HGV operator’s licence is required if you want to use vehicle(s) over 3.5 ton maximum permissible weight  for hire and reward or in conjunction with your business or trade. Operator licensing is the regulatory quality control system imposed by The UK to ensure safe and legal operation of most goods vehicles in The Uk. Similar systems operate throughout The EU.

Operator’s license application

When applying for an o’licence you will have to meet a number of requirements. Here are some of them:

  • Financial standing requirements. You have to prove that you have funds available to maintain your fleet. Bank or credit card statements are accepted as proof. This is a continuous requirement.
  • Have an operating centre (which is parking for your vehicles when not in use)
  • Have maintenance contract in place.
  • Publish a public notice in a local newspaper
  • Have a transport manager (standard licence only)
  • Have good repute. Applies to operator and transport manager
  • Pay application fee.

Please note this list is not comprehensive and there are many more details to this process. For more information you can visit www.gov.ukIf you require assistance with your application feel free to get in touch.


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external transport managerTypes of operator’s licenses

Restricted licence

This licence allows you to carry your own goods, but not other people’s goods. Your licence will continue to be valid as long as you pay your continuation fee every 5 years and operate within the terms of your licence. Covers both national and international operations with own account goods. You must not carry goods for hire and reward.

Standard national licence

You can carry your own goods in the UK and internationally and other people’s goods in the UK only. You can also take loaded trailers to or from ports within the UK as part of an international journey, as long as your vehicles don’t leave the country.

Standard international licence

This licence means you can carry your own goods, and other people’s goods, both in the UK and on international journeys. When you get a standard international licence, you can also request the issue of Community Licences. These allow trips between all EU member countries, transit traffic through EU member countries and cabotage (journeys entirely within another EU member country)

List of relevant regulations

  • Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995
  • Motor Vehicles (Driver Testing and Vehicle Load) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013 No. 1753)
  • Goods Vehicles (Community Licences) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011 No. 2633)
  • Road Transport Operator Regulations 2011 (SI 2011 No.2632)
  • Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010 No. 464)
  • Goods Vehicles (Enforcement Powers) (Amendment) Regulations 2009
  • Goods Vehicles (Enforcement Powers) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001 No. 3981)
  • Goods Vehicle Operators (Qualifications) Regulations 1999 (SI No. 2430)
  • Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) (Fees) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995 No. 3000) (as amended)
  • Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995 No. 2869)
  • Local Transport Act 2008 (Traffic Commissioners) (Consequential Amendments) Order 2013 (SI 2013 No. 1644)
  • Local Transport Act 2008 (Commencement No. 3) Order 2013 (SI 2013 No. 685)
  • Council Directive 98/76/EC on admission to the occupation of road haulage operator
  • EU Regulation 2016/403 lists the categories, types and degrees of seriousness of infringements of the EU rules which may lead to the loss of repute of the operator or the transport manager
  • EC Regulation 1072/2009 on common rules for access to the international road haulage market and repealing EU Regulations 881/92/EC and 3118/93/EC and Directive 2006/94/EC
  • EC Regulation 1071/2009 establishing common rules for road transport operators and repealing Council Directive 96/26/EC


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