Operator Licensing - A Laymans Guide
This is a brief guide to Operator Licensing. Within this particular section of the site you'll find further information specific to licensing, including links to all the relevant Guides and Forms downloadable from the VOSA website.
What type of Licence do I need?
There are three types of Operator Licence.
RESTRICTED. This licence allows you to carry your own goods in the course of your trade or business. You must not carry goods for other people for hire or reward if you have a restricted licence. If you do, you could be fined and lose your licence
STANDARD NATIONAL. This licence allows you to carry your own goods in Great Britain, and to carry goods for other people for hire or reward in Great Britain. Even if you carry other people's goods only occasionally, you must have a standard national licence. You can be fined if you use your vehicles for international hire or reward work when your licence covers you for national operations only.
STANDARD INTERNATIONAL. This licence allows you to carry your own goods, and goods for other people for hire or reward, both in Great Britain and on international journeys. Operators who are issued with international licences will also receive Community Authorisations which are required for all hire or reward operations in, or through, European Community countries. These have replaced the need for community permits, bilateral permits between member states and permits for transit traffic through the EU but not permits for travel to or through non-EU countries where these are still required.
What do I need to obtain one?
Before you contact VOSA (Vehicle Operator Services Agency) or download the relevant forms from their website you will need to ensure that you can satisfy the following criteria and provide: -
- Permission to use the place where you are going to park your vehicle(s) (the operating centre); you will require this permission in writing from the owner. However, this is not required if you own the land, although proof of ownership will be required.
- Maintenance Contract, which can be obtained from a reputable commercial vehicle service agent, who will know exactly what is required and will be able to advise on maintenance frequency and costs. If you submit a maintenance contract from a garage, you must use their services.
- Certificate of Professional Competence, which is required if applying for a Standard National or Standard International Licence. You will need to either hold the relevant CPC qualification(s) or have someone who has them working for you, in which case, the following will be applicable:
- For a National Licence - A National CPC
- For an International Licence - A National and International CPC
- Whoever holds the CPC(s), will need to satisfy the Traffic Commissioner of good intent, and in the case of you using an external source who holds the required CPC(s) to work upon your behalf, that he/she can give the time required to efficiently and effectively perform the role of CPC holder - usually a minimum of 8 hours per week per licence subject to the number of vehicles operated.
- Finally, you will need to provide some Financial Information. This information consists of, proof to the Commissioner that you have sufficient financial resources to support the licence you require, which will mean three months bank statements and proof of any further financial facility you have to support an ongoing Transport Operation. Recent audited accounts may also be required.
How do I go about things?
If you have all the requirements in place mentioned above, then you're ready to get your application underway. To apply for your licence, you'll need a form GV79 and notes for guidance form GV79A, which are both available to download from the VOSA website. Once you've done so, take your time, read the guidance notes thoroughly before filling in the form. Another document which you'll find invaluable is the Guide for Goods Vehicle Operators (GV74), which you'll find avalable to download in the Guides section of this website.
The sub-menus attached to this section have all the information you'll require, and are as follows: -
Guides Here you'll find every Guide applicable to you with a link to each Form to download from the VOSA website.
Forms Similarly to the guides page, we've written a brief overview to each form on this page and placed a link directly to the VOSA site for every Form applicable to you now and in your future operational activities for download purposes.