New Driver Licence

To become a private hire driver you need to read and complete the information contained within our application pack. This can be obtained from the Civic Centre in Ashford or the Town Hall in Tenterden. You can also request to have it sent to you by post.

Please note that with effect from 21 December 2020, there are changes to licensing requirements. If you requested an application pack prior to 21 December 2020 but have yet to apply, please obtain an updated pack before submitting your application. 

As part of the process you will need to do the following:

  • Pass a practical taxi driving test accepted by Ashford Borough Council. This can be done through agencies such as The Blue Lamp Trust, or alternative suppliers who meet our minimum specifications. Should you wish to use an alternative supplier please email the licensing team prior to booking to check that the test will be accepted by us;
  • Evidence completion of Safeguarding training. Details of the accepted training providers (via online eLearning) and certificate providers will be published on our Driver pages in due course, but in the meantime we can confirm that we will accept courses from the Blue Lamp Trust (the current cost is £12.00). Should you wish to use an alternative supplier please email the licensing team prior to booking to check that the test will be accepted by us;
  • Have an enhanced disclosure and barring service (DBS) check;
  • All new drivers will be required to sign up to the DBS update service, and provide the required registration details to us prior to any renewal being granted;
  • Pass a group 2 standard medical;
  • Have held a full driving licence for at least 12 months;
  • Undertake a private hire driver’s test which will test your knowledge on the following: information provided in the pack, topographical knowledge, the Highway Code and numeracy. This will be arranged once your application has been submitted and;
  • Pay the appropriate fee.

Contact us for further information

For further information, or to obtain a pack, please email the licensing team.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ I want to apply to be a private hire driver (PHD), what do I do?

Email the licensing team requesting a pack to be posted to you. You can also pick up a pack from the Civic Centre in Ashford or the Town Hall in Tenterden.

+ What do I need to do to become a licensed driver?

You must submit the following (in person):

  • Completed application form.
  • Completed mandate to check your driving licence.
  • Completed DBS form.
  • Required identification.
  • Fee.

You then have three months to submit your medical, pass the practical DVSA driving test, pass your PHD verbal test and provide evidence of your completed safeguarding training.

+ How do I submit my application?

In person by appointment at the Civic Centre in Ashford or the Town Hall in Tenterden. To make an appointment email appointments@ashford.gov.uk or call 01233 331111.

+ How do I arrange the PHD test?

Once your application has been processed you will be contacted with a date and time to attend the Civic Centre.

+ What does the PHD test involve?

It is a verbal test (45 minutes long) with a licensing officer to check your understanding of the Highway Code, information in the pack, and some very basic knowledge of the area.

+ I've got convictions; will this affect my application?

It might, please email the licensing team to request a call back from a licensing officer before applying.

+ I have points on my driving licence, will this affect my application?

If you have more than six points on your licence please email the licensing team before applying.

+ I am licensed in another borough; can I drive a vehicle licensed by Ashford?

No, you need a licence with Ashford to drive a vehicle licensed by us.

+ Can I apply to be a hackney driver straight away?

You are usually required to be a private hire driver for 6 months.

+ I have been a private hire driver for over 6 months, how can I apply for my hackney (joint) licence?

Email the licensing team to arrange an appointment for a knowledge test. The test takes approximately two hours.

+ I have recently had a medical, will you accept it?

If it is dated within three months, is to Group 2 standards and meets our requirements we may be able to accept it.

+ Where can I get my medical done?

At your own GP or at a clinic. You can use any clinic that completes G2 medicals. Please make sure they use our form.

+ What does a private hire driving test involve?

It is a practical driving test similar to a driving test. It is used to ensure that new taxi drivers are capable of driving to a minimum professional standard.
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