Applications for an Operator’s Licence

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Operator Licence Applications and Requirements

If you operate commercial goods vehicles or passenger-carrying vehicles, you will be aware that you need an operator’s licence to do so for hire or reward, or in connection with any other form of business.

Whether you are hoping to apply for an operator’s licence or a variation of an existing operator’s licence, or are concerned that you hold a current licence but do not meet the requirements, JMW has a team of solicitors who can advise you on the next steps helping you to avoid delays and complications that can often arise.

To speak to a solicitor about operator licence applications and requirements, contact JMW today by calling 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will give you a call back at a convenient time.

What are the Four Core Requirements of an Operator’s Licence?

Holding an operator’s licence brings with it a number of responsibilities and undertakings; however, the four core requirements to making a successful application for and keeping an operator’s licence are as below:

  1. To have professional competence
  2. To have a stable establishment
  3. To have financial standing
  4. To have good repute

Without these four requirements, an application for an operator’s licence will likely be refused and an existing operator’s licence will likely be revoked, unless the position can be rectified.

Compliance with these requirements is regulated by the Traffic Commissioner, who will grant operator’s licensing following successful applications and exercise their powers to assess whether existing licences continue to meet these four requirements to decide whether an operator’s licence needs to be revoked.

What Other Responsibilities Do Operators Have?

There is a long list of undertakings that come with an operator’s licence. These include:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Drivers’ hours
  • Tachographs
  • Brake testing

How JMW Can Help

We can help you implement your responsibilities so that you avoid the scrutiny of the Traffic Commissioners and regulatory action. It is not, therefore, simply a case of meeting the four requirements listed above, but also about ensuring that an operator remains compliant and aware of the changes in the sector.

The team can advise on questions of financial standing, good repute, and any other queries relevant to the four core requirements, as well as ensure that you remain up to date with the changing rules and regulations that surround the transport sector.

Our solicitors have been helping individuals and businesses make successful applications for operator licences for years, so we are able to preempt and solve issues early to make the process as smooth as possible.

How to Get an Operator’s Licence

You need an operator’s licence if you want to use a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes maximum permissible weight for the purpose of carrying goods or passengers for hire or reward or in connection with a business.

Operator licences should be applied for in the name of the person, company or organisation that is the ‘user’ of the vehicle, and applications should be made nine weeks before you would like to start operating (according to estimated wait times). You are considered a user if:

  • You are the driver, if you are also the owner of the vehicle
  • You are a business and the driver is your employee or agent (i.e. you pay them to drive the vehicle for you)

Operating Centre Requirement

With goods vehicles not being able to be kept on a public road, operators will be required to have a safe and secure operating centre to base their vehicles and trailers. When making an application for an operator’s licence, you will be asked to list your operating centres and provide information on what vehicles you plan to keep there. If you do not own the operating centre, you may be asked to provide evidence that you are entitled to use it. A Traffic Commissioner will also need to be satisfied that your operating centres are suitable by being big enough, providing safe access and being in an acceptable location.

Transport Manager Requirement

In addition to an operating centre, you will need to have at least one transport manager when applying for an operator’s licence. Your transport manager can either by internal or external:

Internal transport managers will likely work directly for the operator as a full-time or part-time employer, director or owner. They must also be a resident in an EU country, and effectively and continuously perform their transport manager role for the operator in question.

External transport managers can be employed outside of the operator. They must also be a resident in an EU country, have a contract with the operator, and cannot work for more than four operators with a combined total fleet of 50 vehicles

FAQs About Operator Licences

Do you need CPC for an operator’s licence?

A Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) is a professional qualification to become a transport manager. Transport managers do not need to have an operator’s licence; however, a vehicle operator will need to designate a transport manager to their operator’s licence in order to meet the requirements for professional competence.

How many different types of operator licences are there?

There are a variety of operator licences, including:

  • Standard International Licence - this allows you to carry goods for hire or reward in the UK and internationally
  • Standard National Licence - this allows you to carry goods for hire or reward in the UK
  • Restricted Licence - this only allows you to carry your own goods within the UK and EU, e.g. you produce and deliver your own goods or use a vehicle to transport tools or equipment to and from a job (e.g. a scaffolder or builder)

How much is an operator’s licence in the UK?

Payment must be made for the processing of your application. Fees for operator licence applications are:

  • Licence application - £257
  • Issuance of a licence - £401
  • Five-year continuation licence - £401
  • Significant licence change - £257
  • Interim licence - £68

Note: These are not JMW fees but fees incurred to be paid to the regulator.

Are there any operator licence exemptions?

There are exemptions when it comes to operator licensing, these include:

  • Recovery vehicles responsible for lifting, towing or transporting other vehicles
  • Vehicles with equipment permanently attached, e,g, road sweeper or cherry picker
  • Vehicles being used for or in connection to clearing snow and distributing grit

Talk to Us

If you or your business wish to apply for an Operator’s Licence or wish to simply seek advice on whether or not you need an Operator’s Licence then get in touch with the transport experts at JMW for a free consultation on 0345 872 6666 or get in touch using the online contact form.