Taxi and private hire licence

A licence, known as a taxi licence is required for the operation of a vehicle as a taxi and a licence known as a private hire car licence is required for the operation of a private hire car. Aberdeenshire Council is the statutory licensing authority in Aberdeenshire for the purposes of the licensing provisions of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.

There are some things you need to know before you apply for a taxi and private hire licence:

Tax checks and your tax obligations

From 2nd October 2023 you need to complete a tax check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when applying to renew a taxi driver or private hire driver licence.

Find out more about the tax checks and when they are required.

If you are not required to complete a tax check, on the application form we will ask you to confirm you are aware of the HMRC guidance. Find out more about confirming you understand your tax responsibilities

Decide what type of licence you need

Before making your application, you need to decide what type of licence you need to apply for. A taxi vehicle licence is different from the taxi driver's licence which each driver will need. If you drive your own car, you will need both a taxi vehicle licence and a taxi driver's licence.

Taxis can be hired on the spot, in the street or at a rank, by the customer dealing directly with a driver, but private hire cars can only be pre-booked.

Holders of taxi driver licences can drive both taxis and private hire cars. Holders of private hire driver licences can only drive private hire cars.

A separate application is required for each vehicle.


You do not need a vehicle licence from Aberdeenshire if:

  • you are using your vehicle to pick up passengers that you have previously dropped off as part of an arrangement for a journey starting outside Aberdeenshire
  • you are using your vehicle in connection with a wedding or funeral
  • it is part of a public service covered by the Public Passenger Vehicle Act 1981
  • you are using your vehicle for voluntary transport arrangements

Licence conditions

Taxi and private hire licences will have mandatory conditions. These may require you to make declarations in your application about medical fitness or convictions.

Application fees

The fees you will have to pay depends on the licence that you apply for:

  • Driver licence - £140.50
  • Car licence - £246 (one year) or £463.50 (three years)
  • 6 month vehicle check - no fee
  • Vehicle substitution - £94.50 plus £10 per plate except where the vehicle is being substituted at the time a test is due then the fee will be £36.50 plus £10 per plate

The fee is non-refundable.

You can pay by either:

  • applying online (you will be asked to make a payment at the end of the form)
  • making a telephone payment on 0300 456 0483
  • visiting the relevant service point

Unfortunately we are unable to accept payment by BACs, cheques or cash.

How to apply for or renew your licence

You can apply for or renew a taxi and private hire licence either online or in paper. 

You can apply for our taxi and private hire licences either online or in paper. If you are applying online, please note that you will have to sign in with myAberdeenshire to access the form. You will be able save it and resume later at any stage before submitting it. To access your saved applications login to myAberdeenshire and go to your submissions.

Once we have received your application there is a 28-day objection period. Your application will be copied and sent to Police Scotland for any comments or objections they may have.

If your licence is due for a renewal, a letter will be issued to you with a date and time for your test at the fleet services depot appropriate to your area.

If you wish to renew your licence, please make sure you use the appropriate renewal form.

Driver licence

If you are applying for a driver licence you will need to provide a photocopy of the DVLA licence and two passport sized photographs with your application.


Apply for a taxi driver licence

Renew a taxi driver licence

Private hire

Apply for a private hire driver licence

Renew a private hire driver licence

Alternatively you can apply for or renew your licence in paper by completing the taxi or private hire driver licence form (PDF 282KB) and sending it to the address provided on the application.

Vehicle licence

If you are applying for a vehicle licence or vehicle substitution you will need to provide a copy of your insurance certificate with your application.


Apply for a taxi vehicle licence

Renew a taxi vehicle licence

Apply for a taxi 6 month vehicle test

Apply for a taxi vehicle substitution

Private hire

Apply for a private hire vehicle licence

Renew a private hire vehicle licence

Apply for a private hire 6 month vehicle test

Apply for a private hire vehicle substitution

To apply or renew by post please complete the relevant form and send it to the address provided on the application:

Duration of the licences

Licences of all types (drivers and vehicles) will come into effect on the date specified in the licence.

Taxi licences and private hire car licences will normally have effect for one year or three years, depending on what you apply for, from the date granted.

Drivers Licences will normally have effect for three years from the date granted unless a shorter period is considered appropriate, for example, for medical reasons.

Taxi and private hire vehicle operator guidance

The guidance booklet (PDF 211KB) is designed to remind licence holders of some of their responsibilities while operating a vehicle as a taxi or private hire car; such as:

  • detailed licensing conditions applicable to taxi and taxi driver licences
  • detailed licensing conditions applicable to private hire car and private hire car driver licences
  • detailed specification and examination of vehicles; condition of vehicles 
  • prohibition notices 
  • partnership working
  • testing requirements for vehicles
  • return of plates
  • cross boundary operation of vehicles