You need a Taxi Operator Licence to run a taxi service in Northern Ireland. Your application will involve a number of key checks on your business and background.
You can apply to the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) for a one, three or five year licence.
Applications may take up to eight weeks to process, so you should apply in plenty of time before the licence is required.
DVA will only grant your licence if they consider you to be a ‘fit and proper’ person to run a taxi business.
To help them make this assessment you must disclose any unspent convictions, bankruptcy proceedings or disqualifications from acting as a company director or manager on a personal declaration form.
To support your application you will need to provide the following:
- proof of your identity and the right to live and work in the UK for every person listed on the application - see our guide on ensuring your workers are eligible to work in the UK
- planning permission details for your operating premises, where applicable - see the page in this guide on taxi operating centres
- certificate of VAT Registration or HMRC Self Assessment Return
- your Ofcom licence number if you intend to communicate with drivers by two-way radio or use a computerised despatch system - find out more about radiocommunications licences on the Ofcom website
- where the public has access to your operating centre, evidence of public liability insurance (at least £5 million) - see the factsheet on public liability insurance in our guide on liability insurance
- evidence of employer’s liability insurance if you have employees - see the factsheet on employer's liability insurance in our guide on liability insurance
- an application fee of £140
You will also need an AccessNI Basic or Enhanced Disclosure Certificate (issued within the last three months) for every person listed on the application (unless a taxi driver’s licence has been obtained for that person in the previous three months). For more information about Access NI checks see our guide on criminal records checks.
Completed applications forms should be returned to the DVA’s Taxi Operator Licensing Section in Belfast.
If your application is successful you have 28 days to complete a grant of licence form, giving details of all vehicles and drivers. You must also enclose the appropriate fee for the grant of the licence - see the factsheet in this guide on grant of licence fees.