Personal licences

Personal licences permit a person to authorise the supply of alcohol at premises licensed for that purpose.

Every premises where alcohol is sold (except under a Temporary Event Notice) must also have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS), who must be the holder of a personal licence. A person giving a Temporary Event Notice may authorise the sale of alcohol under their notice and will not need to hold a personal licence.

In exceptional circumstances, a Designated Premises Supervisor may not be required if a premises licence permits the sale of alcohol at a village hall or church hall. For further information please contact the licensing team.

About the licence

There is no limit to the number of personal licence holders who may work at any one premises, although everyone may only hold one personal licence.

Personal licences will no longer expire after 10 years and will continue in force until surrendered or revoked. The 10 year period was removed by the Deregulation Act 2015, which amended section 115 of the Licensing Act 2003 with effect from 1 April 2015. We wrote to all holders of personal licences issued before 1 April 2015 to advise them of this change.

How to apply

Your application must be made to the licensing authority where you usually live, which may not be the licensing authority for the area where you work. You can find your local council on GOV.UK.

To check what is needed for making an applications please see the prescribed forms and guidance.


Before you fill in this form

You won't be able to save this form to complete later, so please allow yourself at least ten minutes to fill in the form.

A completed disclosure of criminal convictions and declaration form is required to complete this form.

You will also need:

  • Two photographs of yourself, one of which is endorsed as a true likeness
  • Any licensing qualifications you hold or proof that you are a person of prescribed description. See further information below about the type of qualifications accepted
  • Criminal conviction certificate or criminal record certificate. See further information below about the certificate
  • Proof of right to work in the United Kingdom or sharing your code issued by the Home Office online Right to Work checking service
  • Payment card details

Apply for a personal licence

If you are unable to apply online, you can download a paper version of this application from personal licence forms and guidance.

Documents that also need to be posted or handed into the offices after an application

After you have submitted your application, you also need to provide the original versions of these documents:

  • Photographs of yourself: As well as uploading two copies, we will need the original and the endorsed version
  • Licensing qualifications: As well as uploading a scanned version of this in the form, we will also need to see the original copy
  • Criminal conviction certificate or a criminal record certificate: As well as uploading a scanned version of this form, we will also need to see the original copy

Further information about the qualification

The only valid qualification after 1 May 2011 is the Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders (APLH), although the Level 2 National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (NCPLH) obtained before that date will continue to be valid.

No other qualification is acceptable. In particular, licensing qualifications obtained before the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 are not valid. See GOV.UK for a list of accredited personal licence qualification providers.

We are aware of a number of local courses provided under the auspices of the British Institute of Innkeeping - other providers are available.

Further information about the about the criminal check

A basic disclosure of criminal records can be obtained from the Disclosure & Barring Service.

If you have a very recent (no more than one month old at the date of application) standard or enhanced criminal record disclosure from the DBS, this will be acceptable in support of your application. Although the legislation mentions a third method for obtaining a suitable certificate, the Police advise that subject access requests under the Data Protection Act 2018 cannot be used for this purpose.

Changing details

If you change your name, address or any other details, or you wish your licence to be re-issued without an expiry date, you must complete the change of name or address and/or the photo declaration forms and send them to us as soon as possible, together with the fee of £10.50 for your licence to be updated.

Notifying us about a foreign offence

Personal licence holders have a duty to notify the relevant licensing authority in writing if they have been convicted of a relevant or foreign offence. This is a requirement under section 132 of the Licensing Act 2003. Relevant offences are listed in Schedule 4 to the Licensing Act 2003, as amended.

A failure by a personal licence holder to notify the Licensing Authority of a change of name or address or of any relevant or foreign convictions is an offence, punishable on summary conviction, by a fine not exceeding £500.

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