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To keep as safe as possible, check the following before choosing a Hackney carriage (taxi) or private hire vehicle or in York.

Taxi passenger pick ups

Check that a taxi is operating legally.

Hackney carriage vehicles (taxis) can:

  • ply for hire, or
  • pick up customers from a designated rank

They can only legally do this within the authority area they're licensed in - for example, a taxi licensed by Ryedale, Selby, Harrogate, Leeds, cannot legally ply for hire or pick up from a rank in York.

Private hire vehicles can only undertake pre-booked work given to them by their licensed operator - they cannot ply for hire or use taxi ranks.

Taxi licence plates

Take a note of the licence number before entering a licensed vehicle.

Licensed vehicles always display a licence plate.

The plate displays the:

  • licence number
  • name of the licensing authority
  • registration number of the vehicle
  • maximum number of passengers that can be carried

Licence plates in York are displayed as follows:

  • taxis display a yellow licence plate on the rear of the vehicle
  • private hire vehicles display maroon licence plates on the front and rear of the vehicle

Taxi door signage

Licensed vehicles in York usually display door signage as follows:

  • taxis display the York crest with licence number on the driver and front passenger doors
  • private hire vehicles display their licensed operator details on the rear passenger doors

Taxi drivers

Only licensed drivers are allowed to drive licensed vehicles.

Licensed drivers must display an ID badge which should show:

  • their licence number
  • the name of the licensing authority
  • a picture of the driver

The driver should be able to produce their ID badge on request.

Private hire operators

Private hire operators take bookings and dispatch private hire vehicles/drivers to fulfill bookings on their behalf.


  • must be licensed by the licensing authority where their booking office is located
  • can only give bookings to private hire vehicles/drivers licensed by the same licensing authority working on their behalf
  • can sub-contract a passenger's booking to another licensed operator

Also see