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Taxi licensing changes in the Lewes District

You will already be aware that on Thursday 14th February 2019 the Lewes District Licensing Committee agreed the new ‘Lewes District Council Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Guidance’ following public consultation.

This new Guidance brings into force many changes, and prior to these becoming active we want to ensure you are well informed of some of these.


Restriction on the types of vehicles we will licence

A list of approved vehicles is available to download below.  Vehicles not on the approved list can be added after consultation with the Specialist Advisor (Licensing).

This list is for new licensed vehicles.  Existing licensed vehicles are not affected.

Vehicle livery

New Hackney Carriage vehicles presented for licensing must be white.

New Private Hire vehicles presented for licensing must be any colour other than white.

Existing licensed vehicles are not affected.

Door signs will be required to be displayed on both the driver and front passenger doors at all times.  We will be in contact with you again with details of how this will be implemented.

Age of vehicles

Vehicles presented for first licensing shall not be more than 5 years old, and vehicles of more than ten years old will not be relicensed, apart from in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of an Authorised Officer.

Vehicle Engine Capacity

The requirement for a minimum cc engine capacity has been removed, and all new vehicles presented for licensing will need to meet the minimum requirements of Euro 5 for Petrol vehicles and Euro 6 for Diesel engines.

Existing licensed vehicles are not affected.



Future medical examinations will be carried out by your GP (or any other medical practitioner if an Authorised Officer agrees) who has access to your medical records for at least the previous 2 years.


Vehicle Suitability Testing (VST) - was garage inspection

This will continue on a 6 monthly basis, but a procurement process will have been undertaken by 1st September 2019, and you will (from this date) be required to use Lewes District Council approved VST premises for your 6 monthly vehicle inspection. We will contact you nearer the time with details of the approved garages.


Dual Driver Licences

All new applicants will apply and be issued with Dual Driver Licences.

All existing drivers (whether Hackney Carriage or Private Hire) will be issued with a Dual Driver Licence.  We will contact you separately with details of how this will be implemented.

Restricted Private Hire Drivers will continue to be issued with Restricted Private Hire Driver Licences

Duration of Driver Licence

Lewes District will be implementing the issue of 3 year driver licences. Only in exceptional circumstances will a 1 year licence be considered.

Please note, the guidance will bring in more changes than those identified above and you should refer to the new Guidance document which will be uploaded to the website as soon as it is ready for publication.