Setting up and running a taxi service

Taxi licensing

Each vehicle in your fleet (including stretched limousines) must be licensed by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) before you can use it as a taxi.

For a taxi to be licensed, it must be insured and pass a rigorous inspection and test arranged by DVA to ensure that it is roadworthy, safe and suitable for the proposed use. It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to ensure that the taxi is tested.

Applications for a taxi test are made by completing an application form at any DVA test centre.

Applications should be submitted at least six weeks before a certificate is due.

After a successful taxi vehicle test, all vehicles are issued with their licence and plates which must be displayed in accordance with conditions attached to the taxi licence.

Taxi licences are usually granted for up to a year. After this the vehicle owner will need to apply for renewal, and organise for the taxi to be tested again.

Even if you do not own the taxis in your fleet, you can be prosecuted if an unlicensed vehicle is used as a taxi so it is in your interests to ensure that each vehicle carries the appropriate plate or sign.