Licences and permits applications

Taxi and private hire licensing news

From 2 October 2023, new tax requirements will be implemented by the UK Government for applications for certain licences across Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

In Scotland this means that anyone applying for, or renewing a:

  • taxi driver licence
  • private hire car driver licence
  • booking office licence 

on or after 2 October 2023 will need to complete a tax check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) before applying for the licence.

You must also complete a tax check if you  are applying for:

  • the same type of licence you already hold with another licensing authority
  • the same type of licence you previously held, that stopped being valid less than a year ago

Applicants must do the check themselves and will receive a 9-character code which must be given to the licensing team along with a fully completed application form when attending the Licensing Hub for your face to face document checks. 

About the Tax check

Applicants must have their Government Gateway user ID and password to provide a tax check code, If you do not already have a Government Gateway account, you can sign up on GOV.UK

The tax check should only take a few minutes to complete and there is guidance on GOV.UK to help you complete the check.  Anyone who needs extra support will be able to complete the tax check by phone through HMRC’s customer helpline.

HMRC have produced a tax check factsheet which will help you understand what is required for new or renewal applications, and more information about your tax registration obligations can be found using the links below: 

Register for self assessment
Corporation Tax
Income Tax

For the avoidance of doubt, Edinburgh City Council do not receive any of your tax information, only confirmation that you have completed the relevant check

Face to face document checks

From 26 June 2023, we are reintroducing face to face document checks for all Taxi and Private Hire Driver applications. Document checks do not need to be booked, as anyone making an application should visit the Licensing Hub, 33 Murrayburn Road, EH14 2TF to have their documents checked, photograph taken and submit the application.  The licensing hub is open Monday to Thursday from 08.30 to 16.30 and 08.30 to 15.30 on Friday

We have produced a list of frequently asked questions about the face to face document checks which you may find useful 

Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022

On 28 June 2022, the Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022  takes effect in England, Scotland, and Wales.  It will amend the Equality Act 2010 to introduce new, and amend existing, duties for local authorities and taxi and private hire vehicle drivers and operators.  The 2022 Act aims to ensure that disabled people can use taxi and PHC services with confidence that they will not be discriminated against, and local authorities have an important role to play in ensuring the requirements are implemented effectively.

Lists of wheelchair accessible vehicles

From 28 June 2022, all licensing authorities must maintain and publish a list of licensed taxis and PHCs they designate as being wheelchair accessible.  This will identify the vehicles whose drivers are subject to the duties in section 165 on providing assistance to wheelchair users and refraining from charging extra for this.

The existing legislation requires drivers of designated wheelchair-accessible vehicles to accept the carriage of wheelchair users, provide them with reasonable mobility assistance, and refrain from charging them more than other passengers. From 28 June 2022, all taxi and PHC drivers and operators – regardless of whether the vehicle is wheelchair accessible – will be subject to duties under the Equality Act. The main changes are set out below.

Taxi and PHC drivers will be required to

  • accept the carriage of any disabled person, provide them with reasonable mobility assistance, and carry their mobility aids, all without charging any more than they would for a non-disabled passenger.
  • provide any disabled passenger who requests it assistance to identify the vehicle, at no extra charge.

PHC operators will be required to

  • accept bookings for or on behalf of any disabled person if they have a suitable vehicle available.

Disabled people should be able to travel by taxis and PHCs free from any fear of discriminatory treatment. The changes introduced through the 2022 Act will provide disabled passengers with the reassurance that they will receive appropriate assistance, wherever they travel and without being charged extra.

All Taxi vehicles licensed by the City of  Edinburgh Council are wheelchair accessible, as are a small number of PHCs.  Please use the links below to see the lists of licensed vehicles which are currently fully wheelchair accessible:

Download a list of wheelchair accessible Taxi licences