Do You Need An Operation License?

Every operator of HGVs must be licensed in accordance with the law. Should you fail to have a licence, you can be prosecuted and your vehicles seized.

When is a licence required?

Licences are required where:-

  • You use a vehicle for the transportation of goods which is over 3.5 tonnes gross plated weight;
  • If there is no plated weight, an unladen weight of more than 1,525kg triggers the requirement for a licence.

What are the types of licence?

There are two main types of licence:-

  • Standard National Licences: if a company only operates nationally, this type will be required. Both the company and its transport manager must be of good repute for a licence to be permitted;
  • Standard International Licences: companies which operate in Great Britain, and outside of it, will need this type of licence. If you transport goods to the EU, you will also require a Community Licence (a requirement which is likely to stand even if the UK exits the EU)

The licence must be in the name of the ‘user’ of the vehicle, for example if:-

  • You are the owner and driver of the vehicle;
  • You are a company, and the driver is an employee or agent.

What requirements have to be satisfied for a licence to be granted?

You must show that you are:-

  • Of ‘good repute’:- this takes into account any relevant information about professional competence, particularly in terms of criminal convictions within the past five years;
  • Are of appropriate financial standing:- this means satisfying a Traffic Commissioner that there is enough money for the company to be run successfully;
  • Your facilities for the management of vehicles are satisfactory;
  • You demonstrate the capability to ensure that the relevant laws are observed throughout the company (e.g. with regular training for staff, including you)

Changes in Circumstances

You are obliged to notify the Central Licensing Office in Leeds should there be a ‘material change’ in your circumstances. Changes must be notified within 28 days and include instances such as:-

  • Changes to a company’s structure;
  • Other material changes e.g. in directors;
  • New criminal convictions (including on the part of directors, agents, transport managers and employees.)

Revocation of Licences

The grant of a licence is somewhat of a privilege rather than a right and they can be taken away in certain circumstances.

A Commissioner must revoke a licence where the holder no longer fulfls the requirements of good repute, fnancial standing or professional competence- please also see the Public Inquiries page for useful information under this heading.

This is not an exhaustive examination of the applicable law, which is extensive and complex. Our Regulatory team are specialists in this area, so please do contact Ian Anderson or Amber Walker on 0113 284 5000 for in depth expert advice.