Public Motor Vehicles, Private Hire Cars & Taxis

Registration, licensing and permits for public motor vehicles, private hire cars and taxis is provided under–
  • prior to 1 June 2018, Part V of the Motor Traffic Regulation 1967,
  • from 1 June 2018, Division 2 of the Road Traffic Rules - Passenger & Goods Transport Licensing 2017.

The information on this page is a summary of the provisions as they relate to a person applying for a registration, licence or a permit. See the Rule for all the provisions relating to passenger transport licensing. Download Rule

The RTA is administering registration, licensing and permits for public motor vehicles, private hire cars and taxis in NCD and for inter-provincial journeys.

Applicants for registration, licensing and permits for public motor vehicles, private hire cars and taxis in NCD and for inter-provincial journeys from or to the Papua Region (Central, Gulf, Milne Bay, Oro (Northern), and Western (Fly River) Provinces) should apply to–

RTA Operations Office, Kunai Street, Hohola, Port Moresby.

Applicants for inter-provincial journeys in other regions should apply to–

  • Highlands Region – RTA Regional Office, Kungtang Street, Mt Hagen
  • Momase Region – RTA Regional Office, 3rd Street, Lae
  • Islands Region – RTA Regional Office, Aidik Street, Kokopo

Registration, licensing and permits for public motor vehicles, private hire cars and taxis operating within a single province is administered by the Provincial Government. Applicants for these services should contact the Provincial Government office in their province.

Application for a passenger transport licence

The owner or operator of a vehicle may apply for a licence, or renewal of a licence, to operate that vehicle as a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab using this form [downloadable Form 13].

An application must be accompanied by–
  1. a current certificate of registration in respect of the vehicle; and
  2. a certificate of roadworthiness issued within 7 days before the making of the application; and
  3. evidence that the applicant is a fit and proper person in terms of Section 64 of the Passenger & Goods Transport Licensing Rule; and
  4. the licence fee prescribed in–
    • prior to 1 June 2018, Schedule 10 [Item 34 - 37] of the Motor Traffic Regulation 1967,
    • from 1 June 2018, Schedule 1 [Item 29, 32,or 34] of the Road Traffic (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2017,
    which is in addition to any fee prescribed for the registration of the vehicle – see Vehicle Registration
A public motor vehicle licence, private hire car licence or taxicab licence will only be issued or transferred to a person who produces evidence that he or she is–
  1. a fit and proper person to hold the licence; and
  2. engaged or about to be engaged–
    1. solely in the business of operating passenger transport; or
    2. in that business and in some other business jointly with it.
Before the grant of a licence to operate a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab, the applicant shall–
  1. answer, in writing, any questions required by the RTA to be answered; and
  2. sign his or her name to the answers in the presence of a Traffic Enforcement Officer or other person authorized for the purpose by the RTA.

A licence to operate a vehicle as a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab may be issued subject to such conditions as to–

  1. the area in which the vehicle may be operated;
  2. the routes over which it may be operated;
  3. the places where the vehicle may pick up and set down passengers;
  4. the number of passengers that may be carried;
  5. the timetable to be observed; and
  6. any other matter,
as the licensing authority thinks fit and specifies in the licence.

As well as issuing the public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab licence, the licensing authority will issue to the licensee–
  1. the prescribed number-plates;
  2. a licence label.
The fee for each number plate for a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab is prescribed in–
  • prior to 1 June 2018, Schedule 10 of the Motor Traffic Regulation 1967
    1. public motor vehicle plate [Item 22];
    2. private hire car plate [Item 24];
    3. taxicab plate [Item 26].
  • from 1 June 2018, Schedule 1 [Item 20] of the Road Traffic (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2017.

A public motor vehicle licence, private hire car licence and taxicab is valid for 6 months (12 months after 1 June 2018), unless sooner cancelled or suspended, and may be renewed for a further 6 months (12 months from 1 June 2018).


Temporary hire car licence

The RTA may issue a temporary licence for the use of a car for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward, for a period not exceeding four days, for such purposes and subject to such conditions as the RTA thinks proper, subject to the RTA being satisfied that–
  1. the vehicle is so constructed as to comply with the requirements of Road Traffic Rules –Vehicle Standards and Compliance; and
  2. the vehicle is roadworthy; and
  3. the vehicle is a currently registered vehicle; and
  4. the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a private hire car licence.
The fee for a temporary hire car licence is prescribed in–
  • prior to 1 June 2018, Schedule 10 of the Motor Traffic Regulation 1967
    1. car for the carriage of passengers for hire [Item 47];
    2. motor vehicle as a motor omnibus [Item 48].
  • from 1 June 2018, Schedule 1 [Item 35] of the Road Traffic (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2017.

Application for endorsement or permit to drive a passenger transport vehicle

The driver of a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab must hold–
  1. a driving licence that bears an endorsement to the effect that he or she is licensed to drive a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab, as the case may be; or
  2. a permit to drive a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab, as the case may be.
Application for an endorsement to drive a passenger transport vehicle must be made on this form [downloadable Form 15A], and be accompanied by–
  1. the applicant’s current driving licence; and
  2. evidence (such as a copy of the public motor vehicle licence) of the class of motor vehicle and the number of passengers the vehicle is licensed to carry; and
  3. evidence to the satisfaction of RTA that the applicant is a fit and proper person in terms of Section 64 of the Road Traffic Rules – Passenger and Goods Transport Licensing 2017; and
  4. the fee prescribed in–
Before the grant of an endorsement to drive a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab, the applicant must–
  1. answer, in writing, any questions required by RTA to be answered; and
  2. sign his or her name to the answers in the presence a Traffic Enforcement Officer or other person authorized for the purpose by the RTA.

Application for crew member’s permit

A person must not act as a crew member on a public motor vehicle, and the holder of a public motor vehicle licence must not cause or permit a person to act as a crew member on the public motor vehicle of which he or she is the licensee, unless that person is the holder of a current crew member’s permit.

A person may apply for a crew member’s permit or renewal of a crew member’s permit for a public motor vehicle using this form [downloadable Form 15D].

The application must be accompanied by–

  1. evidence to the satisfaction of the RTA that the applicant is a fit and proper person in terms of Section 64 of the Road Traffic Rules – Passenger and Goods Transport Licensing 2017; and
  2. the fee prescribed in–
    • prior to 1 June 2018, Schedule 10 [Item 49] of the Motor Traffic Regulation 1967,
    • from 1 June 2018, Schedule 1 [Item 31] of the Road Traffic (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2017.
A crew member’s permit expires after three years unless sooner suspended or cancelled.


Lost, defaced or destroyed licence, permit or label

If a passenger transport licence or label, a crew member’s permit or a permit to drive a passenger transport vehicle is lost, defaced or destroyed, the holder of the licence, permit or label must, within 7 days, provide to the licensing authority a statutory declaration setting out the circumstances of the loss, defacement or destruction using this form [downloadable Form 22].

A person may apply to the licensing authority for a replacement licence, permit or label using this form [downloadable Form 21].

An application for a replacement licence, permit or label must be accompanied by the fee prescribed in-

  1. prior to 1 June 2018, Schedule 10 [Item 17] of the Motor Traffic Regulation 1967,
  2. from 1 June 2018, Schedule 1 [Item 40] of the Road Traffic (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2017.

The licensing authority will only issue a replacement licence, permit or label if it is satisfied that the original licence, permit or label was not misused


Transfer of passenger transport licence

Before the sale, transfer or other disposal of a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab, the person to whom the vehicle is to be sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of may apply, using this form [downloadable Form 14] to have that public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab licence transferred to him or her.

An application to transfer a passenger transport licence must be accompanied by the fee prescribed in– The application must also be accompanied by evidence that the applicant is–
  1. a fit and proper person to hold a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab licence; and
  2. engaged or about to be engaged–
    1. solely in the business of operating passenger transport; or
    2. in that business and in some other business jointly with it.

The licensing authority will only approve the transfer if it is satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to operate a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab, in which case the licensing authority will inform–

  1. the applicant; and
  2. the person who holds the public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab licence,
that the licensing authority is so satisfied.

The parties must not enter into an agreement for the sale, transfer or other disposal of the vehicle while it is still registered and plated as a public motor vehicle, private hire car or taxicab, until they have received the licensing authority approval to transfer the licence.