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Personal licence

A personal licence permits a specified person to supply alcohol or allow the supply of alcohol at a premises that has a valid premises licence. Personal licences are valid for ten years, and may be used anywhere in England and Wales.

Who needs a personal licence

You will need a personal licence if:

  • you are designated as the premises supervisor on a premises licence for a premises where alcohol is to be sold
  • you want to sell alcohol under a premises licence or authorise others to sell alcohol under a premises licence
  • you want to use more than 5 temporary event notices in a calendar year 

Who qualifies for a personal licence

You must:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • have an accredited licensing qualification
  • have not forfeited a personal licence within the preceding five years
  • have no unspent conviction(s) for a 'relevant' or 'foreign' offence committed in this country or abroad see Licensing Act 2003 for details
  • have a Disclosure & Barring Service Certificate (DBS), Police National Computer (PNC) check

How to apply

Submit your application form and disclosure of convictions and declaration form to the licensing authority where you live.

You will also need to include:

2 photographs, which need to be:

  • taken against a light background so that your features are distinguishable and contrast against the background
  • passport photograph size (45 millimetres by 35 millimetres)
  • full face uncovered and without sunglasses and, without a head uncovering (unless worn due to religious beliefs)
  • on photographic paper
  • one of which is endorsed with a statement verifying the likeness of yourself to the photograph by a solicitor, notary, a person of standing in the community or any individual with a professional qualification

And either of the following:

  • Disclosure & Barring Service Certificate (DBS)
  • Police National Computer (PNC) check

In any case such certificate shall be issued no earlier than one calendar month before giving of the application to the relevant licensing authority.

The fee for this application is £37 and the licensing authority must determine the application within 3 months.

Who can object to the grant of your licence

Once the Licensing Authority is in receipt of your valid application, the police have 14 days in which to object on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder (for example, unspent convictions).

What happens if the police object to your application

If there is an objection, a hearing of the licensing sub committee must then be held within 20 days unless all parties agree that a formal hearing is unnecessary.

What you can do if your licence is refused

You can appeal to the Magistrates Court against the Local Authorities decision to refuse a licence, within 21 days of being notified of the decision and the grounds for it.

Your obligations when your licence is granted

Once you are a personal licence holder your must:

  • notify the council of any relevant convictions received after it is granted
  • inform the council if you wish to surrender your licence
  • notify the court immediately and produce your licence to that court if charged with a relevant offence
  • produce your licence on request to any police constable or person authorised by the council, when you are on licensed premises

What to do if your licence is stolen or lost

You must report this to the police on the report my loss website and then inform your issuing licensing authority in writing as soon as possible, quoting the police lost property reference number. You must include the fee of £10.50 for a replacement licence.

What to do if you change your name or address

You must inform your issuing licensing authority in writing as soon as possible. Include the existing licence (both the card and the paper licence) and the fee of £10.50 for a replacement licence.

Page last updated: 08 February 2019
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