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Published on March 23rd, 2016 | by Dean Carr


How long does it take to get a personal licence?

Processing times for personal licence applications can some times be a big issue as some local councils have some bizarre processing times. Some of the worst offending council’s are currently taking between ten to sixteen weeks to process a personal licence application?

Personal Licence Training (UK) Ltd reported today via their Facebook page that some local authorities are taking almost 3 to 4 months to process a personal licence holder application. Some of the worst offenders are some of the London Borough Council’s and also some Scottish Licensing Boards. Maybe council cut backs can be blamed for longer processing times or council staff being overloaded as they are dealing with other types of licences, such as taxi, scrap metal, street traders, animal boarding and other types of licensing.

Unfortunately the Licensing Acts for England, Wales or Scotland does not state a set time framework for local authorities to work within. When determining an application for grant of a personal licence under the Licensing Act 2003 for England and wales a licensing authority must grant the licence if it appears to it that;

    (1) the applicant is aged 18 or over,
    (2) the applicant possesses a relevant licensing qualification,
    (3) no personal licence held by applicant has been forfeited in the period of five years ending with the day the application was made, and
    (4) the applicant has not been convicted of any relevant offence or any foreign offence.

How long does it take to get a personal licence?

The good news is according to Personal Licence Training (PLT) most UK Licensing Authorities and Licensing Boards take normally 3 to 5 weeks to process a personal alcohol licence application!

A spokesperson for PLT said “When dealing with all local authorities across the UK for personal licence holder applications some local council’s do appear to be on the ball with many applications being turned around in 1 or 2 weeks. At Personal Licence Training (UK) Ltd we en-devour to have our clients licence application, certificate of training and basic DBS check on a local authority desk in approximately two weeks. We will always advise our clients if a local authority is having issues with processing times, but can not be held responsible as we have no control over council processing time scales or procedures for personal licence applications. On average most personal licence applications including training should take about four to six weeks from start to finish.”

Applicants who are applying for a personal licence should be aware that some Licensing Authorities or Licensing Boards may from time to time experience delays. It would be advantageous if local authorities had set service level agreement of lets say 4 weeks or a processing time limit was added to the revised guidance under section 182 of the Act and similar for Scotland. If you are using an agent such as PLT they should advise you or if you are processing your own licence application contact the relevant council department.

How to apply for a personal licence
individuals need to obtain a relevant licensing qualification. This is generally a one day course, these courses are available on the PLT website PLT also offer a licence processing service or applicant can apply them selves.

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About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188

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