Inverclyde Licensing Services - Coronavirus (COVID 19) Update

This guidance is for current licence holders and anyone planning to apply for a new licence. It explains the changes we are making to our licensing service to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by COVID-19. It applies to all Civic,Taxi Driver, Taxi Operator and Liquor Licences

General Guidance

Please note that the public reception at Municipal Buildings, Greenock will be closed until further notice.

Face to Face Appointments

We are currently not offering face to face appointments. Paperwork can be posted by Royal Mail, submitted electronically or hand delivered by posting in the letterbox which is located in the carriageway at the rear of the Municipal Buildings, Greenock and which will be clearly signposted.

Liquor Licensing - Occasional Licence - Outdoor Drinking.

Inverclyde Licensing Board has introduced a Policy dated 20th April 2021 permitting the use of Occasional Licences for outdoor drinking. The full Policy can be viewed on the Documents Section of this page. 

Please note that the above Policy will remain in force until 31st October 2021, or until reviewed by the Licensing Board, whichever date is earlier. 

Licensed Hours
Any Occasional Licence  within the policy which is granted will be granted to the terminal hour of 9pm or such time as is stipulated by the UK/Scottish Government.

It will still be open to any applicant seeking a later terminal hour to make an application which will be considered by a Sub Group of the Licensing Board , as set out in the Policy . The Sub Group shall still consider such applications to determine whether it would be appropriate to agree a later terminal hour but no later than 11pm.

Details regarding how to submit an application for an Occasional Licence or apply to the Sub Group are set out within the Policy.

Please note that this policy is subject to any regulation or direction issued by the Scottish Government.

New Applications and Renewal of all Civic Licences including Taxi Driver , Private Hire and Taxi Operators Licences

We will endeavour to continue processing any new and renewal applications however applicants should note that this is likely to take longer than the usual time scales to process in light of the impact of Coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) .

Please note that emergency legislation due to the Coronavirus has allowed a Licensing Authority to accept, on good cause shown, a renewal application up to three months after the expiry date for the duration of the Coronavirus. In practice if your licence is due to expire on 1st May, for example, you will now have until 1st August 2020 to submit an application for renewal. Once granted the application will continue to run from the original date of issue .

Failure to apply before the last available date will result in the expiry of your licence and you will require to submit a fresh application . 

Updated Guidance for Holders of Taxi and Private Hire Licences

The Scottish Government has provided advice and guidance for Taxi and Private Hire Car (PHC) Licensees in relation to:

  • Social distancing
  • The use of partitions or screens
  • Hand and respiratory hygiene for drivers and passengers in taxis and PHCs
  • And the use of face coverings by drivers and passengers in taxis and PHCs

A copy of this Guidance can be viewed on the Documents Section of this page.

Taxis Driver/Private Hire Licences 

To assist Licence holders during this challenging time we will accept copy Driving Licences rather than originals. Where it is not possible for Licence holders to submit a copy of their licence we will use their previous Driving Licence as long as there are no changes to their personal details on the Licence.

Temporary Cessation of Taxi and Private Hire Car Operators Licences

To further assist Licence Holders during the Covid-19 pandemic the Council is prepared to allow the temporary cessation of all taxi and private hire car licences on a request from the licence holder which will enable those operators to seek to reduce their current level of insurance from taxi / private hire while the vehicle is not being used for that purpose.

Operators who wish to seek a temporary cessation should make a request in writing by emailing the licensing section at the email address shown in the contacts section of this page, providing the following information:

  • The name of the Licence Holder;
  • The Licence Number to which the request relates;
  • The date that public hire or private hire is removed from the insurance; and
  • Confirmation that the plates and signage have been removed from the vehicle.

This information will be passed to Police Scotland.

Please note that notification by licence holders requires to be by e-mail, as stated above, and telephone contact with the department will not be deemed sufficient notice.

To reinstate the licence thereafter, the licence holder should email the licensing section at the email address shown in the contacts section of this page, exhibiting updated insurance details and the commencement date of that insurance.

On confirmation by the Council of the receipt of satisfactory insurance, the licence holder will then be able to replace the plates and signage on their vehicle and commence trade.

Intimation of this update will be sent to Police Scotland.

MOT/Licenced Vehicle Testing

Please note that MOT testing across the UK has resumed, following a suspension earlier in the year, and that taxi and private hire testing has from Monday 3rd August 2020 resumed at the Pottery Street Test.

All operators who were due to have a test carried out during the suspension period will receive an updated taxi test certificate extending their test expiry date by 6 months.

All operators with test expiry dates on or after 1st August 2020 should make arrangements in the normal manner to have their vehicles tested.

All operators must note that the standard of roadworthiness of a licenced vehicle has not been relaxed. All operators and drivers require to comply fully with the vehicle standards stated in the Taxi Inspection Manual.

We ask that applicants bear with us at this difficult time.

Submitting Applications for Renewal

Renewal applications can be submitted to the licensing section by post or email on the details shown in the contacts section of this page. 

Civic, Taxis, Miscellaneous and Liquor Licensing 

Applications should be submitted by post or email on the details shown in the contacts section of this page. Please ensure that applications for alcohol licences and civic licences are completed in full, signed and copies (not originals) of the relevant documentation are submitted.

Payment can be made by telephoning the Contact Centre on 01475 717171 with your card details (please quote your name and licence number), BACS payments (details of which are below) or by posting a cheque.

Contact Details

Licensing staff can be contacted by telephone or email on the details shown in the contacts section of this page.

We ask that callers restrict their calls, in this emergency period, to telephoning between 10am and 12 noon and between 2pm and 3pm.

All licence holders are encouraged to keep up-to-date with government guidelines and advice in respect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Finally please note as the current situation develops it may be necessary for working practices to change. Inverclyde Council Licensing Section will aim to maintain continuity of business, insofar as is possible,
during these challenging times.

Details for BACS payments

Account No. 00438747

Sort Code: 80-91-25

Inverclyde Licensing Board - advice for (on-sale) licensed premises, such as pubs, bars, social clubs and restaurants

The chair of Inverclyde Licensing Board, Councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld, has written to the licensee of every pub, bar, restaurant and social club urging them to remain vigilant because the deadly Covid-19 is still out there.

The letter, accompanied by posters with the most up-to-date safety advice, which are all available on this page, also reminds operators and staff of existing rules and new safety measures they must adhere to protect themselves and customers – and warns that ‘swift action’ will be taken where rules are not being followed.

Pubs and restaurants were allowed to reopen in July for the first time in four months since lockdown in March.

For the latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) safety guidance, visit