Private hire vehicle licence

COVID-19: Changes to Licensing services

Support and guidance for taxi and private hire vehicle businesses

We are asking customers to only submit essential applications. You should expect most applications to take longer than normal to process. See our Taxi Guidance Covid-19 (PDF, 146KB) for more information on how to apply for a licence.

A private hire vehicle must be pre-booked with a licensed private hire operator and cannot stand on a rank or ply for hire. Fares are not regulated and should be agreed at the time of booking.

Vehicles must also:

  • display yellow plates on the front and rear of the vehicle giving details of the operator and licence number.
  • be driven by a Cheshire East licensed driver at all times, whether or not the vehicle is working.


Please note that a vehicle licence is issued to the vehicle and cannot be transferred from one vehicle to another. 

  • Cheshire East Private Hire Vehicle Application Form (MS Word, 154KB)
  • Cheshire East Private Hire Vehicle Conditions (PDF, 85KB)
  • If your vehicle has been modified we will require a Voluntary IVA Certificate before you submit the application to licence your vehicle. 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: for iva application form 
    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 private hire use. If your insurance certificate refers to a schedule of vehicles insured under the policy you must supply this with your application.
  • Renewals only – If your annual insurance policy is due to expire after you have submitted your application and prior to your MOT date, you must supply your new insurance certificate before we can issue a licence.
  • 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

Issuing of plates

If your application is for a first grant or when renewing and your vehicle test date is after the date of expiry, we will contact you within three working days to advise if the licence has been granted and where it can be collected from.

Please note the above timescales are subject to change during busier periods.

Vehicle fees

  • Private Hire Vehicle - £315.00 annual fee
  • Transfer of licensed vehicle from one person to another - One off fee of £40.00
  • Private Hire vehicle - £80.00
  • Private Hire vehicle retest - £40.00

Operator Fees

  • Private Hire Operators Licence - £350 (5 years)

New Check and Send Service

A new Check and Send Service will be available for Joint Driver and Vehicle applications from the 18 September 2017. The purpose of this service is:

  • to check all sections of an application are filled out
  • to make sure that all supporting documents (including photos) are submitted with the correct applications
  • to check the correct fee has been paid
  • to provide information on the application processes

Each applicant who does not accept the service needs to be aware this could cause a delay in processing their application if the correct information is not submitted.

Using the check and send service may be faster than submitting an application yourself however using the Check and Send service does not guarantee you will be granted a licence. 

The fee for this service is £10.00 and is available at the Customer Service Centres.

Application evaluation process - vehicle testing

Where ever you decide to make your application then you must have your vehicle tested at either Macclesfield or Middlewich, the test includes MOT  exemption.

  • 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 a set of Private Hire Vehicle Test Guidelines (PDF, 134KB) as set out by the licensing team.

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

MOT  exemption

If you have a current private hire or hackney carriage vehicle licence from Cheshire East Borough Council, your vehicle may be exempt from an MOT .  This will apply to all vehicles licensed and tested by either the Macclesfield MOT Testing Station or those tested at Pochin's Yard, Middlewich. To enable you to tax your vehicle at the Post Office without the MOT certificate you need to complete a V112 Declaration of exemption MOT testing form. Please note that you cannot tax your vehicle online.

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

Vehicles that need to be licensed but don't need to display plates

To apply for exemption on your private hire vehicle you must use the same private hire vehicle application form but tick where applicable to say that you are applying for exemption, you will be required to produce a business case which must be submitted along with the application form.

Vehicles exempt from licensing

Vehicles used solely for weddings and funerals remain exempt from licensing. Any vehicle proprietor or operator who is in any doubt about whether vehicles need to be licensed should discuss this with the licensing service and, if necessary, seek independent legal advice.

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 complete the following information:

  • a private hire vehicle application form
  • 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 £40.00

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 licenced vehicle registration form (PDF, 285KB) and submit it with the valid corresponding documentation in person at one of our contact centres. The fee for this is:

  • Private Hire Vehicle £45.00
  • Private Hire Exempt Vehicle £25.00

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 vehicle licence plates 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. 

Contact us

0300 123 5015

Cheshire East Council
Municipal Buildings
Earle Street


Call in to our Customer Service Centres

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