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Taxi driver's licence

If you intend to operate a taxi or private hire car in North Ayrshire, you will need a taxi driver's licence. This means a licence is required for the vehicle and for each driver employed to drive the taxi.

To be eligible for a taxi driver's licence you must:

  • be a fit and proper person to hold such a licence
  • have held a full driving licence for at least 12 months immediately prior to the date of application
  • be medically fit
  • prove you have a 'right to work in the U.K.' Important information (PDF, 92kb).

How to apply

You will need:

There are 2 different classes of driver licences:

  • to drive a taxi
  • to drive a private hire car

Our Taxi Driver's application form (Word, 299kb) is used for both. Completed forms should be returned to us along with the appropriate fee.

If you're renewing your licence, you can continue to operate as a taxi driver past your licence expiry date, as long as you have applied for a renewal prior to the date of expiry. You have 28 days after expiry to provide proof of a 'right to work in the U.K.'


  • 3 year licence: £199
  • 1 year licence: £85

Fees can be paid by: cash, cheque, debit or credit card. Cheques made payable to 'North Ayrshire Council'. Please note: If your applications is refused or granted for a shorter period than you applied, the fee will not be refunded or reduced.

What happens next?

When we have received your application and fee:

  • we will inform Police Scotland 
  • your application will be advertised on this website to allow members of the public to make any objections or representations

If there are no objections or representations, the application can be granted under 'delegated powers'. This means that the decision to grant the Licence is made by an officer with delegated powers.

If there is any adverse comment, the application must be referred to a Hearing of the Licensing Committee. You will be told about the Hearing and will be able to make representations in favour of your application.

Licence conditions

Following the Licensing Committee of 16 March 2016 Condition 4 of the Taxi Driver's Licence was amended. The licence is granted subject to the following conditions (PDF, 241kb). In some cases the council may apply special conditions.

Conditions will be set out in the licence document you will be given. If these are broken, the licence holder can be charged by Police Scotland and the Licensing Committee can suspend the licence after a hearing. You will be invited to such a hearing and will be able to speak to the committee.

Difference between taxis and private hire cars


  • has a roof sign
  • blue and white plates
  • taxis must have meter which is set to the maximum fare scale, agreed by North Ayrshire Council
  • only a taxi can pick up passengers in a public place, it can wait in a taxi rank or be hailed in the street

Private hire car

  • no roof sign 
  • green and yellow plates and door crests
  • can only be used for hire by private arrangement - it is a criminal offence for a private hire car to pick up a passenger in a public place unless it has been previously hired to do so. 

Please note: We follow National Fraud Initiative guidelines to protect against fraud.

Contact Licensing




01294 324305

Please note: this telephone line is not currently in use however, Licensing staff are able to phone customers who request a call. Requests can be made either via the Contact Centre (01294 310000) or by emailing the Licensing email address detailed above.


Licensing Section, Legal Services, North Ayrshire Council, Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE