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. Please contact the licensing team for further information.

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


Please note that 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.

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 possible, together with the fee of £10.50 for your licence to be updated.

Personal licence holders also 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.

How do I 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.

Section 120 of the Licensing Act 2003 requires every applicant to hold an accredited licensing qualification and produce an original basic criminal record check dated no more than one month before the day on which the application is made. 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; accredited personal licence qualification providers are listed on the GOV.UK website. We are aware of a number of local courses provided under the auspices of the British Institute of Innkeeping - other providers are available.

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

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.

You will need the following to make an application:

  • The completed licence application form
  • The completed criminal record declaration
  • Two passport sized photographs, one endorsed (please see guidance notes)
  • The fee of £37 (set by central government)
  • The original criminal record disclosure (from the DBS) - no more than one month old, and
  • The original qualification certificate (Level Two Award for Personal Licence Holders) - this will be returned to you. Please note, e-certifications are not accepted by Southampton & Eastleigh Licensing Partnership. Please obtain an original certificate, you may have to ask your provider for this.

It is important that you check that each of these documents is completed and enclosed with your application to us. We will not be able to process your application until all the required documents have been received. If the documents are posted to us, please ensure that the correct postage is prepaid - we are unable to accept post with outstanding charges. See the Royal Mail for further information. Both the forms and the fees are prescribed by central government. 

Please see the prescribed forms and guidance for detailed information on making applications. Applications must be returned to the Licensing Team with all required accompanying documents (including your original criminal record disclosure, qualification certificate, endorsed photographs and the fee) before your application can be processed.

Data Protection

Please note that the licensing authority may be required by law to disclose to the appropriate authorities, from time to time, further information relating to applications and licences for the purposes of law enforcement and the prevention of fraud.