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Operator Licensing

Are You Needing help with an Operator Licence Application ?

Subject to some exceptions, a business wishing to operate a goods vehicle in excess of 3.5 tonnes or a passenger vehicle with 8 or more passenger seats must hold an Operators Licence.

Get advice from us about what licence you need. You can get us to apply for a licence or secure changes to your licence on your behalf.

Operator licences are not easy to obtain. You have to meet various criteria to be legally entitled to one. There are six different types of operator licences :

Standard National Goods – for goods vehicle operations within the United Kingdom

  • Standard International Goods – for goods vehicle operations within the UK and EU
  • Restricted Goods – restricted to carrying goods only in connection with the licence holder’s business, and not for goods carried on behalf of other people
  • Standard National Passenger – for passenger carrying vehicles within the UK
  • Restricted Passenger – for vehicles up to 16 seats and only where the passenger operation is incidental to the licence holders main business.

An operators licence only allows you to operate from one traffic area. For example if you wanted to have one transport operation based in the South West and another in the South East, you would need two licences.

When applying or an operators licence, an operator must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Traffic Commissioner that they meet the criteria for having a licence. If any of the criteria are not satisfied then the Traffic Commissioner is obliged by law to refuse the licence.

An basic outline of the main criteria are as follows :
  • Good repute / fitness to hold an operators licence
  • Financial standing – you have to show that you hold certain minimum financial reserves

  • Professional competence for standard licences – this means your business employs a transport manager who has professional qualifications

  • A base – you must have an operating centre where your transport operation is based and also an office where legal documents and compliance records are kept

  • Systems in place for maintenance, tachographs, drivers hours, preventing overloading, legal compliance and safe operating

  • Personal history - certain conduct and certain serious convictions can disqualify you from holding an operators licence.

Good repute and fitness is a very wide concept. All sorts of varied things can come into this including your previous conduct as a vehicle operator, links to other businesses, insolvency issues, convictions and even financial issues can be taken into account (to name but a few).

Sometimes the application process can be quite straight forward. Most applications are granted on paper. Other applications can run into complications that can delay the grant for many months or even a year. Sometimes applications are dealt with at a public inquiry where the Traffic Commissioner hears your case before granting you a licence.

The aim of getting professional assistance with an operators licence is to avoid complications and get your licence granted as quickly and smoothly as possible. At the first stage we advise exactly what kind of licence you need. We then get together all the paper work needed, prepare the application. We also prepare detailed written representations to accompany your application and ensure that any possible complications are all dealt with in advance to avoid delay and possible rejection of your application.

An operators licence is very valuable but sometimes hard to get. Get good advice on board to ensure a quick and successful grant of your licence.

Contact our us For Operator Licensing Advice

If you wish to apply for an operators licence or you need advice then please contact us on 0800 1777 522.


Call us for free on 0800 1777 522


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We advise and represent transport businesses throughout the whole of the UK in all parts of England, Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland

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