How To Apply For An Operators Licence

Do I need an Operators Licence?

You need an operator’s licence to carry goods (or burden) connected with any trade or business if you "USE" a motor vehicle on a road with a gross vehicle mass (weight) of over 3,500 Kg (3.5 tons).

What Type of licence do you need?

  • A Restricted Operators Licence - to operate vehicles within the EEC as long as you are only carrying your own goods. The main advantage of this type of licence is that there is no requirement to employ a transport manager with a CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) and the financial resources that need to be in place are less. However as the operator must maintain the same standards as an unrestricted licence holder it is advisable to have access to professional advice
  • A National Operators Licence - to operate on a "hire and reward" basis (charge for the transport of goods not owned) within the UK
  • An International Operators Licence - to operate on a "hire and reward" basis (charge for the transport of goods not owned) within the EEC


  • CPC holder - not required for a restricted licence
  • Operating Centre – If not owned or leased, permission to park
  • A Statutory Notice must be advertised inviting objections about the operating centre - The wording of the notice is detailed in the GV79 form but must advertised in a newspaper which is in free circulation in the area of the operating centre
  • Maintenance Requirements – Either details of in house maintenance or signed agreement to maintain the vehicles including a copy of the inspection sheet to be used
  • Finances - Three months demonstrating access to sufficient funds to maintain the fleet

The Application Process

The applicant must complete a GV79 application form and send it to the Traffic Commissioner’s Office in Leeds along with the documentation detailed above. VOSA (Vehicle & Operators Services Agency) recommend that you apply ten weeks before you need the licence, if a quick decision is needed an interim licence can be applied for at an additional cost and it assumes that there will be no problems with application.


There are a series of fees which apply throughout the application process.

An application fee of £254 is required with the submission of the GV79 Application Form. An average application will take around 10 weeks, however, this can be reduced to around 6 weeks if an application is made for an interim licence but there is an additional fee of £66 for this. When the licence is granted a further licence fee and vehicle fees are required. The licence fee is a one off payment of £354 and lasts for 5 years. Vehicle fees of £48 per vehicle per year or £200 per vehicle for 5 years are also required at this time.

How Do I Apply For A License?

To apply for a new licence you need to complete a Form GV79 which is available from your Area Traffic Office or online @

The Operating Centre

The operating centre is the term used in the regulations to describe the location of where the vehicle or vehicles are parked when not in use. The Traffic Commissioner will need to be satisfied that your operating centre(s) are suitable - for example, that they will be big enough, with safe access, and in an environmentally acceptable location. If you do not own the operating centre you may be asked to provide evidence that you are entitled to use it.

Do I have to advertise my Application?

You must advertise your application in a local newspaper circulating in each place where you are applying to have your operating centres. The advertisement must appear at least once within the period running from 21 days before to 21 days after you make your application.

What are the Vehicle Maintenance Requirements?

You must satisfy the Traffic Commissioner that you will keep your vehicles serviceable at all times. The Traffic Commissioner will want to see a copy of any maintenance contract or letter of agreement with a garage if you do not do this work yourself. Examples of the forms used for vehicle safety inspections will be required by the Traffic Commissioner. If you are hiring the vehicle the hire company normally provides maintenance.

What are the Financial Requirements?

For all types of licence, the Traffic Commissioner has to be satisfied that you have adequate financial resources to keep your vehicles fit and serviceable. You are asked to give details on the application form of any recent bankruptcy, insolvency, liquidation or disqualification in relation to a company. Applicants are asked for details of financial resources and to give supporting evidence (such as bank statements and statement of assets, or most recent accounts).Please note that this guide has been produced to advice potential new operators on how to get started and therefore cannot be considered as Legal Advice for that you should consult a Transport Advisor.

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