Taxi Licensing

Taxi and private hire car (PHC) licensing

You will need a licence to drive or operate a Taxi or Private Hire Car (PHC) in Shetland. You may also need a licence if you take bookings for Taxis or PHCs. All these activities are licensed under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 in order to:

  1. Protect the public
  2. Prevent crime

All taxi and private hire licences are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974). You must therefore declare all convictions no matter when or where the offence took place. All applications are sent to Police Scotland for background checks to be made.


COVID-19 Press Release - Taxis and Private Hire Cars

2nd April 2020

During the current coronavirus pandemic, passengers in local taxis and public hire vehicles should expect to be asked if their journey is essential.

The UK Government has ordered many businesses and venues to close, with certain exceptions. Travel to work is allowed, but only where individuals cannot work from home.

Taxis and private hire vehicles can continue to work, to provide transport for workers who cannot work from home, and for those in critical services, such as healthcare, key public services and utilities.

The advice is clear: everyone should stay at home, and only go outside for food, health reasons or work - only if you cannot work from home.

Advice on staying at home an away from others is provided by the UK Government.

COVID-19 Update to Application Processes

The Council’s Transport Planning Team at 8 North Ness are all working from home until further notice. Meetings of the Licensing Committee have been cancelled for an indefinite period.

Queries regarding Taxi/Private Hire Car Applications should be by phone (01595 744868) or email (transport@shetland.gov.uk).

 

Taxi/PHC Driver renewals/grants

  • Submit your application and all supporting documents including Home Office check documents

By post: Transport Planning, 8 North Ness, Lerwick, ZE10LZ

By Email: transport@shetland.gov.uk

Taxi/PHC Vehicle renewals

  • Photographs must be posted, and clearly marked who they are, what they are for, and include a contact phone number.
  • The £90 fee can be paid by cheque, or we can phone you to take card payment on receipt of your application.
  • Do not send cash through the post.
  • Submit your application and all supporting documents

By post: Transport Planning, 8 North Ness, Lerwick, ZE10LZ

By email: transport@shetland.gov.uk

  • The £137 fee can be paid by cheque, or we can phone you to take card payment on receipt of your application.
  • Do not send cash through the post.

You can find health advice about Coronavirus at NHS Inform

You can find business information and support at Business Gateway and Visit Scotland


Taxi and Private Hire Car (PHC) Driver Licences

To be eligible for a licence to drive a Taxi or PHC in Shetland you must have had the right to drive in the UK for the 12 months immediately before the date of your application. You must also have the right to work in the UK. Along with the application form, you will need the following:

  • DVLA photocard licence
  • 2 passport photographs
  • The appropriate fee

Under the Immigration Act 2016, if you have not previously demonstrated to the Transport Planning Service that you have the right to work in the UK, you will need to make an appointment to evidence your right. Details of how to do this will be included with your application form. This Licence is usually granted for 3 years.

Taxi and Private Hire Car (PHC) Vehicle Licences

This licence is also known as an ‘Operator Licence’ as the licensee is responsible for the safe and legal operation of the vehicle. To be eligible for this licence, the vehicle must have a minimum of 4 doors and a maximum of 8 passenger seats. There are also restrictions on the age and type of vehicles which can be licensed**. This licence is granted for 1 year. Along with the application form you will need the following:

  • A current MOT certificate is required for all vehicles over 1 year old
  • Shetland Island Council Taxi / PHC inspection certificate*
  • A current insurance certificate – this must clearly cover “Hire and Reward”
  • Correct V5C registration document
  • The appropriate fee

*This inspection is different to an MOT. You should make an inspection appointment with the Council garage at Gremista, Lerwick, Tel. 01595 744133. The inspection incurs a standard hourly rate charge. **You are advised to contact the garage if you have vehicle suitability questions.

Taxi and Private Hire Car (PHC) Booking Office Licences

If you take bookings for 4 or more vehicles, you must obtain a Booking Office Licence. You will need to provide details of your premises and the nature of your business, together with evidence of relevant insurances, licences and permissions. This licence is granted for 3 years.