Applying for your personal licence
Quite a lot has changed in alcohol licensing over the past decade. This article will run through a few brief essentials, and then guide you through each step of applying for your personal licence.
What is a Personal Licence?
A personal licence is issued and named to an individual- like a driving licence, it cannot be passed around and shared. The licence is valid for ten years, and can be renewed for a further ten year periods. A personal licence allows an individual to authorise the retail sale of alcohol within a licensed premises (licensed under a premises licence). The personal licence takes the physical form of a licence card and a supporting document.
The Licensing Act 2003
Firstly, a quick note of the cause of most of this change: the Licensing Act 2003. This new act came into force in 2005, with major amendments made as recently as April and October 2012. The good news is that the new act has condensed licensing legislation, making applyign for your personal licence a lot simpler. Only two types of alcohol licence remain: the personal licence and the premises licence.
Your local licensing authority deals with almost all licensing matters in your area. A personal licence application is made to your licensing authority, who then issues your licence. Not so long ago, licence applications were made to Magistrates’ Courts- under the new act, their role is limited to certain types of licence appeals.
Step 1: The licensing qualification
To hold a personal licence, you are required by law to undertake a licensing law course and sit a licensing examination. You will need to send off this certificate with your personal licence application paperwork.
In England & Wales, this licensing qualification is known as the Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH) Level 2, in Scotland, the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) Level 5. Both have replaced the old qualification, the National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (NCPLH) Level 2, although training courses may still be advertised as such.
Step 2: Completing an application
To apply for a personal licence, you must:
- Complete an application form.
- Have two passport sized photographs verified by a professional
- Send off for a CRB basic disclosure check (£25.00 fee)
- Prepare the application fee (£37.00)
The CRB process is designed to check if you have any relevant offences- convictions relevant to the Licensing Act 2003. For more information, read our guide to relevant offences.
If you have committed a relevant offence, it is vital that you inform your licensing authority during the application procedure, as it is a criminal offence to conceal a relevant offence.
Step 3: Sending off your application
Your completed application form should be sent to your local licensing authority, together with your APLH/SCPLH qualification certificate, completed application form, two photographs, CRB basic disclosure and application fee.
What about Scotland?
The Scottish have a separate licensing act: the Licensing Act (Scotland) 2005. A Scottish personal licence is separate to a personal licence issued in England or Wales. A Scottish personal licence only covers sale of alcohol in Scotland; a personal licence issued in England or Wales only covers the sale of alcohol in England and Wales. For applicants living close to the England/Scotland border, it is well worth considering where you intent to work before applying for a licence, or applying for both licences.
We wish you the very best of luck in applying for your personal licence. For training courses and application assistance, we recommend Personal Licence Training.
You can call our FREE ADVICE LINE for help and advice on any alcohol licensing issues during normal office hours: 01242 222188