Apply For An Operators Licence
PCO Operators Licence
If you want to take bookings or supply drivers for hire then you will need a PCO Operators Licence, this could be a minicab office on the high street or even if you are offering a one-man chauffeur service, either way you need to be licensed.
Types of licence – Small & Standard
There are two types of operator’s licence and you need to decide which best fits you:
- ‘small’ operator’s licence – These may only have a maximum of two private hire vehicles available for use at any one time.
- ‘standard’ operator’s licence – You can have any number of private hire vehicles on a ‘standard’ licence.
Once you’ve decided which best describes you and have got your licence there is no way you change change it without going through the entire application process so think of what your plans are for the future (next 5 years) and whether you are thinking of expanding your business. This only difference in these applications are the price, with a ‘standard’ licence costing basically doubles what a ‘small’ licence costs.
Fit and Proper Person
All applicants must show they are a ‘fit and proper’ person by completing the PHV 103 Personal Declaration Form (download link) where you show that you have complied with other legal requirements connected with running a business. The form will ask you about any previous criminal convictions, if you have ever been declared bankrupt, etc, but please ensure you fill the form in correctly as also false information could lead to the removal of your licence and legal proceedings against you.
Premises & Planning Permission
Before you apply for a licence, you must have:
- At least one ‘operating centre’ in London. This is the premises where you will take bookings. Your operating centre could be an office, a unit in the high street or your home address. For addresses outside Greater London, you must obtain a licence from the local council.
- Proof of planning permission or a certificate of lawful use for your proposed premises from your local authority. Where planning permission isn’t required, you must provide written confirmation (email or letter) from the local authority. The document must be clearly linked to the address of the proposed premises. Any breach of planning legislation could lead your council to take enforcement action against you.
- If the operating centre’s primary use is for another business, you’ll need to provide further information about the operating centre.
- A fixed landline telephone number for bookings. A licence cannot be issued without this.
How much does the PCO Operators Licence Cost?
The total cost of the licence depends of which type you apply for with the ‘Standard’ costing twice as much as the ‘Small’ licence. The following fees are correct as of March 2015.
Small Operators Licence (valid 5 years)
- Licence Application Fee = £703
- Grant of Licence Fee = £650
- Total = £1,488
Standard Operators Licence (valid 5 years)
- Licence Application Fee = £838
- Grant of Licence Fee = £1,988
- Total = £2,826
Variation application fees
- Adding a new centre = £300
- Removing a centre = £50
- Moving from an existing centre to a new centre = £300
The PCO advise all applicants to send your money as a single payment with your form as this will help speed things up.
They aim to process applications for new licences within six to eight weeks of receipt and the grant of licence fee must be paid within 28 days of your application being approved.
You must pay the licence variation application fee at the same time as you apply for a variation to your licence. Please note that the application fee in both instances is non-refundable so if your operators licence application is rejected then you will only receive the grant of licence fee back.
How do I apply for an Operators Licence?
Once you have read the guidance notes and believe that you can meet all of the required criteria, you can request an application pack.
You will be asked to provide some personal details in order to be issued the correct application pack.
Alternatively, please call us on 0343 222 4444 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application pack.
An application pack contains the following items:
- A covering letter with details about the application process
- A PHV/101 application form;
- A PHV/103 personal declaration form; and
- A PHV/108 operating centre information form
To submit an application, it must contain
- completed PHV/101 application form
- A PHV/103 personal declaration form completed for each individual associated with the application
- A PHV/108 operating centre form completed for every operating centre
- The correct fee (payable by credit or debit card)
- Evidence of planning permission for every proposed operating centre(s)