You might need to pass the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) taxi assessment to drive a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV).

You can’t book a new taxi assessment with DVSA. Contact your local council to find out how to qualify. If you’ve already booked a DVSA assessment, it will still go ahead.

Contact Transport for London if you want to drive in London.

There are 3 types of assessment you can take:

  • the standard driving assessment
  • the enhanced assessment - this includes a wheelchair exercise
  • the upgrade assessment if you’ve done the standard assessment and now want to do the wheelchair exercise

What the assessment involves

The assessment lasts for about 40 minutes.

Eyesight test

At the start, you’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:

  • 20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
  • 20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate

New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, for example, AB51 ABC.

You must use glasses or contact lenses during the whole test if you need them to read the number plate.

You can’t take the driving part of the assessment if you fail the eyesight test. You can still do the wheelchair exercise if you’re taking the enhanced assessment.

Practical assessment

The assessment will include:

  • a manoeuvre where you’ll be asked to turn your vehicle to face the opposite direction
  • around 10 minutes of driving without being given turn-by-turn directions by the examiner
  • stops at the side of the road as if a passenger is getting in or out
  • related questions, like what to do if a passenger leaves property in your vehicle
  • questions from The Highway Code and identifying traffic signs and road markings

You might also be asked to do an emergency stop.

You’ll pass the assessment if you make 9 faults or fewer. You’ll fail if you make a serious or dangerous fault.

Wheelchair exercise

You’ll have to do a wheelchair exercise if you’re taking the enhanced assessment - you’ll need to bring a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

You’ll need to show your ability to:

  • safely load and unload the wheelchair in your vehicle
  • use the wheelchair brakes to secure and release it
  • fasten the seat belts or safety harness
  • secure any wheel belts or clamps fitted to your vehicle

Vehicle requirements

Your vehicle must meet the same requirements as the car driving test, except it can’t have L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales).

You’re allowed to use a hire car to take the test.

If it has a private hire plate, the number must be the same as on the plate inside the vehicle.

It must also be wheelchair accessible if you’re taking the enhanced test (for example, London-style ‘black cabs’).

Documents you must bring

You must bring your driving licence.

If you have an old-style paper licence instead of a photocard, you must also bring a valid passport.

Passing the assessment

When you pass your taxi assessment, you’ll get:

  • a pass certificate (form TPH10)
  • a copy of your assessment
  • a debrief from the examiner

When you pass your wheelchair assessment, you’ll get:

  • a pass certificate (form WTA10)
  • a copy of your assessment
  • a debrief from the examiner

Your local council will tell you what to do when you’ve passed the assessment.

Failing the assessment

If you fail the assessment you’ll get:

  • a debrief from the examiner
  • a copy of your assessment

Contact your local council to find out how to continue qualifying as a taxi driver. You can’t book another DVSA taxi assessment.