Taxi licence

Apply for a vehicle licence

How we're working during the coronavirus pandemic

During this unprecedented time, we have taken the decision to suspend applications for new private hire vehicles, new hackney carriages, new private hire operators, new knowledge tests and new combined hackney carriage/private hire drivers. This is because we are prioritising renewal applications.

We will keep these matters under review. If you have any queries, please contact a member of our licensing team.

The government has published guidance for transport operators, which includes self-employed taxi and private hire vehicle proprietor.

How to contact us

Telephone: 0300 300 8307

If you're not working

If you are not working, please do the following:

The steps above will allow us to hold your application until current restrictions have been lifted, or until we are advised by the government.

Unfortunately, due to lack of resources and testing availability we must ensure that vehicles which are still in operation are tested before further restrictions are put in place.

If you are working

If you are working, please do the following:

Please note: Email is not a secure medium. You should take appropriate measures to ensure any personal information sent via email is protected.

How to apply for a vehicle licence

The following documents must be submitted, either by post or in person, for new and renewal vehicle licences:

  • completed application form, signed by the applicant
  • the vehicle registration document (V5)
  • valid certificate of insurance
  • the appropriate fee
  • any documentation specifically referred to with regard to hackney carriage or private hire vehicles

Although applications may be made by post, plates must be picked up in person at one of the council’s offices.

Applications should be made no later than 10 working days prior to the licence expiry date. Upon receipt of a correctly completed application form, the necessary authorisation will be given to enable applicants to book a mechanical test at either Luton Borough Council’s Transport Depot or Bedford Borough Council’s Transport Depot. 

Vehicle licences cannot be issued until the Certificate of Compliance and proof of current insurance cover has been produced. Although every effort will be made to issue a licence and plate straight away, there may be occasions when this is not possible. Proprietors should allow minimum period of two days, therefore, from receipt of the Certificate of Compliance to the issue of the vehicle licence and plate.

The proprietor is responsible for ensuring that the Certificate of Compliance is produced to the Licensing Section. The Transport Depots do not issue Certificate of Compliance direct to the Authority.

Renewal vehicles must pass their annual inspection prior to the expiry of their current licence.

Any vehicle not tested before its current licence expires will be considered as a new application.

Application form and guidance notes

Application form for hackney carriage / private hire vehicle licence (PDF 21.4KB)

Hackney carriage conditions (PDF 29.4KB)

Private hire vehicle conditions (PDF 38.9KB)

Special event vehicle conditions (PDF 6KB)

Testing arrangements at depots (PDF 23.6KB)

Byelaws for hackney carriages (PDF 40.5KB)