Operator licences for running a private hire or taxi business in London

To become a taxi driver you need to be aged 21 or over and have a Transport for London (TfL) driver’s licence. To run a private hire business you will need 1 of 2 driver’s licences.

The 2 types of driver’s licence are:

  • a small operator’s licence - up to 2 vehicles for private hire bookings
  • a standard operator’s licence - as many vehicles as you like

Each licence has a fee and lasts for 5 years.

You can be prosecuted if you receive payment for taking bookings or supply drivers for hire without an operator’s licence.

Taxi drivers

You’ll need to apply for a driver’s licence for private hire or taxis issued by TfL.

Getting a private hire operator licence in London

If you want to run a business as a private hire operator in London, you’ll need to get an operator’s licence for private hire or taxis from TfL. This includes businesses such as driving a minicab or stretch limousine.

You’ll also need a vehicle licence for private hire or taxis for your taxi and a driver’s licence.