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Requirements For PCO Licence

We advise all applicants that before you consider sending off your ​PCO Licence Application you should check if you meet the basic requirements set out by the PCO who are the department which administer the licensing of taxis and minicab in London. These requirements are in place to ensure that all drivers provide not only a professional service but also so that the public are in safe hands when entering into a private hire vehicle in London.

If you do not meet all these requirements then we can help to address areas of concern. In certain circusmstances if there is a major drawback to your application we will advise not completing an application and sending all the fees as you will be refused immediately and lose money. Please note that in addition to the requirements listed below all applicants must be able to speak, read and understand English so that they are able to serve the diverse population of London and its many visitors. Please note: if we feel your application is going to be refused we encourage all applicants to make their own enquiries with the PCO.​


To be a licensed driver you must be at least 21 years of age and there are no exceptions to this rule. There is no upper age limit though, provided you meet the other licensing requirements, so you can look forward to a long career in the private hire business.


​To ensure that the drivers are safe, honest and trustworthy you will have to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure Check ​​​​​from the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) before being licensed. Having a record won’t necessarily prevent you from being licenced as it depends on what type of offence it was and how long ago it was. The PCO will also look at your driving licence to see if you have any driving convictions but again this won’t necessarily discount you from the application process. If you have a criminal record(s) please feel free to contact TfL on 0343 222 4444 and discuss your options.

Medical Fitness

Private hire drivers are professional drivers carrying passengers for hire and reward and so the PCO requires that you will need to have a similar ​medical check-up to those required for drivers of large goods vehicles, buses and coaches. These standards are based upon DVLA Group 2 you will need to book an appointment with your GP for this examination.

It is difficult to cover all possibilities, but certain conditions such as epilepsy, poor eyesight, insulin treated diabetes and serious heart problems could result in an application being refused. If possible make this section your priority as soon as you get your application form as an underlying condition could mean there is no point continuing with the application process.

Route Finding Skills (Topographical Test)

qYou won’t need the same knowledge and skills as a taxi driver because private hire journeys are pre-booked so journeys can be planned but you will still need to demonstrate skills which allow you to plan a journey including map reading and route selection.You will have to provide evidence of your ​topographical skills from an accredited Topographical Test Centre (we provide full training and testing for £50) . We are officially accredited by the PCO to carry out the training and testing and also issue recognised certificates which have to be presented to the PCO along with your application forms.

Driving Ability

​​All applicants must have a full UK or European Economic Area (EEA) driving licence. In order to be issued a PHV driver‟s licence, the applicant must have held this licence for a minimum of three years (for UK licences, this includes the 2 year probationary period). All UK driving licences must be accompanied by a valid photocard and counterpart.

All non-UK licence holders will still be required to provide a copy of their EC/EEA driving licence with their application.

The full list of EC/EEA states is:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.