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How do you become a Glasgow hackney carriage driver?

Glasgow black taxis in cab rank
Image credit: Ross Campbell

If you are interested in becoming a hackney carriage driver in Glasgow, you might be wondering what are the requirements and how to apply for a licence. In this article post, we will explain the basics of hackney carriage licensing and give you some tips on how to prepare for the application process.

What is a hackney carriage?

A hackney carriage, also known as a taxi or a cab, is a vehicle that can be hailed from the street, picked up at an authorised rank, or pre-booked by phone or online. Hackney carriages can charge metered fares that are set by the Licensing Authority for journeys within the city. Hackney carriages in Glasgow are either London style taxis or converted vans such as the Peugeot Euro 7 or Mercedes M8. They have a taxi sign on the roof of the vehicle and black identification plates affixed to the front and back of the vehicle.

What are the requirements to become a hackney carriage driver?

To become a hackney carriage driver in Glasgow, you need to:

  • Be at least 21 years old

  • Hold a full UK driving licence for at least 12 months

  • Pass a Disclosure Scotland check

  • Pass a medical examination

  • Pass a topographical test (also known as a "knowledge" test) to prove your knowledge of the city's geography, landmarks, routes and regulations

  • Complete a taxi driver training course

  • Pay the relevant fees.

How do I apply for a hackney carriage driver's licence?

To apply for a hackney carriage driver's licence, you need to:

  • Fill in an application form and submit it to Glasgow City Council along with your supporting documents (such as your driving licence, Disclosure Scotland certificate, medical report, topographical test certificate and training course certificate)

  • Attend an interview with a licensing officer

  • Wait for your application to be processed and approved by the Licensing Committee

  • Collect your licence badge and plate from the council office.

How long does it take to get a hackney carriage driver's licence?

The time it takes to get a hackney carriage driver's licence depends on various factors, such as the availability of appointments for the medical examination, topographical test and interview, and the workload of the Licensing Committee. However, you can expect it to take at least three months from submitting your application to receiving your licence.

How do I renew my hackney carriage driver's licence?

Your hackney carriage driver's licence is valid for three years. To renew it, you need to:

  • Apply at least six weeks before your licence expires

  • Pass another Disclosure Scotland check

  • Pass another medical examination

  • Pay the renewal fee.

You do not need to retake the topographical test or the training course unless your licence has been revoked or suspended.


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