Personal licence

Apply for a personal licence

Licence summary

A personal licence is required for individuals who may be engaged in making and authorising the sale or supply of alcohol. Not every person retailing alcohol at premises' licensed for that purpose will need a personal licence, but every sale or supply of alcohol must be at least authorised by such a licence holder. The only exception is for community premises in respect of which a successful application has been made to remove the usual mandatory conditions.

An applicant for a licence must apply to their local authority where they live and only one application can be made at any one time.

Renewals of licences are no longer necessary

Personal licences remain valid unless surrendered, suspended, revoked or declared forfeit by the courts. The requirement to renew a personal licence was removed from the Licensing Act 2003 by the Deregulation Act 2015.

While personal licences issued before the 2015 Act have expiry dates, these licences will remain valid and such dates no longer have an effect.

Once granted, the licensing authority which issued the licence remains the relevant licensing authority for it and its holder, even though the individual may move out of the area or take employment elsewhere. The personal licence itself will give details of the issuing licensing authority.

Eligibility criteria - People must fit the following criteria to apply for a personal licence:
  • is aged 18 or over
  • holds a licensing qualification accredited by the Secretary of State (or which is certified as if it is such a qualification or is considered equivalent)
  • or is a person as prescribed by the Secretary of State by regulations
  • has not forfeited a personal licence within five years of their application
  • has not been convicted of any relevant or foreign offence. Relevant offence refers to the offences listed in the Act that could, on conviction, rule out the grant or renewal of a personal licence to the applicant concerned.

To view the statutory list of relevant offences

Regulation summary - A summary of the regulation relating to this licence

Application evaluation process

  • Applications must be sent to the Licensing Authority. Applications must be submitted on the prescribed form with the Disclosure of Convictions declaration and be accompanied by the following:
  • the prescribed fee
  • original copy of the criminal conviction certificate or Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) (please note that a criminal record conviction certificate must be under one month old upon the date that the application is received by the authority)
  • two passport sized photographs (the photo must meet the same specification as a passport, photocard driving licence or identity card).  One photo must be endorsed and signed by a professional person
  • an approved licensing qualification certificate.

If you wish to apply for a licence, you can do so by contacting the Licensing Authority - relevant forms can be found below (documents).

Guidance Notes