Apply for a taxi operator licence

A taxi operator licence (TOL) does not entitle anyone to drive a taxi vehicle. For this you need a taxi driver licence. The information below is relevant if you want to apply for a taxi operator licence as an individual, a limited company or a partnership.

Apply for a licence

You should apply for your TOL at least eight weeks before you wish to start operating, to allow time for the application to be processed. The application fee is £140.

There are two types of operator’s licence:

  • small operator - a maximum of two taxi vehicles available for use at any one time
  • large operator - no restrictions on the number of taxi vehicles available for use at any one time

You cannot convert the type of operator’s licence once granted – you need to send a completely new application if you want to reduce or expand the number of vehicles available at any one time.

Cost and validity of licence

If your application for a TOL is successful, you will be required to pay for the ‘Grant of Licence’. The cost is based on the type of licence, the length of licence, and the number of vehicles in your business. The tables below allow you to calculate the cost:

Small operator
(one to two vehicles)

Grant of Licence + Per vehicle
one year £15 + £40
three years £45 + £120
five years £75 + £200

Example: small operator with two vehicles for five years would be £475.

Large operator
(three or more vehicles)

Grant of Licence + Per vehicle [1 – 25] Per vehicle [26 +]
one year £40 + £40 £10
three years £220 + £120 £12
five years £360 + £200 £20

Example: large operator with eight vehicles for five years would be £1,960.

Example: large operator with 29 vehicles for three years would be £3,268.

Change of or acquisition of a new operating centre

If an operator wishes to add a new operating centre or remove an operating centre they must tell Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA), Taxi Licensing Section by submitting a TOL4 form and the fee (if relevant). The operator will have to provide evidence that the new premises have planning permission to be used as an operating centre, and has both public and employer's liability insurance (if applicable).

If DVA becomes aware that an operator is trading from an operating centre not on their licence, or has moved from their operating centre address without notifying DVA and no further details of their whereabouts are known, the licence may be suspended, revoked, or curtailed.

Application forms and guidance

The application pack includes the Operator’s Handbook and sample record keeping schedules which all operators must retain for inspection purposes; you will be able to photocopy these for your own use.

The pack will also contain further forms and information for taxi operators to make changes to details after the licence has been granted.

TOL forms

Your completed application must contain:

  • a completed TOL1 application form
  • a completed TOL3 personal declaration form
  • the applicable application fee £140
  • evidence of planning permission (if applicable)
  • proof of identity for anyone named in the application who does not possess a driver licence or a taxi driver licence
  • Public liability insurance certificate (if applicable)
  • Employer liability insurance certificate (if applicable)
  • proof of radio frequency (if applicable)
  • VAT certificate registration or a HMRC self assessment
  • evidence to support your right to work in the UK
  • an AccessNI basic or enhanced disclosure certificate 

    Note: When your AccessNI check is completed, if you have no criminal history, you’ll receive a digital disclosure certificate. You can view the certificate from your nidirect account.  If the check shows criminal history or you asked for a paper copy, you’ll receive a printed certificate by post. To send a copy of your digital certificate to DVA, choose the share button on your nidirect account and include the address taxidriverlicensing@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk. Please note, when you share your disclosure certificate with the DVA, it is only able to see it for three days. 

    Completed application forms should be sent to:

Taxi Licensing Section
Driver & Vehicle Agency (PTLD)
County Hall
Castlerock Road
Waterside
Coleraine
BT51 3HS

Right to Work

When applying for a taxi operator licence you must have a right to work within the UK. The Immigration Act 2016 requires the Department for Infrastructure to be satisfied that you have a right to work in the UK  before a licence can be granted.

To prove your right to work in the UK, your application must include  original documents from  Lists A and B of Annex A in the 'Guidance for the Department for Infrastructure to prevent illegal working in the taxi sector in Northern Ireland' and also be available to go to an interview in Passenger Transport Licensing Division in Coleraine.

Send your completed application and the payment to:

Taxi Licensing Section
Driver & Vehicle Agency (PTLD)
County Hall
Castlerock Road
Waterside
Coleraine
BT51 3HS

Telephone  028 9025 4100

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