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Hackney carriage (Taxi)

Hackney carriage (Taxi)

A ‘hackney carriage’ is more commonly called a taxi. It is the responsibility of the council to regulate the number of hackney carriages it licences.

This licence is required for any chauffeur-driven hire vehicle that will ply for hire, be flagged down or hired at a taxi rank. Once licensed a taxi is always a taxi until the licence expires. These vehicles have a roof sign and display a plate on the rear of the vehicle.

Before a vehicle is licensed it must pass an MOT and garage test to ensure its safety. We issue licences for taxis and ensure that the vehicles are suitable and adequately insured to ensure high standards of safety.

See our policy on working outside of the West Lindsey area in the Download section.

Also, the licence is issued subject to the following conditions:

Identification Plates

The identification plate shall remain the property of the council at all times and shall be affixed to the exterior rear of the vehicle and shall be maintained and kept in such condition that the information printed on the plate is clearly visible to the public at all times.

Maintenance of Vehicle

The vehicle and all its fittings and equipment shall at all times when the vehicle is in use or available for hire be kept in an efficient, safe, tidy and clean condition and all relevant statutory requirements (including in particular those contained in Motor Vehicles Construction and Use Regulations) shall be fully complied with.

Alteration of Vehicle

No material alteration or change in the specification, design, condition or appearance of the vehicle shall be made without the approval of the council at any time while the licence is in force.


The proprietor of a hackney carriage shall not convey or permit to be conveyed in a licensed vehicle any greater number of persons than that prescribed on the licence issued by the council and on the licence plate affixed to the rear of the vehicle. The driver shall not allow there to be conveyed in the front of a hackney carriage any child below the age of 10 years, or more than one person above that age. The driver shall not without the consent of the hirer of a vehicle convey or permit to be conveyed any other person in that vehicle.

Safety Equipment:

Luggage Rack

A roof rack may be used only when excess luggage is to be carried. A suitable rack must be fitted in estate type vehicles to prevent luggage entering the passenger compartment should the vehicle stop suddenly.

Fire Extinguisher

There shall be provided and maintained at all times when in use as a hackney carriage a suitable and efficient aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) fire extinguisher (1.6 or 2 litre) to meet BSEN 31996 (BS 5423) which shall be securely fixed to the vehicle and to be readily visible and available for immediate use in an emergency.

Communications Equipment:

Two Way Radios

The proprietor shall ensure that any radio equipment fitted to the vehicle is at all times kept in a safe and sound condition and maintained in proper working order.

Mobile Telephones

Mobile telephones may only be used with a hands-free kit. Ideally this kit should be a hard wired, professionally fitted facility within the vehicle.


The proprietor shall ensure the vehicle is fitted with a taximeter approved by the council, and that meter shall be maintained in a sound mechanical condition at all times. The taximeter shall be set for the current tariff agreed by the council and shall be sealed to prevent unauthorised adjustment of that meter. The proprietor shall ensure the “For Hire ” sign or other illuminated sign is extinguished when the fare commences, and the taximeter brought into operation.

Fare Tables

The proprietor shall ensure that a copy of the current fare table supplied by the council is on display inside the hackney carriage at all times and that table is not concealed from view or rendered illegible when the vehicle is for hire.

Vehicle Insurance

At all times during the currency of the licence, the proprietor shall keep in force in relation to the use of the vehicle as a hackney carriage a policy of insurance complying with the requirements of Part V1 of the Road Traffic Act 1984. The proprietor shall produce to the council a new Certificate of Insurance or cover note within 7 days of the expiry of every Certificate of Insurance or cover note prior to renewal date. The proprietor shall ensure that a valid certificate of insurance in respect of the licensed vehicle is displayed at all times in that vehicle.


The proprietor shall within seven days disclose to the council in writing details of any conviction imposed on him (or, if the proprietor is a company or partnership, on any of the directors or partners) during the period of the insurance.

Change of Address

Any proprietor changing his place of abode must give notice in writing to the council within seven days of such change.


A licence in respect of which the fee has been paid by cheque shall not be effective until the cheque has been cleared.

Contact Details

You can download a copy of the form to apply for a hackney carriage licence (or renewal) from the ‘Downloads’ tab above. You can then print it off, fill it in and return it with the appropriate fee to the address shown at the bottom of the form.

To see the current fee for this licence visit our Business Licence Fees page. For further information contact the Licensing Team via the information in the ‘Contacts’ tab above.

Licensing registers are available to view by prior arrangement at the Council Offices.


West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall, Marshall's Yard
DN21 2NA

Email:  licensing.2003@west-lindsey.gov.uk

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