Skip to main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, how to get help, support your community, advice and grants for employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

  1. Home
  2. Business and licensing
  3. Apply or renew licences and permits
  4. Taxi and private hire licensing
  5. Driver licences

Driver licences

The most up to date source of information for keeping you and your passengers safe during Covid-19 is on

There are two types of driver licences:

Dual driver (hackney carriage)

  • Can drive both taxis and private hire vehicles
  • Need to pass a knowledge test

Private hire driver

  • Can only drive private hire vehicles 
  • Cannot accept any bookings unless they either are, or work for, a licensed private hire operator within the West Oxfordshire District Council area
  • Need to pass a knowledge test  

Apply to be a private hire or dual driver 

A new drivers' application costs £250, to apply you must:

  • Pass the knowledge test (see below)
  • Complete a medical examination (see below)
  • Complete a driver assessment test (see below)
  • Complete a Safeguarding Training course (see below to book your course)
  • Obtain a DVLA licence check reference number from GOV.UK
  • Complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (see below). These must be done every three years. It costs £54.69 which must be paid online at the time of submission to DBS.

Knowledge test

Contact us on 01993 861000 to book and pay for a knowledge test:

  • The knowledge test costs £75
  • You must take photo identification with you to the test (a passport or photocard driving licence)

The knowledge test is broken down into the following sections: 

For Dual Drivers (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire):

  1. Highway code – Based on the national rules for safe driving
  2. Numeracy – Simple calculations on time, distance and monetary values
  3. Policy questions – All questions are related to the Policy.  You should therefore ensure that you have read this document.
  4. Routes – Based on road names and numbers within the district and to major destinations i.e. hotels, schools, train stations and airports which will require knowledge of the major motorway network.
  5. Places of interest – Places within the district to include pubs, clubs, hotels, supermarkets, public buildings, train stations, museums, schools and some of the main road names.

 For Private Hire Drivers:

  1. Highway code - Based on the national rules for safe driving
  2. Numeracy - Simple calculations on time, distance and monetary values
  3. Policy questions - All questions are related to the Policy.  You should therefore ensure that you have read this document.

Each section has 20 questions. You must score at least 16/20 in each section and achieve a pass mark of 80% overall (Dual Drivers 80/100 and Private Hire Drivers 48/60).

Further information on the knowledge test requirements can be found in Annex 3 of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy:

You will get your result within five days of the test.

Medical examinations

A DVLA Group 2 (D4) Medical examination must be completed by your own General Practitioner (GP) or a medical practitioner that has access to your medical records. You will need to arrange this directly with a suitable GP or medical practice. Make sure that you state the purpose of your appointment when booking as not all GPs can complete the examination due to the vision assessment and therefore you may also need an appointment with an optician or optometrist.

Note that the Group 2 Medical Examination Report must be accompanied by the council’s Medical Declaration Form, which must be completed and signed by you and the GP at the time of the examination. Your medical report will not be accepted without a declaration form, if we do not receive this form you will have to return to your GP to complete this.

Driver Assessment

We have introduced a local driver assessment as an alternative to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) taxi and private hire test. Existing and new applicants can still take the DVSA taxi and private hire test if they wish.

The Local Driver Assessment is provided by a consortium of Approved Driving Instructors, takes two hours and has two stages:

  • Stage one: your driving performance is marked and you will be told where you need to improve
  • Stage two: your driving is re-assessed to see if there is an improvement.

Assessments are available during the day, evening and at weekends. To book please contact one of the assessors below:


Mobile number


Rory Colleton

07941 419797

Glenn Gannon


Philip Tristram

07815 135844

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

From 1 April 2018 all licence holders are required to sign up to the Online Update Service with the DBS so that the check remains active, this must be done within 30 days of the DBS certificate being issued. The certificate number used for your registration must then be provided to the licensing team to record on file.  If the licence holder fails to sign up to this service on renewal of their DBS (or issue for new applicants), the licence will be suspended. See the DBS website for further details.

Apply for a DBS check
  • Select: Disclosure and barring service (DBS) application
  • Enter the following details:
    • Organisation reference - COTSWOLD
    • Organisation Code – council
    • You will need to pay £54.69 online fee for an enhanced application

When you have completed and submitted the form, email your reference number to

To process your application, you must bring three forms of identification to the council offices to be checked by a member of reception. Applicants who hold a valid passport and drivers licence must present these as two of their three forms of ID. See the full list of ID that is allowed for a DBS check.

If you have any previous cautions or convictions, these will need to be determined by a Licensing Sub-Committee. Refer to our policy on convictions for more information.

Safeguarding and disability awareness training courses

All drivers are required to complete mandatory safeguarding and disability awareness training. This is required on application and must be renewed every three years. 

The training is delivered by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). The cost of the course is £50 and you will be sent an invoice once you have registered. You will be charged the full fee if you book the course and do not attend.

Book safeguarding training

After the training you will be given a certificate which you will need to provide to the licensing team (either email to or bring into reception to be scanned in for our records).

Submit your driver licence application

Return your completed application form, DBS reference number, medical certificate, DVLA reference number, assessment certificate, a passport photo, and fee by either emailing or sending to: Licencing, Environmental and Regulatory Services, Town Centre Shop, 3 Welch Way, Witney, OX28 6JH.

Applications must be submitted fully complete to be processed. Your application will be processed within five working days.

Renewing a licence

Renewal of a drivers licence costs £185

Make sure that you know your licence expiry date. Renewal documents will not be provided so as the licence holder it's your responsibility to:

  • download the application form from this page
  • make sure you return the form to Environmental and Regulatory Services (ERS) seven working days before the licence expires so we can process your renewal.

Return your completed renewal forms by either emailing or sending to: Licencing, Environmental and Regulatory Services, Town Centre Shop, 3 Welch Way, Witney, OX28 6JH.

Renewal fees can be paid over the phone by ringing 01993 861000.

If you allow your licence to expire you will need to submit a new application rather than a renewal, therefore the new application criteria will apply. 

Proof of right to work (Immigration Act 2016)

Applicants are required to prove that they have the right to work within the UK. We will call to book a 10 minute face to face interview to check your right to work in the UK. You will need to bring in original documents for this check:

This check is only needed once and, if you have the right to work, won't be required for future renewals. If you have a period of ‘leave’ we will need to check each time the licence is renewed. We will keep copies of the documents on file for audit purposes and for potential information sharing with the Home Office.

Additional application requirements for foreign nationals and people who have lived outside England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland

The council must be satisfied that you are a "fit and proper person". The DBS Criminal Record Check covers England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. The council needs to take account of any offences committed outside these countries. If you are a foreign national or are a person who has resided outside of England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland please read Section 1.1 of the Taxi and Private Hire Policy to make sure you understand what documents you must submit with your application.

Other driver fees

Type Fee
Knowledge Test  £75
Replacement driver badge   £28
Fee to convert from Private Hire to Dual Driver (excluding the Knowledge Test Fee) £53
Administration charge for any other requests      £25

 We will not refund any licences.