How To Become A Licensed Taxi Cab Driver.

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[ Age limit ] [Your Character ][ Medical ][ The Knowledge ][ Driving test ]
How to apply
][ FAQ's]

Each applicant for a licence is required to satisfy five basic requirements.



By law you cannot hold  a taxi cab driver’s licence until you are 21 years of age. There is no upper age limit at this time and, provided you meet the criteria that follow, you may be issued with a taxi cab driver’s licence.

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Every applicant is the subject of a criminal record check before being issued with a cab driver’s licence. If you have had any convictions you are advised to disclose all of them on your application form. A conviction does not necessarily preclude you from holding a licence - it depends what the conviction was for and the sentence imposed - but you must disclose all convictions and any charges/summonses outstanding against you. Failure to disclose current convictions is likely to result in the refusal of your application.

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Every applicant is required to have a medical report form, issued by the Public Carriage Office, completed by the doctor who has held their medical records for the previous 12 months.

The medical report covers 7 major areas, these are:

The following medical conditions may prevent you from holding a taxi cab driver’s licence.


You must have a thorough knowledge of London, including the location of streets, squares, clubs, hospitals, hotels, theatres, government and public buildings, railway stations, police stations, courts, diplomatic buildings, important places of worship, cemeteries, crematoria, parks and open spaces, sports and leisure centres, places of learning, restaurants and historic buildings; in fact everything you need to know to be able to take passengers to their destinations by the most direct routes.

You may be licensed either for the whole of London or for one or more of the 16 suburban sectorsThe "All London" licence requires you to have a detailed knowledge of the 25,000 streets within a six mile radius of Charing Cross with a more general knowledge of the major arterial routes throughout the rest of London. If you wish to work as a taxi driver in central London or at Heathrow Airport you need an "All London" licence.

Alternatively, you may choose to study for a suburban licence. Outside the six mile radius London is divided into sixteen sectors. You can select one of these and will be required to have a detailed knowledge of your chosen sector along with a more general knowledge of Central London. You may add additional sectors once licensed.

Assessment is by means of an initial written test which determines whether you have reached the required standard to commence "appearances." These are a series of one to one oral examinations conducted by a qualified Knowledge of London Examiner. The examiner grades each applicant according to his or her performance. The higher the grade on each appearance, the quicker the applicant can expect to receive a licence. Some applicants pass the Knowledge with as few as 10 or 12 appearances while others take longer.

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You will be carrying passengers for hire and reward in a purpose built vehicle which has different driving characteristics from a standard car and consequently you need to take a taxi driving test so that the licensing Authority can be assured as to your competence to drive the vehicle safely in a congested city environment and your ability to use the facilities provided to assist the disabled i.e. wheelchair facilities and swivel seat.The test is conducted by a member of the Public Carriage Office staff trained to take tests.

If you are physically handicapped you can still become a taxi driver providing you are able to pass the driving test, if necessary using a cab which has been modified to approved standards to cater for your particular disability.

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You must complete an application form and declaration, which can be obtained by calling at the Public Carriage Office, 15 Penton Street, London N1 9PU. You must attend the Public Carriage Office between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays) with your completed application form, making sure that all questions have been answered and that both the form and declaration have been signed and dated. When you attend you must have with you.





*If you are unable to produce your birth certificate a full current British passport will suffice. If your birth certificate is not in English bring your valid, current passport. If you are not a British citizen or an EEC national your passport MUST have an "Indefinite Stay" stamp. A certificate of baptism is NOT acceptable.

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