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English Language Requirement for London Private Hire Drivers

TfL press release

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that an English language requirement for private hire drivers was introduced on Friday 14 October.

It is essential for public safety that all licensed drivers can communicate in English at an appropriate level.  Drivers must be able to communicate with passengers to discuss a route, or fare, as well as reading and understanding important regulatory, safety and travel information. We believe that it is crucial to a driver’s role in transporting the public.

The requirement applies to all applications for private hire drivers licences received by TfL on, or after, 14 October 2016.  This includes applications for both renewal and new licences. There is a transitional process for applications received from 14 October up to 31 March 2017 – drivers have until then to satisfy us that they have met the English language requirement.

Applicants may satisfy TfL of their ability to meet the requirement by providing:

  • A certificate from a test provider appointed by TfL confirming that the applicant’s level of proficiency in the English language is at level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: (“CEFR”) or above; or;
  • Documentary evidence of a qualification (whether or not the qualification was obtained in the United Kingdom) on the basis of which TfL is satisfied that the applicant’s level of proficiency in the English language is equivalent to level B1 on the CEFR or above.

For more details on how to satisfy this requirement, drivers should go to:

Press Office

0845 604 4141


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