Hackney Carriage Vehicle Licence

Cheshire East Council is responsible for the licensing of hackney carriage vehicles which work and operate in the Cheshire East borough. licensed vehicles will display white plates on the front and rear of the vehicle and must be driven by a Cheshire East Council licensed driver at all times, whether or not the vehicle is working. A hackney carriage can:

  • Park on an authorised taxi rank within Cheshire East
  • Be booked for hire or be hailed by prospective passengers within the boundaries of Cheshire East Council

Cheshire East is split into three zones, these zones correspond to the areas of the former authorities and each have their own set fares that are set by the council.

Hackney carriage effective zoning

The effect of zoning is to continue the licensing arrangements for hackney carriages which the three former authorities had in place before Cheshire East came into being on 1 April 2009 including existing tariffs and byelaws. This also includes some hackney carriage vehicle conditions (PDF, 277KB).

It means that a hackney carriage licensed in one of the zones is not allowed by law to ply for hire, including standing on ranks, in either of the other zones.

All private hire licences granted or renewed on or after 1 April 2009 will be subject to conditions common across the whole of the Cheshire East and are not subject to hackney carriage zoning.

Guidance for a hackney carriage vehicle licence application

How to apply

If it is your intention to apply for a hackney carriage vehicle licence please submit your application and required documentation by email. Once submitted please call our customer contact centre on 0300 123 5015 to pay the required fee and book a vehicle inspection.

Alternatively, you can post your application to the Licensing Team. Please do not send official documents unless requested by an officer, copies of these documents will be accepted providing information is not missing and is clear. Once posted please call 0300 123 5015 to make payment and book your test.

Documents required to apply

The following documents are required when making application for hackney carriage vehicle licence. If you do not submit the required information your application will be rejected.

  • If you do not hold a current Cheshire East Joint Drivers Licence, you must obtain a basic criminal record disclosure by applying online using the Disclosure and Barring Service website. If you need further assistance please contact the Disclosure and Barring Service on 0300 020 0190.

    We can only accept the originals of your qualification and criminal record disclosure. We cannot accept copies.

If you hold a licence with grandfather rights and you would like to use that licence for a new vehicle, please ensure you tick for first grant application. Please state the existing licence number on the application.

  • Completed hackney carriage vehicle application (MS Word, 67KB) - you must ensure all relevant sections are fully completed
  • If your vehicle has been modified we will require a Voluntary IVA Certificate. It is your responsibility to ensure you are providing the licensing authority with the correct information. To obtain the certificate please contact the DVSA on 0300 123 9000 or visit: www.gov.uk. The Licensing Authority requires that the normal level of check is undertaken.
  • The current insurance certificate/cover note in the name of the applicant showing public/private hire use. If your insurance certificate refers to a schedule of vehicles insured under the policy you must supply this with your application.
  • The Full V5 Document or the new keeper supplement together with a document as proof of sale of the vehicle and change of proprietorship. If you are not able to provide this information your application will be rejected. On a case by case basis we may consider other information such as:
    • a legal agreement between the parties or a statutory declaration changing the proprietorship
    • bank statements confirming payment between the parties for the sale amount
  • Renewals only – If your annual insurance policy is due to expire after you have submitted your application and prior to your vehicle test date, you must supply your new insurance certificate before we can issue a licence.

Application evaluation process-vehicle testing

Wherever you decide to make your application, your vehicle must be tested at the relevant test centre which will be either:

  • Environmental Hub (ANSA), Cledford Lane, Middlewich, CW10 0JR or
  • Macclesfield MOT Testing Station, Unit 6 Pool Street, Macclesfield, SK11 7NX

The testing centre will test your vehicle against the Council's Taxi Licensing  Policy

At current, rules have been implemented at our testing stations for your safety and the safety of our testers. These new rules can be found below:

If you are required to change the date of your vehicle test or need to cancel the test call 0300 123 5015. You must give more then 2 working days notice otherwise you may be charged again.

MoT exemption

When your vehicle has met the test criteria, the licence granted will exempt the vehicle from requiring a standard MoT. You can tax your vehicle at the Post Office by completing a V112 Declaration of exemption form, you must do this in person.

You must carry your vehicle licence with you in the vehicle that it relates to as proof of MoT.

Vehicle fees

  • Hackney carriage vehicle application - £340.00 annual fee, this includes the fee for one vehicle test
  • Hackney carriage vehicle test - £85.00
  • Hackney carriage vehicle retest - £50.00

Tariff cards and By-Laws

Congleton – Zone 1 (blue triangle)

Congleton zone covers the towns of Congleton, Alsager, Sandbach, Holmes Chapel and Middlewich.

Crewe and Nantwich – Zone 2 (red triangle)

Crewe and Nantwich zone covers the towns of Crewe, Nantwich, Audlem, Willaston, Wistaston and Shavington.

Macclesfield – Zone 3 (gold triangle)

Macclesfield zone covers the towns of Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Knutsford and Poynton.

Vehicle licence plate transfer

If you have transferred a vehicle to a new proprietor please notify us using the Vehicle Licence Transfer Form (MS Word, 68KB) within 14 days.

The new vehicle owner must provide the following information:

  • a hackney carriage vehicle application form
  • Vehicle Licence Transfer Form (MS Word, 68KB) signed by the previous owner
  • a valid certificate of insurance
  • the V5 document or a document as proof of sale of the vehicle and change of proprietorship
  • the fee of £50.00 paid on 0300 123 5015

These documents can be submitted by email or by post. Please do not send original documentation unless requested by an officer. If you are not able to provide this information your application will be rejected. On a case by case basis we may consider other information such as:

  • a legal agreement between the parties or a statutory declaration changing the proprietorship
  • bank statements confirming payment between the parties for the sale amount

If the Council is of the opinion that the person to whom the licence has been transferred is not a suitable person to hold the licence, it may suspend, revoke or review the licence, provided there is reasonable cause to do so.

The Council considers that the proprietor of the vehicle is the owner, registered keeper or a person who has possession of the vehicle as part of a hire agreement or hire purchase agreement. 

Change of vehicle registration

If the registration number of your vehicle has changed you will need to complete a Change of licensed vehicle registration form (PDF, 285KB) and submit it with the valid corresponding documentation by email or post. Please do not send original documentation unless requested to by an officer. The fee for this is £45.00 and can be paid on 0300 123 5015.

Vehicle licence plate surrender

If you wish to surrender a vehicle licence, you must complete the Surrender Form (MS Word, 65KB) and return it with your paper licence, plates and stickers.

The surrender of a licence is free of charge.

Vehicle inspections

Licensing Authority Officers do inspect vehicles and will take into consideration the DVSA’s Categorisation of vehicle defects when deciding what action is appropriate. Officers have a range of options, including; issuing a verbal or written warning, issuing a deferred notice, or suspending the licence. This guidance is available at gov.uk

Contact us

Contact Licensing


Call our Licensing Customer Service Team on 0300 123 5015 during office hours, 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, if you're unable to use our forms.

Licensing Team
Cheshire East Council

Regulatory Services and Health C/O
Delamere House, Delamere Street


Page last reviewed: 15 November 2022