Private hire vehicle licensing

Private hire vehicles are licensed to perform pre-booked work only, which is obtained through a private hire operator. 

We will licence any vehicle manufactured or adapted to carry up to 8 passengers (excluding driver) provided it meets the criteria set in the policy.

Application forms and fees

All vehicles must be in a suitable mechanical condition, safe, comfortable and approved for licensing by the Licensing Authority to operate as a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle. All vehicle proprietors will therefore be required to book an MOT and compliance test on the following occasions:

  • New applications
  • The replacement of a vehicle
  • Twice a year during the licence period
  • At the request of the Licensing Authority where deemed necessary

All MOT tests and compliance checks shall be carried out at Scarborough Borough Council’s garage, Dean Road, Depot, Dean Road, Scarborough, YO12 7QS. Please use this link to make an appointment www.scarborough.gov.uk/taxilicensing

See the Vehicle Compliance Testing Handbook for further information.

Vehicle specification

On a new application, the vehicle must be less than 4 years old from the date of first registration.

The maximum age of a vehicle that may continue to be licensed is 8 years from the date of first registration.

When the licensed vehicle reaches 8 years, it shall be permitted to remain licensed until the licence expires provided it continues to be mechanically sound and passes the vehicle licensing inspection.

Wheelchair accessible vehicles must be less than 5 years old from the date of first registration. These vehicles may continue to be licensed until 10 years from the date of first registration. When the licensed vehicle reaches 10 years from the date of first registration, it shall be permitted to remain licensed until the licence expires provided it continues to be mechanically sound and passes the vehicle licensing inspection.

Private hire vehicles may be any colour other than white but must not resemble a London type hackney carriage.

Further information can found in the taxi and private hire policy.

Application procedure

An application can take up to 5 working days to process from receipt of a valid application. 

Licences are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. 

There are 2 stages to the application process:

Stage 1

Once your vehicle has undergone and passed the Scarborough Borough Council MOT and Compliance test, please send us the following:

  • Application form
  • Vehicle registration document (copy)
  • Current insurance certificate (copy)
  • Proof of ownership of vehicle (copy)
  • Appropriate fee 

Please send all applications to:

Licensing Authority, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2HG

We advise that you post  your documents to us, however documents can be hand delivered to the Customer First Centre on St Nicholas Street, Scarborough. 

Stage 2

Once your application has been validated and processed, we will contact you with a date and time to collect your licence and vehicle plates. If you are unable to collect your licence and plates, we will post them to you.

Replacing your vehicle

The process is the same as applying for a new vehicle licence however the application ask you to state if you are applying for a new or a replacement vehicle.  The fee for a replacement vehicle application can be found in the fees list. 

Your old plate must be returned to us at your inspection.

Change of details

You must tell us in writing within 7 days of any change of operator.

Changing your vehicle registration number

If you are changing the registration number of your vehicle you must complete an application. This must be returned with a fee and the following information before a new plate and licence can be issued.

  • V5 registration document
  • V948 number plate authorisation certificate
  • current private hire vehicle licence
  • private hire vehicle Plate
  • insurance certificate showing the new registration