicle shall display: 

  • an external plate provided by the licensing authority securely and permanently affixed to the rear of the vehicle
  • an external plate provided by the licensing authority securely and permanently affixed to the front of the vehicle
  • a self-adhesive side panel provided by the licensing authority permanently affixed centrally and squarely on each of the front doors of the vehicle
  • an internal plate provided by the licensing authority displayed on the passenger side of the dashboard facing into the vehicle
  • a sign, capable of being illuminated, bearing the word “TAXI” facing towards the front of the vehicle mounted on the roof of the vehicle. The only other text on the sign shall be the firm’s name and/or telephone number
  • at least two adhesive signs advising passengers how to complain to the licensing authority about any licensed driver, vehicle or operator in a position that can be easily read by passengers from the front and rear of the vehicle

You can find  generic guidance on applying vinyl signs to your vehicle here (pdf / 2 MB).

How do I apply to license a hackney carriage vehicle? 

First, read our  Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy (pdf / 675 KB) to make sure that your vehicle meets all the requirements of a hackney carriage vehicle in particular the hackney carriage vehicle specification.

Applications will not be processed by the licensing authority unless we are in receipt of:

  • the relevant fully completed application form (see below)
  • all supporting documents (see below)
  • the appropriate fee

Download the appropriate application form here:

Applications should be submitted to your local office or to the local office email address, as shown on the application forms.  If applying by email, we may still need to see you in person with some of your documents.

Supporting documents

You will need to supply the following with your application form:

  • the vehicle registration document (V5C) in the name of the proprietor/part-proprietor or formal confirmation from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency that the vehicle has been registered in the applicant’s name. If neither is available, verifiable proof of ownership may be accepted (such as a bill of sale from a reputable firm)
  • a current vehicle insurance certificate or cover note which includes the carriage of passengers or goods for public hire or reward
  • confirmation that the vehicle has an MOT test Certificate (required for all vehicles aged over one year as from the date of first registration as shown on the vehicle registration document)
  • proof that the licensing authority’s testing arrangements have been satisfied
  • an appropriate engineer’s report (only for vehicles subject to a Category C, D or N insurance write-off) verifying the standard of repairs. Note, vehicles which have been subject to a Category A, B or S insurance write-off cannot be licensed
  • a satisfactory basic criminal record check available from the government website in respect of all proprietors (or in the case of a company or partnership, in respect of all directors or partners). Note, no criminal record check or certificate of good conduct will be required if you have already been deemed suitable to currently hold a hackney carriage or private hire or combined driver badge issued by North Yorkshire Council or one of our predecessor authorities
  • a Certificate of Good Conduct (only if the applicant has lived overseas for a period of six months or more in the 10-year period leading up to the date of application)

How long will my hackney carriage vehicle application take?

We will aim to process valid applications within 5 working days of receipt of all required documents.

For renewals, applications should be made at least two weeks before the expiry date of the current licence to allow reasonable time for the application to be processed. Any application for the renewal of a licence will not be accepted after the date of expiry.

Licence plates will be issued directly to the applicant via a third-party supplier using Royal Mail second class post. It is therefore not possible to collect licence plates from your local office.   

Grandfather rights

As of 1 April 2023, existing licence holders will be given grandfather rights. This means any vehicle licensed prior to 1 April 2023 by any of the predecessor authorities to North Yorkshire Council may remain licensed on renewal until 10 years old or until such time as it would have been permitted by the terms of the relevant predecessor authority’s existing policy (whichever is later). New and replacement vehicles will be subject to the requirements of the new policy.

What if my application is refused?

If the authorised officer has any concerns about an application for the grant of a Hackney Carriage Vehicle licence, it will be referred to the General Licensing and Registration Sub-Committee for a decision. If the application is refused by the Sub-Committee, an appeal against the refusal must be made to the relevant court.  Any appeal must be made within 21 days following notice of a decision.

Hackney Carriage Ranks located in the North Yorkshire Council area

Craven area

Town Location Times of operation if limited Number of vehicles permitted
Craven Swadfield Street (2 ranks) 1 rank is evening and weekends only  
  Skipton bus station car park    
  Sackville Street    
  Train station    
  Bus station    

Hambleton area



Times of operation if limited

Number of vehicles permitted

Bedale Market Place   2 vehicles
Northallerton High Street   8 vehicles
  Zetland Street   2 vehicles
  Elder Road 20:00 - 08:00 2 vehicles
Thirsk Market Place   3 vehicles

Richmondshire area



Times of operation if limited

Number of vehicles permitted

Catterick Loos Road, opposite the Barracks   3 vehicles
  Ava Road, between Cambria and Alma Barracks   8 vehicles
  Plumber Road, adjoining Bourlon Barracks   3 vehicles
  Dane Road (opposite Civil Service Club)   3 vehicles
  Hipswell Road West   3 vehicles
  Camp Centre car park   3 vehicles
  Scotton Road (outside Vimy Lines)   2 vehicles
  Hildyard Row car park   3 vehicles
  Shute Road (outside Old Harewood Club)   6 vehicles
  Helles Barracks main entrance   3 vehicles
  Vimy Barracks main entrance   3 vehicles
Richmond Trinity Church Square   10 vehicles

Ryedale area



Times of operation if limited

Number of vehicles permitted

Helmsley Market Place 18:00 - 06:00  
Kirkbymoorside Market Place 18:00 - 06:00  
Malton Railway Street 18:00 - 06:00  
  Market Place HSBC bank    
Pickering Eastgate    
  Market Place 18:00 - 06:00  

Scarborough area

Town Location Times of operation if limited Number of vehicles permitted
Scarborough St Thomas Street   10 vehicles
  North Street Link Road (feeder to above)   unlimited
  Northway, Westborough to Victoria Road   15 vehicles
  Peasholm Gap Pool   4 vehicles
  Sandside, Tourist Information Centre   2 vehicles
  Aberdeen Walk (west side)   2 vehicles
  Aberdeen Walk (east side)   9 vehicles
  St. Nicholas Cliff   4 vehicles
  Foreshore Road   3 vehicles
  Scarborough Railway Station frontage: Private rank operated by TransPennine Express - permit required   12 vehicles
Whitby Bridge Street 20:00 to 00:00 1 vehicle
  Windsor Terrace   2 vehicles
  Langbourne Road   6 vehicles
  New Quay Road   9 vehicles
Filey Station Avenue (Bus station)   7 vehicles
  Private rank - Railway station   2 vehicles

Selby area



Times of operation if limited

Number of vehicles permitted

Selby James street    
  Train station   3 vehicles
  New Lane Bank Holidays only  
Tadcaster Britannia Car Park