Getting a licence – Step by Step

Obtaining a Private Hire or Hackney Licence (Wirral)

From experience, we recommend that you adhere to the following 8-step procedure to minimise any potential delays in the application process:

Step 1 – Obtain your application pack from the Wirral council.

Step 2 – Obtain your level 2 BTEC qualification

Step 3 – Complete the Wirral street knowledge test.

Step 4 – Complete the Safeguard Training.

Step 5 – Undergo your medical examination.

Step 6 – Take your documentation to the council and obtain your badge.

Step 7 – Either plate your own vehicle or rent a settle car.

Step 8 – Get your equipment and start working.

Please note that the 7-step procedure is for information purposes only and that the pricing information contained within this document was accurate at the time of publication.  For the latest information on obtaining your Wirral taxi licenses, please go to

Step 1 – Begin Licence Application Process

Contact Wirral Borough Council’s taxi licensing department (Wallasey Town Hall, Municipal Buildings, Brighton Street, Wallasey CH44 8ED), stating that you want to become a taxi driver.  Give them your address and they will mail out an application pack which you will need to complete.  The pack should contain:

  • 1 x Driver application form,
  • 1 x Vehicle application form,
  • 1 x DBS application form.

We recommend you contact the council by calling 0151 691 8043; but if this isn’t possible you can visit the Town Hall and pick up an application pack in person (but there might be a wait).

After you have completed the application pack you will need to contact the council again to book an appointment to begin your badge application process and submit your DBS application.  Please be aware that there is a fee of £108.00 to pay when you attend this appointment (£64.00 application fee, £40.00 disclosure application fee).

At this appointment you will be given a route information pack, the terms and conditions of licensing and your seat to take the ‘Wirral Street Knowledge’ test will be arranged.

Step 2 – BTEC Qualification

While you are waiting for your DBS to come back, which usually takes around 6-8 weeks, you will need to complete a level 2 taxi qualification (provided by us) and sit the Wirral street knowledge test – we recommend taking the taxi qualification before your street knowledge test as it can help in the Highway Code and Licensing Conditions sections.

We offer a level 2 BTEC qualification called ‘Introduction to the Role of the Professional Private Hire & Taxi Driver’ which is appropriate for your application.

The BTEC course itself takes five days to complete, over a one-week period.  Each placement on a course costs £210.00; however, if you are planning to work with Argyle Satellite, the course cost can be reduced to £73.00 (please speak to your inductor for more information).

Step 3 – Wirral Street Knowledge Test

If you’ve followed this procedure, the next stage involves revising for, taking and passing the ‘Wirral Street Knowledge’ test.  The test itself is a written, multiple-choice paper with 4 sections; Routes, Places of Interest, Licensing Conditions and the Highway Code.  The tests are normally run twice every month and are held at Wallasey Town Hall (Municipal Buildings, Brighton Street, Wallasey CH44 8ED); your council official would have booked your place at Stage 2.

Please note that if you fail this test you will need to re-sit the exam at the next available appointment (i.e. the following month).

Step 4 – Safeguard Training

The next stage involves attending the Safeguard Training provided by the Wirral Borough Council. The training takes around 2 hours to complete and does not involve any formal testing. Training sessions are normally run twice a month and are held at the Williamson Art Gallery located in Birkenhead; your council official would have booked your place at Stage 2.

Step 5 – Medical Exam

Once you have received your DBS, completed the BTEC and passed the Wirral Street Knowledge test and completed the Safeguard training you can book, pay for and complete your required medical exam.

Please be aware that:

  • Wirral Borough Council stipulate that you must use your current GP to administer your medical exam.
  • You will need to contact and book an appointment with your GP for this examination.
  • Prices can vary depending on medical centre.

Step 6 – Obtain Private Hire or Hackney Driver Licence

Once you have completed all of the previous steps you can now obtain your private hire and/or taxi badge.  Please call Wirral Borough Council on 0151 691 8043 and book an appointment to have your badge issued – there will be an unavoidable fee of £132.00, but it will valid for 3 years.

Now that you have your taxi badge you will either need to plate your own vehicle (get it licensed) or settle one from a provider (hire a licensed vehicle); private hire or hackney.

Step 7A – Obtain Vehicle Licence

If you are plating your own vehicle, it must pass a compliance test and MOT test at one of the Council’s authorised testing stations (i.e. Class 4 MOT or Taxi MOT).  Taxi MOT fees can be between £30-£60 (excluding any work required to make it compliant).

Once you have this completed please contact taxi licensing on 0151 691 8043 to make a vehicle licensing appointment – fees are between £105 to £192 depending on length and type of application.  For specific information on required paperwork and fees, please go to:

  • (Private Hire)
  • (Hackney)

*IMPORTANT* Please ensure your insurance for the vehicle cover includes ‘for hire and reward’ (i.e. Taxi Insurance).  If the policy doesn’t include this, you are not insured to transport passengers or parcels!  To help, some local providers are listed below (other are available):

Step 7B – Settle a Licensed Vehicle

If you are settling a vehicle, please contact a settle car provider and say that you are ‘looking to settle a private hire/hackney’ – they will run you through the process of settling a vehicle.  To help, some local providers are listed below (other are available):

Step 8 – Get Equipment & Start Working

Once you have your badge, plate and insurance you are almost ready to begin working.  The next step is to pop in or call Argyle Satellite (Mark or Edward 0151 201 0001/201 1111) and we will arrange a time to go through the paperwork and show you how to use the equipment.  After training (30 mins to an hour) you are ready to go!