Applying for an SPSV vehicle licence

SPSV application at a glance

Category of Licence Overview (no more than 8 passengers) Age* Branding Licence fee Initial Suitability Inspection fee
Wheelchair Accessible Taxi Accommodate at least one person sitting in a wheelchair and at least one adult passenger or 3 adult passengers without an occupied wheelchair Under 6 years Yes €125 €45
Wheelchair Accessible Hackney Accommodate at least one person sitting in a wheelchair and at least one adult passenger or 3 adult passengers without  an occupied wheelchair Under 6 years No €125 €45
Limousine Ceremonial and prestigious occasions – see Guidance for Limousine Vehicle Choice None No €1,000 €45
Local Area Hackney Intended to address transport deficits that would not otherwise be addressed in certain rural areas. See a list of suitable vehicles here. Under 10 years No €50  –

Applicant Requirements:

SPSV vehicle licences are granted only to people whose tax affairs are up to date.

There are five steps in obtaining an SPSV licence

Step 1 – Getting the Right Vehicle
Ensure you choose a suitable, roadworthy vehicle. Read our Suitable Vehicle List, Guidance for Limousine Vehicle Choice, SPSV Age Leaflet, and Initial Suitability Inspection Manual in the Forms and Guides section to help you choose. A vehicle licence can be issued only to a person who is the registered owner of the vehicle or is otherwise legally entitled to the use and possession of the vehicle (such as under a lease or hire-purchase agreement).

Step 2 – Making your Application
Complete the application for an SPSV licence, downloadable from our Forms and Guides Section. You will need to include a recent proof of address with your application. Remember that a Conditional Offer is not a licence to operate the vehicle as an SPSV.

An application relating to a wheelchair accessible vehicle or a limousine licence relating to a modified vehicle must be accompanied by a copy of a Technical Assessor’s Full Report and supporting test data.

If the application is approved, the NTA sends you a Conditional Offer letter. For taxis, the provisional licence number on this letter is needed for programming the taximeter and purchasing the matching roof sign and taxi branding. The Conditional Offer is specific to the vehicle identified in the application and valid for 90 days, during which you must complete the other steps in the licensing process.

Note: The Conditional Offer is not a licence to operate the vehicle as an SPSV.

Step 3 – Equipping the vehicle in accordance with SPSV regulations
All SPSVs are required to carry the following safety and passenger communication equipment at all times: fire extinguisher, first aid kit, advance-warning triangle, torch and pen and paper. For more information on the above requirement and more, please read our Initial Suitability Inspection Manual. Taxis must have a taximeter and printer installed and calibrated, a regulation roof sign, and carry the approved taxi branding.

Step 4 – Preparing for the Initial Suitability Inspection
The next step is to make sure that you have all the necessary documentation, and book the vehicle’s Initial Suitability Inspection.

The Initial Suitability Inspection Manual outlines the inspection criteria.

You will need the following documents to complete the licensing process:

  • Original certificate of insurance in the identically spelled name of the prospective licence holder specifying that the vehicle is covered for use as an SPSV
  • NCT certificate for the vehicle you propose to license, issued within 90 days of the date of your inspection appointment
  • Proof of ownership or legal entitlement to use the vehicle as an SPSV. Consult Guide G1 for further details.
  • Technical Assessor’s Report if relevant

Step 5 – Submitting the vehicle for its Initial Suitability Inspection
Your tax clearance status will be checked again on the day of inspection, as will your insurance cover with reference to your insurance disc and certificate. Book your Initial Suitability Inspection by calling the Industry Information Line 0818 064 000. The booking must be made by the person applying for the licence; security questions will be asked to confirm your identity. Read the Initial Suitability Inspection Manual before you leave for your inspection and bring all of the documents from step 4 along with you.  The licence holder does not need to be present at the vehicle inspection.

It is a criminal offence to operate without a current spsv vehicle licence. A conviction for this offence attracts a penalty of up to €5,000.