Private hire operator's licence

A Private Hire Operator’s Licence is required by any person who runs a business in North Kesteven which involves accepting or inviting bookings for private hire vehicles.

We will not licence an applicant who operates from premises outside the North Kesteven District Council area (operates means the base where bookings are taken and phone calls are answered).

We do not restrict the numbers of vehicles that may be operated under the terms of a licence, subject to any planning requirements for the base where they operate from.  

A licensed private hire driver cannot accept any bookings unless he either holds an Operator’s licence or works for a licensed private hire operator. An operator may pass a booking to another licensed private hire operator.  The contract between a customer and Operator is always deemed to have been made with the initial Operator, regardless of any subsequent passing on of that booking. 

Before we grant a licence the applicant must satisfy the Council that:

  • He/she is a fit and proper person to hold a licence;
  • He/she has a legal right to work and hold a licence in the UK;
  • The address from which they intend to operate is suitable and any necessary  planning permissions have been obtained. (When an Operator intends to work from home any requirement for Planning Consent will take into account the number of vehicles to be operated from the address).

Criminal Record Checks

An applicant for a Private Hire Operator’s licence shall provide a current (less than 1 month old) Basic DBS Disclosure. The DBS disclosure shall be required on application and every five years thereafter, if subsequent renewal applications are made, unless they are also currently licensed by North Kesteven District Council as a Hire driver. 

Right to a Licence Checks

The law requires us to check every applicant’s right to work in the UK. This may include checking immigration status with the Home Office. All applicants must therefore provide a document or document combination suitable for this check. The list of documents can be found in the Downloads section of this page. The right to work check will be conducted by us at a face to face meeting with the applicant. We will need to see the original document(s), such as a passport or biometric residence permit so that the check can take place. We will retain copies of any documents produced for checking.

Where an applicant has restrictions on the length of time they may work in the UK we cannot issue a licence for any longer than this period. In these circumstances the right to work check will be repeated each time you apply to renew or extend your licence.

If you are an owner/driver of a private hire vehicle licensed by North Kesteven you may work for any existing Operator licensed in North Kesteven. However, if you wish to apply for your own licence to operate from premises which will be used as a booking office, you may need to obtain Planning Permission from the Council allowing use of the building.

Public Liability Insurance is required where the public have access to the premises i.e. waiting room etc. However, where no public access or waiting facilities are provided or if you wish to operate your own vehicle from home, this insurance is not necessary.

Applications will not be accepted without production of the above.  A licence lasts for 5 years.


Make a Hackney carriage/ private hire vehicles complaint

Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles play a vital part in an integrated transport system, within our District. They provide services in situations where other forms of transport are not available and are a vital means of transport for people who may not be able to easily access other forms of public transport.

All hire vehicles, drivers and Operators undergo a series of checks relating to safety, fitness and propriety, with the overriding primary concern being the safety of the public.

The Department of Transport requires Licensing Authorities to publish details of how members of the public can notify any complaints about the service they receive.

In the first instance, and where it is appropriate, complaints should be directed to the driver/owner or vehicle operator.  Where this is not possible, or appropriate, the following procedure can be followed.

  • Any allegation of criminality should be reported to the Police, as they have primacy in all matters relating to such allegations
  • Any general complaints and allegations should be directed to the Licensing Team at NKDC

Full detail of the complaints process can be located at Appendix O of the Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Licensing policy in the downloads section.

Reports can be made using the online form or by emailing the Licensing Team.

All reports are required to include the name and contact details of the person(s) making the report and as much information relating to the complaint as possible.  This should include, but is not limited to:

  • Time, date and place of the incident
  • Vehicle and or driver details, including licence details if known
  • Details of the booking or journey arrangements and any contact numbers


North Kesteven District Council

Kesteven Street



NG34 7EF

Tel: 01529 414155

Email: Licensing Team