Do I need to get an operator’s licence?
You will need an operator’s licence if you are going to carry goods (or loads) in connection with a business and/or trade, if your vehicle weighs more than 3500Kg (or 3.5 tons) (approx 1500Kg / 1.5 tons for an unladen vehicle)
You will need an operator’s licence if you are the driver/owner of the vehicle, or if the vehicle is in your lawful possession under a hire, hire purchase, or loan agreement.
You will need an operator’s licence regardless of the length of time that the vehicle is used – even for just 1 day.
You will also need an ‘O’ Licence if you use a motor vehicle/trailer combination under certain circumstances, namely; the gross weight exceeds 3500Kg (3.5 ton) or if the unladen weight of the combination is more than 1525Kg.
What type of licence do I need?
There are 3 different types of Licence
Restricted Operators Licence – applicable when carying you own goods but NOT other peoples goods in GB & overseas. With this licence you cannot transport goods for others, either for hire or payment. To do so risks a fine and loss of your licence.
Standard National Operators Licence – applicable as long as your vehicle remains in GB. You may transport goods for other people with this kind of licence but you must not leave the country
Standard International Operators Licence – applicable for journeys in GB and overseas (in EU countries). Owners of this licence also have the option to obtain Community Licences which permit transport through any EU country and include Cabotage (which are journeys entirely within another EU country)
For those wishing to transport goods to non-European Union countries you are advised to contact International Road Freight Office – now VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa
Applying for a licence?
New Operator Licence applications are made via a Form GV79 which is available from your nearest Traffic Area Office (TAO) – there are 8 such offices in Great Britain. Links to each of these eight offices can be found on the VOSA website.
Completed forms (along with your application fee) must be submitted to the commissioner responsible for your area. Note, you will need to obtain an operator’s licence for every traffic area where you have an operating centre (normally the location where you keep your vehicles when not in use).
Help to complete your application form can be found online or via a company like Jey Consulting. We recommend that you apply for your operators licence 9 or 10 weeks prior to the date when you actually want to use the licence.