Setting up and running a taxi service

Taxi operator licensing

You must have been issued with a Taxi Operator Licence from the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA) to run a taxi service. This applies to sole traders, registered companies and partnerships, provided that the business is located in Northern Ireland.

All taxi drivers are required to either:

  • apply for a Taxi Operator Licence
  • work for a licensed taxi operator

There are two types of operator’s licence:

  • small operator - can only list up to two taxis on the licence
  • large operator - can operate any number of taxis as long as these are listed on the licence

A licensed operator will be required to meet a number of conditions in order to retain their licence.

Operating a taxi business without a licence is illegal.

You don’t need a taxi operator licence if you provide:

  • transport solely for weddings
  • courtesy transport as part of another business which is not a taxi business, eg a funeral undertaker