Prior to applying for a licence, we strongly recommend that all applicants refer to the relevant legislation, conditions and policies adopted by Chichester District Council (the 'council'). Please see  for further details.

 

Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 76 (the 'Act'), any booking for a private hire vehicle must be made through a licensed private hire operator. A private hire driver is not permitted to take bookings directly from a passenger. Essentially, the passenger is entering into a contract with the private hire operator, who in turn makes a record of the booking and dispatches a licensed driver and vehicle to satisfy that booking. The operator is responsible for the booking once made.

The following provides information regarding what requirements a private hire operator needs to adhere to, as well as, how to apply for such a permission.

Bookings

In order to satisfy a booking, an operator is only permitted to dispatch drivers and vehicles licensed by the same local authority as themselves i.e. An operator licensed by Chichester District Council (CDC) can only despatch a CDC licensed driver and vehicle. This does not prevent bookings being taken for journeys that start and/or finish outside of the Local Authority's area.

Operators are required to keep records of all their bookings in a format and level of detail determined by the council. This may include paper logs or computer records.

Fares should be agreed in advance at the time of booking, provided detailed journey information is given.

Operators may sub-contract work to another licensed operator.  However the original Operator will remain responsible for that booking in spite of sub-contracting it. They must also keep a record of each sub contracted booking.

Operator's base & planning permission

Any prospective operator will need to apply to the Authority where their base is to be situated and the majority of the work will occur. The operator's base must be where bookings are taken and records can be inspected. This can range from a commercial office to a domestic premises.

Please ensure that the appropriate planning consent is in place before an application is submitted as any breach of the planning legislation may result in the Planning Department taking enforcement action. If a residential property is used and the applicant wishes to nominate it as the operating base, then it is strongly advised that they also obtain written confirmation from the landlord or letting agent, consenting to use of the property for such a purpose.

Application - form 

Before applying for a licence it is strongly recommended that applicants refer to the relevant legislation, as well as, the conditions and policies adopted by Chichester District Council. Please ensure that the application is made in the name of the correct person or organisation. There are essentially 3 options:

  1. If the applicant is the sole owner of the private hire operation, they should apply for a licence as an individual. Please note that adopting a trading name does not in itself qualify as a company.
  2. If the applicant is a company, the company will be registered with Companies House and will have a company number.
  3. If the applicant is not a registered company or sole owner, but are trading with a number of people in a partnership, then the application should be made in the name of the un-registered firm or partnership (this could simply be the trading name).

Information regarding fees associated with an application for a private hire operator's licence can be found on the web page, .

If you wish to discuss applying for an operator's licence, please contact the Licensing Team.

Application - criminal records check

Anyone named within an application is required to provide certain information regarding a number of matters in order for this Authority to be satisfied that they are 'fit and proper' to be operating a private hire business. This includes providing details regarding employment, financial and criminal convictions history. This Authority also reserves the right to request a criminal records check to be undertaken of any person(s) making such an application, if it is felt necessary to do so.

Immigration check - right to work in the UK

An immigration check is a requirement for an application for a Private Hire Operator Licence, except in the case of a Limited Company.

The Immigration Act 2016 requires us to undertake a face-to-face immigration check in relation to all applicants to ensure the person has the right to work in the UK. Without satisfactory evidence of this right to work in the UK, we would be unable to issue a Private Hire Operator's Licence.

In order to satisfy this requirement, certain documents need to be provided when an application is submitted, please see the available document: 

Under certain circumstances where the immigration status of an applicant is not obvious the applicant's right to work in the UK will be checked and information shared with the Home Office. If there are restrictions on the length of time an applicant may work in the UK, a licence will only be issued for this period. In such circumstances, evidence of a change of circumstance would need to be provided or a further check undertaken prior to any additional licence being granted. If, whilst holding a licence, a person is disqualified from holding a licence because they have not complied with the UK's immigration laws, their licence would lapse and it must be returned to this Licensing Authority. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

Further information can be obtained from the UK Border Agency , or Immigration advice  site. 

Renewal

A Private Hire Operator's Licence is issued for either 1 or 5 years. A reminder is sent out to the Operator approximately 6 weeks prior to the expiry date of the existing licence.