Taxi licences - tender, renew and transfer
Under the Point to Point Transport (Taxi and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 Transport for NSW determines the number of taxi licences released each year across the state. Only annual licences can be granted under the legislation. Any licence can be leased.
This page contains information on:
- 90 taxi licences in Sydney metro area: August 2018 tender results
- Closure of the Annual Taxi Licences Tender – 2018/2019
- August 2018 Sydney Metropolitan Taxi Licence Tender
- 30 taxi licences in Sydney metro area: April 2018 tender results
- What are taxi licences
- Licence conditions
- Leasing a licence
- Renewing and cancelling a licence
- Annual taxi licence determinations
- Applying for a licence
- Wheelchair accessible taxi licences
- Transferring a licence
- How much is the transfer levy?
- Taxi licence transfer data
In August 2018, tenders were opened for 90 taxi licences in the Sydney Metropolitan area. The licences have been issued to the successful tenderers. View the August tender results here.
This tender was for a total of 90 licences released in the 2018-19 financial year, as determined by Transport for NSW.
For more information, you can read the Transport for NSW 2018/19 Annual Taxi Licence Determination.
The 2018-19 tender for 90 Sydney Metropolitan Transport District taxi licences has now closed. Tender results will be published on this page as soon as possible after all licences in the tender have been issued. The Commission will be in contact with successful tenders to inform them of the next steps in acquiring a licence. The Commission will also notify those tenders that have been placed on the reserve list for this tender and tenders that were not successful in obtaining a taxi licence.
In August 2018, tenders were opened for 90 taxi licences in the Sydney Metropolitan area.
30 taxi licences in Sydney metropolitan area: April 2018 tender results
In April 2018, tenders were opened for 30 taxi licences in the Sydney Metropolitan area. The licences have been issued to the successful tenderers. View the April tender results here.
This was the second of two tenders for a total of 62 licences released in the 2017-18 financial year, as determined by Transport for NSW.
For more information, you can read the Transport for NSW 2017/18 Annual Taxi Licence Determination.
All taxis must be licensed to provide a taxi service. A taxi licence gives a person (an individual, partnership or body corporate) the right to register and use a motor vehicle as a taxi.
There are three categories of taxi licences:
- Metropolitan taxi licence
- Non-Metropolitan taxi licence
- Wheelchair Accessible taxi licence
A taxi licence may specify an area of operation in which the taxi service can be provided. This is where the taxi may stand or ply for hire (pick up passengers from a taxi rank or be hailed down in the street). A taxi may undertake a hiring outside its area of operation if that hiring resulted from a booking.
A taxi licence does not confer on any person an exclusive right to use a taxi in the area of operation specified in the licence.
It is an offence for a person to provide a taxi service unless the provider of the taxi service, or an employee, contractor or affiliated provider of that provider, is the holder of a taxi licence for the vehicle.
Financial penalties of up to $110,000 apply for people offering a taxi service without a licence. For subsequent breaches, a further financial penalty of up to $110,000 applies in addition to 12 months imprisonment or both.
Who is the holder of a taxi licence?
Under the Point to Point Transport (Taxi and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016, a licence holder means the person with the right to use that licence to provide the taxi service. This might be a person:
- the licence was issued or last transferred to (whose name appears on the licence)
- leasing or sub-leasing the licence or
- who has the benefit of the licence through some other arrangement.
A taxi licence holder does not need to own the vehicle registered as a taxi.
Holders of taxi licences have obligations relating to the safety standards for vehicles used as taxis. Information about these safety standards can be found on the Safety Standards for Taxis page and in the Safety Standards for Taxis fact sheet.
Taxi licences issued under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 (or prior) continue to exist under the Point to Point Transport legislation, with the same conditions that applied to them under the previous legislation. This means:
- ordinary licences which have no specified term remain in force and may be transferred, unless they are cancelled.
- ordinary licences which have a term (eg 50 years) may be renewed or transferred, unless they are cancelled.
- short term licences will expire at the end of their term, unless they are cancelled prior.
- annual licences will be able to be renewed until they have been renewed nine times in total. So if an annual licence was issued in 2010, it may be renewed until 2019 (and it would expire in 2020), unless it is cancelled.
All taxi licences issued in NSW are subject to conditions that the taxi licence holder (the person with the benefit or right to use the licence) must comply with. Penalties of up to $110,000 can be imposed on a licence holder who contravenes a taxi licence condition.
Some conditions are imposed automatically on a licence and are specified in the Point to Point Transport (Taxi and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 or prescribed in the regulations, and others can be imposed by the Point to Point Transport Commissioner at any time, and will appear on the licence document.
Leasing a licence
|Steps in process|
If you don't want to use the licence to provide a taxi service yourself, you may lease the licence to someone else under a formal lease or another arrangement.
As the licence holder, they can then sub-lease the licence to someone else, who then becomes the holder of the licence, as long as the sub-lease arrangement is in place.
You are no longer required to inform the Commission if you are going to lease, sublease or enter into another arrangement to confer the benefit of the licence to another person.
Renewing and cancelling a licence
Taxi licences issued under the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 are granted for a term of 12 months and are able to be renewed up to 9 times.
Ordinary taxi licences granted under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 continue in force, and if they have a term (eg 50 years, 20 years) they may be renewed.
Annual taxi licences issued under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 may also be renewed until they have been renewed 9 times since they were first issued.
To assist with the renewal process, the person to whom the licence was granted will receive a renewal notification from the Commission. An application to renew an annual licence can be made online though the Industry Portal.
For annual licences issued under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 or licences issued under the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 there is an application renewal fee of $200 in addition to the annual licence fee (the amount tendered when the licence was first issued).
There is no application renewal fee for ordinary licences issued under the Passenger Transport Act 1990.
A taxi licence must be renewed before the expiry of the licence. The licence renewal notification will contain all the necessary details relating to licence renewals.
There is no obligation to renew a taxi licence, and a taxi licence can be surrendered to the Commissioner by the person to whom the licence was originally granted and it will be cancelled. Where a licence is surrendered any licence fee outstanding remains payable.
The Commissioner may also vary suspend or cancel a taxi licence if:
- the holder fails to comply with a condition of the licence
- the holder, or owing to the default of the holder or any agent or member of staff of the holder, fails to comply with the point to point laws
- the taxi service for which the licensed taxi is used has been or is being conducted in a manner that causes danger to the public, or
- for any other reason the Commissioner sees fit.
A taxi licence which has been cancelled ceases to be in force from the date of cancellation and a taxi licence which has been suspended ceases to be in force from the date of suspension and during the period the suspension remains in place or until the licence expires. It is an offence to provide a taxi service without the authority of a taxi licence.
Taxi licence suspension, cancellation or ceasing to have effect
If the Point to Point Transport Commissioner advises a taxi licence is suspended, the number plates must be returned to Service NSW within 7 days and placed in reserve. The customer will need to provide the suspension notification issued by the Commissioner.
If the Commissioner advises a taxi licence is cancelled or ceases to have effect, the number plates must be surrendered within 7 days to Service NSW. The customer will need to provide the cancellation or expiration notification issued by the Commissioner.
An approval letter is required from the Commissioner in order for new taxi number plates to be issued to the vehicle. This letter must be provided to Service NSW when collecting taxi number plates.
Transactions that do not need an approval letter from the Point to Point Transport Commissioner include:
- Placing taxi number plates in reserve
- Removing taxi number plates from storage (reserve or on hold)
- Surrendering taxi number plates
- Taxi registration establishment and the taxi number plates are reassigned in circumstances where a lease is entered into from one registered operator to another
- All other transactions not listed
In these instances, the customer will need to provide any one of the following to support the transaction:
- An original or copy of the taxi licence, or
- A letter from the Authorised Service Provider approving the transactions, or
- A letter from the person named on the taxi licence (or agent, with a Power of Attorney) approving the transaction, or
- A copy of the lease.
Annual taxi licence determinations
Under the point to point transport laws the Commissioner is responsible for issuing and administering taxi licences and Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is responsible for determining the number and categories of taxi licences (other than wheelchair accessible taxi licences) which may be issued each year.
To assist with its determination TfNSW may consider any recommendation made by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), which undertakes reviews and provides recommendations in relation to maximum taxi fares and the number of taxi licences to be released. For further information visit the IPART website.
For the 2017-18 financial year, TfNSW has determined that a total of 62 annual taxi licences will be issued in Sydney.
The Point to Point Transport Commissioner will issue the licences under two separate sealed tender processes before 30 June 2018.
Anyone interested in participating in a taxi licence tender should read the taxi licence tender section for details on the timing and any terms and conditions. Taxi licence tenders are also be advertised on the NSW Government eTendering website.
Wheelchair accessible taxi licences are not affected by the Annual Taxi Licence Determination and continue to be available on application.
For more information, you can read the Transport for NSW 2017/18 Annual Taxi Licence Determination and the Transport for NSW Statement on Future Taxi Licence Determinations, 27 February 2018.
From 1 November 2017, only annual taxi licences can be issued. These are licences which have a term of 12 months and can be renewed up to nine times.
Anyone can apply for a taxi licence and people interested in applying for an annual taxi licence will need to participate and be successful in the taxi licence tender process.
Commission staff will notify successful tenderers, and will provide details on the steps they need to take to complete a licence application.
Wheelchair accessible taxi licences
Wheelchair accessible taxi licences are licences which impose a condition that the vehicle used to provide the taxi service must be wheelchair accessible, and that preference must be given to hirings by passengers in wheelchairs.
The Regulation also places various obligations on Taxis Service Providers, taxi licence holders and drivers in relation to wheelchair accessible taxi services.
Applications and renewals for wheelchair accessible taxi licences can be made on the Industry Portal.
Ordinary wheelchair accessible taxi licences granted under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 will continue in force, and if they have a term (eg 20 years) they may be renewed.
Annual wheelchair accessible taxi licences issued under the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 and the Passenger Transport Act 1990 may also be renewed until they have been renewed 9 times since they were first issued.
Note: No licence fees, or application or renewal fees apply to wheelchair accessible taxi licences. However all wheelchair accessible taxi licences are monitored for compliance with the terms and conditions of the licence. The Point to Point Transport Commissioner may cancel, suspend or vary a wheelchair accessible taxi licence if satisfied that the requirements, terms or conditions of the licence have not been met.
For information on the Wheelchair Accessible Taxi Driver Incentive Payment, the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme and interest-free loans for wheelchair accessible taxis, please visit Transport for NSW.
Transferring a taxi licence
For the purpose of transferring a licence, a licence holder is the person whose name appears on the licence, that is the person to whom the licence was last granted or most recently transferred.
An annual taxi licence may only be transferred on application by the legal personal representative or trustee of the taxi licence holder, such as an executor of a deceased licence holder’s estate.
An ordinary taxi licence granted under the Passenger Transport Act 1990 (or prior) may be transferred.
A transfer of an ordinary licence may occur due to a sale of the taxi licence on the open market, on the death of the licence holder, through a divorce settlement or any other arrangement where the licence is to be transferred to another person.
Where a licence is held by two or more persons (joint holders) and one of the joint holders is removed from the holding this is not deemed as a transfer. However, where an additional person is added as a licence holder, this is considered to be a transfer.
The transfer process is usually initiated by the licence holder, however in the case of a deceased estate the executor or administrator of the estate would initiate the transfer.
The following evidence will be needed to transfer a licence:
- An executed contract of sale - where the licence is being sold on the open market
- Probate – where the executor or administrator acts in relation to a deceased estate
- Letter of Administration – where the licence holder died in intestate (without a will)
- Instrument of transfer – where the licence is being transferred for a reason other than through a sale or on the death of the licence holder, such as though a divorce. This might be a copy of the divorce order.
To commence the transfer process, a licence holder, executor or administrator would apply to transfer the licence by completing the online Application to Transfer a Taxi Licence (Party A), provide details of the transfer (including sale price if applicable and details of the person the licence is being transferred to) and uploading the required supporting documentation, such as:
- 100 points of identification, if not already supplied, and
- Copy of the Contract of Sale, or
- Copy Probate and the last will of the deceased, or
- Letter of administration, or
- Instrument of transfer.
Once an application to transfer is received, the amount of transfer levy payable will be determined and the transferee (the person the licence is being transferred to) will be asked to finalise the transfer.
To finalise the transfer the transferee (Party B) will be sent details of their login for the Industry Portal. Once logged in they can complete the Application to Transfer a Taxi Licence (Party B) and pay the transfer levy (if applicable). The transfer will then be finalised.
Note: the buyer of the licence is responsible for paying the transfer levy. No transfer levy is payable when the licence holder has died and the new licence holder is entitled to the licence under the will or on the intestacy of the licensee.
How much is the transfer levy?
A levy of 2.5% of the current market value of an ordinary licence is payable by the transferee on the transfer of the licence.
Current market value of an ordinary taxi licence means an amount that, in the opinion of the Commissioner, represents the current market value, at the date of the transfer, of the licence.
The current market value is determined by using:
- Metropolitan Transport District (Sydney) Taxi Licences - the previous month's average taxi transfer price for taxi licences being transferred through a sale on the open market. View details on transfer values for Sydney taxi licences.
- Taxi licences outside Sydney - the value detailed on the executed contract of sale, unless the Commissioner considers this does not represent the current market value.