How to Become a Taxi Driver

by | Dec 14, 2015 | SPSV Driver To Be | 0 comments

Want to know how to become a taxi driver in Ireland? Not sure where to start? Not sure if you fulfill all the requirements?
Here we explain in plain English the steps you need to take in order to obtain a taxi driver licence also known as SPSV Drivers Licence.

  • Study and Prepare – Start by completing a SPSV Training Course or by reading the The Official Manual for Operation in the SPSV Industry and studying the local area map.
  • Apply for the SPSV Entry Test – Book your test by calling the National Transport Authority on 0761 064000. Before calling, have the following details ready: Contact details, PPS Number, Drivers Licence details and credit card details (for test fee payment)
  • Pass the SPSV Entry Test – The SPSV Entry Test is designed to verify that you know the SPSV Regulations, you are familiar with good practice in the industry, and that you have a good working knowledge of the county in which you wish to operate.
  • Apply for the SPSV driver licence – Obtain a PSV 15/18 application form from your local Garda station and submit it to the Garda station/PSV Office nearest to your residence (if you live outside Dublin) or to the Carriage Office (if you live in Dublin), along with the required documentation.

What to Study for your SPSV Test?

Study the industry regulations and your area. For the industry knowledge test, study The Official Manual for Operation in the SPSV Industry. For the area knowledge test you are advised to examine street and road maps.

What you must know about the industry:

  • SPSV Regulations
  • Vehicle knowledge
  • Map reading
  • Fares and charges
  • Customer service, including disability awareness and equality and diversity
  • Business
  • Health and safety


What you should know about the county yo want to operate in:

  1. Urban centres
    • One-way systems
    • Street names
    • Housing estates
    • Districts
    • Adjoining streets
    • Routes to other towns and villages
  2. National roads and motorways
    • Numbers of motorways and national roads
  3. Towns and villages
    • Locations of towns and villages
    • Directions to larger urban areas in counties bordering your area
  4. Places of interest
    • Hospitals and medical centres
    • Airports (in or near your area)
    • Local ferries and boat services
    • Transport terminals
    • Hotels and holiday centres
    • Stadiums and prominent sports grounds
    • Sports clubs (golf clubs, tennis clubs, yacht clubs)
    • Sporting and leisure (swimming pools, bowling alleys, cinemas, theatres, libraries)
    • Major landmarks and tourist attractions
    • Shopping centres and retail parks
    • Public buildings and amenities
    • Industrial estates and business parks
    • Well-known pubs, restaurants and night-clubs
    • Schools, universities and other educational institutions
    • Garda stations

SPSV Entry Test Application

Book your test – As described above, have your contact details, PPS Number, Drivers Licence and credit card details on hand, and call the National Transport Authority on 0761 064000 to book your test date and pay the test fee. (If card payment is impossible please phone 0761 064000 for further advice as to payment options)

Any special requirements? – If you have any special requirements, please specify them at the time of booking. There are various options available to assist candidates with special reading needs in taking the test. You can apply to have extra time to take your test or request one-to-one assistance. For further information please call 1890 340 12.

Get your test date – When your application has been processed, you will be notified by email or post of the date, time and location of your test, and reminded of the documentation that you must take with you to the test.

The Test Day

When you arrive – When you arrive at the test centre, your identification will be checked – bring your current driving licence with you for this purpose. Once your identification and relevant documentation have been validated, you will be taken to a workstation to complete the test.

Before starting – Before the test starts, a short demonstration will show you how to answer the questions, and you can answer some practice questions to get used to the system. You do not need to be able to use a computer to take the test.

The test procedure – To take the test, you use a mouse or a touch-screen to answer questions that are presented to you on a computer screen. Each question is presented along with a number of alternative answers. In some cases, only one of the answers presented is correct and you are asked to select the answer you think is correct by clicking on or touching your chosen option. In other cases, you are asked to identify which two of the answers presented are correct by selecting them in the same way.

sample taxi test questions and answers

Making corrections/amendments – If you make a mistake or change your mind, you can cancel your answer. If you want to skip a question, you can come back and answer it at the end. At the end of each section, you can review your answers and, if you wish, change them.

Test Score – Your test is scored automatically and you get the results immediately.

How to Apply for your SPSV Drivers Licence

  1. Obtain a PSV 15/18 application form from your local Garda station (list of Garda Stations)
  2. Pay the relevant licence fee to the National Transport Authority
    • You should pay the SPSV driver licence fee only after you have successfully completed the SPSV Entry Test and are confident that you can satisfy all the other conditions for licensing (read below)
    • Call the NTA on 0761 064000 and pay over the phone using a credit or debit card.
    • The NTA will issue you with a receipt for this fee (you need this attached to your application)
  3. Obtain two identical passport-style photographs
    • Photograph should be not more than 6 months old.
    • Each photograph should be approximately 10cm by 7cm, showing your head and shoulders
    • They may be in colour or black and white.
    • The photograph should show a full front view of the subject’s head, as he or she would normally appear.
    • The image must be sharp and clear, and taken against a plain white or light grey background
    • Sunglasses are not acceptable. Tinted glasses may be worn provided they do not obscure the person’s eyes.
    • Photograph should not show military or police uniforms.
    • Only head coverings worn for religious reasons are permitted. Hair bands are not allowed.
  4. Complete the PSV 15/18 application form and submit it to the Garda station/PSV Office nearest to your residence (if you live outside Dublin) or to the Carriage Office (if you live in Dublin), along with:
    • Your photographs
    • Your tax clearance certificate (get it here)
    • Your driving licence
    • Your SPSV Skills Development Certificate (not required in applications for local area hackney driver licences)
    • The receipt for your licence fee
    • A written undertaking that you will not drive an SPSV for more than 11 hours on any three consecutive days
    • Details of any other occupation in which you are engaged, including name and address of employer (if relevant), and, if that other occupation involves driving, evidence that you have informed the employer of your intention to apply for an SPSV driver licence
    • A declaration that your health does not materially affect your ability to drive an SPSV, and that you are not taking drugs or medication that would be likely to impair your ability to drive safely
    • A declaration that you have not been convicted of any of the offences specified in section 30(3) or the Schedule to the Taxi Regulation Act 2013
    • Any additional documents An Garda Síochána may request.

Await your Taxi Drivers Licence and Smart Card

After the successful application, you must wait for the An Garda Síochána. to assess you as a suitable person to hold an SPSV driver licence. This assessment can take up to 3 Months and if your application is successful, the Gardaí will issue you with an SPSV driver licence and inform the National Transport Authority. The Authority then sends you the driver identification cards. Once you received your SPSV Licence and Smart Card, you can drive a taxi, wheelchair accessible taxi, hackney, wheelchair accessible hackney, local area hackney or a limousine.

Note: All queries in relation to your application should be directed to An Garda Síochána.

SPSV Driver Display Card
The image below, shows how a SPSV Driver Display Card looks like. This ID should be clearly displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle.
SPSV Driver Display Card

SPSV Driver Smart Card
The image below, shows how a SPSV Driver Smart Card looks like. This ID should be on your person when operating a SPSV vehicle.SPSV Driver Smart Card


You can now start driving a taxi!

Now that you have all the required paperwork, and you have your own licensed vehicle, you can start working straight away. If you need to drive a taxi read our Passenger Transportation Joint Venture section to find out about your driving a SPSV options.