According to Transport for London you must hold a full DVLA driving licence or EEA driving licence and GB counterpart. There is also a minimum age 21 years before you can apply for the London Taxi licence, but there is no upper age limit.
You will also be required to have a criminal record check before you will be licensed, this will also check to see whether you have any driving convictions as these can sometimes prevent you from getting the Tax licence. All this information is used to check your character fitness.
You are also required to have a medical examination at your GP, certain standards apply and in this situation the DVLA Group 2 Standard must be met. Some applications do get refused due to certain medical conditions such as poor eye sight or epilepsy for example, so be sure you meet these health needs before applying.
You will also be required to carry out the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) practical taxi assessment.
As a Taxi driver in London you are expected to have acquired a great deal of route finding skills when it some to the Capital. There are two types of London Cabbie that requires different skills when it comes to knowing London. If you want to become an All London Taxi Driver (also known as Green Badge Holders) you will need precise knowledge of the London streets and all the places of interest, for example tourist destinations. But you will also need the skills and general knowledge of the rest of the Capital.
If you are thinking of applying for a Suburban licence (also known as Yellow Badge Holders), then this means you will need to have a detailed knowledge of your specific sector but also have the general knowledge of London City.
No matter which licence you apply for you will need to have studied what’s known as the “Knowledge”. The individuals learning the All London Taxi Driver’s knowledge will be expected to learn 320 routes; this will enable them to learn over 25,000 street names and 20,000 land marks all within a six mile radius of Charing Cross. This can take between two to four years to complete and pass. For a Suburban Taxi driver they will need to choose one of London’s nine Suburban sectors to learn, knowing 30 to 51 runs in great detail.
You will also be required to know all the landmarks and streets within that sector. This can take roughly two years to qualify and once qualified you can only work in your chosen suburban sector that you are licensed for.
Other skills you will need to be a London Cabbie are good communication and organisational skills and it requires a great deal of dedication. You will need to be able to communicate with the general public and be able to manage your time efficiently. Once you have mastered the knowledge of London you should be well on your way to becoming a competent and therefore successful Cab Driver!