Vehicle licence deposit scheme

If your Hackney carriage and private hire driver's licence has expired, you can deposit your vehicle licence and plate with the Licensing Service. This will then enable you or any other insured person to drive the vehicle for social, pleasure and domestic purposes.

If you do it will mean:

  • the vehicle licence is seen as surrendered from the date this form and licence is received by us
  • the vehicle will no longer be able to be used for hire and reward
  • the vehicle will be removed from the Public Register of licensed vehicles

We will retain the licence and vehicle plate until its natural expiry date. You need to complete the Covid-19 Vehicle Licence Deposit Scheme form and give it to us with your plate.

You need a licence from us to drive a private hire vehicle in Sheffield.

Before making your application you should read our Private Hire Vehicle specification in the Private Hire Operator and Vehicle Policy. Your vehicle must comply with this specification to operate as a private hire vehicle.

Apply for a private hire vehicle licence

You can apply online for a private hire vehicle licence which lasts for up to 12 months. The licence fee is £218.

All applicants including any joint applicants, but excluding limited companies must be over 18 years of age. 

Vehicles must not be more than 5 years old on the day of the issue of the vehicle licence. The date of first registration as set out in the V5 Document will be used to determine the age of the vehicle.

Email to begin your application, you will be asked to make a payment online once we are ready to process your application.

Renew a private hire vehicle licence

You can apply to renew a private hire vehicle licence online if your current licence has yet to expire. The licence renewal fee is £163.

You can now apply for your Private Hire Licence renewal online.

To apply for the renewal, you will require the following documents:

  • Valid insurance certificate
  • Compliance certificate

Once you have made your application and uploaded required documents, you will be sent link for payment.

Your application will not be processed until payment has been made.

The driving skills test

The Driving Skills Test will be carried out from the Staniforth Road Licensing Office. For information about the test please call us. 

Booking your test

Tests can only be booked in person at the office on Staniforth Road. The fee must be paid at the time of booking and the Theory/Knowledge Test receipt or results letter must be shown. 

Candidates wishing to postpone or cancel a test must give at least  3 full working days' notice, this excludes weekends and bank holidays (cash refunds are not available). The fee will be forfeited if insufficient notice is given. Only one test may be booked at any one time. A subsequent test may only be booked when the result of the previous test in known. If there is fog, ice, snow or high winds on the day of the test, please telephone us to ensure that your test will still be conducted.

The test will last for about one hour and the candidate will be expected to be capable of reading a number plate at the prescribed distance (Class 2 requirements, ie bus or lorry) prior to taking the test.

Vehicle for the test

Candidates must provide their own vehicle for the test. This must be an ordinary, roadworthy vehicle with a manual transmission, unless they hold an automatic driving licence only or have a disability that prevents them driving manual vehicles.

Please note that in this case you will be issued a certificate for automatics only and you won't be covered for driving manual transmission taxis (the car must be up to MOT standard ). Please note – no repairs to the car will be allowed if the car is not up to standard at the time of the test. A car covered by a hire agreement from a commercial company is not a suitable vehicle for use in the Taxi Driving Skills Test.

The car presented at the time of the test must be used on the test.

Candidates must not take their test in a car that is plated (ie Private Hire) unless they hold and can produce a valid Private Hire/Hackney Licence from the same authority which issued the plate.

When you take your test

  • candidates must produce their photo-card driving licence at the time of the test. This must show the correct postal address
  • at the time of the test candidates must also produce 3 recent identical passport sized photographs
  • if head restraints are standard on the vehicle that the candidate is going to use, they must not have been removed
  • failure to comply with any of the above will result in the test not being conducted and your fee will be forfeited


It is in the interest of the candidate to ascertain that the car they intend to use is insured for the purpose of taking the Taxi/Private hire test as they will be required to sign a document to that effect. The candidate must be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the examiner a safe, yet progressive style of driving within the law and prevailing conditions having regard for the safety, welfare, convenience and comfort of other road users and passengers carried.

All assessments will include any 3 of the following manoeuvres: Emergency Stop, Left Hand Reverse, Right Hand Reverse, Turn in The Road, Reverse Park. He/she must show an above average knowledge of the principles of good driving, road safety and prove that this knowledge can be applied in practice. Candidates are strongly recommended to obtain and study both the ‘Highway Code’ and the Driving Standards Agency book the ‘Driving – The Essential Skills’, available from all good bookshops. Candidates will receive the result of their test through the post.

All other parts of the procedure are conducted by the Licensing Section of the City Council, based at Staniforth Road, where further information can be obtained. 

Customer Charter for taxi vehicle testing

Our commitment to you

  • we will ensure that each and every vehicle examination will be thorough, to a high standard and completely independent
  • all users of our services will be treated courteously and promptly by all members of staff
  • we will carry out any requested re-test within 2 working days

We will always be responsive

  • we will display clearly and explain, if requested, the procedure to follow in the event of a complaint
  • we welcome and value your comments, complaints and suggestions about how we run our services and all feedback will be acknowledged within 7 days of receipt (or within 3 days for email contacts)
  • when you contact us with a question or complaint we will aim to respond in full within 28 days of receipt. If this is not possible within that time, we will let you know what we have done with your complaint, and when you can expect a full reply
  • if you contact us and you don’t have an appointment, we will try to see you promptly. We will apologise if we have to keep you waiting

Your commitment to us

  • keep us informed of any changes in your personal circumstances that may affect any services that we provide to you
  • attend any appointment time, or let us know if you cannot do so
  • behave in a considerate and polite way so we can give you and other customers the standard of service you would expect