Assessing an application for a taxi vehicle licence
When you are applying for a taxi vehicle licence (TVL), the most important thing to consider is whether the vehicle is suitable for the class of licence you need and has passed the taxi vehicle test.
Guidelines for assessment
When assessing your application, the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) has a set of guidelines which it has to apply to make sure that there is a consistent approach.
The guidelines are based on the following criteria:
- the person applying is the registered keeper of the vehicle
- the vehicle meets the criteria for the class of licence needed
- the vehicle has passed a taximeter test (where applicable)
- the vehicle has passed a taxi vehicle test
Registered keeper details
When making application for a TVL the details of the registered keeper must match those held by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
If the vehicle has changed ownership, an application cannot be made until the log book (V5C) has been updated and received by the new owner, unless you can give evidence of it being bought or leased and proof of taxing the vehicle within the last eight weeks.
Class A, class B, class C or class D
Once an online application has been processed you will receive a notification to book a taxi vehicle test. You’ll also get a link to the online service.
There are four classes of TVL. These are explained in the table below.
How the taxi can be used
These taxis will have:
Outside the Belfast zone, these taxis can be hailed, pre-booked or hired at a taxi rank.
Within the Belfast zone, these taxis can be pre-booked and can be hailed from midnight until 6.00 am every Friday and Saturday night and on public holidays. Belfast taxi zone map (PDF 23.61 MB)
These taxis will have:
These taxis will be wheelchair accessible and can be hailed, pre-booked and hired at a taxi rank throughout Northern Ireland.
Class C taxis can only be used on a pre-booked basis, booked at an operating centre and must carry details of their booking in the taxi during the journey.
They cannot be hailed and cannot be used on taxi ranks.
Examples of class C taxis are vehicles used for chauffeur services, weddings, funerals and courtesy transport.
These taxis must not display a roof sign or advertise as a taxi service, but must display a sign in the front windscreen.
These taxis are licensed to operate along set routes and are allowed to charge the passengers separate fares. Taxis operating this service can only do so under a Department for Infrastructure permit .
These taxis can also be pre-booked for executive or tour services; they can also give services under contract for the education and health authorities.
Class D taxis do not need to display roof signs, but must display internal signs on the front windscreen and rear windows.
Taximeters and printers
From 31 May 2016 it has been a legal requirement for all class A and B taxis to have an approved taximeter, fare program and printer fitted. This test costs £42.00 and is not included in the taxi vehicle licence fee, it can be booked before the taxi vehicle test.
If during the life of a licence you need to have your taximeter tested again because it has been changed, repaired or the seal damaged you can book a test at the link below.
Taximeter tests are being carried out temporarily at Airport Road West in Belfast, Lisburn, Ballygawley and within Campsie Industrial Estate in Londonderry.
For Airport Road West, choose Mallusk test centre when booking, for Campsie choose Newbuildings test centre.
- you will not be able to have a TVL test carried out unless you have successfully carried out your taximeter test - you should therefore make sure that you allow enough time to have your taximeter tested and sealed before your TVL test is due
- all taxis issued with a class A or B taxi licence must have a sealed taximeter - if you work without a sealed taximeter you are at risk of enforcement action including a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution
Getting your taxi plates and licence
Once you have successfully carried out the taxi vehicle test at the DVA test centre your TVL will be available to print from your DVA online account. Your roof plates or window labels will be printed and posted from DVA's Passenger Transport Licensing Division.