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Taxis and Private Hire Car Operator's Licence

The Council has approved standards for vehicles to be licensed as taxis or private hire cars which it believes to be acceptable in terms of safety and comfort. Applicants should refer to the Council's Vehicle Inspection Standards or Motorised Tricycle Private Hire Car Inspection Standards in the Related Downloads section on this page.

Any vehicle in respect of which an application is submitted must first pass a test at the Council’s approved testing garage, identified within the Standards documents, to certify that the vehicle has met the required standard. Applicants require to contact the garage to arrange a suitable appointment to have their vehicle tested. The fees for vehicle testing are paid directly to the testing garage before the test will be carried out. The fees are published on the relevant page on this website.

Vehicles of any age may be licensed, provided they pass the test at the Council's approved testing garage.

Other documentation is also required, as detailed in the Guidance Notes in the Related Downloads section on this page.

This includes vehicle registration documents and insurance. Vehicle registration documents can be provided for vehicles either owned or leased by applicants.

If the applicant holds the vehicle registration document in their name, but more than one name appears on the application (such as a partnership or company), the vehicle registration document must be in the name of at least one of the persons named on the application.

If the applicant does not hold the vehicle registration document in their name, the applicant must provide confirmation in writing (which could include email) from the holder of the vehicle registration document that they are aware that the vehicle will be used as a taxi or private hire car. A copy of the vehicle registration document will also be required.

Insurance must be in the name of the applicant or, where more than one name appears on an application, in the name of at least one of the persons named.

If applicants are considering purchasing or leasing a new vehicle, they should contact the Council's Licensing Office first to establish the information which will be required.

If applicants would prefer to have their insurance brokers sign a form, rather than submit their insurance documentation, the Vehicle Insurance Form in the Related Downloads section on this page can be used.

MOT certificates must also be provided.

Licences can be applied either (a) for one year or (b) for up to three years.

Anyone driving a taxi or private hire car must hold either a taxi or private hire car driver's licence. Further information on these types of licences is available on the relevant page on this website.

If you require further information about this topic please contact the Licensing Team, Legal Services, on telephone: 01856873535 extensions 2229 or 2232 or via email.

If you would like to see someone in person to discuss a licensing matter please contact the Licensing Team to make an appointment.

An online application form is available below, but applicants must read the Council's Vehicle Inspection Standards or Motorised Tricycle Private Hire Car Inspection Standards and Guidance Notes before making an application.

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School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS