DO I NEED AN OPERATOR'S LICENCE?
What is an Operators Licence?
Does my business need one?
Operator Licences overview
The Operator Licensing system is complex and there are many exemptions that may or may not apply to you. The reality is that you should always get specialist advice or you could find yourself applying for a licence that you do not need, or worse – facing a conviction for operating without a licence!
The general rule is:
If your business uses large goods vehicles (LGVs), you’ll need a goods vehicle operator licence.
If your business operates passenger-carrying vehicles (PCVs) for which passengers pay, you’ll need a public service vehicle (PSV) operator licence. If your business requires the use of a combination of Goods and Public Service vehicles, then multiple licences will have to be acquired.
Goods Vehicle Operators Licence
You need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if your business uses goods vehicles (lorry, van or truck) above a certain weight:
a gross plated weight (the maximum weight that the vehicle can have at any one time) of over 3,500 kilograms (kg)
an unladen weight of more than 1,525 kg (where there is no plated weight).
Motor vehicles and trailers
You’ll need a goods vehicle operator’s licence for a motor vehicle and trailer combination if:
the motor vehicle and the trailer(s) are plated and the total of their gross plated weights is more than 3,500 kg
the total unladen weight of the vehicle and trailer combination is more than 1,525 kg
You don’t need an operator’s licence if your trailer’s unladen weight is less than 1,020 kg and you only carry your own goods.
Carrying goods for hire or reward
You’ll need a standard licence if you’re carrying other people’s goods for hire or reward (such as working as a courier or freight transport business) and the vehicle and trailer combination exceeds the weight limits above for a single vehicle.
Public Service Vehicle Operators Licence
You need a public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence to:
operate a vehicle for hire or reward (payment or payment in kind) that can carry 9 or more passengers
operate a smaller vehicle carrying passengers and charging separate fares for the journey
Types of Operator Licence: Goods Vehicles
Types of Operator Licence: Public Service Vehicles
There are 4 types of PSV operator licences, plus special licensing rules in London.